Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The River of Tears Artist's Journal Volume I

Almost exactly 8 years ago I was going through a very icky divorce. (The worst type). After the initial shock, disbelief and anger I started to keep a journal. (I think it was initially an idea given to me by my counsellor, who I started seeing because I was afraid of the degree of anger and overwhelment I was feeling.) It was never intended to be read by anyone else and was more a way of me venting my feelings than as an actual record of what was happening.

The River of Tears

I used a blank artist’s visual journal/sketchbook and wrote with the bright gaudy colours of kids textas/markers. At that time it was little things like colour that I used to cheer myself up. Being an Interior Designer, colour was always my thing; but I found I needed colour and started wearing bright colours too. The journalled words are of pain and anger; but also of small and wonderful happenings. The entries would often begin almost frantic or desperate and end more calmly and more accepting of what was happening. I used it as a way of changing my thought process from unworthiness and despair to a more positive pattern of empowerment and freedom.

All up I have 2 volumes and another that I started to fill with the poetry (of sorts) that just kind of fell out of me at that time.

So, here I am 8 years later, blissfully married (5 years last Saturday!) and living a lot of my dreams. I still have some issues and baggage but I guess that is normal and natural. Occasionally it bubbles up to the surface but mostly I am happy and more positive than I’ve ever been before. I’ve stopped running- I don’t need to run to mask the pain any more!

Pieces of Gold in the River of Tears

I've recently met a small group of artists and am privileged to be meeting with them once a month at our various homes. We chat, coffee, show and tell, lunch, tell some more, share books and WIP's etc. They are a lovely group and I've learnt so much already!

I always thought I would burn my journals one day- A little ceremonial burning and cleansing session with or without my hubby. I also have a lot of paperwork from those first few years on my own that I haven’t looked at since. My friends have suggested getting the poetry published – I don’t know that it’s good enough. They’d make pretty potent greeting cards but I’ll just hang on to them for now.

Inspiration hit me like a sledgehammer at our last little artist’s get together. A couple of them have been making artists books of various types. One of these artists, Babs showed us an artist's journal/book WIP and it so touched me. I knew then that I could do something with these journals of mine and that they would become the framework for my artist’s journal! I was so excited and couldn’t wait to start!

I have been doing a little something on this nearly every day, and am enjoying it sooooo much. It really is like Art Therapy. I’m sort of reliving some of the emotions as I read and cover and smudge and add colour and layers and layers and layers. I’m leaving some words visible and adding others and covering up a lot of the pain. It feels sooo good. Another round of good has come of these rantings!

There is no pressure; they are just for me. It is coming to me intuitively and I am loving the freedom and looseness of it. I am frustrated at only being able to do a double page spread at once and have had pages stuck together as I attempt to work on more!!! It is such fantastic fun!! I’m collaging with teabags, tissue paper, leaves, onion skin, feathers and anything I have at hand. There is no great pre planning or arrangement. The pages are just happening! The best sort of art! Spontaneous, intuitive and fulfilling!


Lenna Andrews said...

oh sandi, i so admire you. what a brilliant, healing thing to do. you were so right to grab that idea and run with it. i am very happy for you. being divorced and remarried myself -i understand a bit. keep working on this - it's genius! lenna

Puddleduck said...

Oh Lenna,
What a lovely and inspiring thing to say! Yes, I think you've hit the nail on the head when you say healing. I haven't used that word myself yet but that is definitely what is happening! You'd think after 8 years and being happily remarried that the pain would be gone; after all it's all over and done with... BUT... it's still in there somewhere. I'm still working on the pages and now have inspiration to start a new current journal -Thanks to the '1000 Journal Pages book too'! ;) (Looking ahead not behind) Thanks for popping in!!


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