Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Art Journal Page - Longing for Love


Warning - this post is a little "woo-woo" (emotional/out there)... So if you hate that kind of thing, read no further...



Before leaving for our most recent service trip to Guatemala, I had an art party in my home studio with a bunch of great women, including fiber artist Sandra Koterba, doll artist Heather Brauner, and some friends from my town.   We had a great time making journals out of papers we created using Stencil Girl stencils, gelli plates, and other mark making techniques.  


As we went along, I mopped up extra paint in my art journal, ending up with this lovely spread of greens, yellows and blues that made beautiful music together.


It sat this way until, on a walk with my dog, I had an epiphany and a vision.  I quickly came home and sketched in my journal.  It gave a face and figure to a part of me that feels like a very little girl longing for love, acceptance and approval.  She shares space with a part of me that is super critical and tells me that I'm not good enough, thin enough, nice enough, generous enough, talented, original and so on.

I have been wondering why a part of me would be so mean and say such cruel things.  But I realized that the critical voice is so worried about the little girl experiencing rejection, that she pushes love away so there's no chance of hurt or disappointment.

Sound crazy?  It made perfect sense to me!  Don't a lot of us live this way?  Afraid of opening our hearts and being vulnerable because of old wounds that keep us timid and scared? 



 I re-sketched and painted the girls on top of that colorful spread in my journal, and it looked like this.



I made the dress for the girl on the right using deli paper that I brayered with blue and pink paint, and added pattern from my Scales Stencil from Stencil Girl.



















I knew this wasn't done yet, but it had to sit a while.  And then yesterday, a great quote from a set of Donna Downey stamps, and the right paper remnants on my work table, called to me to finish this page.

As I worked on it, I was able to look at these parts and feel compassion and understanding for them.  I was able to tell that little girl that it's ok.  That I am grown up and strong and loved and there's no need to grasp so hard at approval and acceptance.  I was also able to tell that critical voice that she can take some time off - there's no need for her well-intentioned but hurtful protection.
 
Fighting depression and internal demons takes a lot of strength - but it's the only choice we have in order to live fully in the world.  And that's how I want to live.

So the emotional woo-woo part is over!  Now for a celebration - I will giveaway one of the Scales Stencils to someone who comments!  You have until Sunday night, 3/16, at 8PM EST.  I will post the winner right here so check back.  

And the winner is bncpools!  Send your snail mail address to me at jessicabethsporn (at) gmail (dot) com and I will get it out to you!


Saturday, make sure you come back here because there will be another post, a video tutorial, and another giveaway - because One Little Word is coming back!  

Your comments make me so happy and let me know you were here. I read and treasure every comment and will happily answer any questions as soon as I can.  Thanks for stopping by!

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57 comments:

  1. Well, you are definitely not alone in your thinking and we all need to be strong, push back and carry on! :)

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  2. Beautiful page and story. You're going to be just fine.

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  3. we all get our inner critics, i have one right now while i am trying to learning to use my new camera. We just have to silence them by not letting them become too powerful. Your art is wonderful and those critics have no reason to be around. Love your pages
    Gill x

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  4. Your post really touched me today Jessica - thank you

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  5. LOVE this. The design, the color all fabulous. LOVE that sentiment. It is so true. Glad you were able to plow through and make one beautiful piece of art. Thanks for sharing. :0)

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    1. Thanks so much for commenting and YOU are the winner of the scales stencil. Please send your snail mail address to jessicabethsporn (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll get it out to you!

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  6. Beautifully stated--both the words and images. Thank you for sharing--it touched me, too, and so I imagine many, many others.

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  7. I get it! I've had a talk with my little 5 year old self before!!! It made all the difference in the world! Thanks for sharing Jessica.

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  8. <3 this artwork, the sentiment, the tears and the fears ... and the courage and strength to not let it take hold! God graced you with a talent that is heavenly inspired. NO inner critic voice has a place to still your artistic heart. :-) GO YOU, Jessica !!!

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  9. I knew as soon as I saw this post of facebook, that little girl looked familiar! She looks like my inner child, too! Thanks for posting and sharing on these forums, sharing some of our inner selves reminds us we are not alone and it may help someone else get "in touch" and move forward! Terri D.

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  10. Love this piece and totally understand your story.

