Saturday, September 15, 2012

Unlock and Burst Through

Today, I finished this art journal page, which is very inspired by the amazing e-class I am taking, Bloom True.  It says, "I will unlock, burst through or shatter the containers I have made with my mind."  I don't know if it's a little depression from closing the lake house or the transition into the school year and all the "to dos" that are cropping up, but I have had a very negative soundtrack running in my head.  It goes something like this:
  • I'm a bad mother - I am often irritable and critical of Samy (my 11 year old).   I don't bake, do crafts with her, and so much of the time I just "vant to be alone," to quote Greta Garbo.   Is it horrible that what I really want to do is spend time alone painting?
  • I'm a bad daughter - I am so often short-tempered with my mom.  I don't cut her any slack at all.  I feel bad about that, because really -- we're so much alike (which is probably why...)
  • I'm a bad friend - I forget birthdays.  I don't stay in touch or reach out enough.  Is it horrible that what I really want to do is spend time alone painting?
  • I'm not a "real" artist.  So much of my work is commercial - I don't trust my process, my intuition, my materials.  I'm not original...
Wow - just writing and re-reading this makes me gag a little!  When do I feel best?  When I am actively engaged in helping others -- like in our volunteer work in Guatemala, or when I am lost in my artwork.  Clearly, to be indulging in all this self-criticism, I have too much time on my hands.   ENOUGH!  As my friend Marcie would say, get out and walk the dog!  Burst through this container of self doubt and judgment and find some joy in nature!

Two good quotes for today:

"Life does not accommodate you.  It shatters you.  It is meant to, and it couldn't do it better.  Every seed destroys its container or else there would be no fruition." (from -- no attribution)

"When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure."  Peter Marshall

Linking up to Artists in Blogland Show & Tell Saturday, Moxie Fab Jars of Joy challenge (although my jar is not quite filled with joy!),  Ronda Palazzari's prompt to use the word "Unlock," Illustration Friday's challenge to illustrate the word "Burst," and Inspiration Avenue's dragonflies prompt.

And reminding you about Fall Fearless & Fly - a challenge I am co-hosting beginning October 1.  I am so looking forward to it!

Question:  Do you have a negative soundtrack?  How do you turn it off once it starts playing?

Thank you for visiting! If you are so moved, please leave a comment. Hearing from you means the world to me.

UPDATE - I saw this today on FB and had to add it to this post.  It seemed written just for me.


  1. Re-evaluate!! It's probably a hormonal gremlin! Men probably never say all these things to themselves...we set too high of a standard for ourselves!

    I used to fertilize my potted plants at the front of the house and they flourished. Then one year there was a crisis and I could barely water them, I gave them only a small amount of water...and no fertilizer...they flourished slower and lasted longer...the ones with all the care bloomed and then went to seed before the season was completed the others kept going slow and steady!! Hope this metaphor helps...sure gave me a new perspective!!

    Sometimes we need to self preserve, by doing what makes us happy so we can be better people!! I am older now and would have been way kinder to myself and done way less for others had I known better!!

    Do art because you love it and have to do it!! Not because you need others to love it!! Which by the way I just happen to love it!! lol

    I have no agenda when I's only for me, I still have no idea just makes me soooo happy and that happiness spreads to others!! Not sure any of this will help. Thought I'd put it out there anyway!!

    I have no doubt you do a million wonderful things for others in between trying to find time to create...start counting the things you do for others!! Not what you don't!!

    Hugs Giggles

  2. Loving the spirit of your latest work, this is so fabulous. Happy PPF, Annette x

  3. well your page is very positive, it looks 'freeing'

  4. Fantastic and I must laugh when I read your story. So recognizable. Your page is so beautiful, and indeed it burst out. The result± freedom. So also in your work. marvelous Jessica. LOVE it. Thansk for visiting my blog.
    have a nice weekend and lovely greet

  5. I think you sing the song of all"busy women". Not only will life alone suck the energy right out of you, but when we don't replace it with something joyful for ourselves, we open the door to every negative thought and we go spiraling downhill. It is not selfish to "re-fill your tank" and to realize what a fabulous person you really are. I love your art piece and the message!
    "BREAK THROUGH" you are worth it. YOU are enough!!

