Saturday, 29 May 2010

Show and Tell Saturday- Grateful Art Journal page

These pages are several layers. First I glued down some torn out book pages. I glue them with acrylic matt medium because it will keep them stuck down through the wet paint I add later. Then I gessoed a single coat over both pages and followed with layers of paint rubbed in with a paper towel. I think I added the cadmium red with a credit card.

The girl is a photocopy of an earlier drawing. I coloured over her vest and hat with a charcoal inktense pencil after gluing her down. It's fun to change the copies when I reuse them. With the black, she looks less sweet than she did in the initial drawing.

I was writing down 3 things I am grateful for each day. It was good but I got bored with it after a week or so. I can see that it could have been good to have persisted. I imagine there would be a point where I would have written down most of the obvious stuff and it could have gotten really interesting.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Message Monday - do I need to Revisit the Past for Healing?

Message Monday explanation here.
This message was in response to me wondering if I need to revisit my past for healing.

It depends on your Interest.
If you are interested in Healing the Personality
You might need to go there (the Past)
This might be necessary
Perhaps it is often necessary in this Culture.
but once a certain amount of Healing is done
Not that the personality becomes Healed
because that might not be Possible
but the Bones of that life
have been Honestly faced to some extent
Forgiveness has happened ~that is probably the Keye~

once forgiveness has happened
the PAST can be released ~

and no longer needs introspection

all that is needed Now
is for you to continue to Forgive
Your Self

Friday, 21 May 2010

Feminist Friday - It is about Men and Women

You might not want to watch this video, it is confronting and painful.

I am so impressed by the women in this video who speak the truth so courageously.

The imbalance inherent in a patriarchy hurts everyone, men, women and children. What does the military do to young men to make them heartless? It is intentional.

Feminism is not about women versus men, it is about a balance and honouring of both the Feminine and the Masculine. It is the imbalance that brings the perversion, not the masculine in itself. It pains me to see what our culture does to men as much as what it does to women. We all suffer.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Thoughtful Thursday -the Blessing of a Mentor

Last week I had a visit to my artist mentor. For many years I didn't have a mentor, though I was fortunate to have a wonderful teacher who taught me to paint. In between there have been many years of working alone.

I see my mentor about every two or so months. Often I bring in paintings that I am working on. Sometimes I just go to see and talk about what he is painting. I admire and sympathize with his work. His work often inspires me, but I wouldn't say it greatly influences me. This is because while we are coming from very similar interests and motivations, our work is quite different in its expression.

He is an excellent mentor. He doesn't try and influence me, but supports what I am trying to do.

Having a mentor is a real blessing. They don't even have to be in person. I have mentors and teachers who I listen to their podcasts or videos, or read their books. There are mentors and teachers all around us if we open our eyes.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Show and Tell Saturday- Commitment Art Journal page

I thought it might be interesting to post these pages after the ones from last week. In last week's pages I drew the girl directly onto the pages. In these pages, I photocopied her, cut her out and pasted her in. Because it is a photocopy and not an inkjet print (computer printers are mostly inkjet) I can paint over the top. I have fun reusing my drawings this way. You can also print them out larger or smaller, or in black and white.

As for what I have written in the pages, my commitment, I figure 'success' is open to interpretation. I don't necessarily mean success in the eyes of the world, but it means that I won't give up on my work. I am committed to finding a path that is right for me and my artwork.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Feminist Friday - Judy Chicago

I am reading a book about Judy Chicago. She is a feminist artist (perhaps the first artist who identified herself that way) who effected me strongly in the late 70's. Reading her story is revisiting a seminal influence in my young womanhood, and now I get to do that from the viewpoint of a fifty year old woman. I am more impressed than ever.

The above is a photo of her iconic work the Dinner Party that celebrates and honours over 1000 phenomenal women from history. Women that in the 70's were almost completely excluded from history books. When I was first entering college, there were no women listed in my art history books.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Thoughtful Thursday - Caroline Myss

"If you are doing the work of the soul, you are going to be isolated." Caroline Myss.

She said it in her matter of fact way - and it makes sense. We are in a society that doesn't even acknowledge the soul, much less honour the soul or its needs.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Message Monday

These journal pages are from an earlier journal, one I finished in February.
And this is my first message monday post. If you are wondering what the heck I am on about, go here.

I haven't heard of Message Monday, I am making it up. Message Monday will be when I put down some of the messages I receive. I do a kind of automatic writing to get in touch with my higher mind(?), subconscious(?), guides (?), angels(?) and whatever it is, it gives me better advice than I can give myself. That is pretty much all I know for sure.

Anyway, I just feel like sharing some of it. So, if you don't care for this kind of stuff, you can avoid my blog on Mondays, haha.

This message was in answer to me giving myself a hard time for not doing what I am now twenty years sooner:

This takes Courage and strength, which you now have. You couldn't do it Earlier because you didn't have the Strength and the wisdom. But now you Do. Now you can build upon that and Share what you know. Pray and Return to the trust that it can all be done in the Spirit of Play. You can have that Youth (that you feel you missed) Now. You don't have to have done it Then. You can have it Now and until your Death and After...

