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The worst thing you can do is being afraid to be yourself.
I did not really consider art journaling until about a year ago or two. I always loved to paint, and I loved journals. I actually have so many journals I don’t know what to do with, but most of them I have written only into couple of pages, and tucked them away, just to admire the covers and sigh at the empty pages. Only until recently I have fallen in love with filling their empty pages with colors and lines and what nots. Now I like to see my progress of creating.
It is called Art journaling, but it is not necessarily meant for anyone to see. It’s a place where you can work things out for yourself and keep them hidden. Once in a while, something magical actually happens, and you might like to share it with others. There actually is a group on Facebook, just for that purpose. It’s called Standforartjournalling.
I like to start, just placing pieces of paper and images on page, filling the rest with blobs of color and and some patterns and lines. What ever comes to my head. I try not to control my next move, until something pops into my head that I want to see there. As I move along in this sort of meditative process, ideas and words start coming to mind, and I feel free to write them down and then paint over them again. Sometimes when I feel upset, I actually scribble the whole page with words first, and then paint over it.
I also find that the more I paint over something, the more I might like it. I don’t stop, until. I like the page, and feel some sort of relief of accomplishment. If I do it in the morning, it sets me up for better day, and if I create at night, it helps me to sleep better.
My thoughts are always with you. It’s like you never left. They keep pulling me and tugging at me avery which way.
I try to keep my center, but I thought my center was with you. Now I am lost,
and to reclaim it
would I have to get you back?
But it’s my center.
What makes one commit suicide? I am not even sure if I could start to judge something I have never experienced. But in the eve of witnessing from afar two deaths of very accomplished people, I can only wonder, what does it hold in store for us all. I have myself experienced the dark cloud that can cary us all into the pit of despair, but I always carried a hope of something better to come. Maybe in the end for some people, there is no more hope left, and we are the only ones left to grief.
This is a first video that I made, edited and published. Quite an accomplishment for me, alongside of binding my first journal. I was actually pretty proud of myself. It goes to show me, that even though the product might have not been so great, I had a lot of fun going throw the process. And if it helps anyone in any way, then it’s just an added bonus.
There are two other teachers that have left a profound change on me, and I admire greatly, Flora Bowley and Mindy Murphy Lacefield. As I am always struggling to find my own way in painting, I am often reminded by them to stay in a place of uncertainty, to wait as long as I can to make a final decision.
But lately, I just started to make my marks and wait out the whole process, not wanting to commit to anything, I just stay patiently in a place of uncertainty. It can be a beautiful place, but it can be a somewhat frustrating experience. But what oftentimes emerges is worth waiting for.
So I was finally told about this. Brimfield happens 3 times a year in Massachusetts near Sturbridge Village. On line you can find it under http://www.brimfieldshow.com. I came completely unprepared. I had no cash, because I was not going to spent any money, I just wanted to ogle. First of all, you need at least $5 for parking, unless you come super early, like about 6am and can grab a spot on the side of the street I suppose. And then of course, you end up spending money. Because no matter how much you try not to, you will find something that you like or fall in love with. Luckily there was an ATM and even though I came relatively late, I still found a parking lot that was not completely full.
First I found a tent full of hand made shirts and dresses that were absolutely divine, and I promised myself, that if I don’t buy anything else, I would come back and get at leas one. That presented another challenge. Because the place is so huge, I would have probably found it too hard to come back to the same place.
It turned out I did not have to do that, because I found what I really came for, and did not believe I would find it. First, it was a tent full of broken clock parts and faces, I filled up a small bag, $10. I really don’t know how to bargain.
The next trap was an African shop, well, the owner really lived in NY, but because the Big Apple might be just as far away from me as Africa, I made sure I stocked up, This one was only $5, and I did not even have to bargain.
And the next stop was Neat Stuff. I was pretty exhausted from shlepping around, but my mind pricked up when I found it. I was caring tall bobbin pins, while feverishly trying to figure out how to mount them so I can use them to put my disorderly pile of Washi tape in order, and then suddenly dropped them to the ground when I saw this – wooden Chinese carved stamps.
The ones that I always admired, but never new how to get my hands on. I was frantically trying to figure out how to only pick the ones that I liked the most, and not break my bank account at the same time. This place actually took credit cards. And since, I say it again, I can’t bargain, well I don;t even attempt to, I knew I was lost. I managed to spend only $60. So the whole trip was $80, I am including the parking, but that was going to become painless, after what I was going to create with all these goodies, and here is some sampling from my fun Wednensday afternoon.
I have taken many workshops in the past two years when I embarked on this more intense creative journey. I think taking workshops with all these wonderful artists/women is mostly about being inspired. Connecting with other artist primes us not to be the duplicators, but to see all the possibilities there are and helps us grow and ripen into more authentic self. My second on line course I took was with Christy Tomlinson, and I did so much since then, but she still inspires me. Her warm selfless soul touches and helps so many women around her. She coined the phrase She Matters and it’s meant to empower all women. I am now borrowing that phrase to name my painting.
Another artist I just recently found out about is Danielle Donaldson. She also has a blog to inspire and empower women through creativity. As I was reading her blog I stumbled on this post that truly inspired me to write this one. You can read it on her blog or in here –
“I don’t often share deep, meaningful stories. And, well, I am not going to start now.
But sometimes the right words fall into place and capture something. A conversation, an overwhelming moment of goodness. BIG. HUGE. colorful epiphanies.
I realized the someone I love gets me way more than I thought. Way more than I gave credit for. And things are just good.
So I finally figured out that it is all about surrounding yourself with the right peeps. And being very aware of the wrong peeps.
surround yourself with those who see your weaknesses as strengths, not your strengths as weaknesses
hurt, not angry
caring, not “too sensitive”
guarded, not bitter
thoughtful, not worried
strong, not weak
quiet, not absent
It may not make any sense to anyone but me. that’s ok. it may mean something entirely different to you. but i hope you know that you are full of all sorts of good stuff. don’t let anyone tell you differently. with their words or actions.
I think she is so right to write this. We sometimes forget how important it is for our wellbeing to surround ourselves with people that support us, because as women and the prime nurturers of life, our healing can only happen from strength, not weakness, and empowering ourselves will only strengthen the shining light that we can emanate to others.
Happy Mother’s Day,
celebrate the mother in you, or the one you have.