visual journal

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Sept 4 prompt

[click if you want to read it]

The journal prompt was “Who in your life talks too much?”

My answer – me.  ARRRGH!

Do you think my journal pages are improving?

My tonsils are spotty and I am having a bad fibro flare up – I think I’ll be having another bed day today.

me sept 5

[click through only if you’re brave]

For some reason unknown to me at this stage, I am going to take a photo of myself every day for a year, starting today.

So this is what I would look like RIGHT NOW if you could see through your screen all the way to me.

Scary, huh?

I have had sleep problems again – two nights with about 3 hours sleep each, then could not MOVE today.  Symptoms of a flare up of the fibromyalgia (I now know that a full hour of Pilates class on Tuesday night was overdoing  it. DAMN!)

I have made no art for 2 days.

Also, on Thursday I went to the first Sewing Guild meeting for The Darling Gowns group.  Sue did a wonderful job getting this organised and leading the discussion about what we members wanted to do as a group.  But as usual, I talked too damn much (arrrgh!) and talked OVER people… it’s one of the worst things I do and it makes me cringe when I realise that I’ve done it.  *shudder*

And it was just exhausting – being with people is great, but draining.

And then for some STUPID reason, channel 10 decided to run the finale of So You Think You Can Dance (USA) starting at nearly 11pm!! And you know I loves e some dance, I was determined to watch but sheesh! I was thrilled when Jeanine won ( even though I was dying to know, I didn’t let myself be spoilerised on the outcome!)

Here’s a journal page for ya:

Sept 3 prompt

[click if you wanna read it]

And that’s it from me today, folks. One cuppa nice hot milk and bed for me!

Oh, and PS – we had a storm last night and actually recorded 25mm of rain at the airport – which tends to be dryer than where we live, but anyhow – that’s the most rain we’ve had since… ummmmm…. well since I can’t remember when! (yes, I know, given my poor memory that doesn’t mean much, but the dams are seriously low still and I think the Level 5 water restrictions are pretty much permanent.)

and I didn’t know it!

But today I was in another scrapbooking store (souffle pens!) while Hill$ong crappy charismatic creepiness blasted from the store stereo.  That was ok, I could block it out by humming my favourite Lily Allen track (“Fuck you.. fuck you very very muu-uu-uuu-uch…”).

But what intrigued and frightened me was the group of women sitting around a table all with identical pieces of various papers while the teacher drill sergeant said things like “And now we are going to take our 8 cm square of green paper and stick it exactly one inch from the bottom left corner” and the women responding with worried tones: “Have I got this right? Is this ok?”

I would have told her exactly where she could stick her square of paper, I would.  This class was obviously for beginners, ok, but it was doing NOTHING towards raising these women’s confidence or belief in their own right to make decisions!  ARRRRGH!

Please note – I’m not (totally) anti-scrapbooking.  I love the toys in those shops, love the huge variety of coloured papers and printed papers and rub ons and stamps, and the PENS, OMG the pens, I loves me a good pen, who doesn’t? I am THRILLED that scrapbooking stores are around not least because there are such limited options for buying other art supplies locally.

But – WHERE’S THE CREATIVITY? WHERE’S the EMPOWERMENT that making something YOUR OWN brings?

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In the last few posts I have shown you my visual journal – and you can see that I have been learning from other people’s styles.  I am so excited at the prospect of learning more, of getting the INPUT I crave.  But I don’t ever want to just make something exactly the same as anyone else (let alone as the other 6 women at the table  (“Now post your cropped photo of your schoolchild 5 inches from the right of the page…”)

Look, I know you’ve seen (heard?!) this rant before, and I’m sorry, you’ll probably hear it again… but if we are not here to be INDIVIDUALS and find meaning in our own lives – then why are we here at all?

(To see where the thoughtless copying mindset leads, have a squiz at “you thought we wouldn’t notice”, a blog highlighting laziness amongst “creatives” … and see also this post from the (hugely talented and inspiring) Marsha at Tumblefish Studio. )

nike 800

[bigger image if you click]

I had just cut the word  “clone” out of an old (2003 – can I hoard or WHAT?!) magazine, and as a result of my (ahem!) Studio Practice, A Serendipitous Event Occurred. (Or in non art-wank terms – I work messy, and stuff falls on other stuff.) When it landed on the stamped image it just had to stay – I mean, a stamp is a CLONE, yes? Even when it’s a very cool stamp.

And then while I was thinking about stamps, I noticed that a damaged old stamp would fit really well on this page. (A stamp for a stamp, geddit? Oh, the subtlety!!)

