Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Kicking and Screaming

Some time ago I followed somebody's link from somewhere around here to last summer's Soul Journaling prompts at Caspiana.

Now, normally art journaling is not my Thing; and I don't quite know what to make of an art style that incorporates collage and texture and layers of gesso purposely obscuring things, or God forbid, that uses pages ripped out of old books (this is in my mind high sacrilege); I am an old-fashioned sort, I guess, and it just doesn't make sense to me. I am naturally hopelessly meticulous and precise when it comes to my art, though it should be mentioned that I've actually loosened up considerably over the years. (!) All my watercolor paper must be hot pressed. I don't even like using canvas because I can't control the fact that it has a visible weave. (Not to mention that the damned stuff moves away from the brush when you apply the paint. Arggghhh!)

But when I went to a local odd-lot store a few weeks ago, I found myself at the register clutching a twelve by twelve photo album with thick brown pages (I suppose it didn't hurt that it was only $3.99). And so, though it is deeply uncharacteristic of me, I started in on the journal prompts. I suspect, uncharacteristic though it is, it is very very good for me to do something fast and loose like this. And it has been more fun that I would have thought. At first I was just doing them to be doing something, and had to tell myself that the faster I did it the sooner it would be over. Ah, we fight change so, don't we?

Anyway, here are some of them:

This one (above) gave a list of twenty-four things to cut out of a magazine, then arrange in a grid. I added the li'l Athena. She needed to be there. Oh and the sequins too.

This one uses various kinds of tape, which was weird and really not anything I thought I would like; but this medical tape I had did this odd thing when combined with a Sharpie (another thing I would never, ever consider using in a piece of Art, good God no!); though you can't really tell here it has a lot of metallic gold paint in it. It came out surprisingly Klimtish.

This one is a little house pocket with paper dolls to represent my 'family.' I collaged it together with some paper I'd done ink blots on in a fit of Rorschachian playfulness. So that's my house, sort of. Left to right it's my guardian angel, me in an uncommonly slimming olive green dress, then Maude and Sir Isaac Mewton. The cats are wicked funny, don't you think?

This was the next prompt from the Caspiana site, which involved a list of things to do (like 'use pencil,' 'throw a wash of color over,' 'fill the page with adjectives,' &c) which were done in random order; while I like the color, which is more of that metallic gold paint with shades of red and purple washed over it, I don't know what to make of it as it's a bit too abstract for my brain. I don't know how to judge when something like this is finished, you know?

Then this one, which I willingly did all on my own, and which is not from one of the prompts. It's a collage with some painting and some writing (if you look closely you may be able to make out that I spelled 'witch' wrong the first time!) I don't know what it means, though I like it, especially the view of Glastonbury Tor through the lintels of Stonehenge.

ETA: Oh, I had forgotten. The above collage was done after I read the latest post over at Leah's, where she talks about Dream or Vision Boards, which led me to Christine Kane's site where she explains how to make one. So this is what that's meant to be. I didn't know what my vision was, though, so it was the kind where you choose images that appeal or resonate, then try to figure out why. I'm still not sure what it's about. Home, Witchiness, Deity, Returning?

And lastly, this one. I don't know where that faery came from; I wasn't purposing to paint her at all. But, really, that's the best kind of art, don't you think?


Rose said...

Thank you for sharing these with us, they are fantastic! I have been catching up on Caspiana to and I can't bear the thought of ripping up books either. I have been using junk mail, tourist leaflets, old lottery tickets, handouts for out of date courses basically any of the ton of paper lurking in my house waiting to be recycled but NEVER any books... I look forward to seeing more!

Bettina Makley, aka Fairywebmother. said...

Really lovely work! Thank you for sharing. I'm still working on my Soul well, everyone at their own pace.

I have a friend with a used book store. I can't cut up good ones, but sometimes he gets some donations with pages already missing. I don't mind using those, as they would just go in the trash, anyway.

Anonymous said...

It was a pleasure to share your journal pages! I applaud you for diving in with such grace! (pun intended) As someone who is an artist for a living, and in the last year or so also an art journal creator...I found it was fulfilling to have art that was only for me, for play or experimentation, without the normal filters turned on. It is so essential to play! And from my art journal came a series of goddess collages...I am posting them (slowly) on my blog. ( So keep it up! Brava!

Sarah Whitmire said...

Hi Thalia,
Thanks so much for your lovely comments on my blog! I enjoyed looking at your art and reading about your journal pages. I am glad you are enjoying the Soul Journal process and getting something good out of it.



Anonymous said...

Holy Mother of All Toledo's. This is freakin' amazing. For you to leap so and the house and the Fair One, and OMG! Who *are* you and what have you done with my friend, Thalia??!!!!