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Show and Tell Saturday- Fooling Around Journal page

This is my first Show and Tell Saturday post.

And these are the first pages that I have posted from my handmade art journal.

The alpaca on the left is a photocopy from a drawing that I did in my moleskine, then I glued it over some collaged writing. The girl with her bunny is my next door neighbour's girl. I did a lot more drawing in this journal than I have in previous ones.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Feminist Friday - My History as a Feminist

Feminist Friday is about tagging posts that you write concerning feminism with 'feminist friday' so that other people can find them.

I was a feminist from an early age. I don't know how that came to be, no one I knew was a feminist. I might have been 13 or 14 when I became very vocal that I shouldn't have to do certain things 'just because I am a girl'. I quizzed my poor mother about why she did all the housework, and was generally very adamant that I wasn't going to be treated unfairly because of my sex. I think this made it hard for my mother to teach me cooking and other practical household skills, which in turn made things difficult for me after I left home.
The only person who gave me a hard time about being a feminist was my brother -in a big brother being annoyed by his little sister way. My father, fortunately, was supportive. He was willing to show me stuff in his workshop, talk to me about politics, and encouraged me to become an engineer. (Not that I wanted to be an engineer, but I was good at math. My Dad had trained as an engineer.)

In high school I took metalwork shop entirely because there were no girls in the class. I knew nothing about metalwork. I learned to arc weld, in spite of a teacher who didn't give me much help. I was proud of that.
I signed up for Bachelor Cooking instead of Home Economics to make a point. And became an umpire for little league baseball, in spite of the fact that I had no interest in sports, simply because it was assumed that girls didn't umpire. The umpiring was a disaster.

It was the late 70's when I went to university. The height of the feminism. I joined a women's conscious-raising group. I considered myself a radical feminist. Which to me meant that I didn't only want women to have equal opportunities as men, I wanted the structure of our society to transform from a patriarchial one to one where both masculinity and femininity were equally honoured.
Because I considered myself a radical feminist, I went to meetings about forming a women's building on campus. That is where I had to face some radical feminists who thought that to be a true radical feminist you couldn't have a relationship with a man, which was pretty uncomfortable as I was a heterosexual woman.

After college, I became consumed with my spiritual search. While I have always considered myself a feminist, I haven't been very active about it for the past 25 years. So recently, when my interest in feminism has been newly refired, I am looking up and discovering a different territory than the one I knew in the late 70's and early 80's.

a New Idea

You know how it is, us creative types get bored easily. Well, that isn't really true. I don't usually get bored. There is always something waiting to be created.

But what I am trying to introduce here is that I feel the need to shake up my blog a bit. I get disinterested if I keep doing it the same way for too long. I began this blog giving a lot of tutorials. (So if you are new to art journaling and looking for tutorials, you can look through the blog archives on the left column, or you can go to the box underneath called 'labels' and click technique). Then I just went more into short raves while still posting my art journal pages.

Now I am thinking of trying out something a bit more organized. Have you heard of the practice of Technique Tuesday? How about Feminist Friday? Anyone know how it started? I don't, but I would like to. However it began, I think it's a cute idea.
I thought I might add Show and Tell Sunday, Message Monday, and Thoughtful Thursday. Wednesday is still available. Can anyone think of a word conveying daily life that begins with a "W"?

It isn't that I plan on blogging 6 days a week. It's about if you write something that fits in the category, that is the day of the week you post it. I might give it a go (as we say in Australia.)

Monday, 3 May 2010

What am I Asking?

What is this need we seem to have to believe that we have to justify our existence? I find myself torturing myself with what I have not achieved, or trying to console myself by tallying up what I have. As if there was going to be a reckoning on my deathbed.

So Zom, what have you done with the life I gave you? You weren't very good at keeping a beautiful house. You didn't have any children, so you must have been pretty selfish. You didn't get much recognition for your art, so you must not have been very good at that either. Why did you wait so long anyway, you should have been out pounding that pavement when you were young. Isn't that your justification for not having children? Did you really work hard enough? What have you accomplished?

But when I try to argue my accomplishments, I don't find that convincing either. Paintings I have done, classes I have taught, a home in the bush, adventures lived, seem irrelevant. Some say it is all about your relationships. Surely that is a place of sweetness, but I haven't done anyone enough good to justify my existence.

So, what does it come down to? Do I have to be a saint? A worldly success? Famous? A mother? When I examine it, it all falls apart. Why do I torture myself like this?

But when I think of my dear ones, my friends, my students, acquaintances, even strangers on the street, I would never feel the need to judge them by such hard assumptions. Then I know the truth, that we are Enough. We are each an individual flower, exquisite in our unique expression - and we don't need to Do anything. It isn't about what we do or achieve. We are Here because we are Wanted. In all our wonderful imperfection.

God made me, you, everyone the way we are because She wanted us. Just that way.

(another post inspired by the wonderful Nollyposh.) tee hee

Saturday, 1 May 2010

How I am Feeling Lately

a lovely video by PublicZOO pointing to my present state of mind.

I am feeling the out-of-control part. I am only very occasionally having the awareness and courage to realize that it could be fun.