In my studio there are heaps of pages. Some have been on my large drawing table for close to 30 years. The pages are collectors. That is their job, their nature. They are indiscriminant. They will collect good and bad drawing, conscious and incidental marks, dirt, dust, and the finest fine art materials. My job is to make sure the pages are positioned so as to be prone and receptive.

 

I am a caretaker, arranging the pages and putting them in the way where they are susceptible to all aspects of the studio activity. Strewn and stacked, the pages brush up against each other and share information.

 

I work consciously on the pages, making deliberate, focused marks, but the number of pages I have to deal with insures that I can’t focus on every page in my proximity.  I am frequently marking pages that I am not consciously working on: a page, recently worked, is returned to a stack where it marks its neighbor.  In a sense, I am kept out of the way. The pages demand their own space and they don’t permit my intentions to crowd it.

 

As the pages are pushed through time the conscious and incidental marks accrue and become confused. It is difficult, and ultimately uninteresting to try and parse incident from accident, and mindful from distracted. It is preferable to allow the pages to function as collectors, to watch as the accumulation documents the history of their making. 

 

Page as Collector