My personal work continues to explore themes around movement, journeys, and the spaces between physical and imaginary landscapes. I am drawn towards a neutral, subdued palette of browns, greys and black, reflecting the rather introspective nature of my current preoccupations.

In contrast, this month’s sketchbook, sent to me by Suzanne, is full of printing, colour and doodling; I am inspired out of my navel-gazing and have fetched out my acrylic paints. I might look out the coloured tissue paper tomorrow and reconnect with my inner child.

100 Pieces of Work

So this month, as well as working, parenting and Sketchbook Circle, I have to produce 100 pieces of work before 3rd September, when I go back to uni in Birmingham to start the second phase of the Artist Teacher Scheme. I have chosen to work in an 8×8 square sketchbook, purchased at New Art Gallery Walsall, where part of the summer intensive was hosted. I don’t feel that all my work has to be contained in this book; last week has opened my mind to ways of working which I have never considered before. Rather I am treating it as a diary or visual journal where I can record my journey. I have already taken lots of reference photos, and done some pieces of writing, both of which I have done before, but not really considered to be ‘part’ of my artistic practice. I have written copious amounts of post-it notes, which I intend to stick into my book. I am, after all, fascinated by the process, by making my thinking visible, by what it is that draws me time and again to the same things. I am reminded by this task of the poem written by Loris Malaguzzi, founder of the pioneering preschools in Reggio Emilia, Italy:

The child is made of one hundred.       The child has a hundred languages      a hundred hands                                        a hundred thoughts                                  a hundred ways of thinking                    of playing, of speaking.                           A hundred always a hundred…

I am reminded to grasp this opportunity to be childlike and engage in play.

I’ve even cleared my work table.

July Book

My sketchbook has returned from Louise, giving me some new directions to follow. Memory seems to be an enduring theme in our shared book, an open-ended theme with almost limitless possibilities.

On the theme of memory, I have The Song of Wandering Aengus by W B Yeats bashing around in my brain, looking for a way out onto my sketchbook pages;

Though I am old with wandering

Through hollow lands and hilly lands,

I will find out where she has gone,

And kiss her lips and take her hands;

And walk among long dappled grass,

And pluck till time and times are done

The silver apples of the moon,

The golden apples of the sun.