Sunday, May 30, 2010

How do you pronounce ‘mnemonic’?

Over the past few weeks I've been going through a lot of my stuff, working out what I'm going to keep, sell, give away or trash.

Today, I was going through my desk drawers when I discovered a sketchbook I'd bought about a year and a half ago. Decent sized, decent paper, hardbound and filled with complete and utter crap.

You see, I keep multiple sketchbooks. On one end of the scale I have the really nice ones that I use for actual 'finished' artwork. On the other end, I have sketchbooks like the one I re-discovered today…kept purely for experiments, doodling, practicing new techniques etc… In other words, it's full of barely decipherable crap that has no artistic merit at all and was only of actual use to me as I was drawing whatever's in it.

So I walked over to the trash can, held the sketchbook over it…and suddenly realized I couldn't bring myself to bin it.

Drawing has become a sort of mnemonic to me. You know how a smell can suddenly bring a long-forgotten memory back so vividly that it almost knocks you over? I have the same thing when I draw… or more precisely, when I look at something I've drawn. I can look at a sketch and I can remember drawing it (and what was going on around me at the time) in absolute detail. For example, as I flicked through the sketchbook, I looked at a 'failed' sketch in the sketchbook and suddenly…

It was freezing cold even though I had the heater on full blast, was wearing my jeans, a t-shirt and sweatshirt and my robe over the top of that. Sunny had left for work an hour before and I'd just eaten a bowl of mushroom soup with toast. I'd been looking forward to it, but I remember I didn't enjoy it, although I couldn't put my finger on why. I was sitting with my feet up and on the couch and Logan was asleep on my feet. I was streaming the Doctor Who to the TV, it was 'The Empty Child' when I started and I finished drawing three quarters of the way through 'The Doctor Dances'. Sunny called me from work then…The3re

It's a weird feeling. There are a couple of sketchbooks I'm bringing with me when I move, but that's because I'm still using one and the other has some artwork in it I actually want to keep… the one I rediscovered today is full and has nothing in it that's any use to me at all, and there's not a single thing in there anyone would like to look at (unless you find 8 pages of badly drawn noses to be interesting). However, I don't want to throw it out, not because of what's in it, but because it conjures up memories of my time here far more vividly than any photo album.

As I've mentioned before, I'm really looking forward to moving, but the amount I want to move is perfectly matched by the amount I want to stay… and I'm just loathed to get rid of anything that links me to here.

1 comment:

Scratch the hostile fay said...

set aside what you can't part with, and mail it to wherever you're moving to.

And your word for today: relosses.

Kinda ironic.

And it's pronounced "NEW MON ICK".

But I bet you already knew that. ;)