projects and writings of Tracy Burkholder
My August challenge of completing one of Lynda Barry’s daily diary exercises was probably my mildest challenge yet. It was short and fast and easy: A list of Things I Did, Things I Saw, One Thing I Heard and a 30 second drawing every day. I filled in the exercise in a composition notebook every night before I went to sleep.
Throughout the day, I’d try to take note of interesting things to write down later, but I found that the more I tried to remember specific sights or action or words, by the time the day finished, my sad little memory had crumbled most of it to dust. And yet, enough filtered through to make it something other than went to grocery store, drank coffee, read a book, etc.
The drawings were the most fun and the most ridiculous. In 30 seconds what can you get down on paper that looks anything like anything? Surprisingly, quite a lot. Not surprisingly, they are all ridiculously and wonderfully bad. Lynda Barry loves these “bad” drawings and I kind of love mine too. They look a lot like the drawings I did as a kid. The muscle memory of pen and hand. The pics posted here are of the following things I saw: Two women smoking next to the dumpster outside Sewickly’s, Girl jumping off log in Battleground Lake, and Old man petting dog of young man, both men dressed similarly.
Which leads me to my September challenge: Engage in something artistic every day. If I draw, it will be for more than 30 seconds. If I write it will be more than a list of things I did. But there are also a bunch of movies about artists I’d like to watch, some books I’d like to read. I hope to catch a few performances at the Time Based Art Festival next week. I might do a daily photo project or go the art museum or check out some galleries I haven’t been to before. I want to soak myself in the creative impulse, my own and others. Let’s see what happens when art isn’t something that waits for inspiration, but something that is part of everyday life.