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.


Ruth Merriam said...

Cathartic, isn't it?

I went through my journals about a month ago and shredded just about every page. Mind you, I had nowhere near the quantity you have . . . nor do I have a fireplace.

For that matter, I no longer journal in hardcopy form. You've produced a lot of art; I produced a lot of whining and self-pity.

Ashling said...

Such bravery....creative bravery. Letting go can be as scary and brave as creating. I admire you and wish you countless new fresh pages on which to continue the journey.