Saturday, January 30, 2016


What do I put back together? What stays, what goes? The All Gone part is done, actually. Now, pages are glued in where pages have been torn out ~ new images, new textures. Magazines, print-outs, copies, and pretty papers. 
This old journal is treated like an altered-book project, painting over words and images using simple techniques from Dreaming On Paper.

White paint and scratches.

Black paint and scratches.

Brown paper and punched holes.

Some  reverse stenciling.

Including images that might have meaning at a later date.

Must have red.

And black.

Friday, January 22, 2016


And so in the natural progression of deconstruction, we've finally come to the burn part. New day, new song. Don't ask if you can read a page on the way to the flames. It won't be permitted. We're past the point of no return and there is not looking back ~ not even out of curiosity.

Do I feel lighter yet? I'm not sure. I did not begin this work lightly, didn't take it lightly. And yet, it really isn't a big deal. The preciousness left long since while ripping, tearing, and punching. Pretty paper with words waiting to become something else or immolated. Feed, fodder, fire nourishment.

There are some things I've observed about burning paper. It burns hot and fast. It doesn't burn well if neatly piled. It needs some moving around to insure complete immolation. Never leave a word behind. Be clear on what's being done because there's no undoing it. At least humans have cellular memory back-up.

Now. Onto those hardbound editions . . .

What burns so easily.

My Yes To This Moment.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

50 ways

This song goes through my mind as I find different ways to deconstruct volumes of journals. Ripping and tearing, hole punching, slide punching . . . burning. Yes, there must be fifty ways to leave your lover.

Before I move on to the hardbound sketchbooks (which will be easier and more fun, in my opinion), I'm slogging through all the spiral-bound editions ~ even the lovely Papaya Art notebooks. Those are making lovely circle images and interesting cuts on the slide punch. I'm rather eager to use them in the visual journals.

And that's another funny thing I'm noticing about myself: I'm still writing nearly everyday. A little counter productive, isn't it? A little ridiculous. One might feel the goal of destroying writings would be to STOP WRITING shit. Writing is an action. It needs pen and paper. It needs those things for that tactile, hand-mind coordination ~ more than typing or speaking. (Though, if one wants to avoid that Foot In Mouth thing, then there'd better be a few things in place.) Writing, hand writing in particular, is magic. It expresses like a Rothko painting, but with some agreed-upon symbology. What's written can be read again ~ unless burned, of course. Or erased. Or redacted in some other way.

In short, I like to write. It is my lover. And though I may find fifty ways to leave it, I won't. I will, however, leave no trace.

All hail Fiskars!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


The tender beginnings of deconstruction has begun. This process isn't a race. There is care and planning involved. I'm not reading any of the journals as I tear through them ~ that would slow me down far too much. I would be mired in too many memories. And it's not that I want to forget the memories, far from it. The thing is to keep moving through them without attachment. My eyes scan a neatly written page to catch a word or a name. I notice where I'm repetitively bitching about things ~ another fair reason for deconstruction/reconstruction of these journals. Why read something I was complaining, whining, pissing and moaning about 30 years later? It's not pleasant for me. I doubt it would be pleasant for any future reader.

As I said, there is care and planning involved. Three Zip-loc bags hold three different deconstructions. One bag holds stripped rips, another random rips, and a third holds the circle punches. These all work well with the older notebook written journals. The words become random images on blue lines, out of context, out of mind. Out of curiosity, I pulled the signatures out of one of the hardcover sketchbooks. As sturdy as they are in one piece, the spine doesn't hold up too well once signatures are ripped out. Three ay-em mental meanderings provided an easy solution learned from a Juliana Coles course on altered book journal making: Rip most of the the page out, but leave a flap at the gutter. Then another piece of paper can be glued to the flap creating a whole new and interesting page. Hopefully, doing this will keep the sketchbook's integrity without over expanding too much.

With 48 notebooks and sketchbooks to rip through, I'm rethinking how much might be kept for future art works. It's reams of paper. Keeping it in book form is daunting enough ~ mainly the real estate it all takes up in my studio. Bags of ripped and punched journaling might not offer much more space either. It's why I love fireplaces. You can't reconfigure ashes for legibility of documents. And I am committed to releasing each and every one of these journals in one way or another. There is an odd mixture of ambivalence and excitement. The ambivalence will be gone in a half hour though.

Saturday, January 16, 2016


Well, here I am in the beginning of a new year. There is a hedgewitchery flux happening for me. I'm neither here nor there. Ideas are coming to me in at odd times and in strange forms. While watching X-FilesYou, Dawn, could do this thing. Or while spinning wool: Dawn, why don't you create this? So far, it's about the Art ~ what I can create, what I can do under my own steam. No collaborations or partnerships or relying on other people/things/circumstances. Just me. Which really works well for an Aries person. What doesn't work well for an Aries person is Sustaining. That is, the fiery beginnings a person of my type enjoys hits a wall. I might get bored midway. I might encounter an unforeseen obstacle and let the project sit far too long (like, until it's forgotten completely). The challenge might be, then, to engage that Word o' the Year I've adopted for 2016: Curiosity. Can I be curious enough to maintain some sort of momentum? Even if some of that momentum includes the occasional setting aside to percolate?

I don't know. We'll see. I am curious.

In the meantime, I've issued myself a personal challenge: to re-purpose all my old journals into art. I've been writing journals since nineteen seventy something. All words written long hand. Very few have images. I've written about Everything and Nothing. What I'm feeling on a certain day. Events occurring at a certain time. Rage. Sadness. Unsent letters. Joy.

The thing is, I'm not that person anymore. I wasn't that person the minute I put pen to paper. I did need to express the emotion, note the date, speak to my soul and that happened. However, it doesn't need to be written in stone and kept for posterity or painful posthumous reading. Despite disclaimers to anyone reading my journals, it's still all there. And it might sting a little. Even for me.


Hardbound books will be ripped through to reduce the signatures for painting or creating collage over (I don't want the books to go all alligator on me). Spiral bound notebooks will be ripped through, painted over, included in collage or hole punched (I've got one of those nifty 2" hole punches). Words will become art, transformed, released. Better than burning, it's recycling, composting. I rather wish I had my grandmother's journals to include in the mix because that history can go too.

What might grow from this endeavor? I don't know. Something. Nothing. Like a gardener, I'll have to keep on task in order to bear fruit.