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Action Plans, Journals, Blogs and Actually doing the Work

How do I get the balance right? That question is one that bothers me all the time. How many notebooks and sketchbooks  should I keep? What is a learning log? How much or how little should go into my blog? At this point my head feels like it’s going to explode. I keep thinking I’ve solved it but then I doubt myself and worry that I am not demonstrating all of the requirements of the course.

I’m worried that I will spend more time typing up blogs rather than doing the real stuff; drawing, stitching, reflecting and planning. 

Should my blog include everything? If I don’t will my tutor think I’m not working enough? If I do will I be judged harshly on my random ramblings? 

I love writing in my notebooks and I love keeping sketchbooks. One of my own personal goals is to create beautiful sketchbooks that are as artful as any final pieces so I don’t want to neglect my books in favour of a more digital method. 

My proposed solution is to keep using my books, grabbing all of my random thoughts and seemingly irrelevant information. If there is a clear ‘story’ or article or it is a specific project/ excercise/ asssignment piece for my degree I will write a  proper, tidy blog post. Inbetween I will post photographs of pages from my various notebooks with some notes and comments.

So please excuse the spelling, the ramblings and the poorly exectuted drawings. 

Moleskin notebook 

I love this turquoise notebook with its soft cream pages. Something about it makes it inviting and easy to write into. It’s difficult for me to take in all of the instructions in the OCA materials if I don’t write them down, this notebook has lots of copying and summarising of the instructions with my thoughts and action plans. 

I know really I should write these up in neat presentable action plans but really?  If I wanted to do that I could go back to me job as a project manager. I want to be an arty farty artist, please let me be messy!

In here are my first thoughts once I knew that the Shrewsbury Museum could help me with identifying 3 textile pieces to use for Part 1 – Observing & Capturing of a Textile Vocabulary. 

When I first thought about this exercise I wanted to follow a train of interest into regimental flags.   

  I loved the research and I’m still blown away by the flags that hang in our cathedrals but on reflection I decided to change track. There is a proper blog on this. Regimental Colours & Standards.

Where next then? 

  After I’d made these notes I moved over to my travel sketchbook. I do most of my recording in this book. It stays with me most of the time so I can gather information as I go. For a good twelve months I’ve kept a small daybook and this is an extention of this. This article by Victoria Torf really focused my mind and inspired me to carry on with my travel book.  

Travel Sketchbook

This little A5 book has a great surface for pen and paint. It’s filling up now with pictures, notes, articles from magazines and tests of new pens & other mediums.

  

A4 (Square) Khandi Sketchbook

This is another kind of book I love to use, again the papers take paint well and has a lovely surface for pencil and pen.

I use this book for collages, mind-maps, scribbles and more considered drawing and markmaking.  Now I have selected my three pieces I have started preparing for the information gathering and research I need to do to complete Exercise 1.2 – Substance and Story. 

  
I will fill in the gaps whilst I am viewing the pieces and once I get home using the internet.  In addition to this I also have a Pinterest board OCA – Linen. There isn’t very much information on vintage linen garments on the internet and if I decide to pursue this theme for Part 5 – Building a Collection I’m sure I will have to visit more specialist museums or contact some experts. Not something I find comfortable doing but a perfect way to develop my confidence.

Whilst I am in Ludlow seeing the pieces I am also going to start the next project – Recording & Capturing, here are my notes in the Moleskin notebook followed by the page I have set up in my A4 Khandi sketchbook.

  
 The visit should be great, it’s a whole new thing for me. I’ve only drawn once or twice in a museum or gallery and then with a group. I really hope I can do this without embarrassing myself or, worst, causing any damage to the garments. I’m aiming to gather lots of information with my camera and use pens & pencils to take some quick sketches that I can develop later.   

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