I’ve got two prompts left from my class with Kelly. This has been quite the journey. It’s freed me to journal faster. It’s helped me explore tough questions that I haven’t thought about before or perhaps because they’re topics I’ve avoided consciously or unconsciously. This particular page is about so much more than what I chose to write about. Visually it conveys extra layers to what is running through my mind. I don’t think of myself as a caged bird, but I do think that sometimes over thinking causes me to create imaginary cages, aka self-imposed limits. I’m trying to be as awake and aware as possible in all areas of my life and what this means is that sometimes I come across things that are unexpected or not so pleasant. I have immense joy in my life right now and even that is punctuated by a tinge of sorrow for things that have been lost or didn’t go as planned. I think it’s human to look backward every once in a while. It only becomes unhealthy when we dwell on that which we cannot change. Looking backwards teaches us perspective about what we’ve learned. My life lessons have been pretty big, perhaps not as big as some, but I’ve definitely been through much more in my life that is significant than I mention to anyone. I keep it to myself. It is a conversation I have inside. I am listening to my soul.
Doing a little catching up tonight. I have two pages to complete. The basic task here was to use the images as inspiration for the marks you make on the page. I used the red on the climber’s equipment to rubberstamp. I also used white for my lettering because of the snow on the mountains. I do wish I had written the word “yearning” first and then stamped, but this is what this class is helping to teach. Journaling this regular helps you learn through the process. My journaling is about struggling to make ends meet financially. I feel like I’m continually climbing and there isn’t any end in sight and it is so easy to lose me footing and drop. I am surprised by how much this process is getting me to write about subjects I typically leave in the back of my mind, rarely shedding light or emphasis on them. Perhaps journaling daily is something I have needed to do all along?
I’ve been working mainly on my art journals this year and have participated in several swaps trading pages and journals. It’s been a very healthy process and I have grown a lot as an artist. Most of my journal pages deal with the moods that I’m experiencing at the moment. I always wanted to journal growing up but when I would sit down, I felt silly cataloging my days chronologically like a travel log. What I’ve learned is that art journaling allows me a much freer expression and rather than being forced to say everything, I am able to focus on only a few things or even one thing and provide that one thing a lot of detail, focus and attention. Somehow, this is very freeing for me. I feel too that it has helped me grow as a writer.
The page was added to an altered book. I gessoed the page background to start and then added the yellow swirls. Next I found images which express what I am feeling. The fence seemed perfect to illustrated the strained communication between the man and the woman. Then I added them in opposition to one another distanced and separated by the barrier. The man is struggling with his thoughts and the woman is hiding in the dark, masked, but beautiful. She just wants him to look at her and see her as she is. She wants him to get beyond the mask. I used blue for his background and orange for hers because they’re compliments. They also nicely add a little element of flow between them. The color was all created using watercolor. The phrasing and details around the outside of the page were created using Sharpie and the journaling is done in pencil so it is much softer than the Sharpie.
I’ve been playing with “found poetry” lately and was very excited to find a swap that matched my interest. The swap’s official title was “Blackout Poetry Journal” and we were assigned two partners. Our task was to send each partner one found poem. The host is planning on doing more swaps so that everyone who participates over the course of time will end up with a journal full of exchanged found poetry pieces.
To begin you select a page from a book or magazine. Then you circle words that go together to make a poem. Once you’ve done that, you cover the rest of the words, either entirely (as the swap suggested) or partially, but enough that the rest of the text on the page fades away and you’re left with your poem.
I’m currently altering a book I’ve had for a long time (“Love Let Me Not Hunger” by Paul Gallagher) as an art journal (pictures to come). To prepare the book, I had to tear out about 1/3 of the pages so that the spine does not end up too stressed after the process of painting and altering are complete. So for my partners, I used pages that I had torn out. I swear I randomly selected these pages and when I was done with the poems, I realized that one happened to be about day, and the other about night. So for my partners, I made a color copy of each and then sent each partner an original and a copy of the page they didn’t receive. I used a black fine line permanent pen and a white pen as well as water-color pencils to highlight the poetry and “blackout” the text.
Here are my pages and my found poems. Enjoy!
The tempo extraordinary
The music blaring
the frightful heat
a jeweled spray rising
in a respectful mood
to the edge of nothing
at the very edge of the
present and accounted