Upcoming Class: Creative Journaling

I’ll be teaching a new and wonderful workshop, Creative Journaling, May 18-19 at artEAST in Issaquah.

Creative Journaling is all about exploration and expression, without the pressure of trying to produce artwork for exhibition or publication. It’s a private place to create, fool around, delight in, explore, and develop ideas.

Who is this class for? Everyone.

You don’t need to be a practicing painter, writer, sculptor, or musician. . You may be a breadmaker or forestwalker. Whatever you choose to do, you can find ways to enhance your ways of being in the world.

This workshop will include a wide variety of expressive techniques, using words and various art methods. Some of the exercises will be:  Art Journaling, Freewriting, using a Sketchbook, Book Altering, Poetry, and Creativity Coaching. It will be an experimental journey with many ideas you can take with you.

The great thing about journaling is you NEVER have to show anyone. It’s just for you. This isn’t about making something “good.” It isn’t about pleasing anyone, including your inner critics. It’s messy, mistakes are allowed — and even encouraged — as is a friendly attitude toward our imperfection. 

Journaling can act as:

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  • A way of kindling and engaging the creative process and developing ideas

  • A way to explore our stuck places and our fears about ourselves as people and artists

  • A quiet and meditative way of spending time with ourselves

  • A way of expressing ourselves with words, and beyond words

I invite you to join me for this Creative Journaling class on May 18th and 19th at artEAST in Issaquah. For more information visit my workshops page, and to register for the class visit https://arteast.org/product/creative-journaling/

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Such Is Life

Who I Listen To, 19x24

Who I Listen To, 19x24

The painting series, Such Is Life, I’ll be showing at Columbia City Gallery this April comes from musings that have been with me for quite a while. Unlike my Personal Prayer Flag or Palimpsest series, though, the concept is more complex.

I’ve been thinking about what it means to be a human being on this planet, specifically when it comes to relating to others. As I was painting I kept in mind the fact that we tend to connect with people similar to ourselves, and far too often implicitly fear those who are different.

This past year or so I’ve been thinking more about race. A friend of mine had a horrible experience which, I believe, was a result of the color of her skin. I began thinking, talking, and reading more about race, as well as considering my own white privilege. I’m not going to create a meaningful relationship with someone of a different race if I’m in denial of how my racial privilege affects my life and theirs.

When I did my Gender Personal project (www.genderpersonal.org), I spent over a year exploring the concept of gender identity, and an important way for me to process these new ideas has been through my art. I believe that the personal expression of art allows us to tinker with, delve into, and form connections with new concepts.

Getting Along with Strangers, 30”x30”

Getting Along with Strangers, 30”x30”

Another influence on this latest series has been the book Lost Connections by Johann Hari. Johann writes about the huge number of people worldwide, who suffer from anxiety and depression.

After years of research and traveling the globe, he has come to believe that this is related to our disconnection from each other, from ourselves, from meaningful work, and from the natural world. His work is all about rediscovering and rekindling those connections. No matter who we are or what our life experiences have been, we crave and need these connections to find meaning in our lives.

I’m also reading The Book of Joy by Douglas Abrams, which is a presentation of discussions between the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. These wise men also maintain that it is connection with others that underlies a deep feeling of joy in our lives, especially when this includes compassion and support.

Such Is Life will be at Columbia City Gallery from April 3rd through May 12th, and I invite you to come by and see it. The opening reception is Saturday April 6th, 5:00 – 7:00.

Time Enough , 24x30

Time Enough , 24x30

Here’s a list of books which inspired me as I was creating this series:

  • Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – And the Unexpected Solutions by Johann Hari

  • The Book of Joy, a presentation of discussions between the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, written by Douglas Abrams

  • Things that Make White People Uncomfortable by Michael Bennett

  • What Does it Mean to Be White: Developing White Racial Literacy by Robin DiAngelo

Different Ways of Seeing It All, 30x30

Different Ways of Seeing It All, 30x30

Not the Same, 24”x24”

Not the Same, 24”x24”

For more info about the Such Is Life exhibit and Columbia City Gallery visit Jacqui’s exhibits page.

To view the Such Is Life series as a whole, click here.

If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If you want to walk far, walk with others.
— African proverb

Showing Up

“Chicken Connection”

“Chicken Connection”

I think it was Hemingway who said that the most important thing for a writer is the “pants seat in the chair seat.” You can’t write or paint if you don’t show up.

I was looking through a recent writer’s almanac, and found this: tell your subconscious you will meet her at the studio at 10. Then honor it. She may get some work done ahead of time (cognitive theorists call this Incubation). They suggest we ask her a question then forget about it with our conscious mind.

After a while, ideas, questions, answers or ways to play with this idea may come to you at odd moments (in the shower, as you nap in the afternoon, or on a walk). That’s why the Google Corporation headquarters has plenty of couches for people to lie around and muse on. I don’t know if they have showers, but maybe they should.

Do you take time to just wonder about things? Do you use a journal to scribble and muse? Do you carry notecards with you so that you can write down creative ideas or questions to yourself throughout the day?

Here are some muse-questions of mine:

  • If a person had two heads, how would they decide what movie to go to?

  • How would I paint something invisible, like a secret or a ghost or a memory, or the feeling of a garden in the morning?

  • What do I really want to paint?

Have fun, keep at it, stay wacky, and show up!