more journal pages

journal page 15
another micro-worldy vision...

 page 16
heavy on the blues for most of this post. i didn't like blue most of my life, but i find myself reaching for it all the time now, along with lavenders and aquas....

 page 13

 pages 14 and 12
i thought the patterns in 14 were like the curves of glaciers, so i went with an icy slice. ice and snow crystals are so perfect and beautiful....
and 12 was a challenge to not fill in the page. i think i may have even left the leaves white to tease myself....i can be so mean lol.


emotional void - depression at its best

emotionally flatlined. that's how my drugs make me feel. for the sake of clarification, i am taking effexor and geodon, with a side of ambien to sleep. all generic. i am now of "normal" affect, and reasonably sane. the racing, repetitive thoughts and bipolar mood swings are subdued. i don't know how to be "normal". i'm not unappreciative, but i really feel hollow and absent.

the most frustrating issue i have right now is that my creativity is also absent. i sit to draw and stare at my journal. it's almost tedious to make lines. this is what i count on and thrive on. it's all but gone. then i have these depression jags that are unbearable. i have had two in the last month. for about 3 days i weep uncontrollably and become suicidal. i can't eat or sleep. unless i take lots of ambien, then i can comatose myself for 18 hours....
reading this back to myself i can't help feeling guilty. obviously, anyone on the "outside" would say "hey, your biggest issue is that now you can function as a parent...as a wife! shut it and go live!"

i have no answer for that.
i imagine it's kind of like being completely paralyzed, and having to learn everything all over, from the beginning. who the hell am i? what am i supposed to do with all that space in my brain? a joyous time, right? a time when i can reinvent myself for the better! a time to celebrate and enjoy just having the chance to feel ok!
most people strive to be happy....and to become happier. i strive to protect myself. i know that all at once it will all shatter and a deeply stabbing depression will overtake me, making me immobile. and yes, i will get through it, hopefully, because i have kids who need me. but at some point, as it has been for 27 years, the meds will quit, and i will be back to my worst self- the one who cannot function and the one who has to start all over. going through a med transition is serious torture. physical illness, mind-wrenching thought processes and exhaustion tear me down for weeks, 2 months this last time....

that said, i know there are people, even in my own family, who doubt the instability of my illness. everyone wants to believe that i take medicine, i'm better, or i get off the meds, i'll be fine...my best friend- who lives across the world- says we americans see happiness as a right, and become bent if we aren't happy on any consistent level. i see that. and i feel like being on prozac or any other anti-depressant has become almost "cool" in some circles. perhaps it's a way to feel less alone, or maybe we just like the excuse. either way, i'm not on that road. i don't even think i have the ability to be happy anymore. in fact, i truly believe i will be just content to not feel hopeless and sad. if you are one of thousands who think that i talk myself into falling over and over again, i hope you never feel this reality. and the most positive attitude in the world cannot fend it off.

what it comes down to is that i take meds to not have severe anger and depression issues, and they do not work consistently. having been on 29 different medications, i know the routine. up to 2 months transition ... feel ok for 9-24 months at best ... crash ... transition....all the while protecting myself from the next hill and it's delicacy. i don't want pity, i just want understanding and perhaps support here and there. i want to share what i experience so others can better understand their loved ones or even help themselves through art. :)

drawing: journal page 11



i sold my first prints! thought i would chat briefly about the experience, it was stressful to say the least. i was physically not well for 2 days afterwards...perfectionism came out and frightened me, i thought i would completely misspell my name or drip a tear on one of them. had to quickly order some sleeves and post mailers, had to decide how to sign and make receipts, i want to do it personally and yet quickly....the price had been decided, but i mulled over that as well, especially when i couldn't find any print stores to do the archival prints. referred to one downtown, i had samples made up of the least expensive and the more expensive papers (only 2 types were acceptable to me), which took a few days...

the signature i decided needed to be in permanent, archival ink not pencil, because that's how i want it. i struggle with permanence with every detail, using permanent markers, etc, so i could not sign in pencil. then i added my thumbprint to the lot, scars, cracks and all, to highlight the print number.
all of this, i realize, sounds like i think i'm some very sought-after artist, and believe me, i do not have that in my head, but i tried to be professional, and make it how i would want to receive it. so, there it is. 
things kept going "wrong" according to me, and it was hours just to get them ready, and i was pleased after all.

