I was digging around in my studio this week. I pulled out some old, old, art journals and altered books and had one of those ah-ha moments. I’ve always been a big fan of writing in books, especially cookbooks, so making the leap to drawing and gluing things in books was a natural progression. The first altered book I made was about 10 years ago, before I knew it was a thing, and before I knew what a blog was. The first one was a gift to my sweetheart. Then after some major upheaval in my life I started using altered books as art therapy journals. I got over the upheaval, had some more, life mellowed out again, and I kept up my art journal/altered book practice. For awhile.
Fast forward a couple years. I started looking at magazines like Somerset Studio. I discovered blogs and all the craftiness out there. The more I looked at this “inspiration” the less I was able to creatively, and satisfactorily engage in this kind of art play myself. Where I used to just sit at my desk with some paint, glue, and paper, and create in a very organic, intuitive way, now I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to do it “right”.
Prior to this freezing up, I used to make little mini collages almost daily. That stopped. It all stopped. Now, I’ve been sitting at my desk for days trying to do a new page in one of the altered books and I spend more time just staring at it than I do creating imagery.
When I first sat down to play on Monday, I felt a thrill come over me that I haven’t experienced in ages. Then after awhile I started making excuses to get up and go do this and that. I’m trying to push through, but it is rather painful. I feel so blank inside. I’m floundering.
I want to make this a daily practice again. One without so much outside stimulation. I think I can get there, to remember how to find what is uniquely inside of me, to put that on the page. I keep telling myself that nobody has to see this but me. If I don’t like the page I can do another. And another….until it starts to flow again.