Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Art Journalling.......

A true art journal page - photographed both with and without the flash What a different it makes, n'est ce pas?).

Begun with a 6" x 9" sheet of watercolor paper washed with several shades of blue, green and a bit of purple.  I make these background papers for fun just to see how the colors will blend.  Sometimes I add salt while the paint is still wet, or use my fingertips to flick some plain rubbing alcohol onto the wet color washed paper.  

I totally LOVED journalling on the wavy lines using all capital letters.  The rainbow haiku surfaced all by itself (YES!!)

please click to view larger

please click to view larger

Several on my online blog pals (a couple of whom I've had the joy of meeting in real time and space!) are creating art journals.  bohemiannie,  creative lenna, and friedaquilter.

Not being a 'real' artist (whatever that is...) I have long puzzled over the ability to express one's feelings in visual form.  Yes, I can make a pretty quilt and some of my photographs are pleasing to the eye, but the emphasis is on the technique and the form, rather than the function of expressing feeling.  Or maybe I'm just so dense about myself that feelings and art have been mutually imcompatible up to now.

In the two immediately previous posts, I've featured two small traditional quilts.  Pretty though they are, and as much as I enjoyed the detail process of applique, beading, couching fiber, and thread painting, and a form of art though they may be, they are not at all reflective of who I am.  Or, if they are, they reflect a detail oriented person wedded to technique and a narrow range of skills that produce a predictable result.

In retirement, after the usual hectic 40+ years of home keeping, kid raising, a profession, civic and church responsibilities, I find myself not having a clue about how to go about translating feelings into some sort of visual record.  For many years, I have kept a diary of sorts - all written - often following Julia Cameron's advice to write the three daily pages.  When I read back through these stacks and stacks of spiral notebooks, however, there is a repetitive dullness to my words.  The pages lack color and variety.  Yes, from time to time I've kept my diary on blank pages, adding a sketch or two, but not having much talent for drawing, the sketches seem as flat as the paper they are drawn on.

In addition, I have created a fairly extensive collection of elaborate scrapbook pages.  Made primarily with decorative store-bought elements and ephemera, in addition to all the photographs I've taken along the way, this visual record is far more about family and scenery than it is about me.

Speaking of 'me', does anybody really care?  We live in the era of 'me'!!  Because it is primarily women who are creating the art journals in progress, I can only assume that unfortunate feelings of invisibility and second-classness are alive and well.   Feminism and major cracks in the glass ceiling aside, it is women who seem to be feeling the need to increase their visibility and validate their lives through art journaling.  At the age of 65, why am I suddenly so entranced with myself????? This is a topic worthy of other essays at another time......

Previous attempts at creating an art journal are now history (though I respect the lessons I learned while trying).  As usual, my focus was on the art rather than on my own interior.  The art seldom pleased me, so my perception of failure was built in.  Books on journaling, re-visiting Julia Cameron and SARK, even the free Strathmore® Visual Journal online classes failed to create the right climate for me to merge art and being.  Perhaps the "problem" was the bound book format.....?

By chance (or, more likely,  some cosmic Blessing), yesterday I came across the following blog daisy yellow.

All I can say is WOW!!!!!!!  The saying, "when the student is ready the teacher will appear" couldn't be more applicable.  Can't quite put my finger on just what sort of trip wire this blog has activated, but I suddenly believe I understand the ability to merge art and life.

Away with the bound book and it's linear progression of pages (although a friend of mine always starts her books somewhere in the middle, going forward and backward as the mood strikes her.)  Loose sheets are better for me because I can sew on them.  And in this instance, size really doesn't matter - I'll go to my local craft store and pick up a storage box that will accommodate pages of several dimensions.

See you, later.......  ;-D

1 comment:

  1. Hot Damn! She's on a roll! I can't wait to see what you produce next!!!