Worktable Weekend: Intimate Drawing

I never drew much. I had a phase when I was a teenager when I did some work with watercolors and also colored pencils but that was mostly abstract or surreal, like a tree with a window that showed open skies; a lot of clouds. Only in recent years I started to sketch more, and even try some portrait here or there.

I made photo tracings for the “frozen in time” project which I just finished in time for the exhibit this summer. I found this a very intimate process: tracing, touching, outlining these people. Then the idea of conserving these moments, freeze them was prominent and thus came out this black and icy white design. It fitted with the general plan but I had already the plan then, to make another book with them that reflects this intimacy better. Today I worked on parchment. The results are not yet to my liking but the process felt good and I hope something will come out of this.

I am strangely moved by what and that I am drawing, thinking of these people who shaped my life. It feels like I am in touch with them in a very literal sense. Very strange and fulfilling at the same time. I realize only those pictures and people will enter the book whose tracing does this something with me. I find it hard because it will kick out some people who probably think they should be in it. Some people who I think they should be in. Working like this is a very different approach for me. Usually I have a thought-through concept and don’t so much rely on my guts. However, relying on gut feeling seems to be right for a book that is made from skin and bound with hair and bones. And again: a strange, moving, scaring and yet satisfactory start.

But this is a worktable weekend post, and so I want to talk about what I did these past two days. Hubby still has his plate more than full which gives me more time with the kids and less time in the studio. This in turn makes worktime mostly office time for me since I just don’t manage to finish the office tasks on the side as usual.

This weekend I mostly was occupied with taking care of my webshops. It is now possible to order color charts for all types of thread that I offer; new pairs of covers are added to my DaWanda-Shop to choose with your Coptic Binding Box; and I made group pictures of the Crawford thread, photos like the one below, to facilitate the choice of colored thread. Then off to editing all the listings – a tedious task that is not yet finished, but hopefully worth the time.

An diesem Wochenende war ich mal wieder vor allem mit der Pflege meiner Webshops beschäftigt. Man kann jetzt endlich wieder Farbtafeln für alle Zwirne in meinem Angebot bestellen; die neuen Buchdeckel, die man mit der Buchbindebox bestellen kann, sind jetzt auch eingestellt; und dann habe ich noch Gruppenbilder vom Crawford-Faden gemacht, wie das unten, um die Wahl der Farben zu erleichtern. Dann mussten die Artikel auch noch alle editiert und aktualisiert werden. – Damit bin ich auf DaWanda noch nicht fertig. Ich hoffe, den Aufwand wird es wert sein!

Then I went to the bookbinder’s supplies fair in Cologne this morning. Then de-stashing and more listings.

Heute war dann auch noch die Buchbindermesse in Köln, wo ich natürlich vorbeigeschaut habe. Am Nachmittag ging’s dann weiter mit Auf- und Ausräumen und weiteren Listings.

So after all this, it cost me some self-persuasion to do something less goal oriented. Up until there it was all: sit down and get it done. But then I just allowed myself to trace just one photo over and over again. And hopefully I will find the time to get back to it soon.

Nach all dem hat es mich einige Überwindung gekostet, einen Gang runterzuschalten, vm direkt ergebnisbezogenen Denken runterzukommen und noch ein wenig experimentell zu arbeiten und zu zeichnen. Mein aktuelles Projekt ist im Eindruck der Arbeiten zu “Frozen in Time” entstanden. Damals habe ich an eingefrorene Erinnerungen gedacht, der Versuch, Begegnungen und Gefühle sozusagen zu konservieren. Diesem Konzept stand das schwarz-weiße Design ganz gut, denke ich. Allerdings ist das Zeichnen selbst ein erstaunlich  intimer Prozess, und fühlt sich überhaupt nicht so kühl an, wie das fertige Buch aussieht. Eine neue Version soll nun mehr Wärme und Intimität ausstrahlen. Ich habe heute mit Zeichnungen auf Pergament angefangen. Mal schauen, wo mich das noch hinträgt.


2 replies on “Worktable Weekend: Intimate Drawing”

  1. Hilke, This parchment book is such a beautiful and edgy book. Do you know what I mean by edgy? Using skin and hair and bone to talk about lost loved ones – raw, challenging and breathtakingly honest. I feel very moved just by the idea, and the book isn’t made yet!
    Interestingly, I have been saving my hair after haircuts to use in an artwork. I don’t know what it will be but I am very drawn to it as a material. Also, in Paris this year I found some real parchment sheets and bought a couple, as I have never seen it for sale in Australia.
    I remember we had similar ideas for work before – the book about the seasons – and it seems we are treading parallel paths again…

    1. Hi Amanda,

      nice to see you stopping by again! I do remember the season’s project 🙂 How could I forget, one of the prints in your book is hanging in my studio, and I still work on mine which at the moment consists of a box full of different collected items and a couple of paper pieces with snippets of concepts on them which still don’t fit together completely. You might be faster with this new project, too. Mine is evolving very slowly like so many before. I am very much looking forward to seeing what you will do with your parchment! Strange that you can’t get it on Australia, it is comparably easy for me to buy it. Have you tried looking for it as calligraphy supply or for making drums?

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