Thursday, April 5, 2012

That House & Stormy Weather

Rare opportunity today. I took the day off to get away from the house and wander aimlessly around, with no agenda. No list of things to buy or do. No objective other than not to come home until dinner time. I did not go out into the wide world empty handed, though.... oh, no! I packed my tote bag with paints, brushes, glue stick, bits of paper ephemera, pens of all kinds... and my art journal. My one goal for the day was to sit somewhere, in my car, and journal without interruption or distraction for as long as I felt like it. And that I did.

A few stops first, though. Craft Warehouse, where I wandered up and down the aisles at leisure, looking at every little thing. I bought a length of chain in the jewelry department, but that was all. I find this unbelievable, but Craft Warehouse does not carry washi tape! Can you imagine? That HUGE scrapbooking department and no washi tape. *sigh*  Next stop, the other end of the parking lot to Chuck's Produce for a cup of spicy chicken cabbage soup and some beet salad to go... which I decided I would eat in the car once I got to Value Village.

On the way there, drove into a Mega Hailstorm. Traffic slowed to a crawl as none of us could see the road or make our windshield wipers work fast enough. As I pulled in to Value Village's parking lot, the gigantic black storm cell seemed to be directly over me. It proceeded to hail harder than ever. Any thought of getting out of the car was out of the question. The irony that this was the 40th anniversary of the tornado that tore across this city and took the roof off of this very building (which was called Ware Mart in 1972) was not lost on me!

While it continued to hail for the next half hour, I enjoyed my soup... then slid back my seat and started journaling. Working on the second installment of my 21 Secrets class with Aimee Myers Dolich, my prompt for the day was "That House", with instructions to think of a house in my area that had always intrigued me and let my imagination run. Here is the resulting interpretation...

This is a two-page spread. This side was done over the original illustration in the book (The Secret Garden) that I'm altering for this journal... so don't think I did these lovely watercolored tree branches myself. Those were already there. I just used my brush pens to write over them.

The crinkly snippet in the middle is a page of a rough draft manuscript from a story my grandmother wrote eons ago. I think she had been frustrated with this particular page, because when I acquired this manuscript, it was in a huge box of her writings that no one had touched for many years (she died in the 1970's)... and just this one page had been wadded up, and then re-smoothed and put back with the others.

My very own grandmother.

The other side of this spread doesn't look a thing like the other...

Very incongruous. But, let's just say this... one side led me to the other, so it works in my mind. It's not truly a piece of art, it's an art journal. So, it's okay if it's not  necessarily balanced or cohesive. Right?

If you are a very good friend of mine, and you REALLY want to know the true story behind this house that my friends and I broke into in 1973... give me a call and I'll tell you all about my life of crime and how that house has haunted me all this time!


Pam McKnight said...

What a cool story within a story. I liked your artist date with yourself and even with the bad weather you figured out a way to make some art. I loved the book "the Secret Garden" and I like how you are incorporating it into your journal along with your grandma's writing. I too have used some of my grandmothers things in my art.

I don't know the whole story but you remind me of my sister who when we were young used to like to go into empty houses to look around and I was always afraid we would be caught!

Patti said...

Thanks, Pam! Yeah, I guess it sort of was an "artist date". (I need to spend more time with Julia Cameron again, too.) Funny thing was, there I was with my pan of watercolors and brushes... but forgot to bring a container of water, so I actually got out and scraped some hail off the front of my car into my empty soup bowl and used that.:)

Ashley said...

This is awesome, I love your work! Beautiful!