Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Perk

Percolating…first step in the creative process…sitting with my collection of napkins, some potential collage papers, and having explored some websites for ideas, wondering where to begin…first inspiration comes: burn the edges!!!

Envisioning a sort of nouveau ancient look, to evoke a smoky European café…maybe cross-pollinating with a cozy English pub look, complete with fireplace, glass of sherry, and wood paneling, I imagine a place where one parks, sips and discusses for hours with soul mates, finding the wherewithal to continue the herculean voyage through life, with notes jotted on napkins to remember all the epiphanies the next day. What kind of a sketchbook would go in that scenario?

Using incense sticks and cones, I burned all the edges. And a hole or two in some of the pages, in honor of my friend Martha who is toying with a sketchbook about cigarettes. Cigarettes, pubs and holes in sketchbooks...yep, works for me!

The paper, now impregnated with a smoky odor of Jasmine and Mango incense, now recalls a fireplace that might be crackling in the background of the pub/café...

Leaving the sketchbook outside on a table to ‘air out’ a bit, then forgetting it, I later doused it while watering the plants. Oops! Now a number of pages have a nice crinkly look...not so bad! Definitely beginning to look like a sketchbook that’s kicked around a café or two.

Step 2: I tried an ink pad on one page to see if I could get a sepia look—quickly aborting that idea when I saw how porous the paper was. Next choice: rub Pearl Ex Pigment #664 Super Bronze into the pages with a paper towel. Much better. Nice coppery/pink glow to the paper, a bit of iridescence, maybe not so visible in the photo.

Now the book refers to a time a couple of decades ago, when (mostly) men and (more recently) women in cafes sat and lingered over a long coffee, writing grand thoughts on napkins. Before the days when we interacted virtually, we doodled on napkins.

What did we doodle? What were some of those grand thoughts?

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