Sunday, September 7, 2008

Paddling Upstream, a new Soul Journaling page

The soul journaling process up till now has ended, and the new era with the Soul Journaling group has begun. One of the moderators - I greatly appreciate all three moderators volunteering their time to keep a good thing going - created the group's first prompt - the Instant Gratification exercise. Clip out a picture from a magazine, then paint around it and draw concentric rings around the picture with journaling. I went to town and went a bit beyond the idea of "instant journal." As you can see, I got so busy with layering that the rings of journaling kind of disappeared, but that's what so great about visual journaling. It brings you in touch with symbolism, and the subconsious, and often what you don't say winds up revealing itself by what you paint. I truly love it.

One of the things I LOVE about this process is that you are perpetually surprised about where the art leads you - and I wound up doing a page about "paddling upstream."
I've taken on quite a few new challenges in my professional life lately, that are making me really have to work on balance. Sometimes achieving it seems a bit impossible, other times I know it will all be ok, I just have to hold a steady course. I'm sure this is one of those lessons that I'm supposed to be figuring out. As my friend Alice says, "It's a buddha that's been put in your way to teach you something."

It's been interesting to see how my art style and colors have changed and grown so much in the three or so years that I've been doing it. I see a lot more confidence and honesty with it. I no longer concern myself with whether it is pretty, or makes sense to anyone else, I just know I'm happy with it and I feel like I'm really doing the stuff I want to be doing. In the end, that's what it is all about.
I truly feel that it helps me stay sane!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Soul Journaling - Day Twenty Two, the end and the beginning

Finally we come to the end of this first round of soul journaling, thank you again so much Sarah my soul friend for the inspiration and the good solid techniques that have given me so much confidence. I really like this way of working, and synchronicity being what it is - when I was ready, a teacher appeared. I hope you, dear reader, will find your own synchronicities with your art. Remember, there are so many people out there who will help you - you just have to have a curious mind and take a look!

If you would like to do Sarah's soul journaling method - just click on the link for Caspiana on my blog roll.

The final assignment was a self portrait using only your fingers for paintbrushes. Yep, that's right. Only your fingers, even to mix paints, and nothing else. Oh my. The cave paintings of Lascaux it isn't, but I think the figure looks at least passingly like me. It gives one all new respect for our ancestors who did paint those masterpieces in caves so many millenia ago.

Thank you for following with me on this journey. Now it's my turn to take up the journaling challenge on my own - so a beginning again.

Soul Journaling - Day Twenty One

Today's exercise was about misfits - make a random doodle, see what shapes emerge (I love how this process is both therapeutic, exploratory, and a darn fun way to learn new techniques), and create a figure from them that represents when you felt like a misfit. Of course, my squiggle looked like nothing until I turned it upside down, and lo an behold, it was a person's face! Of course my misfit was only revealed upside down. That's why it's a misfit, right?

I decided the image must be related to my being the runner up misfit (the second most unpopular person of my seventh grade class). If you had a good middle school/junior high experience, then congratulations - you must be the only one! I'd love to tell you that I grew to accept myself as I am and was no longer concerned with fitting in, blah blah blah. Not true. I grew acutely conscious of exactly how to fit in, and I became quite good at it by high school. Not that I was "A-list" popular, but I actually really enjoyed high school and am still friends with my best friends from then to this day.

However, I don't think I really got to be totally cool with who I am - and believe me, I still am a misfit in lots of ways, but I actually enjoy them now - until my 30's. I would be bored and disappointed with myself if I wasn't who I am now, but it took a long time to get there. So, here's to misfits - enjoy your eccentricities for without them, you'd be just like the rest. And who wants that?? Seriously.

Soul Journaling - Day Twenty

All the way up to day 20 - only three more to go - I find myself missing the process already. But, it's also great to actually take a project to it's conclusion, and very satisfying. Of course, the point is not the destination but the journey, and in the case of art journaling that IS the point.

This page was good fun, I didn't think it would work out well at first (I never do) but of course it did. Sarah's guidance is never wrong! This was a collage of three previous soul journal pages put together by tearing papers into strips and putting the images together in new combinations. It is tied together with a wash of paint. This is really, in my mind, what collage mixed media art is all about - combining existing images in new ways so that they appear as though they always went together, they should always be together, and they create a new statement or idea in doing so.

I actually think this is my favorite page. I'm definitely going to do this technique again.