Sunday, February 28, 2016

Art Journal entry: Transformations...

Art Journal entry. Collage, acrylic and water soluble crayon. 
Art Journals can be a weird thing... the point is to work intuitively, and what comes out is supposed to tell you something about yourself, right? Like art therapy. Years ago, I took a class at a local college called "Experiential Art", and the instructor was a certified art therapist. It was an interesting experience, even if I couldn't quite let myself just create. My brian stepped in and put a halt to whatever might have been trying to come out... or maybe it was the 3 years of having the "rules" drilled into me I just couldn't create without thinking composition, or focal point. As I was told... a few times... I just needed to relinquish control. But I couldn't do it.

One of the masks at
the McMichael exhibit.
Fast forward 15 years, and here I am again... trying to just let things happen. It's better than it used to be. My collage is random, my colour choices are intuitive, my drawing without any kind of plan. I pick a subject out of thin air, and get to work.

This journal started life as a children's book. It was called "Where's Spot?", and each page had an illustration of a puppy hiding somewhere in a room. This page said "Is he in the piano?" You can still see the copy showing through a bit in the top left. The collage was bits of newspaper text, and some headline copy reading DON'T HIDE. When I went back to the page a week or so later, I drew the mask on the page without any real attention to what was already there. I just got to work.

I was recently at an exhibit of First Nations art at a local gallery. I was completely captivated by the masks. Lucky for me, I was allowed to take photos. I'm sure I'll be using them as inspiration for years. Anyway... there was a docent at the gallery with whom I had a long conversation about the symbolic significance of the masks to the indigenous people. I have been thinking about masks as a way of hiding oneself from the world, but they saw their masks as something different... a symbol of transformation.

If I look at my page in this light, I see something completely different. I guess it's my subconscious telling me to stop hiding and step into the light... life is changing but it's not bad, it's just different. It's my time for transformation.

I guess I finally managed to relinquish control. Wonder if I'll be able to do it again.