 i guess in addition to the strain of not fecking up, i was feeling weird letting go of pages from my journal, which is stupid, because i post them here and on flickr for anyone to see....then write about them..but i still feel like the receiver will be all "what was i thinking?!" when they see the final product. it's actually quite nice to think someone wants to look at something i made for longer than just a scroll down a computer screen. ;)


pages 7,8,9


few more postcards

these are a few postcards i finished.
above are inspired by pinecones and spores....

yep, lotsa the same colors....
same patterns...
gets boring after a while.
so i am looking at some
embroidery sites and books
to find new lines and 
designs to use....


the end of journal #1

page 52
i might have to count this page as my very favorite. unlike most of the freeform layers i do, i had no issues with what to do each layer. it just flowed. i will be leaving this one B&W.

                                     pages 56, 57
my second heart page in this journal. this one, though, was not drawn during a heartbreak, but just purely out of adoration for the mighty muscle that makes us go. the mushroom is my second large fungus. the larger ones are fun to fill in.

my tree is decidedly the most scary page of this journal. i don't do well with eye contact, but eyes are the first thing i'm attracted to in a person. i read them like a book. maybe that's why i don't like them much~ too much information ;)
this will stay B&W as well, as it feels stronger this way.

 pages 58, 60
i decided i wanted to try something figural, thus the birdie. i had done a few on inchies, but never this big. will do more....

page 62

 page 59

                                                                                            page 61 and the inside cover
my jellyfish is another favorite of mine, and friends seem to like it too. i especially think this portrays my absolute color scheme, although the blue could be a slight more periwinkle for my taste. ♥


lettering and layers

 page 49
even mandalas are layered! :)

pages 47,46
the writing on the left is actually journaling, intentionally difficult to read, for my eyes only. still, using journaling in your artwork is a way to both detail a background and include the most personal part of yourself. the best part is you can be sloppy if, like me, you are extremely OCD about your handwriting....

pages 50, 48
these two pages are side-by-side so you can see my layering obsession. layering in organic lines as opposed to straight lines takes away the pressure of perfection. i do it more because i love the lines nature uses in almost all of it's creations. i would love to go on and on about things like fractals and chaos and other mathematical sequences that are universal, but as much as i love science, i know nothing about any of it, except that i have seen examples and admire the beauty of it all.


once in a while, i make a page that lands in my favorites file. that means i can't find enough mistakes in it to take away the calm it gives me. these are two of those.

page 43, 44


i just want to be alone. by myself. the only people who ask me to come around are my immediate family (well, besides my kids and husband). i can't stand the thought of all the layers of formalities when getting together with others. the surface excited-to-see-you top layer, accompanied by kisses and hugs...the next few layers of how long it's been (months, days, hours, minutes) since we last saw each other.....the awkward pauses in between how excrutiatingly busy everyone's life is but mine....

what does it do? i mean,  what does this meeting of individuals do for you? for me, it gives me stress. from the minute i realize there is a holiday or birthday on the way, to at least 24 hours afterwards, i am stressed. what do i talk about? how do i present myself as a happy, well-adjusted mom and wife? how do i stay interested in everything without input overload? every single time i have to put myself out there, give a good impression, make it look like i'm all ok, so all involved are satisfied, and then i can go.

other people have different approaches. some get extremely agitated and look like a wound top when they appear, others fake a huge smile and laugh and act all in control of a hugely chaotic life, others are obviously barely making it through the ordeal. i have grown to detest the fake layers. but i also don't want to talk about my problems or anyone else's. there is no "happy" medium. i don't feel any better after spending time with people. i feel worse. i don't feel a loving support system, i feel nothing but stress. i don't like taking up other peoples' time and space and caring energy, i just want to run.

but i have to consider my kids. yes, i know. i am an example for them. i am supposed to be sharing this family time and showing them how to have relationships and how to be sociable people. i can't. i don't know how. nor do i care to learn myself. my kids seem to have a grasp of others and how to interact. they both have a good intuition and sense about others. i want them to continue learning for themselves, my input is only confusing and depressing.

so you ask me, why would i ever even consider leaving my family, my kids, going away and letting them fend for themselves. stupid question. if you are in a toxic relationship, your goal should be to get out. i am responsible for putting the best examples forward for my kids to be guided by, and i'm not a good example. repair or remove the source of toxicity. seems so simple and effective, yet feelings come in and complicate everyfuckingthing. every day i wonder how i got this far....


