Although I said I would wait till till the new year to post again I have been working away at making blog posts. I’m starting to feel I need to start posting again to clear the way forward into 2019. Here’s the first one:-
Thoughts on ways to age positively –
In my post time-for-a-quest I wrote ” Growing older and moving into the third stage of life I find this culture is not providing me with models of aging that sustain me. The medical model of age as a disease is sickening- literally – the cultural idea of denying and/or defying age doesn’t work for me either. Of course bodies age and interests change – that is the way of life. The idea of retiring to play golf and bingo bores me witless. There has to be more fulfilling ways to age.”
When I attempted to sort through my thoughts around aging I found I had so many conflicting ideas they overwhelmed me. I needed some way to organise the chaos within – some way of externalizing my thoughts so that I could sort them out. I decided the first step would be to make an art journal.
To get started with this I collected together 8 small pieces of watercolour paper that were roughly the same size (15 x 20 cm). I then painted on these with acrylic paint. At this stage I just slapped on colour to cover the white paper.
When the first side was dry I turned the paper over and painted the back.
Once both sides were dry I started embellishing them with words and pictures cut from magazines. I also used a few of my own photos and digital images I had printed out some time ago. To select the magazines pictures I flicked through old magazines without much conscious thought. Whenever I found a picture that made me look twice I tore out that page. Once I had pile of pages I cut out the bits of the pictures that attracted me.
I struck the words and images onto my painted papers using a glue stick. At this stage I had stop myself getting caught up in my thoughts. Whenever I started to manipulate the pages so that they reflected a specific idea the process would bog down. For example, I stuck the words ‘building blocks’ onto one of the papers in the photo below but soon after taking the photo I pulled them off again as they seemed too definitive. Luckily the paper was still damp from the painting process so they peeled off easily.
I then drew and painted on the papers – again without too much pre-meditated thought.
Once all the paper was dry I folded the pieces in half and collected them into a book format. To make a cover I used a piece of leather. I punched three holes into the pages and the cover and laced them together with thonging.
Although a lot of the pages were incomplete the book began to develop a theme. On one page I had glued a photo of a Buddhist woman on a spiritual pilgrimage. It was only when I had assembled the book that the words “Aging as a Spiritual Journey” popped into my mind. I wrote them on a scrap of paper and glued them onto the page.
I now had a journal to work in and a broad theme to work with…
more in the next post