Thursday, December 31, 2009

Beginning my journey with the Bead Journal Project 2010

So this Bead Journal Project is a group of artists that have made a committment to creating one visual journal piece per month, and the only rules basically are that each piece be the same size and have beadwork as part of the design. This project draws a lot of textile and fiber artists. Most of the beadwork is embroidered and generally 2 dimensional. While I have been yearning to explore sculptural form with beads I am deciding to go with more flat pieces and generally use embroidery.

Last week I was feeling utterly creatively despondent. of course with my tendancy toward self-criticism and deprecation I was all over the place. I was remembering being a child and coloring and realized I was that child who always colored IN the lines. Plus all my colors were true to life. The tree trunk HAD to be brown, the sun yellow or orange. I am DOOMED!!! I am mulling over how and where to start with January's piece, what size, should there be a theme and so on and kept coming up empty. This went on for a day or so when I remembered a book I have on my shelf. Tess gave me a copy last year. 'Women Who Run With the Wolves' by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I thought just what I need. All these years and I have NEVER read 'Women Who Run With the Wolves'. I have friends who have raved about this book. I really thought it was just another one of those acadamia type manuscripts culled from a doctoral thesis chock full of reference notes etc. so I just avoided it all these years.

After a few pages I was not only hooked, I was creatively reinspired and quite miraculously feeling hopeful about life again. Dramatic? Yes. But true. Reality as it exists in my head has usually been on the dramatic side. But that's a whole other story. From the first page she has a way lighting up the brain tissue in the right hemisphere, re-inviting you into your own soul. I have only read a handful of pages so far. I am in love with her words, her mind, her reality. That is enough. I know it is there. I shall take months to revel in it and I am happy about this.. So the last day I have been doodling with a pencil and have actually started my first beadjournal page.

Having never embroidered with beads before I started out cautious and thoughtful. My drawing was detailed. I learned quickly that when transferring the initial images to the felt, all I need to render is some basic lines... the beads take over with their own lines, they have their own way of being expressed and they are refusing to be boxed in by my desire for order and PLANNING.

and I have never realized until recently the extent at which fear governs my life and stifles my creativity. yet another whole other topic...


only another artist will understand this crazy talk

did I connect my REAL name with this blog - gulp


  1. Yes, you put your real name on your blog (unlike me but that's my own story)! What is the point of journaling with beads if you don't stretch some part of you or tell some part of your story? But no one in this group that I know of, judges anyone. We just appreciate the art and the feelings and the struggles and the joys. Universal things but unique to each as well which is why everyone's work is different. If it makes you feel better, I have trouble with outside the lines, and using "wrong" colors all the while cheering on anyone brave enough to step out of the ordinary. Good luck. Will be rooting for you whatever direction the beads take you.
    Timaree (my real name)

  2. Hugs to you Timaree. Your feedback is so welcome.