Tag Archives: mixed media art

Art As Escape from the Matrix

Play in Your Art Journal and be Free From the Matrix

Why make art? Why spend hours working and playing in our art journals? For me, it’s a way to temporarily escape the Matrix. Remember the movie, “The Matrix?” Remember when Morpheus tells Neo the Matrix is like a “splinter in your mind?” We feel the itch, the pain, the pointlessness of this dualistic reality – we get tired of being batted about by the play of opposites, the never ending wars of good versus evil. We know all too well we are tethered here, we are tethered by time, by our temporary forms, by the attachments, and the demands. Along with the joys and freedoms we experience, along with the glitz and premisses, we know we are plugged into a system that somehow runs us, that dictates the course of our lives, that calls the shots.

Art Journal Page

Art Journal Page

The creative process, however seemingly humble and insignificant we may sometimes think it is, offers reprieve from these demands. We can find ourselves in the flow, outside of time, and hopefully free from the internal editor or the voices of parents and figures of authority. This is why artists have been willing to sacrifice everything to devote themselves to the call of the muse. This is why we make time to sit and write our blogs or novels, our prose or poetry. We continue to pick up our crayons, put ink to paper, brush color onto the blank white canvas. And, humans will continue to express themselves creatively – to  sing, dance, draw, scribble, doodle, garden, write music, and explore the unknown until the end of creation. It is one of the ways we escape from the Matrix and tap into our unbounded source.

Start an Altered Book

Altered book Madona

Go to a used book store, or simply select a book from your library and begin the process of alteration. I’ll post more on getting started soon!

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious – the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”
Albert Einstein, Albert Einstein

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Wonderful Soulful Art Journal Workshop

Altered book pages using lace, dictionary pages, collage, paint and handmade paper

Women Inspiring Women

I’m so happy about the wonderful group of women who participated in the Soulful Art Journal Workshop this Sunday. I was so inspired by watching them in the midst of making art, connecting with themselves through exploring and playing with mixed media. One of the most exciting things for me is when women share their stories and ideas about life and art. Everyone has unique ways of working with media and being creative, and the more we open to OUR way the fuller the well of creativity becomes. The well never runs dry if we continue to dig deeply and don’t allow fear to obstruct the natural flow.  I feel so blessed that so many women both inspire and encourage me on the journey of living the artist’s way. We can become each others teachers and muses.

I’m in love with Altered Books.

One on my current passions is creating altered books. I’m having so much fun with this process that I’m already imagining what my future altered books will look like. Both of these pages reflect my current love affair with vintage lace. I cannot get enough of it.

Altered book page using collage, paint, lace, handmade paper, and tape

Altered book page using collage, paint, lace, handmade paper, and tape

The wise Picasso understood that life is gritty and covers us with worries. For me making art is a life-saver, a place of refreshment.

We all need a good dusting on a regular basis!

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.
Pablo Picasso

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Buddha Collage Series

Collage by Kartika using fine art books, paint, and paper

Buddha in the City – Collage by Kartika using fine art books, paint, and paper

Collage by Kartika using fine art books, paint, and paper

Buddha in the Garden – Collage by Kartika using fine art books, paint, and paper

Collage by Kartika using fine art books, paint and paper

Buddha with Devotees – Collage by Kartika using fine art books, paint and paper

The Buddhist Way

I have loved working on this collage series because the symbols and the images of Buddha move me so deeply. Although I’m not a Buddhist, I love reading bits and pieces of the Buddhist teaching. The Buddhist practice of “mindfulness” is one we can all benefit from. Paying attention to our breathing, our bodies, the present moment is powerful. I’ve read books by Thich Nhat Hanh whose teachings help us be better Christians, Buddhists, and people in general. I believe love is the only religion we need.  And, who better to remind us to forgive and to love our enemies than Thich Nhat Hanh, a survivor of so many social injustices. Yet, his life is dedicated to love and to kinship with all sentient beings.

There are so many wonderful Buddhist teachers both known and unknown to the world. I love this quote by the Dalai Lama, one of the world’s greatest teachers , who in spite of all of the suffering he and his people have experienced, he teaches only love and forgiveness.

