Turning the Pages: A Look at the Sketchbooks of Artists

I think many carry along with us the latent desire to express through art.In our primes, we find crayons and brushes quite fascinating as they help us paint the world we see and recreate them with our imagination.This manifestation expresses our inner feelings via the different choice of colours we use, the contour of lines we draw and the subject we focus in the painting.Rarely do we realize that such impulses are borne out of the soul’s craving to absorb the subtlety of that experience.I am glad to find this post, which features the work of some very passionate artists(bloggers).Their beautiful artworks seem to rekindle that dormant spirit of painting that lurks within us waiting to come out!This post imparts an inspiration, profound and satisfying!

Discover

Spend some time in your Reader poring over tags such as illustrated journaling, sketching, and Moleskine…if you dare. You risk surfacing hours later, awed by contour, renewed by hues, and sated by art.

Here’s just a small sample of artists we love who share their work on WordPress. Lose yourself in their blogs. The visuals — and the stories behind them — are well worth the risk.


Drawn In

Jean’s kept a journal since 1988 and teaches workshops on illustrated journaling and drawing the elements of nature. Indulge in some of her favorite journal pages.

A self-taught watercolorist, Jean Mackay immortalizes the ephemera of everyday life at Drawn In, where she shares pages from her illustrated journals. “I always aim to make my journal pages reflect something meaningful or interesting from my experiences,” she says. “As you can see from my sketches and paintings…

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Beneath The Apple Tree

I looked up above, as I laid

Beneath the apple tree,

And wondered how nice it’ll be,

To get those apples for free.

But the apples were too high to reach,

So all my hopes got lost

When suddenly in my mind it came

Great Newton’s age old thought.

That when he sat below the tree

As useless as I was,

Without any effort, or initiative,

An apple did really fall.

Newton said that he was the one

Who first actually had found

That earth pulls the apple towards itself

And makes it fall on ground.

Having faith in Mr Newton

I laid there as I was

The noon changed to night,

(The sky flooded with moonlight)

But the apple did not fall!

And then I began to doubt

If really Newton said it true

Or was it for only name and fame

To gain his own fortune!

Just then from above did fall

An apple that made me sicken!

For it emitted a chokin’ smell

And throughout it was worm stricken!

Within a flash I speculated

That no book has ever mentioned

That what Newton actually did

With the apple that had fallen.

Now I know he must have crushed it

And took out his all frustration

Because just like mine, his apple too was

Dead decayed and rotten!

So commit to memory my new theory

And never have it forgotten

That all the apples that hang on tree

Are not pulled by gravitation.

Through the years I have known

That among the apples that hang on tree

The gravity brings down,

On the ground

Only the decayed apples for free!

-r_prab

( Since a young age , scientists and their curious tales have fascinated me. And Newton, is perhaps, one of my favourite figures in that respect. This poem was written when I was in high school.It was an evening when I had got bored solving Physics problems.Next day I had read it aloud to the amusement of my classmates, after which it got out from the closed pages (seven years later), only a few days back! The Literary Club of my University invited poetry contribution and I sent this old poem of mine. Today I was exhilarated seeing my poem posted on their elite blog, LITERATI! This encouraged me to share it on my blog as well! I am glad to share it!)

 

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(Img source:-  http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/496xn/p02mpn0h.jpg)

Learning the Writing Style of Favourite Authors

Absorbing the writing style of my favorite authors is the new hobby I have found for myself. This has been a second nature to me always, though.(I mean absorbing the writing pattern of any writer.) Even in the blogosphere, I read the posts of the awesome people I follow, with utmost keenness and interest, to understand and feel what state of emotions would have inspired those words!

Now, I want to take this instinct one step ahead by methodically examining and try acquiring the techniques of my ideal novelists. Few days back I got inspired from Mike’s post (He is a published author, and this was an old post, in which he recounted his prime days)to practice this earnestly.Mike in his post wrote- “..I even typed out Hemingway’s text to see what it felt like to produce such sentences, and started trying to write the next sentence

Precisely! When I read Oscar Wilde, I often say to myself, “Wish I could write like that!” Alike sentiments I get while reading Tennyson’s or Wordsworth’s poetry or Edgar Allan Poe’s tales.So, I resolved to study the narrative forms of  Oscar Wilde and Edgar Allan Poe to begin with.(I can take poetry, the next month)

The plump old book “Great collections of Oscar Wilde” and the not so plump but old book “The Tales Of Imagination” by Edgar Allan Poe have been presented with a reserved space on my table for the next one month.A blue notebook, with a pen clasped inside, adorns them on top.

Last night, my subject of study was Oscar Wilde’s short story “The Selfish Giant”.I tried picking up a few sentences, where the aesthetics of Nature had been very neatly narrated.I wrote them down in my blue notebook, read them twice, then tried to cast my own words in a similar prose.I thoroughly relished the exercise! It felt reasonably satisfying!

Tonight I plan to study Poe’s “A Mesmeric Revelation”

Walter Crane The Selfish Giant

 

Lesson

I just received this realization in the fleeting hours of solitude! I need to keep reminding myself about this more often now! I am sharing this realization to increase it’s energy so that I think of it more and don’t pretend that I have forgotten it!

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(Oh and I am excited to see that I have devised a quote of my own that I can boast about! This being the first quote of my “quote career”!)

 

Inside the mind of a master procrastinator

I woke up this morning to a wonderful TED talk by Tim Urban,the epic internet writer at Wait But Why, who spoke about procrastination. The title of the video was “Inside the mind of a master procrastinator”

Interesting, as it sounded, and also because we tend to get attracted to such subject matters, like procrastination- an incurable, often mocked and joked, bitter reality of our lives.I was eager to listen what the speaker had to say about it.

