Saturday, 21 February 2015


I thought I'd like to show you that (although I don't usually publish them) I make messes and pages I absolutely hate ALL THE TIME.  Sometimes I even rip them out of the journal, but mostly I cover them up and reinvent them.  Gesso is brilliant for that because it covers nearly everything!

So below you can see how the page originally began - with a blue paint background, over which I was gradually building a face.  I'd just added some lines in the hair with a dark blue Promarker, when I decided I hated what I was doing and wanted to begin again.
So I got out the gesso and painted everything out - except I forgot that the one thing gesso won't cover is the ink in Promarkers, which kept coming through.
So - if you're stuck with something, find a way to live with it, right?  So I began to try and incorporate the blue lines into something much more random, and added some lime green paint and some bits of stencilling.  I still hated it.
So more gesso over all that, and a deeper shade of blue.  A bit dark but I could live with that, and then I found this image of a woman and stuck her in the corner.  
I wasn't keen on the dark background but I loved the red against it, so searched out all sorts of red in my collage fodder and laid that down.  Much better, now I was getting somewhere!
I love the attitude in this woman's face, she looks proud and utterly unapologetic about who and what she is.  So I wrote in the middle "I am myself", and then the rest just followed.  It took me a long time to be able to make this statement (I am the child of a critical mother) and to believe that that is enough, but having got to that place I felt transformed by it and strong.

Lots of dots and other marks then followed, all done with Posca paint pens, which are opaque even over pretty dark colours.  I keep thinking I will work in big bold shapes of colours without all the doodly detail, but every time ....
Anyway, the point of this page is that I AM (finally) myself, though it took a long time to dig through all the layers of expectations laid on me by others and myself.  I am everything I need to be, I am comfortable in my own skin, and I have a valued place in the world.  I only wish I'd got to this place earlier in my life, but now I have boy do I want to celebrate it!  Go Me! :)


alexa said...

Absolutely, go you! What a glorious statement and page, full of strength and colour and life. And I can't help thinking about the wonderful metaphor of its growth and making - that there are layers and layers underneath, some discarded, others refusing to be so and being incorporated and repurposed ... There's a whole book in here. Or at least, a sermon! Xx

Carol said...

Another great page :) Love how cathargic (?) your pages are for you Have a lovely weekend

Beacee said...

Indeed, go You! Alexa's already said all I wanted to say.
Hope you're well.
Barbara x

Rosemary said...

I find a lot of inspiration in your work, this is no exception. You make lemonade with lemons! And delicious lemonade too!

Linda Vincent said...

Wow...what a great process...and a fab ending! Go you! XX