Monday, April 28, 2008

The Written Word



I sit here and write out this blog entry long hand with a fountain pen and a jar of ink. I have no cell phone, I do not drive and feel far more comfortable writing long hand. In college I used to write 40 page history term papers long hand and then transpose. I think better as I the cursive letters form quickly and smoothly, artfully transcribed upon my paper.

As I record my thoughts to be broadcast to the world, there are children staring at me who have only written a letter on a keyboard. My handwritten record could be found three hundred years hence and be a part of a history rather than a random sampling of computer code stored onto an obsolete machine. Tangibility is vital to understanding character, reality and life view. Examining my hand-writing could tell you I'm left-handed, female and a practiced correspondent. A tangible record proves I exist, where I exist and my station in life. Will history understand us as we really were or rather as the virtual reality we now strive to create?

I yearn to provide a living record of my life through my art--how I live, why I live and whom and what I live for. It is that which we physically leave in our wake which proves our existence at all. Those whom we celebrate in our collective social memory are those who left physical tangible remnants for later generations to venerate. With such few examples left to date those that are existant are invaluable regardless of the life lived. In the digital age, a time of infinite information stored onto countless pieces of plastic, what will prove valuable long after our demise?

All of my images are now available as original paintings, ready to be hung. Each is painted in gouache onto Plywerk, a handmade substrate board created by my wonderful friend and colleague, Kjell van Zoen. Pictured is "Farewell Kabarista" painted in gouache on Plywerk and available through my Etsy shop.

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27 comments:

design for mankind. said...

omg you must top being so fabulous!!!

heidi said...

Oh Octavine, I remember those days of writing out term papers in long hand... I had this great method in college: I would write the whole thing out on a roll of tracing paper. Then I would cut it apart with a xacto knife & tape it into the order I desired. (early cut & paste!) I would be left with an ancient looking scroll, that would take hours & several Dr. Peppers to transcribe onto paper.

Mrs.French said...

I am so happy you are back...missed you terribly. This post is wonderful...it makes me want to start writing in my journal again

BabyLyons said...

beautiful words! I feel the same way about my photography, it needs to be printed onto paper that will last a long time with ink that will last a long time :)

jivewhiteboy said...

i love the background of this picture. i know what you mean about recording one's life with their art. that's pretty much what i do. every now and then i talk about someone else, but really it's still about me.

Hadley Gets Crafty said...

Someday, when I'm doing more than just cobbling my living together, I'll own one of your lovely paintings.

P.S. Original said...

Enjoyed your blog...so true about writing thoughts out on paper, so much more personal, intimate, and telling about the author.

Di Overton said...

You are part of a dying breed. Keep it up

Chucka Stone Designs said...

The thing that gets me is what will be left after all of our demise is the plastic, but it will have absolutely no value to showing who we were.

I think it is fantastic you write out longhand and type in later. I am a big journal keeper but have never transcribed a blog. Will have to try that now :)

espionage said...

I love this piece of artwork. The colors are so calming to me. So lovely. And, I also love your post. I still write and send letters to my friends, even though I know their emails and sometimes want to just email them back a response to their letters to me because I want the instant gratification of the communication. That's what technology is all about, right?

femputer said...

What an interesting post, especially from a historical perspective. But I must consider your amazing talent for calligraphy to be a bias. ;)

handmade julz said...

oh i love it ;) she is fabulous. and i love that you are the way you are. it honestly makes me stop to think ;) You've inspired me to definitely get a book for journaling together for the upcoming trip!

dollface design said...

this post is beautiful and a bit haunting...makes me think of the future as this orwellian, 1984 type world where the simple act of writing longhand is a craft of the past, obsolete....love that you're doing what you do...

David Thompson said...

I wish I had your patience. I use a fountain pen to make notes and quick drafts but anything lengthy I go straight to the computer.

I admire you so much.

Margins. said...

I love this post. Leaves the reader with much to think about. I feel like writing out loud with a writing utensil and a base is so important. Typing is getting to be too easy and forgettable. A bad combination.

The piece you created is beautiful and elegant. The colors go incredibly well together.

Rosebud Collection said...

Missed your blog..love the picture, such beautiful work..

LeaKarts said...

I love handwritten things as well--I even have a couple of distant friends (distant in space, not in friendship), with whom I try to keep a written correspondence. A handwritten letter is so much more valuable than an email, though without this fabulous technology we would not be able to share your blog. You strike an excellent balance.

