A journal can be a creative playpen, a dreamcatcher or a dumpster. At the very least, journaling is a memory aid – our faulty memories are to blame for most of our lives’ misperceptions and mistakes, and a good journal is a place to check the record.
And it’s a place to talk to ourselves.
A popular quote says we are the sum of the people we know and the books we read. Shouldn’t some of the books we read be our own? Shouldn’t some of the people we know be ourselves at our most contemplative?
I use my journals to record my brightest ideas and my darkest moments . . . my favorite conversations and my private rants. What fun it is to reread these months and years later.
The best Christmas gift my mother ever gave me was a set of colored pencils and a blank journal. I was 45. Like going from black and white to color TV, it was a sensory upgrade of the most dazzling kind. I wonder what I ever did before with merely a black pen and pencils.
One of my favorite artist/writers, Austin Kleon, posted this about how Stevie Nicks journals.
In about 9 months, the headcount in my house will change. The energy will be different. The grocery bill will change. Things will never be the same.
My youngest daughter is a senior in high school, and when she flies off for college in August, it will be up to me to remake the nest.
And I thought the 9 months at the front end were difficult.
Medium: Acrylic, mixed media on canvas
Size: 24” X 36”
I’m excited about sharing a show with fellow mixed-media artist, M.J. Rigby, at the Leopold Gallery November 8. As I look at our work side by side, I am once again dazzled by the creative process. Where is the stARTing point for works that have so many ingredients? So many steps and layers? So many forms and ideas?
For me, most images start with some delightful shred of trash: a hunk of lace, a scrap of an old newspaper or a well-worn book page. Houses have been a theme of mine for some time, so if I don’t have another idea, I start as all houses do, with a single foundation on a rough-hewn horizon.
Sometimes, I finish with a story. Here is the one this canvas told me:
“Monsieuer Monceau lived in the house his grandfather left him, and his neighbors envied his unceasing good fortune. He could not help it that the sun greeted him first and the leaves never landed in his yard. He figured it was the karma of a life well-lived.”
I hope you can join me at the Leopold, 6 – 8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 8, to ask M.J. Rigby how he gets stARTed.
“. . .the arts industry can feel very foreign to the business community. But as companies seek new ways to build their competitive advantage, they are increasingly finding that the arts are the key to driving true innovation, ultimately reaching their business goals.” In this week’s column for the Huffington Post, Robert Lynch, President & CEO of Americans for the Arts, lists the five key CEO challenges and how the arts respond to them. The Private Sector’s Secret Weapon.
One of the first wrinkles in my self promotion adventure was staring at me in the mirror this morning. Maybe a second or third wrinkle, too. (Given my aging eyesight, I can’t be sure.) Either way, the 50-something face staring back at me may not be the best face forward for promoting a book that I want young women to find hip.
I feel hip. I feel sharp and young and in the game. I feel like I can hang in social media circles with the vulgar college girls and the snarky new moms. I can write in an ageless voice. I think I just need to quit looking in the mirror before I put on makeup.
Sadly, how we create is often defined by how we see ourselves. Science shows that the mere suggestion to a person that they are old or sick or tired will instantly stunt their problem solving and work product.
So I’m working on a profile picture overhaul. And it’s the most fun I’ve had all week!
I’ve sketched me, clipped vintage photos I wish looked like me, and painted some really bad self portraits. So far, everything represents me better than the head shot on my LinkedIn profile.
The best part about playing creatively with my profile is that I can try on looks that might not work for my entire patchwork life. For instance, since I have some conservative business responsibilities, like serving on the board of an insurance company, I can’t really dye my hair blue. But in one self portrait, I’m a blue-haired lady.
That’s hip now, right?