Unsure whether he is retired, semi-retired or simply out of work, Rowland sings his ‘contaminated blues’, writes, takes photos, sketches & scribbles in his ever-present Moleskine – No. 38 currently. He lives in Italy with his wife, Lesley and Archie, the Bengal.
What is your current Moleskine notebook?
No. 38 is a large watercolour Moleskine. I have tended to use the pocket version most often because then I can always have it with me, but I’m currently using a larger one as I’m trying to scale up my work. The pocket Moleskine though has the appeal of being ‘small and perfectly formed’ as they say.
How do you use your notebook?
It began as a pocket-sized counsellor when I was going through a difficult time . . and I used it to ‘externalise my thoughts and anger ‘, as I believe the expression goes . . . but I soon got tired of that. So I began using it as a journal, aide-memoire and means of storing ideas; things that I found amusing (or horrifying) and various bric-a bric: concert tickets, museum stubs etc. I also print out pictures to include as though the ‘computer’ is fantastic in many ways, there is nothing quite like pen and paper and pictures and photos and all too often, these days, photos are transmitted rather than printed.
The notebook was also the starting point for a monthly column which I do for Zuiderlucht, which is a Maastricht based art newspaper. The first year it went under the title RAM as for me the notebook is Really Accessible Memory – -it can fit in your pocket, doesn’t need batteries and never crashes. (See What is RAM? ) Zuiderlucht is currently previewing my ‘graphic novel ‘My Imaginary Lives’ which also began in the Moleskine.
What’s the next place you plan to take your notebook to?
Physically? around Italy – next trip is to the British Blues Festival in Trescorre, near Bergamo. Then Lago di Garda, and then Sicily hopefully
Content wise? I’m trying new techniques- though I always seem to come back to simply pen and paper . . maybe the trying of other styles is simply reality testing!!
What do you want to tell the world?
errr… hello, this is me . . . . I was told when I was a child that I couldn’t draw . .. and I believed it . . . now people seem to like what I do, and with no real artistic ‘ambitions’ (other than simply wanting to get better at what I do … . ) I have a monthly column, a book of my work published and have done a series of illustrations for a book of Dutch poetry . . . . so maybe that’s what this is all about . . . developing, evolving, just growing, I suppose
Where will you and your notebook be in 5 years?
Hopefully still alive and kicking in Italy and making the most of my life . . . . . playing my music, sketching, eating, drinking, and . . . whatever