Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Journal Pages

I've been in a low mood for several days now; what a drag. One thing artists always discuss when they gather is depression; most of us cycle in and out of varying degrees of it. It seems to me that it is tied somehow to the creative brain because it is so common in creatives.

When I feel down and crummy I curl up and stay home if I can. I think it is the main reason I work at home instead of out in the world. Unless I love and adore what I'm going to be doing it is very uncomfortable to pull myself together if I'm feeling low.

On the other hand just the knowledge that I'll be seeing people (to teach, to visit, to party) is enough to cheer me up and allow me to join in. And people usually help my moods turn around.

I mention it here because I get e-mails from young artists asking about their own depression so often. I always feel great compassion for anyone who is blindsided and young. What a challenge for a young parent who has no experience yet in navigating the choppy waters.

So for what it's worth I just want to chime in and say that you are among company; it is often the "price" of your creative gift and you are not a freak. Well, no, you are a freak but a wonderful, gifted freak and you will find ways to live with all your parts as you gain life experience.

I got some news today that turned my mood around completely. So how does it work, that one minute your body is starved for happy hormones and the next you are hopeful and back in the human race? It's just another mystery for us to ponder and for us to remember when the blues strike again.


Susan Tuttle said...

Hi Judy,
It is so true that creatives are more prone to depression. We feel everything so deeply, so I think it is only natural that we will get greater cases of the blues than the average folk. The trade off, I think, is that we can also experience incredible joy - more than average!

Your post was very enlightening!


Heather, said...

Thanks for this post. You were able to put to words some of the answers to questions I have about myself and knew the answers to, but are nice to hear if from someone else who just gets it. At times, it feels like I'm in the wrong life when there is no one around me who gets where I'm at, plus its just darn exhausting to ride the wild ride of a creative soul. XOXO

Kelly Snelling said...

your journal page always give me a thrill. they are just right. they feel so good to me. just the best mix of free thought with beautiful colors. as terrible as it is to have the blues they always serve to make the happy days seem higher. i don't like to hear you feeling down and i'm sorry for it. your loving spirit is something you share so much i hope that you will accept all the love that is coming right back to you. mwah!

alex s said...

Oh you so deserve your last name. You rock my little blue world.


Candace said...

Thank you. And thank you again... while I knew this intellectually, and from reading about creatives, it sure doesn't help emotionally or psychologically when one is sometimes in the middle of the maelstrom.

Big Hug and then another,

Jim Talt said...

B U C K U P Girl!!
I think you're suffering letdown from those intesive art experiences in Carmel and Boston. One gets used to that level of intensity and then ...bonk, crash.
Your weekend walk in the woods is the perfect fix and so is gettin out amoung others. I'm looking forward to the next time I see your smiling smart-allect (sp?) self in person.

femminismo said...

Judy, Glad things turned around. I l-o-v-e that picture of Katie on your journal page. She looks movie star-like, pensive and "cushy" soft and sweet. I wonder if it was a self portrait? Katie? Your journal pages are great as always. I'll come back later to go on the Father's Day hike. - jeanne

kelly rae said...

i heart you, judy wise :)

Leah said...

thank you for this post, judy. even though we may know it, it's always nice to be reminded that we aren't alone.

Cheryl Prater said...

Hey Judy! Were your ears burning? I emailed the makers of Akua inks and Susan emailed me back saying that she noticed my link to you....that y'all go way back. Well, my Judy-link gave me instant street cred!

I lurk around often, just thought I'd actually check in.

xoxoxo cher

Anonymous said...

Hi Judy: you touch the very deepest part of my soul, your words are always perfect and amazingly, are just what I need to hear. I'm not blue often but when I am, my head tells me all the intellectual "stuff" but my heart just hurts but then something comes along and I just like that- snap out of it : ) a bird, a kitty, my puppy, my sweet loving hubby, etc.
so, thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing and sharing your feeelings and especially your visual journey, love it : )
Love & Blessings, Sandra in AZ

Tricia said...

thank you for this post judy. i am just rising out of a funk myself. as i get older i am more accepting of this part of me but still it really helps to know i am not alone.

zquilts said...

Thanks for this post ! I generally can't email, write, do art, talk on the phone or go out in th world - nothing - when I get in a funk - and then it seems like it will never end ! Maybe it's the need for extra vitiman d?! It's been a dreay, cool summer so far in the PNW.

misty said...

what goes up must come down, and back up again...thank god!

