Thank you for all your wonderful comments and emails. I've been overwhelmed by your messages of support and warmth -- I plan on responding to each an every one. It may take me a little bit, but keep your eyes peeled!
When I decided to post more personal thoughts and stories in addition to my pages and tutorials and such, I was worried; didn't people come here to help them on their art journaling quests? That was why I began blogging in the first place -- to fill that gap I perceived when I began art journaing. Tutorials. Pages. Visual inspiration. It's the reason I began Page by Page. But within the last few weeks, I've felt different. As if I'm expanding. Changing. Shifting.
One thing I've found written over and over in my journal is I want to write more. Not in general -- more short stories, more creative non-fiction, even just more prose on my blog. I want to captue all those little moments I mean to write down, but never get to. Part of this may be the ease at which I find my pages unfolding in my journal -- a small quest to expand myself through limitations has blossomed into a book I love simply paging through, opening, running my hands over the pages. So many have turned into paintings or stories in my mind, longer projects for another day. While others are simply filled with text, words, myself on the page. I'm bridging that gap between the writer before I discovered art and the me of now.
I've read in books how "taking the dive" brings such a plethora of inspiration. Listening to those creative yearnings, those whispers, letting them free -- it all allows this rush of imagination. I was afraid, when I decided to dive into art full-time, that I'd run out of things to do, to say, but now --
It is so hard to put these new feelings into words. They feel larger than that, bigger. Deeper. A mass of contridictions. Perhaps a list?
+ I have begun doing a painting a day. This isn't out of a push to do so, but natural movement and, well, a cold-turkey quitting of watching a lot of TV a day (remember, it was my major in college, so this is hard!). While they started as "planned" pieces, I've taken your advice and begun just being me on the canvas. I've recently discovered the art of Miz Kelly, who lets loose on the canvas and creates with the abandon I strive for.
+ I love making my collage pendants. Despite not selling any, I still buy the silver shapes for them and create with glee. They're my own jewelry and pretty and if people want them, then they can. But for once, I'm creating for ME -- not to post, to teach, to sell -- just to make.
+ While "writing" a blog entry in my head the other night before bed, I came up with the wild idea of a short book I want to collage, write, and illustrate. It's a message we all need to hear, and the whole idea became clear to me.
+ Brayers are awesome. ;) Even the hand-made cheap ones, like mine. (I'll post a tutorial soon)
There's a quote on my journal page sitting open under my laptop, and when I put it down, it meant one thing. Now, it means another.
"Our handicaps exist only in our minds." - FDR
That is, I believed it referred to my physical ones: I can't sit at my desk for longer than a two hours, and that leaves me in a bit of pain. I saw this as a limitation. Then I realized my paintings are going to be different because I use watercolor crayons and charcoal -- shading meticulously with paint isn't for me, so I'm not going to do it!!
Now, I also see it as the handicap of fears. Of our minds working against us. These limitations only exist in our minds!
In addition to my above-mentioned projects, I did something completely spontaneous and unexplained:
I signed up for a wire jewelry class at the local bead shop. I can't believe I did that! Beading seems so above me, something I could never do, and something I only have a passing interest in. But I want to make pretty necklaces for my pendants. It's in two weeks and I'm giddy with excitement. I want to start NOW!
I want you ALL to believe in yourselves. Stop over-thinking things. Let it flow. Do what makes you comfortable and happy, not what you feel you "should" be doing. As an example, you can look at my artwork from when I started till now, over on flickr. The progression's amazing to me; I went from using the cutesy vintage images everyone loves to finding my own style. Experiment! Be! Live!
I have a painting tutorial for you all I'll be posting tomorrow. And the brayer one. I want to post more! Write more! Give more to you all!
But I need your help, too! Who should I interview for the next issue of Page by Page? And do YOU have anything you'd like to write for our fine publication? Don't be shy! You can write. What you have to say has worth. We all need to learn from you. Won't you teach us?
I leave you with two of my daily pieces. I'm off to journal more while watching the football game. GO BEARS!