SACRED JOURNEYS by Julie Fredericksen
(*One lesson I learned - don't use so much Mod Podge!)
I am using this collage of mine - which happens to be the cover of a spiral bound journal/notebook, to tell you that I am no longer going to be afraid. Somewhere recently (in a blog, I think), I read this question: "What are you afraid of?" I am afraid to create, and I am afraid to share the results of my creativity.
But I have a burning need to create, and I have more than enough materials at hand to do so. I mean, I have all the paints, ribbons, markers, crayons, colored pencils, stamps, papers, embellishments, findings, magazine clippings, etc. that one woman could want. Mostly, they sit unused in boxes or in drawers.
I have read books on journaling, collage, book making and writing poetry. Now it's time to stop being afraid and get to work. I had a good start when I took my visual journaling class, but that ended in early April. Since then, I've hardly opened the door to Kristen's old room, which has become my office/work area.
Creating art is something that I WANT to do; something that I enjoy doing once I begin. But there's this inner critic, this subversive, nasty voice, that usually prevents me from even getting started. It censors me. It dampens my flame.
How did I get to be that way? I think I, like most people, think that if I can't draw, I can't create art. Also, one summer during my college years, my stepfather saw me pasting some magazine pictures into a scrapbook. He was very scornful about my "childish" activities. He was forever putting me down, killing my spirit and sucking my soul.
However, I have come to believe that playing with papers and scissors is good for your soul, no matter what age you are. I have put this quote into another collage of mine (sorry I don't know the source): "I've talked to a lot of women my age, and they say it all goes back to cutting out paper dolls. When women are together and they cut out or color in, I notice an almost-going-back to childhood feel in the atmosphere of the room, and it's an escape. That's what's magical and delightful - it's almost a return to something in your childhood."
I vow, from now on I am not going to be so fearful any more. And I am also going to push the envelope beyond what I have already done. All of my "art" so far is pretty. I can't seem to help it. I want it to be less pretty, less structured, more spontaneous. I want it to have texture and depth. It is too glossy, too planted in reality. I need to push my boundaries further and further.
I need to grow and stretch. I need to "think outside the box." I need to go beyond the cliches and be truly creative.
I think that the more I explore with my toys, the more free my expressions will become. I need to break out of the conventional traps that I find myself in, and find my real self.
I am 58 years old, and if I am going to do it, I have to do it now. There will be a lot of trial and error, a real learning curve.*
To that end, look for my announcement of a new blog coming soon.