I have been working through Effy Wild’s May FB Wilderhood challenge which includes creating my own personal symbol dictionary, but also exploring what symbols mean to me personally. As part of that process, I signed up for Tangie Baxter’s Symbology Project Workshops and have been doing one page a day. I’ve always wanted to learn more about symbology, but always felt too stupid to “get” it and had a lot of trouble trying to keep what all those symbols were supposed to mean in my head.
So, I’m really loving exploring my own personal meaning through the course instead of researching what something means through researching it in someone else’s book or on the internet. I’ve found that these symbols hold very deep personal meaning to me, which I had not been aware of before, and it makes me feel like I “get” it now on a personal level. It feels good to know there is no need right now to research what others think about a symbol in order to get it “right.” The process has added an entirely new layer to my life and my work.
Below is my take on the symbol dictionary Effy created in her class. I LOVE how it turned out. It has my favorite colors and textures and includes a lot of the symbols that show up in my creative work again and again. I’m planning on adding it to the front of my Moonshine art journal soon, but I love looking at it every day on my art desk. For the amazing texture on the folders, I used two of my favorite Sarah Trumpp stencils along with acrylic paint. The folders are made out of torn sheets of watercolor that are stitched together. The cards are made out of watercolor paper that I painted with acrylic on one side and watercolor on the other, and then cut out with decorative scissors. Then I used stamps or hand drew the symbols that show up most often in my work. The total size of the dictionary is 8″ x 8″.
I took a few days off from my book recommendations and from writing my novel so that I could make some art that was swirling around in my head and needed to come out.
Now that I’ve fed the starving artist part of myself, I am back to writing my novel, and I am back with another book recommendation: The Sun and Her Flowers by rupi kaur. I had previously read her book of poems, Milk and Honey, and loved it, but the The Sun and Her Flowers reached me at my core. The poetry is as beautiful as it is brutal. It is about love, loss, and sexual assault. It is about the aftermath of sexual assault and how it affects every aspect of the self. It is about all the things we do because we believe we are not enough as we are. I related to so much of this book, and it worked like a salve for my soul.
For Day 39 of#DailyArtDevotions (only one day left!!!) we created a representation of “the sands of time.” I decided to go a little wild with my page. I wanted to try out new things so I used my new Daniel Smith watercolors and new Brusho Crystals. I used molding paste over a clock stencil for the clock. I used resist for some of the water, and then painted over it to add variations in water color. I used a script stamp with gold archival ink underneath the sand to add variation in sand color. I am pleased with how most everything turned out except the perspective. It is off so it looks like the whole world is weighing down on the clock, which now that I think about it, is pretty accurate!
For Day 32 of #DailyArtDevotions I created an art journal page inspired by candles and flame. I decided to use my favorite stencil over a page I had previously washed with watercolor. I used black and gold acrylic paint and then used a yellow Posca pen to add the light to the lanterns. I’ve always loved glowing lanterns and this page reminds me of all the light in my life.
My Day 33 #artjournal page is dedicated to Georgia O’Keeffe. I recreated The Lawrence Tree in watercolor.
For Day 34, I created sprouts that represent some of my biggest dreams. I added little blooms to represent hope for their fulfillment. And each one has a word that describes its essence.
For Day 31 of #DailyArtDevotions we were to create snowflakes to represent our external support system. Though I have largely isolated myself as a means of safety and survival, I imagine a day when I will have a large, deeply connected support system as represented in my snowflake collage.
My birthday is tomorrow (10/18), and I decided to make my snowflakes out of birthday cards and thank you cards I have received. It helps to remind me of who is in my support system. I attached my card snowflakes with gel medium and then used black acrylic paint and a face stencil to represent myself.
I had to take a few days off to heal from multiple illnesses and a migraine, but I’m feeling better, so it’s back to making art.
For Day 22 of #DailyArtDevotions we were to go on an artist’s date which I took perusing Pinterest for mermaid inspiration which resulted in the sketch below. We also created a special pocket in our repurposed art journals to collect items that are special to us in order to create a well of inspiration. I used an art piece I had created previously and created the special well in my journal.
For Day 23, it was creating a page of gold. I created this page using only my intuition as a guide. I laid out all my gold media as well as my stencils and stamps and let my intuition do the rest. I absolutely love the results.
For Day 24, we were to collect items to fill up our well. I have been discovering all kinds of inspiring things going through my art supplies. I decided that I wanted to make a full commitment to this art journey I have begun, so I sold a bunch of things I didn’t need anymore in order to make space for a dedicated art space in my dining room. I still have much to organize, but I now have a space just to create art, and we can finally eat on the dining room table again.
For Day 9 of the #DailyArtDevotions 40-day #artjournal journey with Elizabeth Foley, I turned my fears into flowers.
It is no wonder that I struggled mightily while creating this page. Layer after layer, it looked like a total mess. Parts of the paper even started to come up and peel off, and I had no idea how to fix it. But…I just kept going.
Maybe this experience was the Universe showing me exactly how to handle all these fears I have about creating: Just keep going in spite of the fear and something beautiful will eventually emerge.
Maybe that is the reward for not giving up.