A few years ago, I unearthed a travel journal from a month-long trip to Europe that I took in 2006. As I reviewed its pages, I was struck by just how many details of the trip I had completely forgotten. And if the memories of a once-in-a lifetime trip that was so impactful to me could fade away – how much of my day-to-day life is lost? Sensations, emotions, achievements, losses, experiences from the mundane to the exceptional, all transforming from that specific moment in time to become that day, that week, that year, that life…

As I get older and gain a better understanding of how fragile, how brief, and how precious life really is, it's become even more important to me to me experience it to its fullest and to try to retain all of those little moments that might otherwise get lost. It's with this idea that I started the process of recording these moments – a travel journal, of sorts.

A travel journal for life.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

PERHAPS I AM STRONGER THAN I THINK..

Earlier this week, I wrote about the process of making ten postcards for iHanna's DIY Postcard Swap and how it takes such courage for me to cut into my beloved supplies and to re-purpose old paintings.  But I'm happy to report, that as I moved along in the project, I got bolder and I became less and less concerned with missteps or the possiblity of wasting materials. (OH, THE HORROR!)

That this project emboldened me became its theme.  There is no real visual consistency in my pieces, but they all used re-purposed materials from my stash that I had some level of reluctance or fear to use and let go of.

I started by cutting up some leather pieces and antique wallpaper and collaging them together with a little bit of light sketching on top of the paper pieces.  Then I added my sentiment about courage - because cutting up stuff you love is scary, yo.


Then I worked on a metallic series  because I had some super cool mirrored tile (don't worry, not glass; I suspect the postal service may frown on that) and some silver leaf paint that I wanted to play with on top of layered acrylic paste.  In this series, I really pushed myself because in one (the upper left) I actually cut into an old drawing to create the circular windows peaking out of the silver leaf.  Hence the sentiment tagged on these three - "Perhaps I am stronger than I think..."

Since I loved the piece with the cut up drawing so much, I decided to deconstruct a painting and reassemble it in different ways.  I really like the use of circles here, it's symbolic of the painting's continuing life-cycle!

Finally, I had two odd-balls that I just experimented with along the way.  I'm not super-crazy about the way they turned out - but they were all part of the process...

So, I'm addressing these little babies as we speak and preparing to send them out into the world.  Thanks, iHanna for organizing this - it was so much fun; a great opportunity to experiment and gain a little courage along the way!

11 comments:

  1. I like your cards! All different but so pretty. I admire you for your boldness, wish I had some more of that :)

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    1. Thanks, Randy! I appreciate your encouraging words!

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  2. Jen, I'm so glad you overcame your fears and could repurpose some of your materials like this, I love that! Your postcards turned out very cool, and I'm so glad you joined. So thank YOU! :-)

    Stay creative!

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  3. Love you CUZ!!! They turned out beautifully! Thank you for joining in the fun!

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    1. Thanks for bringing it to my attention! XOXO

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  4. Hi Jen, I just received my postcard and it is lovely! I can totally relate to your fears
    about using your art materials and even finished pieces. What a small world it is too, I've been reading your cousin Dori's blog for a while now, I feel a kindred spirit with
    her color choices and whimsical style. But the coincidences don't stop there, my swap buddy happens to be someone in her town that owns a coffeehouse and your cousin recommended that she join in the swap too! Weird huh! Thanks for making the trip to the mailbox exciting!! Hope you're having a lovely day!!! Laura Marschall

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    1. Laura - that's too funny, because I think YOUR swap buddy w/the coffeehouse in Marion was on MY exchange list too! It is such a small world - this has been just too much fun! Thanks for the note and for participating!

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  5. Hi Jen! I just received my beautiful treasure in the mail from you!! How lucky I am to have one of these beautiful, re-purposed collages! I know exactly how you feel about letting go of your stash! I'm trying hard to get over that myself, so your card is my little "go to mantra". I really love it, thank you for your creativity! And I am so happy to have found your blog too! All the best to you...Patricia Dattoma...OH! I just realized, Laura, above sent me one of her cards too!! It really IS a small world! :)

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  6. Jen -- OMG! I got your most amazing and fantastic postcard today in the mail. I received the one with the braid around it and I absolutely adore it!! Thank you seems so inadequate. Gushing might not be appropriate. Being excited and amazed is ... well, that's how I feel right now. ty ty ty ty ty!

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  7. HI!!!! I received one of your cards and I just have to say I love it! I love the texture, as in the physical touching not just visual. You can feel what you put into your cards and seeing them all on here I can see you put a lot of yourself into these. I am absolutely in love with it!
    Tricia

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  8. Hi Jen, I am so happy to say that I too am a very happy recipient of one of your cards. I love the one I received that is pictured top left in the second photo. Yes, I so agree with the sentiment….we are stronger than we think! I appreciate the work involved and love the techniques you used. This was my first swap with Hanna and I will certainly again. All the best with your future art endeavours for 2014!!
    Brenda

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