Thursday, November 15, 2018


Over the years, a multitude of years, I've accumulated hundreds, maybe thousands of notebooks, diaries, memos, sketchbooks into which I poured thoughts, ideas, projects, questions, answers, observations. Whenever I come across one or more of them it's like reconnecting with a long lost much to catch up with. I don't recognise some of the things I wrote, they seem to come from a part of my consciousness I'm not familiar with but intrigued by.

I'd love to find someone who could transcribe all this handwritten/drawn stuff into some digital format so that I could review it as a whole and decide whether to do something more with it. Do any of you know of such a person or service?

Tonight, looking for something else, I found this ballpoint sketch in an old notebook, based on a famous masterpiece obviously, but I can't remember which one - any ideas?


Tom said...

I cannot answer your request. What I would like to share with you is this question of "Did I really write that? Where was that coming from?" There was always something 'real' about that self which wrote those words in the past. It is a wonderful experience of grace.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Tom, I'm absolutely on your wavelength about this. It's as if, on some occasions, I tuned in to some far away radio station and then rote down what I heard. Re-reading it later, it seemed detached from me yet at the same time com-pletely connected. As you say, a very real experience of grace. But I always feel as if I'm supposed to "do something" with it, not sure what. That's why I'd like to find a way to put it all in some other form that I could see and edit more easily.

I think you should start up your blog again. I know it was disappointing to you not to get more responses but maybe it takes more time to slowly gather momentum. Anyway, I hope all's well and that the grace continues to be with you.

Vincent said...

I was curious to try and match your drawing, thinking first of Giotto, but no good.

As for the other question, how to archive your materials, I'd suggest a toolset as follows:

--- a good scanner for anything flat enough, augmenting your already excellent digital photos

--- a free storage medium. Google Drive offers you (15gb) free. Suppose you store high resolution jpg files average size 600kb. YOu will be able to store 26,000 of them. Which would be more scanning or photographing than you'd want to ever do, I suspect.

I also use TinEye which can look up any image and find very similar ones on the internet in a few seconds, allowing you to see if other people have copied your images, or to discover if there are better quality ones to be traced. It wasn't any good identifying your drawing of course. For that a human eye would be needed, not a "tin" one.

While we are at it, another useful tool, perhaps not for your current requirement but in case of need, is the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, which retrieves old copies of pages or images so that you can restore broken links thereby.

One of the beauties of the Google Drive is that no one can access your files unless you grant them permission.

If you have any queries on the above i'd be happy to help or clarify further.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Hi Vincent. As to my drawing, I too think it was from Giotto but so far I haven't found which painting - I have several books and will search them.

Many thanks for all the info, I'll look up a couple of the sources you mention.
But what I'd really like is a person (like an old-fashined secretary with a typewriter!) to whom I could temporarily entrust my innumerable handwritten notebooks, sketchbooks, diaries etc. and who would simply word-process the lot,including whatever sketches are scattered within them. I don't need photos copied at all, its mainly my handwritten texts I want to be able to see as a whole. Of course I could do this task myself but it would take too much time which I want to devote to moving on with current artwork.

I did look up on the internet companies who do scanning of handwritten documents and turnthem into digital format, CD or whatever one wants But it would be hugely expensive for the amount of material I have, all the more so because it is not loose pages but in notebooks or diaries etc. I could also scan it all myself but again, this would be too time consuming.

None of the material I'm talking about is on the internet, it's all on paper and in my possession. The reason I'd like to digitise it is just to be able to examine it as a whole more easily, edit it, and see if something worthwhile can emerge from it. Anyway, it's a project for when I have nothing else to do! And that's not the case right now.

Hope you are doing well. All the best to you.