  6. I just love your blog, and your work! I came here to thank you for leaving an encouraging comment on my art journal post on my blog. Thanks, and I'm now bookmarking your blog in my Art Journal tab.

  7. This is stunning and speaks to light and transformation- love this!

  8. Very thought provoking words and beautiful journal page! I am inspired... Thank you for visiting my journaling too! Kath

  9. A good painting, with nice colors.

  10. I totally have a negative sound track running mutedly in the back ground - I am not a great mama, I am a bad friend, I am impatient, cranky, a crap wife, blah, blah, blah!

    I find if I acknowledge my inner b*?&H she leaves me alone - like 'you're right I am a cranky mama, so what am I going to do to fix it?'

    I read some where you take your inner voice and move it from where it usually comes from (like at back of head), + move it to the end of your fingers and then give it a really funny voice (like betty boop, or donald duck) and then it doesn't seem so awful!

    (Sorry for rambling comments!) And your painting is just lovely!
    Kirstin x

  11. Oh yes. Very, VERY recognizable! Those same thoughts go through my head as well, especially the feeling of being a bad mother because I also want time for myself. But I think Giggles' advice is very wise: look at the things you do, not at the things you don't do. And since you're doing Flora's workshop: somewhere, I think in the 4th week, she says something similar that opened my eyes: Look at what works, and go from there. Everybody is always looking at the things that are not good, the things that don't work, but you should just do the opposite. And it's not only in art that this is true. I love your art journal page, and that quote from somee-cards is hilarious.

  12. Oh dear, I don't think it's because you have too much time on your hands! I think being short with people we love means we haven't taken enough time for ourselves. Really! You need to find your personal little space of peace every day (maybe painting!), and that way there will be more of you to share with others. And of course, don't be so hard on yourself.

    It's a really beautiful painting! So much lovely color and detail.

  13. I really love this! Thanks for sharing!


  14. How did you get MY tape? And I am 70 years old and still hearing it! I think giggles has great advise. One thing I know for is NOT my hormones. Happy PPF and keep up the good work. I love your artwork.

  15. I think you have to do what makes you happy. If you aren't happy you can't make other people happy.

    Turn off the negative soundtrack and write down positives and play them instead.

    But what do I know?! I know I love your art piece :)


  16. Love the page - and the end cartoon! Thanks for sharing. joining from Inspire Me Monday -

  17. Very beautiful work and great journalling to look back on. THanks for sharing it. You might find my art therapy column interesting on Treasuring Grace....

  18. No worries. Kids need independence and you are helping raise an independent young person. Your mom knows you and loves you for who you are. Birthdays are fun whenever you celebrate them. And you are a wonderful artist! No worries!

  19. Wow, amazing how your soundtrack sounds like my soundtrack! LOL! My dealing with it usually follows the tracks of that FB-card, which is awesome, btw.
    Your page is wonderful, love the concept and it's beautifully executed!

  20. This summer I had a negative sound track. Then I was able to delete the soundtrack when I read a visual journal book and I saw the page that said, "I am not perfect!" This deleted the soundtrack for me. I also wrote down all of the negative thinking, forced myself to write for two pages, back to back, anything that cam to mind. When I was done I felt relieved, I crumbled and tore up the paper, and said, "I am not perfect. Get over it. Time to move on. Set one thing as a goal to improve, and let the rest lay to rest!"

  21. WOW! just wow! way to unlock and get it all out. this is stunning!

    1. Thanks Ronda - I appreciated the word prompt - it was very cathartic!

  22. Thank you all for your wonderfully encouraging comments, suggestions, and blog love. Can't tell you how much it all meant and means to me.

  23. So very artistic, so very talented! Lovely!

  24. Same soundtrack for me too, i have no idea how to shut it off, glad you go some good advice from others... Also love your fairy tea journal page and collages!

  25. Hey Jessica! Thanks for linking this up to the Jars of Joy Challenge in the Moxie Fab World! I'm so glad you joined in on all the fun! :)

  26. BEAUTIFUL!!!! and so ARTISTIC!!!
    Have a GREAT day!


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