Sunday, 14 September 2014


Another page from my latest journal - my new square (the pages are approx 10 x 10") journal.  Still finding this a joy to work in, especially because of the quality of the paper, but hoping to move on from this eventually into hand-made journals.  I like the idea of a journal which is literally my own work - from sheets of paper to finished, bound result.

Anyway, I was messing about with backgrounds and trying to incorporate shapes and colours which I could work with and around, not to mention making sure that I used a variety of colours and not just shades of the same one!  This one was produced with my trusty Neocolour II crayons.
I hadn't any idea when I began work what the page would be about, so below you can see my tentative steps into creating a "frame" for the page using pattern and doodling, and a bit of collage. For those who are new to my work, the wormhole doodling is done with a Pitt artist pen which is waterproof and writes well over paint and other substrates.  The doodles involve Posca paint pens, my second favourite art material after the crayons!
There was a hiatus of a few days before I worked on this page again, adding the collage figure, a bird and a section cut from a coloured copy of a much earlier journal page.  I learned that tip from Teesha Moore and its a really valuable one.
It was contemplating the weirdness of the figure I'd produced that led eventually to what I wrote here - I almost never use quotes, but only journal my own words and feelings.

Where I live we have a large population of migrants from the Indian sub-continent and women wearing Islamic dress, up to and including the full burkha are a common sight on our streets.  I struggle to see a fully veiled figure because all my instincts tell me that what I'm seeing is a repressed, subjugated woman, and as a lifelong feminist that really troubles me. I'd found myself giving glowering looks at such figures and realised that I had an attitude problem I needed to address. I'm still working on that.
But what I wanted to express was the way we, the way I was treating people who looked "different" and making judgements about them.  I was guilty of assuming that the women I saw were downtrodden victims; now some of them may indeed be, but by no means all, or even most.  This perception of difference does not give me the right to glower disapprovingly, any more than any other difference of dress, race or whatever.  Just because my intentions were good doesn't make it any less discriminatory.

I do feel passionately that we are all just human beings, often with enormous cultural differences, but we mustn't let these things divide us but try to find ways to bridge the chasms of misunderstanding and ignorance that separate us.  As always journalling about the things which trouble me help me find a way to understanding and acceptance - and I've now embarked upon a mission to smile warmly at every burkha clad woman I meet.  You never know, it might just make a little bit of difference .....


Claire said...

I am in awe of your artwork Rosie as ever - how are you ??? Miss you on Pop Dots :(

Mary said...

Rosie, your journal pages are a joy to see and read. I love your doodles and images, and your lettering is fabulous!

Such good thoughts on your page too. Though cultures, customs, beliefs may separate us, I do believe at the core of us, we are more alike than not.

I have not forgotten you, I have meant to reply to your email right after I received it. Life got in the way. I am just about finished putting my home back together after having the entire first floor painted. Most everything had to be packed up and unpacked...felt like I was moving in again. And you know, living with chronic pain how hard some days can be. We have offered our home for a young couple in our church to get married at next weekend. I live in an old home built in 1845. That is old for an American home, not so much for your neck of the woods. It will be an outdoor wedding, and they are doing all of the work, but still it will be a busy week. It should be beautiful. Will post some pictures on our newly painted home and of the wedding on my blog soon.

Grace, peace and love to you dear Rosie!

Marie said...

I enjoy your use of color and like the idea of using a color photocopy of a pervious page. That is a really unique way of tying pages together! Great work can't wait to see more.

Kind Regards,


Giulietta said...

Thanks for this one, Rosie. This is what my art journal is used for - the things that trouble me. I'm always amazed at how much it helps.
I had this same thing with the full burka - until I had a flip moment and realised what is important is what they see out of that tiny slit . . . now I try to smile at one a day, or each time I am out, or speak as I would to any other person if the opportunity arises.

alexa said...

A page rich in design and meaning, Rosie, and thought-provoking as always... My Posca pens have just arrived, and I can see I need a Pitt pen too :). I like the thought that you can just leave a page and go back to it - feels less pressured than thinking 'I need to complete this today!'.