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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

My Magnificent Obsession

Well, okay. I have a number of magnificent obsessions. But the one I'm referring to here is the book one. I used to be known at work as 'the woman who has a book on everything'. This was, I have to say, a bit of an exaggeration, but nine times out of ten, I would be able to say, yeah, I've got something about that...and the tenth time, usually my son had something suitable (hi, Andrew). I'm known both within and outwith the family for being unable to pass a bookshop, and, once in, being unable to exit without buying at least one book.

So, when I ended up in Borders before Christmas, ostensibly shopping for presents, it was inevitable that I would buy one for myself. A little pre gift...hell, a girl has to practice her gratitude!! The book I bought was 'Creating Sketchbooks for Embroiderers and Textile Artists'. I have to confess, I bought it for the pictures. Lovely pictures, at least one illustration on almost every page, a lovely, glossy reference book. I like it particularly because it shows how different artists approach their sketchbooks, with plenty of examples. I have to confess, though, that I haven't actually got round to reading the whole thing. And I may never do so.

I've been sewing for a loooong time...longer than I care to admit. When I buy an art book, these days, it seems to be for the pictures, rather than the text. I've been making up technique for so long, now, that it seems silly to worry about how something is done... I just want to admire good work, let it percolate through my own thinking, and eventually come out with something that I can probably trace, indirectly, to looking at the pictures.

And I tend to read them back to front. And quite often just dip into them, when I have a moment, just to look at an image or two, over a cup of coffee. It's a good way to rest, takes the mind of whatever that particular problem was that you took a break to get away from!

But I digress. The sketchbooks in this new book are beautiful, and hugely relevant to textile artists, as you might expect from the title. You have already seen a couple of pages of my sketchbook. My sketchbooks get carried around and drawn in at spare moments. Written in, too. Notes from an exhibit, or made in front of a particular painting, muddle in with a sketch here, a snippet of cloth there, a leaf or feather or something picked up from the ground tucked in the back. Compared to the multicoloured offerings in the book, mine look like everyday clothes, compared with someone else's Sunday Best. Know what? I don't care. It's my process. I can do what I want. And believe me, I do!


Felicity said...

I share your obsession. It would be more scary if I lived in a country with decent bookshops and a reliable postal service. I'm adding that title to my wish list, it sounds very interesting!

arashi said...

A wonderful obsession to have. Better than handwashing (GRIN)

smarcoux said...

I have just bought it the sketchbook one but am waiting for it to arrive .... I am glad you said it was a good one as I did wonder. I really need to work on my sketchbooks a bit more .. hopefully I just dont look at the pics


Debra said...

Darn, it Marion, you're costing me money!! I ordered the book before finishing the read of this post.

marion said...

Debra, I'd just like you to know that I'm NOT on commission, here...I do hope you enjoy the book!