“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
~ George Bernard Shaw
don’t stop 😉
making it up one bit at a time
Hi folks, I hope you’re enjoying your summer (or winter to those who reside on the other side of this little blue ball).
What’s new with you? I’ve been busy squirrelling away on so many things and I haven’t been over here in wordpress world to share them with you.
I’ve been preparing my class I’m teaching in the 21 Secrets online program that’s out for pre-sale now, releasing in September. That kept me reeeeally busy for a while! I’ll show you some little snips of it here and there pre-launch – like this…………..
Ooooh! All those colors!!
AND busy busily busying art journalling as usual, but not in my usual fashion. <GASP!>
I believe it’s good to shake stuff up, re-jig, re-orient and sometimes reinvent ourselves. The world and its contents keep evolving and the only alternative is stagnation. And that’s no fun at all. Uck!
Art-journal-wise I’ve shaken things up this time. No nice new sketchbook, no repurposed new book, this was a tatty old ledger I found in among my dad’s old papers and desk whatnots, boxed away for years in storage. From the pencilled pre-decimal price inside the back cover I would date it around 1950-something. About a third of the pages had been torn out, the remainder were a little yellowed, but blank. Fresh for painting and collaging and doodling and whatevering all over.
My usual strategy is to progress page by page as one finishes I flip the page and start again.
This time I’ve been opening the book randomly and splashing, doodling, writing and out-pouring with no regard to any sense of the linear.
If you’re in a rut, this is a great shake up. As a process it ripples out into life as little shifts make dramatic differences.
In the case of an art journal, it meant for a few weeks there was nothing aesthetically worth sharing, all oddments of scribble, stark paint scrapings, lonely fragments.
Then all of a sudden faces started to emerge
The pages are filling up and feeling closer to completed. Coherency emerges.
This is the third journal I’ve been working in this year and they appear to be following the seasons, this one fully in the season of summer.
A few weeks time I’ll be ready to begin my book of autumn, I’m already looking forward to that.
I fell down another hole in time but it’s All OK Now.
I jumped. I was down there from some time, lurking
(it happens from time to time. Do you do this too?)
I’ve learned to TRUST I’ll fumble my way out eventually.
I follow my instincts and they lead me back to where I left off.
It’s a case of just ALLOWing. Letting go.
(Which reminds me – I’ve been reading this.)
There’s a lot about perspective…
Seeing the same thing from a different angle, a different approach.
What matters most…
Since I started this project back in January,
every week has entailed some sort of variation on the same theme:
There’s been doodles and scribble, lists and lyrics,
Notes to me-in-the-future, that’s to say,
to me-in-the-now from a-previous-me-in-the-past
There’s been a whole lot of mess and color.
(In that sense, no different from any other of my years, I guess)
This is the first time I’ve been disciplined to do the
same/similar thing consistently every week, for
39 consecutive weeks at this point, and still going strong
I’m just behind on showing you, so there will be a
flurry of catching up over the next short little while.
So this was that week then, the next week then will
follow in a blink of a thing. Hold onto your hats.
I look at them in their lives and their worlds, they do their things and they live their days.
I can do that. Look – watch me – I’m doing my things and living my days.
And then I turn sideways, and vanish.
Where did I go? All the fear folded in on me.
It all looked too big, I left. It’s all too familiar, so I run. .I hide from being me.
How am I not like the other people? Reasons crumple under their own weight and all the ideas dissolve into dust
Who thought the simple act of being me would become such a challenge, such a confusion, so fueled by doubt.
When this happens a lot I wonder if I should stop pretending.
Pretending the other people are real, or pretending I am.
I wonder at these words and fragments, at what will come next.
Most people will understand,
But most people aren’t real. Most people don’t exist.
Week 34 into the year, and this page was a struggle. Like they always do, it started out with scraps of I don’t know what.
Some scrubby paint, some leftover unwanted collage snips. Beginning at the familiar stage of: ‘Meh… but this will get buried. It will come good. See what happens’
Color usually helps…
Hmmm… more collage? … oil pastels?
What? What’s happening? It’s getting more chaotic.
White a load of this out, more collage, regroup:
The enthusiasm from that chirpy thumbs up is misplaced, and it’s psyching me out. It has to go. Smothering with color: that’s the way forward. Just follow the shapes
Looking back this would have been an adequate stopping point, but I remember thinking It just needs turquoise: that will sort it.
And then a lot of layers later…
It went on and on.
It went on and on a bit like this:
Even now I’ve declared it done I don’t love it. This is the first one that seems to have beaten me. I guess being beaten at a rate of 1 in 34 – I’m cool with that. Another new week begins tomorrow. Time for a change of strategy.
Scribbled things. Filled in with nonsense and part heard words
Dabs, daubs, splosh. Dragged, drawn out, drawn on.
And more, and further. Anemones? meteors? Some frenzied chaos. (I honestly don’t know.)
But as usual, I like the details best of all
The title for this week – Courage, Faith, Trust – came from the same-named scrap of paper that got itself collaged into the frenzy. (it appeared a week early, as it’s numbered 34) but it also calls up the essence of this practice. Courage, Faith and Trust in the process:
Keep showing up, don’t plan, don’t expect, just keep doing and making and going. And all will be well.
Everything begins with an idea. Everything.
See the little tiny bits of neon pink in there? That’s the idea that set this page running. I saw this colour in the art shop forever-ago. I’m not a pinky kinda person but I had a really visceral attraction to this particularly teeth-jangling shade, and it was in my head until I had to buy it last week.
It’s a colour that says Bite Me.
If I was in charge of naming paint colours it would be called Don’tFuckAbout Pink. Then for some reason that wouldn’t be allowed. So I’d call it BiteMe Pink. Then I’d get a job someplace else cos I can’t tolerate that level of being told what I can’t say, or what I can’t call colours.
But I digress….
Thing is, I didn’t know what this page would draw out of me. All I knew was it was going to be powerful, virtue of is starting out as these three modest shouts of BiteMe Pink.
Even under all this noise, they can still be heard.
And it was a cacophonous week.
The weekend in the middle (my weeks begin on a Thursday, remember? please keep up) consisted of more than my usual level of soul searching at a creativity workshop. Meeting with extraordinary minds and beautiful souls. Deeply spirit rattling. Still feeling the ripples now. And breathe….
This week concluded the first half of the year.
And this week concluded with a big fat full moon
And the hottest day of the year,
And a literal fullmoon meltdown.
It was monuMENTAL
As illustrated by the many layered frenetic scribbles.
Coalescing finally, as this….
“Be Real ~ Be Awake ~ Be Present ~ Be Now”