Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Destination Journal

"The journey IS the destination".
I met Dina Mack on the 23rd Worldwide Orlando SketchCrawl. Dina teaches a journaling class called Destination Journal. This class was held in the beautiful home of Summer Rodman. At the beginning Dina passed out cellophane packets that would help in the session. Inside the packets was some graph sheet writing paper and scented business cards that outlined the points to consider when journaling.....
Be curious.
Take in the setting - micro or macro.
Try and use all of your senses.
Be beautifully imperfect.
Explore a thought or idea.
Experiment with materials.
These simple ideas seem to reflect how I try to remain joyfully receptive every day. Early in the evening we discussed how the post office is having to shut down branches. I have decided to make it a personal goal to send friends more letters. That is right paper and pencil lovingly folded up and placed in an envelope. Dina asked us to listen to the cellophane as it crinkled and unfolded. I am listening to it now since I need to get at all the notes I took on the paper Dina gave us. We were reminded to keep our sense of wonder and to see the world through the eyes of a child.
Everyone introduced themselves. Malinda keeps dream journals. Sonya, an Aquarius, is a graphic designer and she designs her own line of Artisan Jewelry which she sells on Etsy. Her top selling item is a small bird ring. Michelle was an art teacher and over the summer she worked at a bike repair shop. She just got back from a trip to Canada and in her lap was a travel journal stuffed to overflowing. I wish I had seen what was in that journal. She is also an artist and uses mixed media. Summer who I know through the Kerouac Project is a poet and as it turns out an avid journal keeper. Dina showed one of Summers journals and it joyfully experimental. I could learn for her example. Corine arrived a little late and is a hairdresser and takes classes like this just as she might keep a gym membership to stay in shape and to explore new ideas with her art. Finally Dina showed us some of her journals. She carried them to class in a dark leather brief case which snapped open with a business like k chunk, k chunk. One journal was filled with leaves sewn onto the pages. Others were filled with notes and sketches about art works she is working on or simple everyday items like the wrapper from a fragrant soap. On New Years Day each year she spends the day going through the last years journals and couldn't imagine starting the New Year any other way. Since I started this sketch a day blog resolution on January 1st I really identify with this practice and I hope to start off the next year by flipping through my books and journals.
To kick things off Dina asked everyone to walk around Summers yard and garden. The sun was setting and the garden was dark and mysterious. Summer offered me a round sunflower seed that was hard to chew at first and then it had the texture of bubble gum. It had a mellow peanut like taste that I liked. I grabbed a few more off the vine. A huge owl landed in the dark branches above everyone and he made a strange soft cooing sound. He seemed to just be watching all of us and then he spread his enormous wings and took flight silhouetted against the dim dusk sky.
Inside on the second floor everyone started sketching and journaling. There was a palpable creative energy in the air. As I worked I felt a euphoric glow, a feeling of love for everyone in the room. Actually this glow was a feeling I simply seldom understand or acknowledge, I was happy. Everyone was focused yet playful. They would joke and laugh while the lines and colors flowed. I am so lucky to meet such vibrant creative people even in passing. Thoughts and images put down on paper suddenly become more tangible and important. For the moment life's worries and concerns vanished as we all captured and preserved what matters most, fleeting moments that are so important.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

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