YAY to the good news... ;-)

feeling down here...katie left this morning, it's alway so hard to watch those we love go when they have to go. i did the best thing i knew to do to bring myself up as much as I outside in the sunshine with my little chickadees.... life is sweet.
i hope you keep on the sunny side. ;-)

jwood said...

Hi Judy,

Reenie and I are going through the same thing! We are sitting here in Reenie's studio talking about the very same thing you wrote. Then up pops your blog post and we knew we needed to say, "Come over for lemon drops and an inspiration fest!"

Your friends in Vancouver, WA
Reenie and Jackie

Joy Logan said...

Oh yes what a rollercoaster ride it is to be creative! The high of highs and the lowest of lows for sure. Love your journal pages!

Judy said...

Judy Judy Judy,
Don't be down, we love you matey!

MB Shaw said...

Moods, moods and more moods. It's definitely a roller coaster, isn't it. It was a good news day though and I perked up as well.
Which was needed as I've been dragging around too.
Good post!

katie said...

you know i heart sails to you on the wind sweet judy blue. hugs xoxo

Karen Cole said...

Yes, like a rollercoaster.

The great news is that for the most part, according to your posts here, you are one of the most "up" , all of the time. Creating, enjoying your family, traveling. You are so lucky to have all of these things.

I'm off to Italy tomorrow. I am so happy today. Two days ago.....well.

xxoo Karen

Kathryn said...

Your post really hit home. I ebb and flow with a shift of such different moods. On the one hand I'm so energized and I'm creative in a non stop whirl but then it swings hard the other way and I find all I want to do is sleep, and burrow. The best way to describe my emotional ride is messy. I absolutely LOVE your journal pages. Both your art and your voice are true and lovely. Thank you for sharing your heart.

eb said...

love your everything

all of the time...

see you in September...

xox - eb.

liz elayne lamoreux said...

how thankful i am for your truth and your...youness...that you share here. you remind me not to feel alone and that surrounding myself with joy is the best way to see through a day that might be a bit dark...

bless you judy the wise, bless you.

Supria said...

Hi Judy,

I know what you mean about that full swing thing....I am feeling those feelings deeply right now..waiting patiently for the full swing back out of this valley, .....not sure if it was all the wonderful creative energies experienced at the encaustic conference...which was so overwhelmingly delightful and I found myself on a high coming home..then got into the studio and feeling so incredibly stuck all of a sudden. Perhaps deep within the narrative is "OMG" I can only aspire to be like these lovely encaustic wax heads day, I am chanting a mantra right now in my head daily -- " I am growing, and I am getting better everyday"...the key is truly believing it...I am so glad you were able to share one of your heart's songs with it is encouraging to know that 'yes i am a freak, but it is all good'...I am sorry I didn't get to meet you other than from a distance at the conference...
ps. I tried emailing you but it came back to you have a new email address..I wanted to ask you something
Sincerely, from Canada (one of the five that was present at the Mass. Beverley ENCAUSTIC Conference)


first, thank you renie ( for taking me here.
second, thank you judy for your words that apply to more than just "young artist". at almost 63, i am only young at heart. and not quiet sure i am as much an artist as i am a crafter. reminders of one's humanity is so good. what a wonderful gift to give one's self. and when we hold it in our hearts, we can see it in another who may need a share of the gift and the knowledge that it is more than a sharing as the gifter will be there while spirits are down and when they come back up again.

and so my judy, your blog will be added to mine so i won't forget where your wise words are!

M said...

Thanks, Judy for discussing something I know about myself but don't share. I hit a low this week and holed up for a bit. Sometimes it's hard to put yourself out there but it's great when you do and the friends are there.
Been lurking and enjoying your work for the last couple of monthes. I doubt you can show too many dot projects for my taste!


bLu eYd YoGi said...

wow~ you're bang on! that's me to a tee!

amyrehnae said...

Thank you again and again for reminding us that we are not all alone in our freakiness/ups and downs/and the worst, the inability to deal with it effectively so that then the guilt takes over and well, you know the rest. I am learning, slowly, how to deal, how to get through it, and to know that there really is life on the other side of the darkness. And your words of wisdom and empathy are appreciated more than you know. Thank you again!

Amy Wing said...

Your post struck a chord with me - thanks for talking so openly about something many of us want to gloss over or deny.