Words Can Sometimes Hit You in Soft Places
When I create it's often to get something out of my system. When I write my 'Morning Pages' most every morning for the last 20 years of my life I write a steady stream of almost unconscious pouring of what ever comes to mind. I keep the pen moving. I don't stop to reread or scratch out. If I am not ready to proceed to the next sentence or thought I will write blah, blah, blah, blah, blah even for the next two lines. When I have reached the bottom of the page I will start again at the top and write on top of what I've already written. I just keep writing until I am finished. It's almost as if my hand or pen has taken over. I am not planning or thinking ahead about what comes next. The words just kind of flow out of me/ my head, my gut and onto the page. Since I want to make the most of my time for art, I started my practice of drawing faces on top of those pages. Some faces with water color, some with pan pastel, some with just a pencil or pen. I noted that depending on how I felt on any given morning, the face was sometimes a reflection of me, at that moment. Maybe I was stirring something deep down in my gut that was really bugging me. Maybe I was angry. It is my feeling that we have been programmed to create happy art. That means that all our faces have to be happy faces, even though we're struggling, hurting, screaming inside. Part of what prompted me to write this post is seeing Julie Fei Fan Balzer's post today on art journaling- the other side of it. The heavy stuff. The ways in which we can write stuff down and cover it up, with paint. With gesso. With bigger words, with faces. Why are we so afraid to show our vulnerable sides? Does it make us any less of a person? I think it takes a lot of courage for someone to show the sides of us that are not always happy and in control and I've always got to have it together superficialness. Life is not like that and we are human. After I had done several months worth of writing and faces on top of writing, I had to laugh as I viewed each face. I could almost know exactly how I was feeling at that time, that morning. I've put many of those faces in a cheapo hard bound sketchbook that I have since declared as an art journal. Lucy is standing by. In this case, I covered up the words with a word stencil right in the gesso and then added some papers and my homemade stamps. I could add more to it but for now it is what it is. I feel strongly that art is not always meant to be pretty or happy. Life is not like that. Reality is dirty, and heart wrenching and ugly, and working through that with art is what saves us sometimes. Which reminds me of yet another post I read today, quite ironically, and which hits home for me. Jenny Doh has a segment on her site that focuses and features people who know that creating art has saved them. And you can view Julie's post on "the heavy side" of art journaling here. I know this is a long winded post. It was supposed to be only for today's face for the 29 faces challenge. The words in both those posts just hit me in soft places. ...........Jo I am linking also to Balzer Designs Art Journal Every Day.