Margaret Peot’s Guest Blog, Post 2
While surfing around on Pinterest, I ran across the idea of making a dollhouse in three-ring binders. Each binder is two walls of a room, the walls are decorated with small print scrapbook paper, framed pictures, a trompe l’oeil bookshelf. Its a really neat idea for a dollhouse, and got me thinking about how sketchbooks and journals can be places–not just repositories of ideas for future reference, or diaries, or works of art, but also destinations in which we can play and experiment.
This notion works well with the other thing I have been thinking of. In one of my Creative Center Classes at Gilda’s Club, one of my students, Isabel Duchanese, made a large, bilaterally symmetrical, folded inkblot that she saw as two steep, rocky cliffs, flanking a gorge with a river running below, and scraggly trees at the top. She had not set out to make a landscape, but that is what it looked like to her. In response to it, Isabel began to make lots of tiny inkblots that she drew into as creatures that she tipped onto the rocky cliffs with glue. It captured my imagination.
What if the inkblot journal could be a destination? Filled with landscapes, trees, the night sky–a whole world in a book? And I could work into any page on any day–each page would be like a room or landscape. So the sketchbook would not be a linear thing, but perhaps a palace of ideas to walk through, room by room, drawing on the walls…
Because I can mostly never stick to a traditional sketchbook format, this idea suits me. Sometimes I like to work on small pieces of Rives BFK on the subway–writing and drawing, or drawing and coloring into inkblots. And sometimes I like to stretch out and experiment with different textures and techniques on the pages of a sketchbook that I can go back and work into later.
I will introduce the idea of an inkblot sketchbook being a palace of ideas at the inkblot workshop at the Creative Aging Conference (which has now been postponed until March due to the ravages of Hurricane Sandy) ( and is hosted by The Creative Center at University Settlement, which offers free art classes for people battling cancer and other chronic illnesses, with the idea, as they say on their website that “medicine cures the body, but art heals the spirit.”). Maybe, as one’s world gets smaller through infirmity, one can have a huge world of ideas inside a sketchbook.
Margaret Peot is a painter, printmaker and writer who has made her living as a freelance artist for more than 20 years in New York City. Margaret lives in New York City. Visit her website at www.MargaretPeot.com and at www.theinkblotbook.com. She is the author of Alternative Art Journals and the host of two instructional art videos, Alternative Art Journals with Margaret Peot and Alternative Art Cards with Margaret Peot.
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