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple, the philosophy is kindness. – The Dalai Lama

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My Mixed Media Art Journal Workshop Is in Process

Woamn with a Jar

     

LIVING THE SOULFUL LIFE

A Self Discovery Workshop for Women through the Mixed-Media Art Journal

What is your story?

Women among women:  Telling our stories to ourselves and others. As creatives and creators, we as women give birth to form, function, and beauty. Living a soulful life involves accessing and expressing our deepest selves and sharing our wisdom with others.

Art journaling is a meditative process that goes much deeper than simply producing a piece of art. It is a step into the mystery that is ourselves. It is indeed a process that allows us access to our authentic selves. The beauty of the process (and the result) is that everyone is able to partake and everyone is able to create a beautiful journal.

All aspects of our unique self-expression are welcome in a safe and nurturing space, in which we come together to simply be ourselves. As women among women, we support and inspire one another on our paths toward healing and wholeness through inner self-discovery.

Thus we join together to:

  • Understand our personal narratives

  • Create unique mixed-media journals through which to tell our stories

  • Explore and identify our personal archetypes

  • Support and inspire one another on a path toward healing and wholeness

  • Have fun learning to use writing, paint, ink, fabric, stamps, ephemera, and all manner of stuff to make art

  • Share who we are in a sacred circle

“Be wild; that is how to clear the river. The river does not flow in polluted, we manage that. The river does not dry up, we block it. If we want to allow it its freedom, we have to allow our ideational lives to be let loose, to stream, letting anything come, initially censoring nothing. That is creative life. It is made up of divine paradox. To create one must be willing to be stone stupid, to sit upon a throne on top of a jackass and spill rubies from one’s mouth. Then the river will flow, then we can stand in the stream of it raining down.”― Clarissa Pinkola EstésWomen Who Run With The Wolves: Contacting the Power of the Wild Woman

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The Art Journal Is a Personal Diary

The Soulful Art Journal

For me, the art journal is a sacred space. It is full with emptiness asking us to make it whole. It beckons us like the blank canvas of the painter. In spite of our excitement to begin a journal or journal page, we often feel somewhat intimidated.  The proverbial inner critic begins to rant that we have nothing to say so why bother picking up a pen, that we have no artistic ability, so why bother with the paint, and on and on. This can stop us dead in our tracks. Or, we can simply start something, anything. We can make a mark, write a word, and see where it takes us. We can surrender to the moment and tell the critic, “Okay, I recognize you. You’re the one who stops me from being who I really am. You’re like my Aunt Sally who told me I would never be able to drive a school bus because I’m a girl and I never should have listened to her. And, I simply don’t have time for your nonsense, It’s time for me to get on with MY life, my art, my journey where ever it takes me.”

Mixed media art journal page

Mixed media art journal page

And, if we allow ourselves to open to the unknown forms, ideas, and insights that reside within us, to trust that our creativity springs forth from an eternal source, we enter into a dialogue with our ourselves. That dialogue takes us to our sacred space, to our deepest parts. For me, There is nothing more satisfying then this soulful journey of self-discovery.

The Mixed Media Art Journal 

My journals are usually of the mixed media kind. They are made with sturdy quality water color paper and accept paint and ink, fabric, and ephemera. This kind of journal makes it easy to experiment and play with many materials and media.  Somehow working in an art journal feels less risky than working on a canvas or a single piece of paper. I’m more able to let go of expectations – after all, it’s just a little journal – and allow myself to simply play and enjoy the process. An art journal is where I’m free to have a personal dialogue with myself – no one has to see it or read my words unless I decide to share. It allows me to experiment with ideas and different media – so what if I make bad art or no art at all, that is not my purpose. Most of all, spending time with my art journal is like being with a friend who helps me heal and work through my demons and sometimes come out the other side.

Mixed media art journal page

Mixed media art journal page

It’s possible I may feel that serotonin rush when a color or a line feels right or the words make sense out of senselessness. I may even feel in synchronicity with my muse, the creative spirit that gives my life meaning.

 

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