Friday, July 8, 2011

Classroom Glimpses

June was an exciting month for me as my first Creative Art Journaling class began.  In four short weeks, I've had the pleasure to witness the most amazing women take a leap of faith into the world of creative exploration, and their results have been nothing short of spectacular.  As Kathy's pre-class journal pages illustrate so nicely, "There will be many doors" - one only needs to have the faith to cross the threshold. 

Doors - Kathy Harris Szerdy

Most of these women had never worked in an art journal before.  I even had one student, Nancy, who stayed for  the entire June session despite thinking she had joined a colored pencil class! (A little mis-communication in the center's newsletter. Whoops!) Quiet Nancy, with a twinkle in her eye, never missed a beat and although she insisted that, "I don't know what I'm doing", her pages were thoughtful, creative and beautiful.  Unfortunately, I forgot my camera last week, so I don't have any of her images to share with you.  Nancy had to take July off (as did several other of our members), but assured us that she will return in August when I'll be able to share some of her images with you!  (Your presence is missed ladies!)

Synchronicity - Kathy Harris Szerdy

We spent the first two weeks exploring imagery and color emotion, using prompts that would encourage the creative muse to "come out and play".  Kathy's synchronicity pages really hit home with me.  We attended high school together, and we just found each other on Facebook a year or so ago.  That we have come together again in this time and place is no accident.  She is a talented, creative woman who is an English teacher, and drives an hour to get to this class every week.  I'm so grateful to have her back in my life as a joyful and encouraging "blast from the past"!

Here's Patti with her colorful pages illustrating her love and longing for her daughter and grandchildren that she doesn't get to see often enough.

Joy - Patti Belt

Patti created this spread using our "Photo to Fantastic" prompts, and techniques from earlier classes like writing thoughts and feelings down and covering them with paint to make the background more interesting.  Patti is my angel.  She quietly whispers words of great healing and encouragement to me, as well as wonderful advice from her own spiritual journey.

Emotions - Patti Belt

It's taken such a short time for all of us to feel like family and to share our deepest thoughts and feelings with each other.  We've shared sorrows and tears, triumphs and applause, silliness and laughter, and everything else in between.

Flower child - Kathy Szerdy Harris

Yesterday's Lesson - Painting Without Brushes! - Tina Bishop
Yesterday, Kathy said, "You tell us something terrifying every week!"  She was referring to "self portraits" (with hands) and "painting without brushes" (we used credit/store cards and fingers).  She made me laugh and it made me happy because I know I'm doing my job - getting that creative muse to come out and play!
The color black - Tina Bishop

One of the most difficult challenges for all of us was using our hands as self portraits, but I think it was one of the most rewarding of the prompts we've explored.

"Human Being & Human Doing" - Kathy Harris Szerdy
Kathy's exploration of her hands was poignant and thoughtful.  The left side explores the negative aspects of time, the binding chain loosely fitting around the fingers and hand because we can make a choice to free ourselves from the bond.  She has also drawn her hand as fading- as with time.

Past, Present & Future - Tina Bishop
Tina (whom I have adopted as my own mom), is wonderfully spirited and has become a great mentor to me.  Her hands probably amazed me the most.  It took her over a week to be able to begin her exploration.  She persevered through her "block" to be able to complete this exercise, and triumphantly explored a painful past, delighted in her present with gratitude, and looked enthusiastically into her future.  She even included a "bucket list" hand!

Past, Present, Future - Tina Bishop
When I look at Tina's pages, I see not only her own personal journey, but I also see the  deep kinship we have  with each other as we explore ourselves through creative art journaling.  I see how each of us as unique individuals, bring something special to share with each other.  I see growth, fellowship, understanding, acknowledgement, fear, joy, support, and all of the other wonderful things that happen in our group of amazing women.  I am constantly reminded that "the greatest illusion is that we are separate."

These wonderful women, my amazing sisters, have told me how much they are enjoying our class.  I can only hope that I'm offering them as much as I receive from being in their presence.  It's truly a blessing to be in their company as we "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"


Nick's perfectly built cheeseburger from our July 3rd cookout, featuring pepperjack cheese,  my homemade mayonnaise (boy was that ever time consuming, but yummy), sis-in-law, Berta's homemade pickles, and the first harvest of lettuce from the garden. YAY!

1 comment:

  1. My dear Angel Muse and Teacher, Angela,
    It is worth every single mile I drive (90 round trip!) to come to class each I told my daughter Katelyn who just returned from Afghanistan, next to her homecoming, this class has been the highlight of my summer!!!
    I adore you!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me! It's a pleasure sharing the creative world of art journaling with you. I love hearing from you, so comments and questions are always welcome.

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