Monday, October 31, 2011

Shamanism and Creativity

The next issue of Creativity Cafe Magazine is due out this Spring and will focus on Shamanism and Creativity -- feel free to submit artwork, articles, poems, ideas, writings, ramblings, doodles, etc. for consideration for publication. Any writing/art from the heart with your personal ideas and experiences is very welcome. See more at: Creativity Cafe and to see the last issue on-line, go here and click on show preview: Issue One

Saturday, October 29, 2011

the cure

"The cure for anything is saltwater: sweat, tears, or the sea." --Isak Dinesen

Friday, October 21, 2011

why visual journaling?

I think a lot about why I do this work. Spending a life making art means loss of income, a bit of isolation, even some disdain from a culture that values money and success. Some family members don't understand what I do. Lots of people I cross paths with don't understand what I do. But Joseph Campbell did - his deep investigation of the meaning of things, the way we use myth and story and art to understand the Mystery -- this is why we do this work. It's not at all about decorating the walls, which is how lots of people see the work of making art. The first question 95% of the time posed to you when you mention you are an artist, is: "Do you sell your work?" Because that's how our culture validates being an artist. After ten days away from the studio (a nice break at the beach gifted to us by family who understand our money situation) I was so glad to be back in the studio, back working with my pens and paints and papers, back playing in my journal, paper up on the wall ready to take splashes of paint. . . . Flipping through the books I have been working in, I know I am onto something, no matter what the world says to be about the validity of being a Visual Journaler. Thank you to all the mystics, wanderers, artistic explorers who gave us the example that it is okay for us to dedicate our lives to the search. May we all have the courage to follow the idea that our lives can be the Yoga of being true to our calling.
"Life as an art and art as a game—as action for its own sake, without thought of gain or of loss, praise or blame -- is the key, then, to the turning of living itself into a yoga, and art into the means to such a life." --Joseph Campbell

Thursday, October 20, 2011

my hand

"Figures can be considered forms of landscapes; in the natural landscape, figurative forms abound. To recognize the analogy is to approach an understanding of harmony." --Ian Semple

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

been at the beach . . .

"Stress is related to the environment you live in. As an artist, the ideal is to live in calm, peaceful and intriguing surroundings where earth meets atmosphere." --Lida van Bers

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Part of the joy of art journaling is the freedom to work in lots of media. Yesterday I hung 3 large sheets of watercolor paper on the wall, and put on some awesome energetic music (A Cirque Du Soleil soundtrack from the library) and just let myself have fun with paint. After they dried, I turned them over and painted the backs.
I can now tear up these sheets to use as covers or pages in journals.
I also scanned them to use in my collage work.
Some of them came out a bit muddy, but others just sing with joy! WooHoo!
So if you feel stuck, get out some paint, put on some music, and have some fun splashing some color on paper.
Color Therapy = awesome.

"Making art is a lot about just seeing what happens if you put some energy into something." --Kiki Smith

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I posted this page a few days ago before I had added words to it.
Sometimes it feels like words ruin the page, adding data and chatter which interfere with a more serene and calm visual experience.
Other times the words just make the page sing.
I have a feeling it is the words themselves that might disrupt things -- I always try to work with image and color to evoke that inner authenticity that comes directly from the subconscious, and I know that words can almost sabotage that direct line from Truth.
But in this case, I sorta like the words:

"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart..." --William Wordsworth

Sunday, October 2, 2011

a show of Visual Journals

The show of 25 artists' journals at the Abecedarian Gallery, here in Denver, closed yesterday; I did get some photos.
There was a wonderful variety of journals, from delicate watercolors, to travel journals, to even just a pile of beautifully collaged pages which were boxed rather than bound. The nice thing was a viewing table, and the permission to handle the books. Alicia Bailey, the gallery owner, said that many people stayed a long long time, pouring over the books and reading some cover to cover, enjoying the chance to get into an artist's mind in a very intimate way.
Lots of inspiration for unique ways to journal.
Catalog available HERE as a PDF.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


I heard the idea that our dreams are sometimes our subconscious's attempt to tell the stories we need told.
I actually have lots of anxiety dreams all the time, and this made me really think about the work that we do while dreaming and the work we do while journaling.
I know that journaling also channels some of this energy - from our untold stories to self-expression that relieves our need to tell and feel heard, even if just by ourselves.
I now have a special journal dedicated to remembering my dreams, as well as my shamanic journeys, and it is so interesting to see how the patterns are emerging.
To be heard, to say what we need to say, dreams and journaling - awesome ways to do this!

"Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning." --Gloria Steinem