Friday, November 30, 2007

A little of this and that...

I have been busy, working in the visual journal, working on swaps, and photoart journals, and I don't always feel like I have time to download everything and write about it.
I like grids. There is something about the symmetry, and the repetition.
Just fun, using up bits of leftover projects, and printing disasters that ended up looking cool.
The first page that I have included any text. I liked how it looked, and I wanted to remember why I put these items down, or rather what they made me think of.

I feel that I am going through a major shift in my life. It is one of those times when the pattern of my life reveals another path. Sometimes the various things I have pursued in my life thus far seem so disjointed and totally without plan that I feel like a complete mess, and then things shift and I begin to see a pattern to all of these pursuits.

It is like a trail of bread crumbs through the woods, they begin to glow and I can see that there has been a direction to my life. Despite all of the times I have been afraid and insecure, and have stayed in jobs and other situations too long, thinking that I had to have money, or healthcare, or a relationship and if I took a step off the path in front of me I would be lost, the bread crumbs have showed up to lead me to the next thing.

Far too frequently I have gone trembling with fear and dreading the rug being pulled out from under me, but I have gone, and I have always been rewarded. It has taken me far too long to realize and trust that I am being led in the direction of my heart, and that it has been my heart lovingly leaving the bread crumbs for me to follow.

I am seeing the path diverge again, and I don't know where I am going yet, but I feel more trust than I have felt in a long time. I do have some ideas about where I might be going, but it is too soon to put it into words. Still in the planning and thinking and meditating stages. I think that the slump I was in all summer was a fallow time preparing me for change.

Making visual journals is helping, I don't have to use words, and it is a relief right now, I always over-analyze things. Now I just grab the color that appeals to me, and shapes and items that may reveal a pattern...of bread crumbs.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Day and what I am thankful for

My page for Thanksgiving, no relation to the day, just what I grabbed from my rat's nest of an art table... The following page I did a couple of days ago, and I truly hate it. I didn't want to post it, but I think to be honest to my process, I have to. I was still grabbing things from my table, but it has no coherence at all. I kept trying to "fix" it, with the doodles around the circles on the background paper, but I hated the big elements I put on the page, and could see no way to bring them together. Maybe in a few weeks or months, I will be struck with some inspiration of how to make it more likeable, but at this point, I doubt it. Maybe I will just cover the whole thing with other scraps?
I hope that you have a festive and warm Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my children, and how well they are adapting to adulthood. They are spending Thanksgiving with my parents in Portland, and we will be celebrating with my husband's family in South Seattle. I am thankful for my husband, who always supports me in any wild idea I come up with. I am constantly, for 29 years now, amazed at how lucky I have been. He is a gem.

I am thankful for my life, for the constantly unfolding surprise of discovery that it has been, and continues to be. I am thankful for my friends, some dating back to college, and many more recent. It is a true blessing to have so many friends in life.

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Back in the swing...

Here is the journal page I did after returning from Fort Worden and the massage weekend, the background is cut from our schedule sheets... I was really tired and slow all last week, hence no entries here. The following page is the only other one I did last week.
The page below is the one I did today. I feel like I am out of the flow, and need to get back into doing this daily. I have missed it, and I think that I will do several pages today, because I have more time, and I feel like it!
Yesterday, my daughter woke me at 6:30 and asked if I wanted to go to Snohomish. This is a November tradition for us. I started going for a wonderful Christmas bazaar they had on the first Saturday of November probably 20 years ago. When my daughter was about 10 or 12, she started to want to go with me and the friend I went with, and when the friend moved away, she and I started making it a tradition for just the two of us to go.

The bazaar faded away, and for several years we have just gone to shop in the town and have lunch. We get some Christmas shopping done, and have fun. Our favorite store is Joyworks, on the main street of town. She got several presents, and I got LARGE pillows covered in red and tan ticking for our couch, which is a futon with wooden arms, the pillows look great and make the arms comfortable, finally!

We had a wonderful time, and it didn't start to rain until we were almost home! Last year we were drenched all day! Below is a photo of my beautiful daughter by a weathered brick wall in Snohomish.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

How I spent my weekend...

Saturday morning at Fort Worden, I had about 25 minutes before I had to begin a marathon work day, and decided to take a short walk with my camera. It was a gorgeous day, clear and not a bit of wind. I walked up a rather steep hill to a wooded area with wonderful tree skeletons, madrona trees, leave-less, and a little grey, but such beautiful structure.

I really love trees in all their manifestations, bare, in bud, in full leaf, the colors of fall. I have been at Fort Worden in all seasons, and have many photographs of trees there, and these were very beautiful to me.

This path was begging me to follow, but work was calling.

This was the view from the top of the hill I had climbed. I love how the rays of sun seem to be captured. I feel so at peace at the Fort, it is a magical place.

The weekend was exhausting, but also fun. The three of us did MANY massages, and our pay was good, but by the end of Saturday, a thirteen hour day, we were so tired that we barely made it to our beds before we collapsed! We decided that since we are all pushing 60, that this would be our last year doing marathon massage.

