JUST when I finally started to catch up on entries, another giant creative distraction took hold of me over the past few weeks: The Sketchbook Project.
Due to the weather and the massive influx of sketchbook delivers, the Art House Coop granted a 3 day extension. I’m sure (in fact I KNOW) that I wasn’t the only one who managed to complete this fabulous thing on time because of this; those 3 days were a god send. Yesterday, after numerous cuttings, pastings, scrappings, and adherings, I sent my newest pride and joy off to join the other 29,000 sketchbooks participating in this wonderful project.
Here’s a rough & tumbled scanned version of my beloved book. I have a bazillion more photos to be uploaded, but for now this will do.
Inside flap & end paper:
For the first page I wrote a short autobio:
Elizabeth Bollenberg is a 27 year old gal out of Cambridge, Ma. Though she has a B.A. in Graphic Design and Illustration from Maine College of Art, she has been around the arts all her life. Her mother, artist Debbie Clarke, gave her a paintbrush to hold before she could even walk; later in life, after she mastered much of her other dexterous limbs, she was given a violin as well. Thus, a two-face competitive relationship with sight and sound was born. Aside from art, Elizabeth also also enjoys cooking, watching snowstorms, and writing autobiographies in third person.
She grew up in Gloucester, Ma, with two parents who both, at one point in their lives, picked one of the five senses to be devoted to. Her mother chose her sight and has been a painter for 40 odd years; Debbie’s sketchbook can be found in the section “Down Your Street.” It is the feral-looking wax thing frothing in that category. If you ever have the wonderful privilege to meet Ms Clarke, you will immediately see that it suits her nature perfectly. Elizabeth’s father, the late Donald Bollenberg, was a chef trained in Belgium. He, too, was also a musician. Before his death in 2003, Elizabeth was entering into Berklee College of Music, in Boston. After a short stint there, she took some time off to focus on her family. Two years later, she gave art school a go. It was a very expensive success.
Though Elizabeth still loves music and her violin, art is more present in her life than ever. It has helped her to regain her emotional and spiritual strength, as well as remember life events that should never be forgotten. Her latest endeavor is photography and she has been taking a self portrait a day for over a year and a half. She never puts one passion down for another, but rather simply juggles more and more as she enters into different stages in her life. Chaos is such a beautiful and strange theory. It is an even more enchanting thought to truly believe that the flap of a butterfly wing can be the start of a hurricane. She does believe in this whole heartedly. Just think, if her father hadn’t died when Elizabeth was 19, this sketchbook may have never been made. You, dear reader, would never have picked it up to learn entirely too much about this one stranger’s life.
Sketchbooks are diaries for artists. The pages within can’t help but to become personal, almost secretive. Some of the papers and thoughts within the these pages Elizabeth had been holding onto for years, if not decades. Though she is still searching for her place in this world, it is wonderful to have found a place for all that this book contains.
Be good to this. She’s pretty sure it holds part of her soul.
I was a little surprised at how personal this project became for me. I was eager to share my art and make it more public, but I never realized that this book would take so much with it. Most of what I included could never be replicated, even if I tried.
Throughout the book, I added mini envelopes (later, after the scans) that I filled with scrappy business cards with my contact info & this blog’s address.