What is the purpose of art? Ponder that question for a minute…
I communicate with images but sometimes words are needed to express the full range of emotions or experience. Most people are familiar with my travel journals but only a few have seen my personal illustrated journals. Why is that? Within these journals I am vulnerable and emotionally raw. When life gets terribly mournful, cruel, full of hate, sorrow, grief, fear…I go to the books to paint and write what I can’t expressed fully otherwise. I use images and words as a tool to take the turmoil within me to unravel my feelings. The pages are not intended to be seen by others.
If you've been in one of my illustrated journal workshops you'll recall I don’t pass around original books…EVER. I’m careful to tuck them away when I leave my desk. However, I make copies of books that contain content that is appropriate for a workshop setting (travel, garden, cooking…). On the final day of the workshop I share how I’ve used the illustrated journal as a place of refuge and healing. I believe the purpose of art is more than decorating homes, museums or galleries. It must feed and restore the soul of the one who creates it.
We’re a hurting nation and world!! So many emotions we don’t know how to process. COVID-19, isolation, loneliness, unemployment, police brutality, death, riots, social injustice… I’ve seen a lot in my life but I’ve never felt or experienced what I am seeing and feeling today.
I rarely share on this level…it makes me uneasy. So why do it? Sometimes we have to take a risk for the sake of others. We each have gifts/talents/skills and opportunities to use them. What we do with them is up to us. As for me…I use my ability to teach through example. Try to use your images and words as a tool to take the turmoil within you to unravel your feelings. Ask questions, get angry, seek empathy in a face…and healing. You may not find answers. But when you take emotions and put them on paper something will happen inside you… the emotions will no longer fester and poison you. You’ll be able to think clearer and find peace.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther King Jr.
Be well, be creative and seek peace,