E.A. Aleksandroff, alias GT said...

I find handwriting helps me think. Sitting with the novel for 2 hours, I can stare at the screen till I look like a Sith from eyestrain and none of it makes sense to me--the plot's tangled, the characters inconsistent. Then I go to the beach with my notie and Uniball and do a bunch of WEIRD diagrams and it all makes sense.
PS thanks for enjoying my blog! I'll check out Tao of Tea sometime.

UniqueNurseGranny said...

What writing skill.

blazedanielle said...

You have beautiful artwork and a very lovely etsy shop! :)

Distressing Delilah said...

I agree with you, there is nothing like a handwritten note or letter. I love your art also, it is so elegant.

tangobaby said...

I have to go out and buy myself a fountain pen again. You've reminded me how much I used to love those, even the ink stains I would get on my fingers.

What I really miss most is my old Royal typewriter. The feel of hitting the keys and how it sounded.

Unfortunately, my writing flows so much better when I type on the computer. It's just how my brain works...I cannot keep up with longhand.

Thank you for the lovely post. You've given me lots to ponder.

Mary-Laure said...

As a dancer, I want to tell you this painting is amazing; the movement and the body are so expressive!

blazedanielle said...

Hi there! Wishing you a wonderful weekend! :)

Octavine Illustration said...

Thank you so much everyone for all your intriguing responses to this post. Makes my heart sing knowing so many value the hand-written as much as I.

design for mankind: oh, you are so sweet my dear!~

heidi: what a wonderful story! i love the visual...my method of writing on differing legal pads and then stapling all the pages together pales in comparison...

mrs. french: oh, that makes me feel so good! so sweet of you. i am actually a terrible journal writer, this blog is truly my best effort at recording my thoughts...usually my writing consists of practicing phrases or lyrics i find pleasing or just random musings and rants.

babylyons: thank you!~ and i know...it's so important to have art that will last lifetimes...it is the only record we have of our creativity.

jive white boy: i think song-writing is one of the most personal and intimate expressions one can disseminate...so cathartic as well. what a wonderful talent to have, i admire you so.

hadley gets crafty: oh, you are so sweet! i know, there's so much art i would like to own but it's so difficut when one is an artist themselves!~

p.s. original: thank you...i agree that you can tell so much about someone just by looking at their hand-writing.

di overton: thank you my dear!~

chucka stone designs: i do not always transcribe, but most of the time i find it necessary as it is difficult for my thoughts to flow cohesively while typing.

espionage: i do love the instant gratification email brings...but there's nothing like the anticipation of the mailman coming with a letter from someone special!~

femputer: indeed, tis true. the fact that i am a calligraphy by profession does indeed taint my reality a bit....

handmade julz: this one was for you, my dear!~

dollface design: oh, you articulated that so well. indeed, i do think of the future as a bit ominous and foreboding. i suppose i find technology and its manifestations in direct contrast with my own passion for the hand-wrought.

david thompson: that is so sweet of you. just made my day.

margins.: i most wholeheartedly agree. and much thanks....

rosebud collection: oh thank you! it's nice to know one is missed. i need to keep up posts a bit more often...

leakarts: you indeed correct...technology allows this all to come alive--out of my head and out to the universe beyond. i musn't harp on technology too much...it most certainly brings the world a bit closer together.

E.A. Aleksandroff, alias GT: there's nothing like getting yourself outside with only a pen and a moleskine. and all tea drinkers must try the tao of tea...it is marvelous!~

unique nurse granny: thank you!~

blazedanielle: thank you!~ that means so much coming from such a talented illustrator as yourself.

distressing delilah: thank you! i only have one friend who consistently writes me letters and i treasure each and every one.

tangobaby: my fingers are perpetually covered in ink. and i too love the feeling of the typewriter.

mary-laure: that means a lot to me coming from someone such as yourself. i strive to create images that have a sense of vitality despite their flatness.

blazedanielle: thank you!~

Dawn said...

The lifestyle you lead is something I often daydream about. Fountain pens an old-fashioned method of communication, is more personal, more sentimental, than a typed email. This is a beautiful post that I'd love to blog about if you're ok with that. I'd link your blog to my page, of course. :)

pve design said...

No wonder I like you. Nothing like writing in a journal or painting and seeing it take shape!
Wonderful words and artwork!