I know it’s September second, but, come on, August was a crazy month. Teacher training, husband’s birthday, my birthday, the first couple weeks of school and the resulting plague (still coughing and sniffling), trying to keep the house tidy…when do I have time for art?
Well, I made time for art, and I’m pretty proud of myself! Usually, when things get hectic, my creative self is the first thing to get thrown by the wayside. But when I started this project, I was damn determined to do it right. I bought way too many art supplies (and, I’m afraid, re-ignited a long dormant addiction), and some new tools, as well. For my birthday, I bought a rotary tool (commonly called a dremel, but that’s a brand) and a wood burning kit. I’ve wanted them for a long time, and since I’m in an arty phase, I thought, “Go for it!” I have also been determined to clean up my art closet (also known as my husband’s secondary closet and receptacle for all kids of other stuff), containing and labeling stuff (an excuse to get a new label maker, YAY!). I’m doing pretty well so far.
My projects this month went beyond my four pages, finally starting on a vision board, and customizing my corner to act as inspiration for further creative endeavors. Maybe it’s just my new vitamin regimen, or maybe a mild wave of mania, but hey, I’m riding this one for as long as I can.
This month’s topics were: What are your wounds? What heals you? Mother. Your Choice.
I’m not sure all of my pages are finished, but that is the joy of art journaling. You don’t have to finish everything. Like in writing, it is always okay to go back and revise, or just to leave something undone. Not everything is a masterpiece, and that’s okay.
The first page I worked on was my wounds. They are not fully visible on the left side, but representations of people and things that have hurt me are layered beneath a red cage. I tend to suppress and intellectualize things, lock them away so I don’t have to feel them anymore. My hurt expresses itself as anger and frustration, and when I push that down, as depression. The right side of the page shows a woman stuck, her body has morphed into a tree. She holds a torch and a cup. The cup is running over with her tears, which form a lake surrounded by trees and covered in mist.
Over both of the pages, I pasted the lyrics to a haunting song by Chilean artist Violeta Parra. The song, “Gracias a la Vida” gives thanks to life for all that is beautiful, including sorrow. The lyrics seem joyful, but her voice is haunting, especially when you know that Parra committed suicide at the age of 46.
Watch the video of Parra’s rendition (and read the Spanish lyrics) here
I skipped over the second one for the moment and went to the page on Mother. I wanted to connect the cosmic mother: Gaia, Durga, Mary, Pachamama, the sacred Cow, the Green Hen, and many more… with my earthly mother.
My mother is my heart. She made me, and I am forever grateful. She has given me so many gifts, and the older I get, and the more I (inevitably) become like her, the more blessed I feel. She is funny. She is smart. She is creative. She is an adventurer. She is spiritual, and loving, and thoughtful, and a flawed human being sometimes, and she is humble. I could do a dozen more pages on her, and I might. She is a gift to me from the Universe (and she seems to feel the same way about me, so that’s good.)
Next, I decided to do my “other” page. I don’t think this one is finished, yet, because it might need some text. However, I was curious about making the string flowers I saw on the interwebs. I made some. I embellished. They weren’t perfect, but they’re pretty.
Last, what heals me. There are many things I could think of, but number one is, and will always be, the ocean.
As e.e. cummings wrote in his poem “Maggie and Milly and Molly and May”
“For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)/it’s always ourselves we find in the sea.”
Until next time, may you have a September filled with inspiration and exploration!