Monday, May 07, 2012

Sketchbook Project: How to Spell and Other Things to Learn

I recently completed and submitted a sketchbook to the Sketchbook Project,  a fun and ongoing communal art project run by the Arthouse Coop.

I'm calling my book Spell, and I'm considering it "a daring work of whimsy and intrigue ..."

Let's just say that I had fun with it, and I took the heart the idea proffered by the organizers that the sketchbook should be a peek into the mind of the artist.  As such, it's sufficiently sketchy, and a little all over the place.

But not too all over the place.  There is definitely some method to the madness.  When signing up for the project, we were asked to categorize our books into certain pre-fab themes.  All of these were suitably vague and some quite dippy, but for some odd reason the theme "how to spell and other things to learn" appealed to me, so I chose it  without any clear idea of what I would do.

An idea soon came to life and snowballed.  So there is a definite theme and structure to my little sketchbook.  What we have here is a basically an alphabet book that defines an alphabet pictorially, with a special message in the center spread.  The alphabet is mainly based on the Elder Futhark - a runic script (although I modified it a bit to make sure I had all the letters I needed). Each page of the book represents one of the letters of this alphabet.  Each letter is described by a picture.  Some of the pictures are quite obvious ('a' is for ____), but others are a good deal obscure.  Some depict objects or persons associated with particular runes (For example, the aurochs)

I'm going to post scans of pages of my book a few at a time.  If you follow along, you'll perhaps learn some interesting things about runes, as well as the mind of the artist, which is obviously very fond of history, mythology and world religions, not to mention trees.  Here's the first few pages:

SketchBook1 The title of the book.

SketchBook2-a Page 1.

SketchBook4-a Page 2. These should be fairly obvious.

More to come.  All the submitted sketchbooks are stored and available for viewing at the Brooklyn Art Library in Williamsburg.  This particular group of sketchbooks is going to be documented in a book that is supposed to come out in the fall.

No comments: