Wednesday, September 19, 2007


SACRED JOURNEYS by Julie Fredericksen
(*One lesson I learned - don't use so much Mod Podge!)
I promise you I am not going to barrage you with a whole bunch of my collages - not in this blog, at least.

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.


Anonymous said...

You say your stepfather called what you were doing as childish. I remember as a child with my first camera I loved taking pics of plants, trees, flowers. My mother told me I was wasting money taking pics of anything but people. How harsh can people be even when they don't intend to? I love a digital camera because I finally do not feel as if I am wasting money taking my nonsense pictures. I happily snap away at anything I wish. If only 1 in 100 picture is a good picture then so what. Banna has made some great pictures of trash, wood, and rocks. Wonder what your stepfather and my mother would have said to her if they had seen her aiming that camera at the box of trash waiting to be carted off. I looked at her pictures and told her how great they were. So keep being "childish". I think it is great when we a childish. Love Hugs and Blessings

nonizamboni said...

Sooo, do you think you and I were twins separated at birth?!! You took the words right out of my mouth. . .and so nicely put. I have just as much 'stuff' I've collected and also the fear--I do believe it is born of criticism. So, see how brave we are?!!
Your work is such an encouragement to me. Thanks, Julie.

Carole Burant said...

People like your step father just don't realize how a few cruel words can affect someone for the rest of their lives. I'm so happy that you're finally going to stop being afraid and CREATE!! Like you, I have drawers full of craft supplies but hardly ever take them out because I feel I can't make the kind of art that so many other people do...but after reading this post, maybe I should also stop being afraid:-) xoxo

Unknown said...

Let's face it... You can even run with scissors if you want to...

I have come to a place where regardless of whether man places a value on what I do or not, it's still worth something and worth doing! God didn't ask for man's opinion when He was making us and He didn't apologize for the finished product!

You go girl!

Hugs, KJ

Casey said...

When I started scrapbooking years ago I was afraid of making mistakes and of putting together a book that was just plain dumb. I learned, though, that anything I put in the books, even the goof-ups, are going to be great because it's my creation. So now when something doesn't turn out perfect, I leave it in anyway. I think that just makes the book more mine, if that makes sense.

And I love your blog. I'm glad I found it thru Autumn Zephyr's. I check in daily and really enjoy the art you include. Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you mean about being afraid that what you create will not be good enough. I, too have books and supplies galore and I do nothing with them. I have plenty of ideas but never follow through on them. I tell myself that it is because I really have no space to do anything and while this is very true it is just a convenient excuse. I lack motivation and I tell myself that anything I may try to do will not be good. I look at the work that others do and I don't believe I could ever do anything that would even come close to being that good.

There is a collage class being offered locally that I would love to sign up for but I feel that I don't know nearly enough to be any good at it so I will probably talk myself out of signing up. The last time I took any kind of artistic class was 16 years ago when I took a stencilling class. I loved it and wasn't half bad at it, either!

I think we are our harshest critics and we really need to lighten up and just have fun!

Miss Robyn said...

yay for you !!!!!! let your inner child have fun... I love this... don't be afraid to show your work...
ps - the Artists Way by Julia Cameron is a must for you... it is helping me tremendously

Miss Robyn said...

ps -pfffft to your step father - go blow bubbles, eat honey jumbles under the magick tree... read Enid Blytons "the Magic faraway tree" - hop, skip, jump..... who cares if it is 'childish' - it is actually called having fun and being joyful !!

smilnsigh said...


After 9/11, I adopted a new-for-me motto. "If not now, when?"

I'd begun unlocking my chains, in 2000. But 9/11 really did it for me.

It's amazing what one can do, without chains. ,-)


Anonymous said...

Good luck.

Kate Robertson said...

Jukie marie,

I resonated with what you said so much. I too was there with all the books, art supplies, I took local art classes but never managed to do anything afterwards. I had years of Somerset Studio saved, things I wanted to do. It really was silly not doing anything. I finally decided to become the artist I always thought I was and it has been great. Do I still struggle with the critic, of course but I can move beyond that. For me an online community of like minded souls has made all the difference.

Pea made a comment about not being able to make the art that others can. I will say that is true, you can only make art the way you can and that is perfect and the way it should be. Art is a process and we get more satisfied with what we do by continuing to do it.

Lets all go make art today.