The Creative Muse

As most of you know I have been experimenting with all things artistic recently. I was faffing around on Youtube last week and came across ‘Art Journaling’, this is a way of expressing yourself using words, colour and images that are personal to you. It really has got me thinking. I had not intended to use art to comment on social or disability issues, I just wanted a bit of down time as I am often told that I ‘do’ disability too much, that it has an all consuming influence on my life and is destructive and negative. All in all a counter-productive force. When discussing a persistent episode of writers’ block a friend remarked that I eat, sleep and breath disability and even holiday in it as well. She felt that I needed a break from it all and art was to be my attempt at the great escape. This was just going to be about me in a soul sense; no big political statements, but freedom in the true sense. That aim fell apart when I opened ‘A Short History of Drawing’ by Andrew Marr, in the introduction he discusses the stroke he had and the frustration he felt when trying to draw during his recovery. He notes that for the first time he was hit by the realisation that drawing was an activity that very much required the use of both hands. I had a flashback to a time when I had to be constantly reminded to, “Put your left hand on the paper when you are writing and drawing” great, unless it happens to be your weakest side! I think this perhaps was part of the reason I never found drawing or doing anything on paper therapeutic or enjoyable in the psychological sense. Essentially, Mr Marr’s book is about his own art journaling. He uses drawings taken from life and photo’s to recall and record significant and domestic events in his life. Colour is used as a powerful tool to add to the tone and dimension of the image created. This makes quite mundane images more significant and this effect is added to by his short descriptions. It inspired me to attempt to do something similar. I have long wanted a way to record random quotes and phrases that have impacted upon me, prior to the journal they were just dotted about in notebooks or on hard drives in no particular order, meaning that they were not easy to catalogue and therefore tricky to find when the mood was on me. By turning them into a visual form it made them more expressive for me and forced me to organise them in a more logical progression. I have learned to love experimenting with colour and contrast and I can do this now to find the combination with the greatest impact for me. I have moved now to combining computerised text with my images which actually makes it feel more ‘mine’, which is fantastic if you don’t like your own spidery handwriting. Art for me now has become less of a distraction from my cares and woes and more of a therapeutic aid to mental recovery, which is a powerful tool to me.

This was my first attempt. The girl in the picture is part of a background by the artist and art journal maker Jennibellie
This was my first attempt. The girl in the picture is part of a background by the artist and art journal maker Jennibellie
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One thought on “The Creative Muse

  1. As an art therapist I am always happy to see people finding self-expression and healing in the creative process. Your statement on this piece is wonderful, an affirmation to repeat and remember… Much love and blessings to you!

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