Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hmmm. Not Normal.

Melly here. Here is my (odd) take on opposites.

Years ago I journaled using words only, I wrote my feelings, my thoughts, my struggles, accomplishments, poetry, the whole deal. Then I got tired. I was complaining and had gone negative. I had a friend over to visit and I am sure she read my journals when I wasn't looking. I was mortified.
So I stopped journaling verbally. And when I say stopped, I mean it. No words whatsoever.


Last year, I began to question this and to seek a happy medium. I began writing with stencils and stamps within the pages of my visual journals-BUT I painted over and obscured the words... So then Diana Trout and I did a challenge with each other. She challenged me to be MESSY and to use WORDS


Since then, I have been discussing this hesitation with my Journal Study Group, yes, I have a Journal Study Group!

I have been inspired by Gwen Diehn to make this Butter Box Book, she visits our Study Group now and again, she is a journaling book author, check her out! Anyway, I was able to see her version of the Butter Box Book in action. She wrote,  illustrated and processed her world through her book.

So. I am embracing opposites, I am working in ways that are uncomfortable for me. I am using words without covering them up. I am talking about moments in my day and (gasp) writing out my emotions too.

I can handle it.

12 comments:

  1. Your post struck several chords with me. I had a friend read my journal too. All my stupid secret fantasies laid out for someone to digest. Still makes me cringe over thirty years later!
    Also, I love love love Gwen. I think I have all her books and I just delve into them when I need some beauty in my day. I would give anything to see one of her journals in real life - NOT to read though! One can dream ...

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  2. Sometimes I cringe when I go back and read my own journals so I would be mortified if someone else read them. I actually like your idea of dumping what I need to in the book and then going back in and painting over it. It beats tearing out pages or throwing out the whole journal.

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  3. That it pretty bad manners to read someone's journal uninvited. I'd close up like a clam if that happened to me! Good for you for beginning to journal again! And especially forging ahead into uncomfortable territory. For me, that is part of a sketchbook's essence: it is a playground for stretching your limits, stretching your abilities, your comfort zone, with nobody looking over your shoulder unless you invite them to.

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  4. It is a fairly bare-naked feeling when someone reads your journals - even the ones made for public consumption. I too, love Gwen's work and the butter box book might be what I am looking for...I only have 6 journals going LOL...I need one for a pocket though. Thanks for the link and the idea.

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  5. I agree with Jane - how rude to look inside someone's journal without being invited. Bravo to you for being able to move past it and finding a way to make it work for you that you're comfortable with.

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  6. I'd be tempted to lose a friend who would be so invasive as to read my journal. That is such an untrustworthy thing to do. And if you cant trust someone,,,,why have them as a friend? Just my two cents...

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  7. I did dump that 'friend'. It is nice to be in a place where I know that when I write the bad along with the good, it will be OK.

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  8. How lucky to have Gwen in your groups - love her books. I finally got around to posting a couple of photos from this month's challenge on my blog and on Flickr.

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  9. I am such a word lover. Words words words. They are the most complex and fascinating thing to me. When I use them in art, they tend to be more random. I'm a big radio junkie and so I often just start writing out sentences that someone is saying on the radio...jumping from one to the next. Or I might simply put on paper the odd, fleeting scripts running in my head. I think words are beautiful...no matter how personal. It's all good! They will be interpreted by the person viewing the art and start a whole new process of meaning.

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  10. I have journals from 20 years ago that I am embarrassed to re-read let alone have anyone else do it!! Yikes!! I am recycling them into origami birds that I will be hanging outside for the elements to enjoy. Some are also headed for visual journal pages. The stretch for me is to ditch the written journal and translate it to visual work. And maybe I'll also go for some paper mache...

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  11. Wonderful post, Melly. Gwen Diehn is such a hugh inspiration to me as well. Butter box book? Love the alliteration. You are a a wonder, girl.

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  12. I've had that awful experience of having my journal read too. For a long while after that, I would not write anything personal. Recently I've been going through a tough time, and I started writing my thoughts again and working them into some very private art journal pages...and not covering them up. It makes me feel exposed even though I'm not showing them to anyone! It's also turned out to be some of my best work, which is hard because I can't show it to anyone, but I'm learning a lot that I can use elsewhere.

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