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  11. Thank you so much for sharing such a personal and touching part of yourself Jessica. These are inspirational words for many of us.

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  12. Thank you for sharing, that's what I love about the internet - to think I might never know your heart otherwise - it's quite amazing. Thank you

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  13. Jessica, this post really resonates with me. I have this internal conflict and conversation all the time. Thank you for your wise council and beautiful picture.

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  14. So true for many of us, Jessica, and beautifully illustrated.

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  15. Beautiful, I loved the woo woo and the girls. I can never use too many reminders to keep the critical voices silent or at least have them whisper.

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  16. Wow did this resonate with me. I have been doing som purging and other stuff. The girl sitting is just like one I drew in a journal from 1969 or 70. I never did keep consistent journals but found two, many years apart that were done in painful times. You brought back my thoughts when I saw them these many years later. All grown and confident now, I can comfort that girl and be thankful.thanks

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  17. Thank you for sharing your beautiful work it resonated with a part of me that for so long has trod down a similar path, here is to being able to let go of the fear and to stepping in to new experiences whole heartedly.

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  18. Just absolutely beautiful... your journal page and your blog post. :) I think we all struggle in our own hearts and minds one way or another. It's that mean ol' inner critic and like you said, we would never ever say things like it to our friends and loved ones. I am working on giving the heave-ho to that inner critic and treating myself better and your post came at just the right time to encourage me more. We are beautiful and good enough just the way we are. :)

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  19. We all have like feelings! Some are more intense than others. Art is our refuge. Thanks for sharing!

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  20. Lovely page Jessica. That inner struggle catches all of us I think! Chin up, YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH!

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  21. I am just discovering your blog and youtube videos and I am really enjoying them. I watched several videos today. So NO I didn't get any art done myself! *LOL* But that's ok. I am inspired by your wonderfully creative work. Thanks so much for doing all that hard work to share with us. It is very much appreciated! :D

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  22. Beautiful story and picture. Thank you so much for sharing it with all of us. Your a Brave artist and I enjoy all of your videos and blog post. Thanks for a chance to win !

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  23. Thank you so much for sharing so deeply and being so vulnerable - you are a great teacher for all of us.

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  24. I'm in the middle is rereading Brene Brown's The a Gifts of Imperfection (cause it didn't sink in the first time!) this is a timely post for me. You might enjoy her TED Talk if you haven't watched it before! Beautiful page & post! Ooxxx http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability

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  25. Beautiful story. I think we all have an inner critic.

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  26. thanks for sharing, been there and still fall back there sometimes. What a battle!

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  27. I think you were describing me!

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  28. I came home from my ASL class tonight all fired up about my performance final and wanted to share it with my husband. He watched me perform my little story in sign language. But he didn't give me any kudos. I was wanting to hear kudos. Finally I asked him if he wasn't impressed with what I've learned so far. He said, but I know you, I'm not surprised by what you do anymore. I take it for granted!
    I guess that's a kudo of sorts! My needy little girl parts would have liked more! But you know what? The smile on my teachers face was really enough! I know I did well.
    Not too woo woo for me!

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  29. PS you already know I love your art, but this little girl with her older part is deliciously beautiful. Xoxo
    And I sure do hope you give yourself huge points for the wonderful mitzvah/service you do/did in Guatamala!

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  30. I could have easily written this. My journey probably took another route but the destination is the same. I think my critical voice likes to say harsh things because I feel if I say it first, others won't. I feel that is less painful. But negative is negative. The seeds are planted either way. The rotten pile grows. I would describe me as "fat, a good nurse, kind of smart, some art talent, kind.' Others would not say fat to me today. Though I got the "'but you have such a pretty face." They would say so smart ( I have an MSN that i got with a 4.0). Very funny, Artistic. Sweet. Helpful. I know the terms in my head but don't often connect them to my heart. Thank you for taking us on this introspective journey. I also think some spring weather would promote some positivity! Have a great weekend!

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  31. Thank you for sharing your story Jessica...I understand

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  32. Thank you Jessica. You're shared story resonates with many of us and you are brave for sharing.
    Your pages are beautiful and so are You! hugs

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  33. Thank you for this post. I needed this today.

