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....