Category Archives: Process

She Read Too Much

30/03/24 I wanted to play around with capturing the hair of this person and making her a dress using paper from a vintage dress pattern. Her expression was also inspiring (a fashion clipping from my files). The paper in my sketchbook is a mixed media paper on which I apply a layer of gesso. It provides a smoother surface than the Arches paper, and I tend to work quickly and more playfully.

As I fluffed around in her hair, I was reminded of Bette Davis and how I used to be fascinated by her when I was young. This brought on a Google session where I came across a newspaper clipping from Hollywood during her divorce, quoting her husband: “She read too much”. Ha.

Loomis Dean/LIFE Magazine

I grew up in an era when that was definitely a negative. Bookworm, eye glasses, introvert…ugh. Libraries and bookstores were a refuge. When I returned to school as a mature adult to salvage my highschool dropout status, I took a program in library and information management. I’m lucky to have a job where I work with book donations every day, including vintage and collectible books. They are my partners in crime in all the art I currently produce.

And yet…I’ve also been trying to reduce my book collection. It’s interesting how the books I love best are ones attached to strong memories of the time I read them, the moment in my life where we crossed paths.

Playing with words is as much of an art material to me as are the pencils and paints.

‘Tries to Smile’, mixed media on gessoed sketchbook paper | Dawn Pearcey, 2023