It was a bittersweet decision, this was our third year and we had finally gotten all of the kinks out, everything ran very smoothly, and we were completely booked for the time we were there. We had a lot of fun together, and some very meaningful discussions about LIFE, but it was a mutual decision to quit. Plans have already been made for other getaways without work!

It may go without saying that I had no time or energy for working on the visual journal. I missed it, but will start up again tomorrow.

The final photo is a self-portrait!

Friday, November 9, 2007

More visual journal pages

These are my last three days of journaling. The last pic is a bit drab, like the weather today. And the mood of November, even though we still have trees in glorious color, it is getting closer to winter every day.

Today I am leaving for Port Townsend, for two days of work/fun. Two massage therapist friends and I will be giving massages to ladies attending a scrapbooking retreat at Fort Worden.
We work hard, but have a lot of fun, the ladies are great and hilarious, my friends and I have a weekend away, and I will pay for Play:the retreat with my proceeds!

Those who know me know that I love Port Townsend and Fort Worden. I feel happy just thinking about the drive over and back, in fact on the day we leave, M. and I will be eating a fabulous breakfast on Lawrence street, gallery hopping in PT, and hitting The Arts Mine in Port Hadlock.

I am taking my journal and my camera...

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Processing the visual journal

I have been reading through The Vein of Gold (Julia Cameron) this morning, and I realize that the writing, which is a lot of what the early assignments consist of, puts me back in to the old over-analyzing mode that has been the story of my whole life.

I know from various therapists over the years that the same stories from one's life keep coming up, over and over. Each time a little more is healed, but so far that has all been with words--talking or writing. The visual journal, my version of morning pages, is a way to process things in a whole new way. I am not "thinking" about what I put on the page, but there is definitely something breaking open here.

Of course, now I am analyzing it with words, but what is happening with the visual journaling is not something that I can put in words. For me, this seems like a very positive step. I think that I am getting to another layer (of myself) that is non-verbal.

This has happened to me while receiving bodywork, emotions have been released that are very powerful, but have no words, those emotions have seemed pre-verbal.

What I sense with the journal pages is that the PROCESS of making them is coming from a non-verbal place, a place that I have always wished I could access, where I can just BE.

Obviously, words are important to me or I wouldn't be writing about this, but I am happy that I have found another place where I don't have to explain.

Does this make any sense??

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Junky antique store heaven...

This is the majority of my great haul this weekend, going thrift and antique store shopping with our WONDERFUL friend, MJ, who was visiting from Walla Walla. The three of us love hitting the thrifts, and we have a regular route we follow when we are in WW. This was our first time going as a threesome over here.

The Physical Culture magazines are hilarious, expect to see journal pages and other things incorporating these. MJ and I had much hilarity reading the titles of the articles, so much so that we had to make a second trip to that store to find a couple for her. I loved the stuff we found, and this was after MJ showed us the "gifts" she brought from WW, exciting finds from cleaning out her mother's house. All will become fodder for the mill.
Saturday I went to Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park to meet with other ArtFestors. I did my visual journal there that day. We all bring things to work on, and just talk about our various projects. There were only 3 of us that day, but it was interesting and fun.
This was Monday's page, I ended up with a stencil, made by rubbing Portfolio pastel through a piece of paper lace. It will probably rub off, eventually, but it was fun. I want to do more stencils. I was surprised with the direction this page went, but decided to just go along with it, and I like it.
Today's page. I seem to have this linear thing going on. I have been coloring the backgrounds with Portfolio's, because it is easy, and I rub them with paper towel, to blend and sink the color in. With trusty glue stick, I just start sticking things down. I have lots of little ephemera packs from AF, and trades and I am digging into those now.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Further along the vein of gold...

This is my page for November 1, I am just grabbing what is lying on my table and gluing it to the page. I have incredible amounts of stuff that I have kept for using in collage, it is getting used, finally!
This is my page for Nov. 2. It has made me amazingly happy to be doing this, I try to do my pages as soon as I get up, I really look forward to it.

One of my biggest problems, my whole life, is performance anxiety. I will put off doing things I know that I love (like making art) because I worry that it will not be good enough, or that I will mess it up and waste art supplies. I can already feel that this little exercise in visual journaling is going to cure me of that, or at the very least make it less prominent. Doing these slapdash pages has given me ideas for more complete things that I might work on in a bigger journal. This is a 5x7 book, and I have much larger books which tend to intimidate me.

I found out yesterday that I will be going to Play: the retreat at the end of January. It is hosted by Teesha and Tracy Moore, of ArtFest fame, and one of the primary things will be art journaling. I am VERY excited to be doing this, it will be a very small group, around 40, and most of the time will be to just play, and look at each other's art. This is my idea of heaven.

As far as Vein of Gold goes, I have decided to go through the book, do the morning pages, the visual journal, and the artist dates--and the WALKS, this is a very important part of the process--but I will probably not do each one of the various projects. There are some that speak to me more than others.

I am especially looking forward to making the dolls and the masks, which come later in the book.
If any one wants to join me in this pursuit, leave a comment and a link to your blog.