welcome, and thank you for joining me on my farm and studio in southern lancaster county, pennsylvania

Monday, December 29, 2008

keeping journals

Having never been one for keeping a journal of or for anything, I now have two. One for art and one for the farm. More than anything these are idea books because what I've found is that if I write something down in a place where it won't be lost it also won't be forgotten. It's the same as making a list of to-do items, it frees up my mind to think of other things.

The art journal is filled with rough sketches combined with writing. And the emphasis here is on rough - these aren't pretty pictures - they are visual and written thoughts. Some of them go on to completion as sculptures and others never make it past the sketching stage. A friend was surprised that I use ink rather than pencil which could be erased, but I don't want to get bogged down in trying to make these sketches too nice or too detailed. The intention is to capture the idea and move on, coming back to it later to explore it more fully. Often I'll carry this journal with me in case a new idea presents itself.

The farm journal is filled with lists of plants that I might want to grow for the garden, the pasture, the fencerows, and anywhere else I'm considering. It has suggested planting dates, plant combinations, and more recently a rough planting schedule for the garden. Anytime I come across a new plant or seed that sounds interesting, I'll make a note of it. This journal is slightly more organized than the art journal, but only slightly since it, too, is mostly for jotting down ideas before they are forgotten. When I sit down in January to order seeds, I'll be referencing this book. Each year I'll be able to see what I did previously and what I want to change for the following year. 

Very useful tools, these journals - I encourage you to find a reason to keep one too.

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