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.


MY ART JOURNAL - where input becomes output

page 14

                                                                        page 13


i have started a new journal, and i would like to share it here (and on flickr). it's very personal, but sharing makes it feel more important. it also feels like anyone who looks at it is somehow listening. :)
a big and annoying part of my OCD consists of repetitive negative thoughts. this process is aggravated by environmental input. the only control i have over input is obviously where i put myself. i have gotten into a pattern of sleeping during the morning, as night is more quiet and productive for me.

so how do i deal with what i take in? there is this constant flood of activity in my brain, uninvited and truly uninteresting, and pretty critical. this stream of negativity is exhausting in itself, so i try ways to dam it or change it's direction.  i spend a lot of time "researching" online. i open my facebook page in one tab, which has become a huge source of social networking for me (again, another post). in other tabs i have sometimes 4-6 different things i am looking into and learning about, mostly art related or interest-driven curiosity in weird topics. right now it's paranormal and urban exploration. i open these tabs and get carried-off on tangents by images and stories, blogs and flickr searches...and this gives me the slightest ability to direct my stream of consciousness toward things i actually like to think about. i love this escape.


                                                                             page 12

page 10 - feelin like a mandala....
 i also love movies. with extremely few exceptions, we watch netflix. i love having ultimate control over what we watch and when. we have become documentary junkies and have taken-in less popular yet amazing animated and independent films. for me, letting the shows "babysit" me is a form of medication. again, i am attempting to direct my thought patterns, only instead of me typing searches, i am letting myself float on something of interest that i have chosen. 
now i cannot watch TV without drawing or working on something. so i am creating in my journal while hopefully being carried by a wave of interesting input. i am not suggesting TV and internet can change anyone's life, i am sharing my thoughts on why i do what i do. certainly not excuses, as i am completely aware of the need for fresh air and exercise to balance. no need to turn that statement into any soapbox, there is no argument there.
 although internet and TV are not in themselves "art therapy", i use them to fuel my inspiration to create, and to give my mind a break as i draw or think about things i like to think about, things that don't drag me down.


page 9 - fire and eyes

i have come a long way in my art journal. i started out being indecisive and lacking confidence, now i can actually say i love my drawings and their process. drawing every day is necessary now -i want to draw from the minute i wake to the minute i lay down. i still have some motivation issues, but not for a lack of inspiration.
what inspires me these days?
  • collections of rocks and minerals on flickr
  • satellite maps of earth
  • patterns of flowers and trees
  • reptile, insect/bug and snake skin patterns and colors  

page 7 - 'shrooms and songs...

 page 6 (left) - decisions suck 
page 8 (above) - mistakes can stay in your journal- in this case, i started drawing something that came out too freudian (inspired by a friend's pet snake) so i blackened it and called it a secret. :P what's obvious here is that i was still uncomfortable letting it be...

pages 2, 3 and 4 -
space-waste, couldn't get motivated yet...i wasn't confident that anything i could draw was good enough to live on a permanent page in a journal.
so i tried to visually talk myself into it, then drew scribbles on a vintage medical page....
these pages and the inside cover took me longer to accomplish than most of my single pages later on!


inside cover
i began on the inside cover for 2 reasons: i hate to waste anything, and it made my scary, empty journal seem more "mine".
so, there is the evolution of an art journal. every person has a different process, unique needs, varied skills, and preferences as to type of journal style or medium. but what i know to be true is that no matter those differences, every person can benefit from keeping a journal. and the most important part is that you need no specific skill to keep an art journal. it is your place to unwind and not judged.


draw your dream out...

speaking of dreams, i had one the other night that is just one of the strangest ever for me...i'll share so you can get an idea of what my brain does with me.

i was in a large school, and my son was there in kindergarten. there had been wolf sightings around the area, so some very large burly guys with bloody aprons took care of the problem by killing off the wolf pack. they became a slight bloodthirsty, i guess, because in a large room next to my son's kindergarten class, there were high piles of dead animals, stretched long and laid on top of each other like a wall.

i was really angry, obviously, about all the dead animals and also because it was right next to the classroom, and kids could be so traumatized by all of it, so i went into the room to have at whoever was in charge. when i entered the room i saw that there were not only lots of wolves, but also monkeys, bears, baboons, and other wild animals, all killed by gunshot or head smashing. there was even a water buffalo---whose head moved as i spotted him. he lumbered onto his feet and ran out of the room and down the hall. all of the other "dead" animals remained still, but all of their eyes turned to the buffalo and watched him escape...and a baboon on one of the piles collected himself, gunshot in his head, and darted out of the room screeching- i could hear kids screaming all up and down the halls...

so. there it is. a slice of my dreamtime....not every night is that dramatic, but even with less crazy dreams, my head is still on overtime, and i wake exhausted. i have told this dream story 3 times now, and i think it's fading. i was close to drawing it when i thought it might not leave my head, but i'm giving it another day or 2 to wear out on its own. in the past, i have drawn very rough sketches of bad dreams and such, and they seriously disappear. not from my memory, but from the place in my head where they matter. art is good...absolutely necessary for me and so very good ;)