Friday, March 18, 2016

Find joy in your journal

Joy in journaling -- I was watching a BBC gardening show (working out my disappointment at the 6 inches of snow out my window this morning,) and there appeared a little plump robin. I froze the screen so I could get my watercolors and paint him. Then I scanned this watercolor, and printed it onto a page from an Anais Nin book. (The book had fallen apart, so the aged pages have been a nice collage base for the last few days.)

I went back to my watercolor files, and printed a bunch of animals I had painted onto pages to use in the future, so fun!

Cutting out the bird, adding some words, and then, how about some eraser stamps?  I love carving white erasers because the shapes can be so lyrical and have a look of the hand on them, and are repeatable, making nice patterns. Then some washi tape, more words, and how about some stickers?
Perhaps a rose?

Such fun, to make beauty in my journal, and on this snowy day in Colorado, two days before the Equinox, where I am wishing for more green and more birds and more gardening, this page brings me hope.

Because to find joy in your expression, isn't that the whole reason for this work?
For life itself?

“I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason.
I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn't impress me.
I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another.
No more walls.”
― Ana├»s Nin

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Jumping In

Naga is the Hindu deity associated with the snake, and also Nature Spirits which are the protectors of the rivers, springs and lakes. Yesterday, here in Denver, we had a bit of rain, very good for the plants which are just starting to think about budding. (Too soon because they will get zapped with frost and snow soon enough.) In Buddhism, Naga is associated with powerful dragons and wise serpents, guarding the West, and these entities are about flow. Naga also can represent humans with animal qualities, considered a good thing.

On this page, I added some bits of washi tape (the little green polka dot stripes on the edges) as well as sanskrit collage bits, an orange border, a pencil sketch torn from my sketch book.

Did the Naga images need these bits? I don't know, I just know that when a page pleases me, I look at it longer. Words bleeding from page to page, borders, repeat in the collage bits (the sanskrit paper) and background pattern, all make it more interesting to look at. The Naga also, just attracted me.
What does the Naga or serpent mean to me? I'm finding out by collaging with him!

Make the art first, then do the thinking.

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”
--Kurt Vonnegut

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Secrets from Spirit . . .

If you have been reading my blog, you might have started to get the idea that I think collage gets your mind to open up, and that the opening can be not just of the subconscious, but to something even greater. I think Spirit actually speaks to us through our art, that the silent voice of All Connection can articulate what we cannot always find in our own hearts.

Here are a few journal pages I did the last few days.
I started with some images I just "liked."
I glued them down, added some curls, some color, some dots, some random paper scraps, some words. These are the messages I received:

Being gentle with humanity requires strength.
We can send healing intention to all creatures.
And to Mother Earth.
Have an Intention of Connection.
What would life be without some mystery?
Embrace the question, the unknown.

So there you have it, those phrases and sentences might not be meaningful to all of you reading this, but they are very meaningful to me. And it was the act of collage that summoned them.

So make some collages in your journal, play with images without a direction -- see what mysteries reveal themselves.

What in your life is calling you,
when all the noise is silenced,

the meetings adjourned,
the lists laid aside,

and the wild iris blooms

by itself

in the dark forest?

What still pulls on your soul?