Sunday, August 31, 2008

Soul Journaling - Day Sixteen, Seventeen, Eighteen

Our soul journaling assignments for these three days were a wonderful challenge - select items from a list of "to do"s (use a fork to paint with, moosh paint between the pages and see what comes out, add some metal to your page, write what you did today) the only caveat being that you can't put the items in the order they're given. Note: for those new to the blog, I've been following Sarah Whitmire's soul journaling project for the last month - some of the posts here are the results.

I highly recommend visiting her blog and checking it out - I'm sure you'll get interested in visual journaling/art journaling/soul journaling (whatever you want to call it) too.
Here are the results of the three "potpouri" days:

Day 16 - magazine stencil and words (mostly)

Day 17 - Rorschach-esque paint blobs, imprints of your hands

Day 18

I really liked looking for hidden symbolism in the images - there were things that didn't even occur to me until after I had scanned the pictures to upload here. I see a swimmer in the picture above - swimming through weeds. In the red painting, for one thing, I realized I use a lot of hot pinky/red (nothing that would have occured to me, I'm known for brown!) in my paintings. The color of intensity and passion! That teal blue is so nicely a butterfly. The yoga girl picture (I wish I was) didn't strike me any particular way until my husband said it reminded him of a jungle, like in southeast Asia. I realized that I have been thinking a lot about my waterfall/zen garden that I'm planning on putting on my back porch (woot - we're getting a screened in porch built on our house!) and what a great area it would be for exercising in a peaceful manner. None of this go-for-the-burn stuff for me, thank you.

I'm almost near the end of the journal project - and looking forward to doing more of my own pages. Thank you Sarah for giving me the guidance to go so far with this project, and keep going in the future.

Sights from Olympia

Where I spent my summer holidays.....

I spent my summer sleeping in a terrarium with a view of the stars and moon, spent my days on the ocean sailing past fjords and stepping over old lava floes in the cold waters of the northern Pacific.

Ok, so I didn't spend my whole summer doing that. But I did spend a week doing precisely these things - does that count? Of course it does!

We went to Olympia, Washington on August 8 for my sister-in-law Jodi's wedding as well as to pay a long overdue visit to my sister Kay, whose been inviting me to see that part of the world for the last 30+ years. I would have gone a lot sooner if I'd known just how special it really is! I truly felt at home here - I joked that given another 36 hours in Olympia, I would have opened a dog/human yoga and art studio in downtown and started serving berry cobbler from organically grown vintage raspberry bushes.

I met so many wonderful people, ate some of the best food (always a big vacation make or break area for me - I LOVE food), drank some good beer, and just relaxed in nature. I've been wanting to go to the ocean for a while, but it's not really something you want to do here in Florida during the summer - too hot. I loved that the ocean is just a normal part of people's lives up there, you take a ferry as a viable mode of transportation. You can see the ocean, and the mountains, and the tall trees around every turn. It's also a very environmentally and politically conscious place - when you go to a wedding where everyone brings their dogs, there are people of many races, ages, and circumstances and they're just people together without judgement, and there are readings from Native American, Buddhist, Christian, and Sufi philosophy as well as a sing-along in Sanskrit, well, I've found my people.

But enough words, this is an art blog, so I know you want to see pictures. The picture you see at the top of the post is the view from the guest room (aka the terrarium) at my sister's house. I'm calling it the terrarium because the bed is built into a window that juts out from the house into the forest that is her backyard. At the foot of the hill is a small lake that we went kayaking on after a breakfast of the shiniest plumpest Ranier cherries, organic cheeses, and fresh baked pastries from the local farmer's market.

Speaking of farmer's market! Olympia is reckoned to have the "second best farmers market in the state" - presumably after the rather better known Pike's Market in Seattle. I've been to both, and I have to say, I liked the Olympia one better. Beautiful produce and flowers, handmade clothes, soaps, organic everything, a jazz band, it was awesome. Here are some local blueberries - don't you just want to grab a handful?

We also went to visit my sister's property out on the south Puget Sound - next time we visit they'll have built their weekend beach house out there - clean rain-swept wind, ocean mists and wildflowers...
Here's a few images from my sister-in-law's wedding - it was a very informal relaxed wedding by the shores of Capitol Lake in downtown Olympia, followed by a reception at their friend Tibor's farm (two pastures over from their house). They live in a small house in a wooded valley with a little stream rushing past the farm and fields that eventually ran to the Puget Sound.

Jodi and Doug had a beautiful day - it was rainy in the morning, but right on schedule at 4 p.m., the heavens cleared, the sun shone, and Jodi was married under a canopy of silk banners and hand-painted batik windsocks with a carpet of wildflowers and lillies at her feet.

Enough for now - got to work on my art journal - in the next post, I'll continue with my adventures in the Pacific Northwest with our visit to Vancouver, Vancouver Island, and Saltspring Island, plus my visit with Nick Bantock.


After a three week absence, I'm back to my studio to work on some art. Largely my hiatus was due to my wonderful vacation to the pacific northwest - pictures to follow in next post - but since I've been back I've had a hard time getting back into the swing of things. Somewhat I think due to having too much to say - where to begin? I had some amazing experiences on vacation, and took some lovely pictures that I know will be fun to work with. However, life itself I think has also contributed to where I'm sitting at the moment. Foremost, my sweet Bella passed away - Bella (seen above) was our 13 year old dachshund who had been suffering from Cushings disease, a brain tumor that caused seizures, high blood pressure, an enlarged liver and a compressed disc in her spine. I can't say that her passing away came as a surprise, and at least she isn't suffering anymore. The loss of one of a loved member of the family, no matter how much experience you get with it (and I've had my fair share) still affects you in ways that you don't even realize right away. Bella's passing also hit our Lili very hard. Lili is our dachshund puppy (seen in the picture on the right of this blog in her alter ego The Infanta); she has never been without another dog in her life from when she was born, so this has been an adjustment for her as well. She got very ill - most likely as a result of stress from Bella passing away and from being boarded for a week while we were away - and got stress-related colitis. I'm happy to report that she is fully back to health now and is snuggled on my lap as I write this, but this has surely been the hardest on her. Work, also, has been rather intense of late (lot of long hours, tenseness, etc) but I won't go into that because it's just not very interesting to write or read about!

Here is Bella and Lili together in happier times:

I know that in order to recover from this emotional flat place, I need to start working and playing on my art again. To that end, I started up with my soul journal this morning. I'll be posting the remaining day's exercises shortly. Also, as promised in previous post, I'll tell you all about my trip and visit with the man who, in my opinion, is the father of the modern collage/altered/mail art movement. More to come.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'm back from vacation!

Hello blog friends! My apologies that I haven't posted in a while - I have been really busy at work, and I was on vacation for 8 days in the beautiful Pacific Northwest - Olympia, WA, Vancouver, Victoria, Saltspring Island, and Seattle. I have SO much to tell you about all my adventures, photos to share - and collaging sweat with a BNA (yes, deliberately obscure, it's supposed to pique your interest....) :-) More details to follow very soon, I promise. At the moment, I'm working on a scrapbook for my boss at work - but as soon as I get done with this project I'll be back to fill you all in on all the cool stuff that has happened recently. Hope you are all having an artful summer. Jane