The ideas scattered across our pages

"In a manner of speaking, the fact that humankind itself is unpredictable is the quintessential stumbling-block for archaeologists. We have to assume that the people whose dwelling places, artefacts, lives even, we are dealing with were rational, integrated, sane and sensible human beings. Then we look around at our own contemporaries and wonder how this belief can possibly be sustained."
Laurance Flanagan
Art journal page in an altered book. Artwork by Tammy Garcia.

Art journal page in an altered book. Artwork by Tammy Garcia.

I wonder* about the all of the elements, the ideas, the stories that we string together in our journals. The things that we actively|passively include|exclude.

When we look back at our older journal pages... we act as archeologists. We explore only what we can see and touch and decipher in old journal pages. We may remember what we decided not to share or we may have long forgotten. Memory can be fleeting...

Others - those who view our pages - see what we explicitly stated, what we attempted in some fumbly way to symbolize, what has not faded, the colors we chose, the lines we drew, the fragments that remain attached to the substrate. The audience does not see our intentions, our process, the frustration or peace we experienced in creating.

Why do I find this somehow melancholy? The viewer {if indeed anyone has the opportunity or inclination to explore those pages} does not necessarily put together the story. There is always the rest of the story. More to the story than meets the eye.

The audience does not see our
intentions, our process, 
the frustration or peace
we experienced in creating. 

These pages were created in two different altered books that are in progress. I say "in progress" because I haven't called them officially DONE yet. The materials are heavy body acrylics, found papers, magazine images, neocolors & washi tape. They evolved over many sessions and look nothing like they looked even a day before they were finished. I just keep going and going until I don't want to add anything or take anything away. If you see something symbolic, it is purely accidental or perhaps coincidental. I'm working lately on adding more texture so the pages look different depending on the angle of sunlight. 

Art journal page in an altered book. Artwork by Tammy Garcia.

Art journal page in an altered book. Artwork by Tammy Garcia.

Art journal page in an altered book; artwork by Tammy Garcia.

Art journal page in an altered book; artwork by Tammy Garcia.

What is the elusive story that strings it all together? A fictional story with some random realism, perhaps? I don't know. 

The more of yourself that you put into your journal, the more it represents you. And maybe the meaning is more apparent - or decipherable - when your pages are viewed as a collection. If you look at 100 of your pages {or 61 of your index cards}, could you see an inkling of yourself? 

I love helping artists infuse their days with more art. To start, continue or keep a daily or weekly art practice.  I feel like the web is overflowing with technique videos and instructions and stuff that people pin but never refer to again. What's the missing link {no pun intended}? How do you put the ideas together and actually take action? The Circle workshop is a big step in that direction. It's a combination of collage and journaling techniques but the underlying goal is to help folks actually do art, find meaning in their creative process, explore core ideas in a wild variety of ways. I want people to not just think about doing art or plan to do art but to actually sit down and CREATE STUFF.