25 February 2009

Art Journals & Poetry

For some reason I woke up at 5am today and actually got up and painted two pages in my art journal, and then started blogging!

(photo from debbiehodge website)

I'm taking an online archived Art Journaling 101 4-week course through this site: http://debbiehodge.squarespace.com/

It's great so far. I've always wanted to do this but for some reason was intimidated even though I have used journals for years and experimented with acrylics, watercolors and pastels. You watch a weekly instructional video (the instructor, Dina, made a connection for me as I watched her use these materials and her friendly demeanor, I just believed this was something I could do too, and I am!). There are also PDF files for each lesson which include the art instruction and a journal lesson.

I've learned how to make textured backgrounds using gesso and then painting w/acrylics using a a couple of fun techniques. Next I get to add collage elements and images. Later we add some writing. I'll take some photos to post soon.

Last night we went to the Booksmith on Haight St. for Kim Addonizio's book appearance. Her new book is called "Ordinary Genius, A Guide for the Poet within". She and her book are inspiring (which I bought of course). My writing focus this year is journaling (& blogging) and poetry because I love them both.

One last note. I came across the great Mary Oliver poem "The Journey" a couple of times recently so I'm paying attention. Here it is for your enjoyment too.

The Journey by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice-
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do-
determined to save
the only life that you could save.

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