Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I PLAY and create a Hand journal

I just returned from 4 wonderful days in Port Townsend PLAYing at journaling with 40 wonderful artists. Here is my one photo of the activities, Teesha is talking to us about some aspect of visual journaling. Several demos were given throughout the weekend, but they were optional, and Teesha and the others used a microphone so if you didn't want to stop working, you could listen. This worked really well for me, I went to the retreat last year and saw all the demos then. It was nice to just listen and be able to keep working.

And work I did! The first night I got help making a 16 page journal from a single sheet of watercolor paper and a "junk" journal, and I started working in the 16 page journal right away. I decided to work on the theme of hands, specifically my hands, so I could explore what this injury means to me.

These two pages are a spread. Each page is 8 x 10. The bottom page is one of the flaps in the book. It counts as one of the 16 pages. It is fun to have the smaller work surface the flaps create.

Creating these two pages was a real challenge. I was trying to do "my own style", which I like to think of as being very loose and sort of grungy, but initially they were a mess! I knew they were, and asked Teesha for help. That was one of the best parts of the weekend, getting one-on-one help. I made a bit of a fool of myself, saying that I didn't want to copy her style, so hadn't put borders on my pages, she was so patient, explaining that borders tie the whole page together, and draw the eye in. I also had a lot of glaring white on the page, and she showed me how to tone it down, so the eye didn't go immediately to the white spots. I had to sleep on her advice, but while I was sleeping, I "got it" by osmosis.
The next day I worked for about 8 hours on my pages, I was in the zone and so happy. I have learned that I can work on my pages for as long as I want to, adding color, collage, borders, doodling, words. It is all fun, it is all meaningful, it is all intuitive. I thought that intuitive meant "do it fast". Yes...and no. It is also intuitive to keep working until it really speaks to me.
This spread isn't necessarily my favorite in this journal, but it will always be important to me because of what I learned while working on it.

This page speaks to the fear I had/have about my livelihood as a massage therapist. Including the photo of myself, happily working at PLAY despite my cast, speaks of survival and hope for the future.
And that photo, that is a print from Fran's Pogo, a tiny Poloroid printer that you attach to your camera. The prints are a little smaller than a playing card. The best part? The print is a sticker! Just peel off the backing and slap it in your journal! Fran says that your camera has to be pict bridge enabled, but many newer digital cameras are. Thanks, Fran, for sharing such a cool toy!


JonesMoore said...

It's so great that you were able to go the PLAY! I look forward to seeing some of the pages you did in person.

Tara Ross Studios said...

I loved hearing about how your process was a success. I have to say after taking Teesha's class too, I just love the "one sheet of paper" journal. How cool is that! I'm on my second one!

Fran Meneley said...

Hi Gwen! I love this post and all your beautiful pages. And what makes them even more inspiring to me is that you did them with your hand in a cast! I know you'll heal and be back to massaging very quickly. Your heart and mind are in the right place. Loved being your table and house mate - can't wait for next year. I'll check in to see how you are doing - Best - Fran

Michele said...

Wow, Gwen, those are amazing pages! I'm glad you had the chance to attend PLAY! and can see that you brought a lot of excitment and a new confidence home with you. I hope the hand is healing well. I think of you so often and am sending positive, healing energy your way.

Bear hugs,

Paula McNamee said...

Gwen, Your journal pages and description of your process are very inspiring. It was fun to see you in the "zone" and creating everything with one hand! Keep sharing, Paula

celeste said...

so glad you went. i love your pages and your description. excited to see you and your journals in person next art meet-up!

m i c h e l l e said...

LOVE your pages, Gwen! I sure hope we get to meet at ArtFest this year!!!!