Living on the Inside

There is a song by Michael Franks that I have loved for many years called “Living on the Inside” and I was listening to it driving along the other day and thinking that it applies to me now as I am feeling very happy and content in my relationship. It occurred to me that it would be nice to make an art journal page based on it. This is the song:

Here is the page I made, a pic of my husband and I living on the inside of our happiness bubble. The golden “raindrops” have bits of our wedding ceremony inside them (very small). Sorry, I’m a hopeless romantic. They are golden because the goddess Aphrodite supposedly sends a golden rain or mist down over lovers. I painted the background to match some of the colours that were in the bubble and I put our photo into the bubble using photoshop. I only know how to do about 6 things on photoshop, but they have come in very handy for my art journal, as I LOVE including photos in my journal.

I decided just to write some, not all of the song lyrics, so I’ve written the first half of verse one and the second half of verse two.


I move onto canvas!

A couple of weeks ago I took a leap out of my comfort zone and went along to the Mixed Media class (with Turiya Bruce) where they (gulp) make art on canvas. I took along my art journal because I thought some of the pages I have done in there might translate reasonably well onto canvas. Turiya encouraged me to try an image transfer onto canvas, which I botched up, and I’m still wondering whether to continue with that one or just collage over it. But anyway, just seeing the kinds of things that people were doing inspired me and so I made this canvas during the week, using this photo of my mother in the 1930’s sometime. I just collaged down some papers for the background, including the Hymn “Abide with Me” which she loved, and also a remnant of her handwriting of her name and address before she was married. I painted over them all with a cream tinted gesso, and a bit of burnt umber around the edges. I sprayed some brown through an old plastic lace tablecloth (thanks for that Fran!). I sprayed the lace paper doilies with the same brown spray and stuck them down around the edges. I love this photo of my mother as it shows her vivacity and dramatic inclinations!

I have started a couple of other canvases also based on pages from my journal. It doesn’t seem like I will forsake my journal in favour of canvases though, I’m still loving my journal and dreaming up new ideas for it. Besides, if I start making lots of canvases, what am I going to do with them all? There’s limited wall space, and I can’t imagine anyone would actually buy one.

Blessings to all out there in blogland and cyberspace!

A Song in my Heart

I came into this world with a song of praise in my heart, and I can’t stop singing it, though I no longer know to whom I am singing.

This is the sentence that came to me in response  to the background of this page, and it felt like such a true statement for me that when I read it out to my creative writing group last week I began to cry. Who knows why, maybe a deep truth affects me like that.  It is true that my life has been largely devoted to music, to singing, to arranging songs for choirs and in recent years to writing songs for our weekly spiritual group Sanctuary. These are kind of like hymns or chants I suppose, originally inspired by the songs of Taize (a Christian spiritual community in France) but not so Christian; more reflecting the universal spiritual ideas and values that many of us here in Byron have….like being in the present moment, mindfulness, compassion, forgiveness, gratitude etc This page began with an undercollage of some sheet music and an old hymn, “How Great Thou Art”. Growing up in the church (almost literally) of course I know all the words to this and countless other hymns, many of which come back to me and sing themselves in my heart, especially when I’m walking on the beach. This background got me thinking about  how I still love singing those old hymns and also gospel songs , as well as all the songs and chants we sing each week at Sanctuary. Songs of praise have been a major thing in my life, and I still love them….although, as I said I’m no longer sure to whom I am singing.

How I made this page (for those interested): First I stuck down the music. Then I used some spray inks (Dylusions) with stencils: My Cathedral window stencil AND a paper doily. Sprayed through them both a few times, then stuck the doily (which was quite red by then from the spray ink) in 2 halves on either side. Then I google-image-searched (that’s a verb these days) for musical angels and printed some out. I didn’t know what to do next, the angels were overwhelmed by the background and the whole thing was not……cohesive somehow. The background  was a bit busy and needed a focal point so I was delighted when I had the idea to use the silhouette of the little girl. She seems to hold the whole page together and she fits in perfectly with the theme of the words.

This is now one of my favourite pages, probably because the words are so significant to me.  I will finish with this quote from Sam Keen, “My Life has been one long song, a hymn to an unknown God” (from “Hymns to an Unknown God, awakening the spirit in everyday life” a book I have had for many years and highly recommend). Blessings to all.