It's too early in this sub-zero winter to be talking about the ice breaking up. But I think some of my own internal ice is starting to shift and move and melt. As far as I can figure, that's as good a thing as the warm winds of spring will feel when they finally arrive. I've always been the kind of person who pauses right before sharing something I've done, allowing enough time for that shifty thought: IT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH! to creep in. Sometimes the thought arrives even earlier, like just as I get to my art table ready to create something. Or when I'm sitting at my computer prepared to write. And that's when the next thing I know I'm doing email, watching TV, or playing mindless computer games for hours on end.
I've been working at keeping a visual journal for several years now, but something has been preventing me from truly throwing myself into it the way I am able to let myself go with my written journaling. There are always these thoughts bouncing around in my head: I'm not doing it right. I need to do it better. It's not good enough! No matter how many times I tell that inner critic to go sit in the corner and keep her mouth shut, I let the voice in and I falter. My work falters. For the past couple weeks I've been PLAYING with some of my "failed" collages and other pieces (like ATCs and postcards), using them to create art journal backgrounds digitally. Okay, this is too much fun for words! And whether they are "good enough" or not, I'm sharing a few of them with you (above and in the next post).
On the night of the inauguration I kept hearing people say that our new president made them want to be smarter, to find ways to contribute, to "do it better." President Obama and his beautiful, community-minded, giving family make me feel that way, too. Seen in that light, "doing it better" is a good thing. A place for me to begin is right here in my studio. In a spirit of playfulness. Practicing doing what I love. Finding ways to share it. Because, after all, that's how we get better at anything, isn't it? Today, still basking in the warm glow of Inauguration Day, that feels like spring to me!