process and focus

this is page 41. the only page i drew horizontally. it really bothers me that i chose this direction, having the binding on the bottom, but it worked out cool. :) layering, as i have previously pointed out, helps organize my thought process. it forces me to go one strip at a time, therefore i focus. it also looks all neat and tidy, making me calm. funny, my method of organization is to make piles all over my house. gives the fake illusion that i have it all together ;)
even the way i complete a drawing takes my concentration away from my encumbering thought racing. first i create the outlines of the entire drawing, then color in basic broad areas, then detail it to death. it's how most artists work, i assume, but i am breaking it down to show how each step is a way to hone your attention and take it away from other less appealing streams of mental discussion.

 below, page 42, is incomplete. i just didn't know what to showcase. decision-making is exhausting to me. if i can't come up with a concrete answer immediately, i usually give up. if i do, then i almost always go over and over it, pros and cons, is there something better...ugh. what a waste of life.


no relationships for me, thanks.

one of my recent relationships gone down under the weight of my OCD (page 37). i have severe trust issues, but still jump in when i find someone interesting. a new friendship is always refreshing: sharing and disclosing...then it hits. my overwhelming need to know it's permanent and that i can keep trusting. the need to know i'm really wanted. vulnerability pulls me into obsessive cycles of dependence and frustration, and the poor person runs. it's completely my fault, as i see it happening and despite attempts to control it and even stop it, it takes over my brain and ruins everything good in my life. i fucking hate it.

pages 38 and 39

page 40
challenge to stay open-ended. LOL.

spliced lily & the need to repeat (pages 31-36)

page 31 - not a fan of lilies or any flowers this shape, but as it appears to be a cross-section, i'm good. plus the coloration is very much to my liking (deep purply-blue makes me so mellow). and i think the background detail came out exactly as i would have planned it to. :)

...then the repetition comes back to me....(page 35)
extreme need for mental order on these days....

page 32 left, 34 right
i haven't felt a compulsion to color these as i do the rest.

    and page 36...serenity


psychadelia & a little chaos

this page (22, above) is one of my favorites from my black journal. i really love 70's design and this is a tribute to the freedom of psychadelia...it made me happy the whole time i drew it, but i was also more nervous about screwing it up the whole time too. would have also liked more 70's coloration, which would have meant pencil, but i still enjoy the outcome. 

 pages 23, 24 and 25

page 25, is more of an attempt to order chaos, in that it has several ideas and layers that come together as a small world. the strangeness factor is more me than other pages, having the pieces all there in front of me at once with minimal rhyme and reason and no priority.


on to journal # 2

These are the first pages of my new journal! 
i'll be referring to it as the tan suede journal because of the faux cover :)   this empty book was begun a lot more easily than the first because i'm rolling on the confidence i collected finishing that one to the last page.
(page 1 & 2 above, 4 & 3 below)

for the first time in a very long time i went to michaels with an exact list: one new journal. and it had a purpose - not just to fill my need to get something at a good price so i could keep it in case i let myself use it in the future...but to be the second volume of my -eh, i'll say it -my subconscious. not one of my pictures has a plan. each comes to life line by line as i draw it in pen, no drafts. funny thing- because i have a severely difficult time making decisions of any kind from day to day  (even choosing which of my old, ratty t-shirts will clothe me). so for me to sit and have no idea what will become of the blank page in front of me is one of the only challenges i can face every day. i may think "mandala", but i have no idea past that.

i did a page similar to this one (page 5) - a cross-section of landscape, in my black spiral journal ( here it is ). it has been more popular than others and i so loved doing it i tried again, so this would be an exception to my "no plan" process. i love the subject matter - nature, trees, dirt, rocks and soil so much i could do this page over and over. i can't say that about any of my other pages before i start them. i can shoot for a general "biological specimen" subject, but that's about it. otherwise i'd have to deal with a commitment - forget that!

page 6

so besides knowing i want - in fact NEED to draw, the process of me sitting in front of a blank page has gotten less scary. i have finally come to the point that i only have the goal to draw, which makes me relax and in a small way block out the crap in my head the only way i can...by drawing detailed and repetitive patterns.