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Sunday, June 7, 2020

Use Your Words

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,
Brenda

16 comments:

  1. Wonderful blogpost, Brenda! Thanks for sharing ❤️❤️❤️

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  2. Thank you for your courage in sharing. I am inspired to use my creative voice to express my own pain, uncertainty and outrage.

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  3. Grateful for your share.

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  4. Thank you for this, Brenda. I fret when I’m pursuing my art at times like this that I’m “fiddling while Rome burns.” This gives me another perspective. I’ve actually never thought of using my drawing as a means of dealing with calamities like these. Again, thank you.

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    1. Phoebe, The illustrated journal is a powerful tool...especially during times like these. I'd be lost without it.

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  5. ❤️ Yes, art can help us deal with it all! ❤️ Thank you for sharing.

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  6. Brenda, I feel like we are a lot alike, yes there are things that should be kept private. I just wanted to take your class at Daniel S so bad this summer. Be sure and let us know if and when it can be again. This pandemic can't last forever. Bless you, Carolynn.

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    1. Carolynn, I know what you mean, so many cancelled plans, dashed hopes...
      We’ll celebrate the day when we gather again.😁

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  7. I have found art and the creative process immensely helpful in calming my anxiety during quarantine-my husband is a pulmonary- critical care physician, and I have a pregnant daughter in NYC adding to my anxiety. I appreciate your insights and your artwork during these multiple crises-some days I think it can’t get worse! But art has grounded me. I do have a technique question-how do you paint/write your lettering on your paintings? I would like to incorporate that into painting. Thank you.
    Margie Tabak

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  8. Margie, When uncertain I use an overlay to play around with words, spaceing... See how I use the acetate overlay here: https://youtu.be/vQR_9TUkHPw

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  9. We all respect your privacy, and enjoy your comments, art and techniques on your blog, instagram or YouTube. But I also wanted to convey how much it means when you share your reflections on events which impact our ability to create art. And though we may not be as accomplished as you, we appreicate that you also share insights that reflect what's real for so many, and helps us know that we are not alone. Thank you, keep peace and safe!

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    1. Sandy, It means a lot to know my words and images have touched you. The weight of these times are best shared and expressed...alone in our heads is too much. I always feel lighter at heart after I create a illustrated journal page. My heart is unburdened.
      ~Hugs

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