Community meditation – art journal

commune

Page about what it means to be in community, to work together.  Do we need to live in the same area to be in communion? The communion of the disciples – they shared everything.  Is this a way for us to save money – to defeat the housing crisis, the sense of alienation and loneliness?  To help those who have nobody to help them (spouse has died, family is abusive).  We are made to be together – not to be separate islands.  The Tiny House movement would work well if people shared major resources – washer/dryer, lawn equipment.  This is how monasteries work – don’t waste energy on things you can share.  Have time/energy left to help others.

Base is from “Stampington and Company” magazine.  Someone else made it.  I found the stamps on some mail that was sent – either to work or my house.  I like how they look together – but also that penguins have to live and work together to survive.  I like how the red and blue make purple – a synergy – a greater than the sum of the parts.

Tim Holtz words, white gel pen (the brand I found out from someone else on an artist group page).  Fortune cookie message.

Pink meditation

pink meditation

Made 2/2/17   In response to the difficult feelings in the country and the world about the current President.  It is hard to believe what a circus it is.  Meditating on peace, and on what good that comes from brokenness.  It is a time of great change.  Rumi says that you can’t make bread without grinding up grain.  You can’t grow a crop without breaking up the soil first.  It feels that all the ugliness that has simmered underneath has finally risen to the top.  I feel that I’ve come to trust this upheaval as a sign that things are moving.  The stagnation is over – people are waking up.

I wrote the journaling in fluorescent pens so that I can read them, but they are not easily visible here.  Sometimes journaling is private, but the art is meaningful.  I’m trying to figure out how to share and yet be private at the same time.  Some people use hard-to -read lettering – but then I won’t be able to read it myself later.  Or do I need to read it again? Perhaps the art of writing it in the first place is enough.

Gesso, acrylic paint, magazine clippings, aluminum candy wrapper – showing the value in recycling and re-visioning.  Tim Holtz words. Gel pens. Glue stick.

 

What it’s like (art journal page)

what-its-like

A meditation on being estranged from my brother. I have only one sibling, and our parents are dead. I do not talk to him by choice because he is abusive. Even his apologies are abusive. He somehow is able to make it sound like it is my fault that he is abusive to me.  Then, after that, he starts doing the same abusive behavior all over again.  I have given him multiple chances.

I had not planned on working on this topic again – I’ve written about it a lot. But then I was cutting out some pictures and words from magazines for a project at work and came across the one at the top – about how awkward it is to have a sibling you don’t talk to. It isn’t normal or expected. I was initially upset about these words (I felt it in my gut) and thought it too personal to make an art journal page about. But then I realised that is exactly why I needed to do it.

Sometimes it takes a long time for wounds to heal. Sometimes it takes a lot of different ways to do it, too.  Sometimes it doesn’t ever heal, and that is OK too – to sit with the wound and let it be filled with something else, something better.  But first you have to see it, and clean it out all the way.

detail
what-its-like2

I have dashes under the “all of the fun, none of the” collage piece for “fill in the blank”. I’ve written a list of words – good and bad, about what it means to divorce your sibling. I’ve used washi tape to affix it to the back of the page. I use only one side of each page in this journal so that I can cut out and frame / sell / give away a page and so that the ink / watercolor / Sharpie doesn’t bleed through or smear and mess up the other page.

Words that are there  –

(things I’ve lost because I don’t have a sibling I can trust)

Friendship trust history promises future reliability cooperation resource dependability traditions insights help failsafe backup hope

(things I have lost because I’ve gotten rid of an abusive person in my life)

narcissism psychopath being used arrogance delusions subterfuge bullshit megalomania psychological abuse hidden harm manipulation gaslighting lies hypocrisy

———

The craziest thing is that a relative wrote me after a blog post I wrote once about how abusive my brother is.  The relative begged me to make peace with my brother because we were the last relatives that he had on this side.  As if it is my fault that the damage is there.  As if it is up to me to apologize and make amends.  That too is abuse – to expect the victim to “make things right”.

People say “But do you forgive him in your heart?” They are usually Christian.  They think there is some magic formula.  If I “forgive him in my heart” then I’m off the hook.  This is crazy-making.  Sure, I forgive him in the way that I understand a shark can’t help being a shark.  But that doesn’t mean I’m going to go back in the water and let that shark bite me again.

———-

Created around 1/2/17 – Strathmore art journal, magazine clippings (many from Cosmo), gesso, Distress ink, colored pencil

“In my mind” art journal page

“In my mind” completed 1/2/17.   Asian ephemera – printed calligraphy and map, “Hell money” pieces.  Gesso tinted with Distress ink.  “in my mind there are mountains”  – letters printed with “rusty hinge” Distress ink pad.  Stamped images – deer and Celtic. Gel pen. Includes art from Lilian deMello called “Ghost Dance” in bottom left corner.

in-my-mind

Detail –

in-my-mind2

When do lines mean words, and when do they mean places?  What if they are the same? Can words be maps? Can maps be words? Are wrinkles small mountains? Hide and reveal.

December 2016 art journal pages

While cleaning out my craft room I rediscovered my list of intentions for 2016.  I’d not done many of them – perhaps because I lost the intention list.  Can’t get anywhere without a map. Some I had done, and was glad.  Some I’d forgotten about, and have refocused my commitment.  One thing on it was to make an art journal page at least once a week.  I had some time off from work so I decided to catch up a bit.

 

“Fragile” – 12/12/16 – 12/15/16       Distress Ink, ephemera, gel pen

fragile

(detail of “Fragile”)

fragile2

“Doppelganger” – 12/15/16  Distress ink, ephemera, colored pencil, gel pen, water

doppleganger

(detail for “Doppelganger”)

doppleganger2

“To be a queen” – 12/16/16   Distress ink, stamps, gel pen, colored pencil

to-be-a-queen

(Detail – “To be a queen”)

to-be-a-queen2

“Paramecium” made around 12/22/16   copied images from 100 year old Biology textbook, Distress ink, broken glass glitter, gel pen, matte medium, Sharpie, white gel pen

paramecium

(detail, Paramecium)

paramecium2

“Shamash” – 12/28 and 29th, 2016   5th and 6th nights of Chanukah.  Distress ink, stamps, gel pen, Sharpie

shamash

(Detail, “Shamash”)

shamash2

 

Little Red Riding Hood

red-riding2

This is not a simple fairy tale. This is a story designed to control young girls. The moral – stay on the path, or else you will get hurt. This is victim blaming at the core. It teaches that it is Little Red Riding Hood’s fault that she and her grandmother got eaten by the wolf.

The wolf is every single male she ever encounters in her life. The “being eaten” is everything from getting a lesser job to getting raped or killed. This story teaches girls – and only girls – that if we don’t stay in our defined roles then we deserve everything bad that happens to us.

Notice she isn’t even named. Her “name” is what she wears – exterior only. She isn’t even real, just a placeholder. She isn’t a person, but a thing. People look at her outside only.

Notice that it is a strong male who saves her – the hunter comes by and hears the grandmother snoring and decides to investigate. Why is snoring loudly seen as a sign that something is wrong? Do women not snore? Are we expected to maintain control over ourselves at all times – even while unconscious?

Notice that the townspeople don’t send the hunters into the forest to clear it of dangerous animals. They don’t make it safe for her or others.

red-riding

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Art made on a Strathmore art journal – mixed media paper, using various pens and painted using Distress Ink. Words are photocopied from a book about Little Red Riding Hood and then dyed/stamped/inked.