Monday, November 4, 2013

When Two Worlds Meet

Lately, I've been playing around with the small sketchbook that I carry in my purse. Black and white sketches cover the pages to the end. Nothing spectacular, no expectations, just scratching around. However, the combination of black and white pleases me much more when associated with color. So out came the watercolors and colored pencils. A few minutes here, a few minutes there... 

Working back over the pages, I realized that I had a small record of some events in Tunisia over the past year and a half. Because I occasionally attend academic conferences at an American research center in Tunis (CEMAT), I scribble notes and information in my sketchbook--and doodle around. In January 2012, everyone seemed optimistic (except me), citing Tunisia as a model for revolution and political change. Skeptical then, I'm really laughing my head off now.

January's page shows a beautiful old hand embroidered women's cape that was framed and hanging on the wall of the conference room. I added the watercolors recently.


In May 2012, researchers called Tunisia a model for transition. A backpack and chair occupied me at first, 

then, I remember thinking "Hmmmfff!" as I doodled around on a zentangle. I must have been really annoyed because I don't usually do zentangles as they bore me silly. Coming back and adding a colored pencil spectrum to frame it made the design more appealing to me.

By December 2012, foreign researchers were beginning to get it. A conference about opinion polls and the accompanying methodology showed more realistic results. Briefly put, the ruling religious party was losing voters, but maintaining a majority at that time.
December's sketch is a typical brick and cement construction seen along the way; it houses electrical I-don't-know-what.

I've given up on academic conferences for the moment. Unchartered waters are difficult to analyze, and research requires some distance. In the meantime, I'm beginning to see intersections of my work thanks to blog posts--points at which my different worlds cross, overlap, and integrate into a whole. 

Nevertheless, I remain the Reluctant Sketcher....

10 comments:

Mo Crow said...

I love that you share these windows to your days Nadia

Carol said...

Just bought a sketch diary and am wondering if I am really going to use it. It is eight by five, and too big for the purse I carry, so it will not go out with me. Think I will try find a little time each day to sketch and write about something interesting that comes to mind.

Muddling Through said...

Your sketches and observations are painfully interesting. It seems there is trouble all over the globe. Stay safe.

Merilyn said...

Your sketches offer a subconscious glimpse into the machinations of what/who governs......stay safe!

Nat Palaskas said...

Your sketches are smazing. I will come back and read them through again. So interesting, thanks for sharing - Hugs Nat

Carole Reid said...

Like you, Nadia, I am a hesitant sketcher. So rather than draw, I collage or do small prints in my sketch books. As you have shown here life crosses over into our art. Take care. xo Carole

Susan Christensen said...

These drawings are a wonderful window on your observations, Nadia. thank you for sharing. I think color is an important ingredient, if for no other reason than that adding color is never boring!
best wishes, sus

Janet M. Atwill said...

I agree the color imposes beauty--and can one have beauty without hope?

Linda A. Miller said...

A lovely personal/public history in images... interesting remembering thoughts at the time the sketch was made.. have had that too. Much like a song bringing one back to another time!

Karen L. Bates said...

I love that you could see another world around you as the politics got away with them. Lovely journal of your days and your sketches are gorgeous...love the added color. Beautiful artwork. What a treasure to have years down the road.