A sketchbook is an intimate place. You might think you know me a little, from reading this blog, and perhaps you do, honest and artless as I am. But there’s a lot more besides, of course, and in my world, most of that gets chronicled in some form – either drawings or snippets of writing or poems – and usually in my sketchbooks.
If following this blog is like reading my diary, then looking through my sketchbooks must then, I guess, be the equivalent of rifling through my knicker drawer.
This had never occurred to me until this weekend, when at the very last minute before the Open Studio event, I grabbed some full sketchbooks from the shelf and spread them out on the worktable, thinking just to fill a space; almost like a decoration.
Never did I imagine they would be so compelling. Every group of people I took up to the studio fell upon them with delight. There were gasps and giggles and much hilarity. People actually wanted to *read* them, leafing through all the pages, not just the ones I’d opened. Some people settled in for the long haul, chortling and snorting with laughter, and exclaiming at certain drawings in wonder and amazement (I hope it was that, rather than horror). I was astonished. They were having the same reaction that I feel on entering a posh lingerie shop: bedazzled, wanting to touch everything, drawn in, intrigued, fascinated, and sometimes mildly puzzled.
It was scary though. My whole life is in those sketchbooks. My mind was racing, trying to remember if *that* drawing was coming up next (oh god, which book is *that* drawing in?!). It was not dissimilar to showing your parents in law the holiday photos, and suddenly remembering those frolics on the veranda when the children were asleep.
I think I got away with it, and almost every guest seemed genuinely pleased and grateful to have had access into my world and studio for a wee while. It was humbling for me too – and so validating, and somewhat lovely. I enjoyed it very much, and hope I made a few new friends along the way. And the cash till rang off the hook, and paintings large and small flew out of the door, all weekend. Hurray!
So many stories – but I’m 100% tired today, and feel slightly hungover on adrenaline and the intensity of being open to all comers for three days. There will be beautiful photos, and stories galore, and blog posts for the rest of the week. I can’t wait to share it all with you.
But now, I’m off out on my bike in the sunshine.
Have a good day!