Did I mention that I wandered into a local scrapbooking shop yesterday? Well, not quite wandered, since I had to stop the car and park, but it was a spontaneous decision. The first 10 minutes or so were overwhelming  – so many shiny pretty things! But then once I’d got over my initial shock, it made me very sad.

Because there was all this “pre-made” stuff.  This “copy this exactly and you’ll have ART” stuff.  Now, before any keen scrappers jump down my throat, I’m sure there are LOTS of people who buy “scrapbooking” marketed stuff and make original art with it.  I’ve bought scrapbooking papers to use too (mostly plain ones, I have to admit – the colour ranges are so HUGE!) BUT – that’s not what I’m talking ranting about here.

It’s like the quilters who want to make a quilt out of a magazine or pattern using EXACTLY THE SAME FABRICS in exactly the same positions as the picture.

I JUST DON’T GET IT! I mean, yes, I know all about lack of confidence in one’s own artistic judgement.  I know all about feeling like I shouldn’t be using The Good Stuff when it’s “just” something I’m making. I have art heroes, people I am HUGELY inspired by, whose style I might even try to imitate…

BUT…

why use someone else’s art?  I just don’t get that.

It may be weird but at least it’s mine….

… if you’ll show me yours.

Here is my current workspace (sometimes known as the kitchen table) mid art journal page the other day:

workspace

[clicky for biggy, you really want to see some of this!]

I cannot create in a sterile space.  I also find it very difficult to leave white space in my art. (An art teacher commented on this negatively – to which I replied “And which part of BIPOLAR DISORDER are you not understanding?”)

And there must be tea. Lots of tea.

So -how about you? Do you DARE show your workspace in full fling? And do you crave chaotic clutter to create, or seek serenity in your space?  I personally subscribe to at least three of the Guiding Principles of the Institute of Backyard Studies:

  • A big mess in the shed or the backyard is only a problem for those without a clue.guiding-principles.pngguiding-principles.png
  • Reticence, mumbling and disorganisation are the signs of a deep and enquiring mind.
  • Good ideas are precious beyond rubies but if not shared freely are as useless as tits on a bull.

My art spaces and sewing piles are my “shed” .  If you haven’t heard of the Institute before, do go and visit – make sure you check out the youtube of Hoke’s Random Excuse Generator working, it is a Thing Of Beauty.

And in further backyard news… we went and looked at chooks today!!  Hoping to have the run built and the snake (and fox) proof wire costed within this fortnight…

lemon butter

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Yes, I know too much is BAD FOR YOU (heck, isn’t that what “too MUCH” means?!?!) but there is  NOTHING to compare to home made lemon butter on toast.  Mmmmmmmm.  I used Nigella’s Lemon Curd recipe from How to Eat.  (I don’t know why the names – butter or curd – are interchangeable, but apparently they are.)

This was a recipe that would be utterly UTTERLY perfect if I already had two of my dream things for the house: chooks (for the 4 whole eggs plus 4 yolks) and a lemon tree (for the 4 lemons).  Slowly, slowly, we’ll work towards getting things set up the way we would like.

I have very fond memories of my Mum making lemon butter – I think we must have had a lot of lemons available!   I also remember that Lemon Butter was a good thing to buy at church fetes and street stalls… possibly because it came from people who had chooks +lemon trees.

Oh, and after the first spoonful of the luscious home made version, the remainder of the FOUL store bought version (all citric acid and cornflour, possibly with artifical lemon essence… ewww!) was binned.  We kept the jar (of course!) to use for the next batch…

At least I’ll have an adequate vitamin C intake this week, eh?  The flu symptoms are FINALLY abating (fingers crossed!) – as in, I only wake up coughing a couple of times a night now, and the aches are approaching normal range (underlying fibromyalgia has NOT helped with recovery!).  I was somewhat heartened when watching the V8 supercars racing yesterday to hear a comment that one of the drivers – and bear in mind that these guys are endurance athletes, wrestling their cars around for hours at a time in temperatures often over 40 degrees – anyhow, one of these super-fit guys was still recovering from the flu that had laid him low at the last race meeting a month ago.  And I am NOT an athlete!  Another week off from the gym, though, then I get to start back gently gently…

Oh – and it amused me that the stove was so far out of scale with the lemon person.  Tee hee! I am being Very Good and actually USING my “good” art supplies – there are still a lot of colours in my tin of 30 Caran D’ache Neocolor II watercolour crayons that are untouched, but at least I have used SOME now!