“Art journaling is about the creative process of pulling together colour, words and images as you wish on one page. Unlike many other forms of art, it is not about the outcome.”
Tammy Garcia of Daisy Yellow
There’s no more time for explanations; it’s time to be done with excuses; I don’t have time to apologize for stuff that never happened. I’m making time for making art! That seems to be the one time when all the other cares of the day (or of my whole life) gently fade into the background and I can focus on something that I think is beautiful. And try new things, express new thoughts (or thoughts long hidden behind a frozen smile). This is my new journey.
Not that I won’t be doing most of the other projects that are important . . . . like feeding my children and paying the bills. And working on all the editing jobs that are landing on my desk at an ever-increasing pace. I won’t stop cooking (did I ever?), or washing dishes, or folding laundry. But I will stop investing time, energy, and brain cells trying to fix the unfixable. I am making time to find my voice and sing a new song!
This is the new and improved snowman . . . . I didn’t like the other one (he was too messy!) so I ripped him off the page (that’s a great metaphor for life!) and painted over the empty place, then replaced him with this cute little guy who is so much sweeter!
Even though it is important to me to make “pretty” art, the truth is that everything that flows from the heart of any individual will not always be “pretty.” That is enough. That is OK. The world I left behind is one of rigid, judgmental, oppressive (and in many cases unnecessary) rules and obligations. Should do this, should do that. Ought to do something else, yesterday, today, tomorrow . . . until there is no room or time for my own personality to breathe.
As I’ve been reading other art journal blogs, one theme emerges consistently: this is a playground, this is not a performance. It is for me and I am the audience. And if someone else wants to look at it, well, that’s just fine. If not, that’s OK, too.
Letting go of all those old expectations (that no matter how good I am, it’s never quite good enough for some people) is truly an amazing experience. What is even more amazing to me, however, is how long it has taken me to figure all of this out. Well, not that I’ve got it ALL figured out, but it certainly has taken me way too long to put into practice what I know in my head to be true.
We have a gracious, loving, forgiving, and merciful God. He has already paid the price for my redemption, and He does not use my past failures to torture me with guilt. God forgives, but unfortunately, there are people in all of our lives who don’t. Or won’t. Either way, the result is the same. I guess I need to learn to sing with Elsa, “Let it go!” I’m trying.
In this new year, one of my goals (no, no, no! Not a “resolution”) is to remind myself every day that my story, my voice, and my art are mine and they are just fine, thank you. Working in my art journal is just one way that I will be seeking to remember this truth. If you have considered making an art journal, for whatever reason at all, please join me on this journey. I’ll be posting my new pages (and experimental book binding projects) every week, and it would be fun to see your artistic travels.
Come on, what are you waiting for? You don’t need any special equipment or supplies, just any old paper or cardboard, some craft paint and brush, scissors and glue, and your are good to go. Any other leftover bits of stuff laying around your house, even junk mail works, all combine to give you a voice and tell your story. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!
More pictures next week of the other pages as well as a patchwork fabric art journal I’m working on this weekend. See you then!