I felt like my blog needed a new look - something that reflects where I feel like my art journey has led up to this moment. Blogs are wonderful in their facility for change. As we learn new things, what we need to surround ourselves with changes. With a few clicks of the mouse, your blog can change too. Sometimes it needs to. You can tell a lot about a person from their art, and by extension, their blog. It's a picture to the outside world of what's going on in your mind and your soul. As you gain new insights, you feel differently about how you want to show yourself to the world. Maybe more honestly, or maybe just more openly. I have been thinking a lot about how art is truly a journey, not a destination. My blog has become very important to me as a touchstone of this journey. In the few short months since I've been keeping this space, it has morphed how I make art and how I share it.
The newest winding path (or rabbit hole!) is something I've wanted to do for a long time but....not sure why.....just resisted it somehow. I have felt for some time that I was tired of just making pretty things. I wanted to make things that tell a story, that mean something to me, that are more deeply felt. I want to portray emotion and what's inside rather than just make my art look pleasing to someone else. I don't want to make pictures of people I don't know looking cute following some formula that's "accepted" and thus safe. Everyone else is doing xyz, and look, they're accepted! If it's really going to be art that I care about, then it has to have personal meaning whether or not it looks like art to someone else.
I really like the words of Juliana Coles in her pamphlet on Extreme Visual Journalism where she says, "We are not concerned with making art. We are not concerned with a product or a pretty picture." I think that's where I am in my art making right now - I want to really do this for me, and in the end I think it will make my overall art more confident and a reflection of my own voice. As I mentioned last week, I've thus become rather fascinated with art journaling/visual journaling - the idea of getting emotion, images, metaphor, and journaling together.
I've believed the zen thought for a long time that when you seek a teacher, one will appear. Last week I posted a page from my new visual journal, and (I couldn't believe it!) one of the total art goddesses - Elizabeth Bunsen - actually stopped by my humble blog and commented some beautiful and encouraging thoughts on my page. Totally made my day!
Then, I discovered someone else (through the Altered Books yahoo group) who believes this is important work for herself and she is encouraging this work in others. Sarah Whitmire is doing a new process called Soul Journaling on her blog - Caspiana - and she's invited us to join her. In addition to my own visual journaling pages, I'm also following Sarah's teachings in my art and I'm having a great time! She presents a new set of instructions/prompts/thoughts every day and it's not too late to join the party. So, check out her blog, as well as Elizabeth Bunsen's blog - Be Dream Play - (links are in my list of blogs that I read to the right side of your screen) and come along for the journey!