Thursday, October 12, 2006

My First Love; the Journal

I've been thinking a lot about what I love. I think that is the first thing an artist must define for herself; what is it that thrills her (or him) and fills them with enthusiasm. Life and art are long journeys and take a lot of commitment. If the artist is to be sustained for that journey, she must start with a full measure of love and joy. I have been painting since I was 10 years old now and keeping diaries and journals for even longer than that. I honestly cant explain why I have done it. My mother did it too. She showed me her diaries when I was a child and I knew right away that I would record my days too. It has been an experience that has informed me, helped me navigate and defined my direction at every age.

The only time I faltered in my record keeping was in the aftermath of two devastating life experiences when I temporarily lost my faith. I dont know what I lost faith in. I just know that I felt silenced. I endured this time without the support of my mirror and eventually I began to write and record again and soon life was good and normal.

Recently I have had several people say to me that they wanted to journal but just couldn't get going. Maybe I am wrong but it occurs to me that perhaps it is not an activity that you should force or feel guilty about if it is not a thing you crave to do. I can't imagine forcing it. That would be wrong. If you would rather read or work out or write novels or cook delicious food, then by all means, that is what you should be doing. Grow roses, raise children, hold your lover close and go to the theatre. The journal is only for people who cannot escape the siren's call.

Do you have an opinion on this? I would be interested in hearing it.


Tracie Lyn Huskamp said...

dearest judy...

since our email conversation a few months ago... i find myself journaling more often

it is a release and gives me a chance to explore

this might sound silly... but i have been pondering thoughts of picking out a specific time during the day or during the week to dedicated to my journal art

i like feeling organized and right now playing in my journal is still a very sporadic event

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post!

I'm one of those who has a hard time journaling. I keep trying, though, as I'm convinced writing about art and life can help me "know what I think."

I think I'll give up on the idea of journal art, though, and leave it to the masters (like you and Teesha Moore!).

Laini Taylor said...

I used to journal but stopped in art school. I envy people who create beautiful art journals that they will always have and cherish, but I can't seem to make it happen, so I've stopped trying to force it. I guess blogging is a kind of journaling that is working for me now, that has the benefit of meeting wonderful new friends, but doesn't have the great outcome of a beautiful piece of art and writing to hold in your hands.

Also loved your photos from Art & Soul! Wish I would have met you at vendor night, the only part I attended. Maybe at Artfest? I am so excited about it -- it will be my first event like this to take classes!

Holly Loves Art said...

Hi Judy,

I always enjoy your blog so much. I love your writing style and enjoy reading about your art and adventures!

I too have always had to create since I was a little girl. When I was young, it was going through catalogs and creating scenes and various rooms of what my house would like (ten years in the future). Both my parents were naturally talented and always had projects they were working on. I followed suit and did the same.

One of my favorite things to do was create faux fashion magazines and interview magazines with various articles and hand drawn pictures. As I got older I continued to be creative and was one of those people that if I saw it, I could make it. Then in my 30's I took up watercolor and did that for a while but really started to suffer because I couldn't quite draw or paint what I saw in my mind. I then got into abstract and representational because with that genre of painting, anything goes.

Then a couple years ago I truly believe I really found my calling: mixed media/collage. I believe I have finally arrived! I must create something every day. At any given day I usually have about 3 to 5 different things I'm working on and I love it! I'm happier now than I've even been and look forward to each new day to see what will come out of me. As far as journaling, I feel like I should do it, but I guess my way of journaling is through my art and also through the hundreds of photos I take on a regular basis.

Perhaps the day will come when I begin to journal but until then, I'll just do what makes me happy.


PS - thank you for sharing!