Our last day of classes.
I skipped breakfast this morning to write about yesterday and ease into the day. The Fort has a little coffee shop, so I stopped there for a latte and scone before heading to Jesse’s class; a quiet walk through the morning mist to the other side of campus with only my bag’s wheels grumbling on the asphalt and the gulls calling overhead. Lots of crows here, too. And owls. The Flying Ones offer lots of singing practice.
I think Jess’s class was my favorite. We worked in black and white acrylic paint using a fan brush and our hands. Primitive mark-making. And like Michael deMeng’s class, we started looking for areas of interest and larger images. I loved the energy and immediacy of it. Black and white felt so much easier than color. And Jesse was a hoot. He told stories in different accents, so of course I loved him.
Details from the pages; lots of little Mr. Bills getting out of the thorny, pregnant monster’s way.
After lunch, it was finally time for Tracy Moore’s class. This was the watershed moment. Could he teach/inspire/goad me into art journaling? Was there a way to incorporate art into my daily journal practice? Or were these two modes of expression forever separate for me?
Tracy’s very low-key, but passionate about art journaling. He just wanted us to keep our hand moving over the page, doodling, trying different simple shapes while he told stories about his own process. He talked about how journaling for him is a social experience, hanging out in coffee shops and bars with his journal and pens, inviting people he meets to draw something in them. Some of his pages have lots of text, some don’t. He admits that he gets bored easily and switches things up.
He also gave us a list of his favorite stuff; pens, techno doo-dads, stamp-making tools, online stores. I made a list.
Later I talked to him about being a writer who also does art and whether I could combine the two. “Keep it simple,” he suggested. “Try it and see what happens.”
So at the Last Night Party, I sat with everyone else and wrote in my newly minted art journal and pondered this question. The Seattle band, Surrealized, provided mood music and the door between my words and my art cracked open. Is the separation illusion? If both are allowed to play together, what else might join them? What else might have been sacrificed to my bipolar scramble for survival? What else waits for room?
I’m willing to push the door open a little wider and invite everyone to come play.