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  34. Thank you for being brave. I have only just started art journaling and have places in the pages where I go through this same thing. I really appreciate that you took the time to share your personal thoughts.

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  35. Jessica you are an awesome person and bringing out something that I am sure everyone goes through at one time or another is so fantastic. We all have our own insecurities and it is good to bring them out in the open. Thank you for being YOU.

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  36. beautiful way to work through your thoughts

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  37. I love the way you mopped up and created a background and then the little girl who "came" to you. I also love the idea of an art party. I'm considering throwing one of my own now. Do you share a meal or just hunker down to making art? Thanks so much for this post!

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  38. Thanks for this post Jessica. Some of us have that little boy doing the same thing to us. And recently I have had to fight him to keep him down. So, I kind of needed this today. Great piece!!!!!

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  39. I have just recently discovered your blog and this post has hit home like no other. I feel I could've written it myself and if the girl in the drawing had some nappy curly hair it'd be me, LOL. My childhood on up until I could move out was filled with - to put in nicely - turmoil. Escaping to my room to delight in various arts, my viola, drawing, painting, whatever - was all I had as a safety net. I learned to put up a shield for protection and this continued on in to my adulthood as the turmoil followed me until I chose to break free from it. With that I thought I'd learn to let go but as you said those little critical voices still follow us. It takes a lot of strength, faith, and trust to move on and little by little, day by day I have. Some days better than others. I'm so thankful to know there are other brave souls out there doing the same and especially thankful for you sharing your story through this beautiful piece and your words. Blessings to you!

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  40. LOL! I love this post! You are certainly talking to me! Gorgeous art!

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  41. I think that everyone has their ups and downs in life and everyone handles their downs in their own individual way. I know I do. At times those downs, can be very overwhelming.
    I really like your girls and I especially like the "mop up" page. The color are so inviting.

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  42. thank you for your post Jessica...It amazes me that I often "find myself" being described on the blogs of many creative people (mostly women)...is self-criticism and self-doubt just naturally part of those drawn to creative pursuits?...or is creativity our way of dealing with those feelings that plague us (mostly women)? ...maybe a bit of both?

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  43. I am fighting your same battles, Jessica, so this post is timely for me...and well received, I might add! I needed to read this today...not yesterday or tomorrow, but today! I am grateful for both your inspiring words and your wonderful art! Mwah!

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  44. Woo woo is a good thing. Love your process and what you created with your feelings. xox

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  45. I love woowoo emotional stuff. I also love when you are doing ordinary things, not a deep thought in your head and then puff you come to this amazing realization about yourself! Good stuff and love the art journal page

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  46. I think the other little girl could be me. If it was, I'd pick a flower, then turn round and give it to you, with a big healing hug and the offer of friendship. Suz xxx

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  47. I wish I could come right over and give you a hug right now. This is beautiful, and I'd appreciate your telling that critical side the STH up. She knows not of what she speaks... you are more than enough in every way, honey!

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  48. Hi Jessica. Love your girlie page above. You have some very insightful and beautiful things to say about this piece of artwork and I am glad I didn't turn the page! Also, I watched your short video from the post before with your silhouettes. You used a large stencil (I think the 2nd stencil you used in the video) with what looked like all different kinds of circles, and leaves, and other objects I couldn't see them all. Is this one of your stencils? Is this one of Mary Beth's new stencils, or an oldie but goodie? thanks for sharing all your art with us. I love your art and have used your inspiration on many of my own pages. Thanks again. Sue
    suzschultz23@aol.com

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  49. I struggle with this, too. You expressed it beautifully, Jessica.

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  50. I love your art and this piece is special!

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  51. this is great, the sentiment is perfect.

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  52. Your words are so true and heartfelt Jessica. I bet many of us have been in that very vulnerable space at one time or another. Your page is so beautiful and really such a healing way to release the burden of those thoughts. Would LOVE to win that stencil .Thanks so much for the chance to win!

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  53. What a strong and kind woman you are to share like you do. Your designs

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  54. Woo woo? Never heard of that word before! I guess we all have that vulnerability and if we have just enough to keep us from being conceited, then that's ok. BUT the enemy will try every which way to keep us from being grateful and confident and happily creating with the gifts Our Father gave us, and we have to rebuke and curse him! God bless you! The work of your hands bless me! Patsy

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