Talking to Rachel Domm about Windows (and imagining I can see what she is thinking)

Looking at these, I wonder what other windows you've spent months and years gazing from. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in South Georgia. As a kid, I remember staring out of the window at the chimney cap on the roof of my house. I thought it looked like a UFO or a jack-o-lantern and I would stare at it for hours even though it totally creeped me out.

I would also stare out the front window of my house as a teenager, waiting for friends to pick me up or wishing I had more friends that would come and pick me up and also longing for my life to begin.

Where all have you lived?

I have lived in Georgia and New York—that's it!

When did you decide to undertake a year-long venture in window drawing?

The windows in my apartment are so beautiful that I knew I had to do something with them as soon I moved in 3 years ago. My first thought was to photograph the same view every day for a year and make a book with that but the idea kept growing and shifting until it became what it is now.

Have you ever worked in such a ritualistic way?

No, this was definitely a challenge for me.

I was intensely focused this year on rituals in an effort to improve my work and life habits.

I kept reading that if you change or adopt one major habit, it can trickle over and help you improve others. I think drawing and thinking about the windows every day really did help me be more consistent with other habits.

Did working on this series lead to any realizations?

I can't force these perfect days with no variables where I have every single good habit I wish I had.

Do you want to move now just to get new windows?

Ha! Maybe. Then I can do an epilogue.

You traveled a lot this year, which made for some interesting juxtapositions. What was your favorite window to draw?

The windows in Cameroon at the beginning of the year.

I was jet-lagged, so I would wake up at 5, do yoga and then draw before starting my day. This never happened so blissfully in New York.

Your least favorite?

The right-side window in my bedroom with the air conditioner had the least inspiring views. And it was the most tedious to draw.

I've noticed that you like to work in series. What does creating drawings serially do for you (that the single drawing does not)?

When I'm interested in something like windows or rugs, there are so many variations I love that one drawing can't express all the possibilities. Plus, I think the idea has more weight when there is full exploration with multiple drawings. 

What's next?

I'm obsessed with baskets. That's my next book and series. 

Rachel Domm's Window Diary will be on view at BAZAZAS' Eye of the Beholder brick and mortar installation at the Wythe Hotel.

Open Daily February 12–17 from 12–7pm; Window Closing Party February 15 from 5–8pm

Window Diary is series of 365 windows for every day of 2014. For every day of the year, the artist drew the view from the window of her apartment in Brooklyn or from her numerous travels throughout the year—from Sweden to Miami to Cameroon to The Åland Islands to India. In all, there are 15 different cities from 4 different continents chronicled in the book, making it a travel journal as well. It records the change in season from snowy days in January to rainy days in April and hot days in August. While the scenes are objective, the view is personal and contemplative even though it looks outside instead of inside.

Windows provide a ready-made frame—a composition pre-fabricated for the viewer. In syntax, windows take on the cliché and immaterial. (A window to the soul. When God closes a window.) Windows symbolize relief from oppression or heat. A prison, hell, or horror movie basement is a place with little or no windows. A building draws personality and definition from its windows. A window is a portal, a structure, a frame, and a viewpoint.