Tim got my attention immediately as he commenced his talk describing his university project where he had to write a ninety-page thesis, but procrastination kept him postponing it until the last two days, after which he had to spend sleepless nights in panic and stress to complete the report.True story! Universally! So what was Tim going to say next?

Now he began to tell about the mind of a procrastinator.He said he had got two MRI scans done-  of the brain of a procrastinator and that of a verified non-procrastinator.And he presented before the audience, with a note of expectation that it won’t be difficult for them to interpret the MRI scans, the snapshot on the screen.And the two pictures were these-

This just made me jolt with laughter!

I had all my interest in his presentation now! He went on to explain that a non- procrastinator had a ‘Rational Decision Maker’ in the brain, but a procrastinator had an additional ‘Instant Gratification Monkey’ with it!(I so much appreciated the nomenclature!) “The instant gratification monkey” he  described “tends to believe that human is also a monkey, and all it needs is food, rest, and all things of fun and ease.”

As he went on with the discourse, I found him saying the obvious things, but with a very interesting perspective! It was a delight to listen to him. He said the monkey tends to snatch the wheels from the rational decision maker most of the time, but luckily, there is a guardian angel, that looks over this monkey.It lies dormant, but makes its appearances at the most critical times- when the limits have been reached, the deadline has arrived, and there is a fear of public embarrassment, or something important is on the verge of getting lost.Then the angel strikes!! Wonder what this Guardian Angel is called?

panicmonster

Tim showed the next slide remarking, “Once the panic monster shows up, the monkey runs away to the tree. It is the only thing it is scared of!And the rational decision maker gets on to the wheels with dread.”

panicmonster3

Quite true!

In the final part of the presentation, Tim goes on to highlight an important insight- The panic monster strikes only when there is a hard deadline, upon reaching which it gets triggered, as had happened during his University thesis submission.”But what about the things that we aspire to do, but have no hard hitting deadlines attached with them, like our resolve to call a friend, write that long anticipated letter, to learn a particular skill, to nurture a particular hobby? ”

For these endeavours, the panic monster never strikes, and these pursuits continue to stay uncheked and unattented! This only brings regret and lamentation in the long run.Tim showed his last slide containing a grid of square boxes, in rows and coloumns.

boxes

He called it ‘The Calendar of Life’ and explained that each of those boxes represented one week for a life of 90 years.He said, “there aren’t many of them, because we have already consumed a fair bit of it already.” I liked this.Tim had shared a medium through which we could start seeing deadlines in our lives.A strong visual aid like this will work better than mere harboring the thought of life having a deadline.(Which often seems to get forgotten over time)

Overall the talk left me with a very good feeling.Not only his presentation was interesting, but his message, assorted with smart elements of humor and his excellent delivery of speech, created a memorable and impactful experience!

(The full talk can be watched here)

The era of letter writing

I crave to experience that age where letter writing used to be the adorned gift for distant communication.One person would sit and contemplate for days what to write since the letter would take months to reach to the other side of the world, where the dear one dwelled.There would be a wealth of stories, incidents, and sentiments to write about- of wars, of explorations, of love, of betrayals, of dreams, of hopes.

With the letter being the sole means to converse from afar, the language would benefit from the writer’s feeling of separation and longing. Often inspiring profound sentences of adoration and intellect, with the anticipation that they will make the reader feel warm and comforted while being read.

And in the absence of emoticons, which make emotions get expressed in a generalized fashion, there, one would be absorbed with a dictionary or thesaurus to unearth the precise words to express the emotion elaborately.Some sentiments may even get transformed into beautiful verses with rhyming words.

And once the letter was dispatched, one would wait and imagine if the letter had reached, if the letter was received with as much yearning as with which it was written.And questions would flutter in the mind of the writer like a restless bird. Did the words carry the feelings well? Did it comfort? Brought the smile? Conveyed the warmth?

Several days will pass, and seasons change in hope and optimism of receiving a reply. The quill and the papers on table would be looked upon with a promise.And then on one fine day, a knock would be heard at the door,  with the horseman standing outside, who, when you get out to meet will  declare, “There’s a letter for you Sire!”

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Relentless Pursuit

I am completing my post graduation this month with a Master’s degree in Business Administration.

The first response my friends are giving is that finally my student life is going to get over.Since I began schooling several years back, I have been a student till now!After schooling, I enrolled for a Bachelor’s degree course in Electrical Engineering.

While I was studying engineering, I started freelancing as a sales associate.It was during those days I got interested in business.I was surrounded with people who used to be very passionate about reaching their goals.I found myself as an eager student wanting to absorb the kind of passion these people possessed.I read many business books and I gave professional presentations across different locations to pitch for the product I was promoting as a sales representative.

Motivated by a friend, I decided to pursue an MBA degree, where I saw myself fitting perfectly. Although it was a bit late I discovered my true calling but I was happy I found support from my family.Hence began the next phase of my student life.

So now that I am completing my post graduation as well, and am ready to join the corporate world, I muse if it actually is the end of student life for me.Perhaps not! The kind of curious person I am, I know I can’t stay away from studying.Although I will continue to learn more about the domain in which I am joining the job, I have some more plans for nurturing my student life.

I have already started searching for distance learning courses on subjects which I always wanted to learn, but could only read about them in bits and fragments online or through some popular books written for general readers.Subjects like Astronomy, Philosophy and Poetry has always been dear to me, but I never got a chance to study them properly.Now that I am free to learn anything, not to find a job, but just to learn for the sake of learning, I want to register for some of these courses and start learning them systematically.

(I have been away from my blog for quite some time because of the final term University exams that had been going on, and after which I went on a vacation to my parents.Now that I am back I am eager to check out all the favorite blogs I have missed all these days! And I will start writing more often now.I am happy to return back to this space once again!)

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