I’ve been writing journals — was encouraged to do it after reading the artist’s way in 1993. She suggested 3 pages every morning — in a kind of stream of consciousness style to clear the garbage out of your head, to clear the creative block. After I finished the book I kept writing journals daily. I can’t tell you how many journals I have — boxes and boxes.
I then said, “Okay, I have to do something with the journals.” I was going to pack them up and get rid of them. Even though they were taking up all the room in the house I couldn’t throw them out. — I thought, Maybe I can take the words and do something with them to make them matter. Make MY life matter.
They are my private journals. They’re not for reading, not public, not a story about my life. I liked the public private thing.
So going back to the Artist’s Way, let me stay with the process of the book. I would take a few pages, not read them, tear them up, and work quickly. Just put them down and see what happens.
Initially, I used paper the size of notebook paper, so the scale of the paintings were kept close to the size of the paper. I created 30 to 40 pieces. But, it was not enough. I thought, “maybe I should read them, and not just tear them up. So, I started reading 2004 to see if the process of reading would change anything.
I only read the amount I would tear up, glue it down spontaneously and see what came out. As I worked, the defined lines of the page would keep the chaos within the defined limit.
The contrast between the words could be disturbing and could be presented as a calm painting. There is a flux between words and painting, and that is my current process and situation.
I’m an intuitive person, but know the journal was directing me in some way — it created a life in art.
I needed to have one constraint and then to go for it — to do a free for all on a small piece of paper... Then the idea of coming back with a different palette, or composition came to me because of the constraints I would arrive at through the use of the journals.
To me, matter is action oriented. Materializing something is very important. Meaning is important, and journal writing is a meaningful act. The matter was, “How am I going to take action and put it out there and make my mark for myself?”
Because the words are painted over and cut out people can’t see the meaning, but they can see the material. I like taking the thoughts and meanings in my world and making something of it that you can see and touch. It makes me matter.
Putting the journals on the paintings mattered to me — whether my words are profound or silly, they are me, and I’m here. It’s a point in time where I can take action, and a meaningful action at that, in my life — where I bring these things together is important because it’s me. I honor that.
When I glue the words, they might be in specific area, and I’ll work in another area without attending to the words.
Sometimes I’ll do the opposite. Paint large color areas without paper on the canvas.
I work in imbalance. But when I finish there is a cohabitation. I might be bothered by it, but it is what it is.