From the Heart- a 15 day journal exercise: Part 10 Fear of Dying

I am re-reading Stephen Levine‘s A Year to Live- how to live this year as if it were your last as a personal exercise schedule to take time to slow down and truly listen to my heart.

Recall:

Part 1: Catching Up with Your Life

Part 2: Practice Dying

Part 3: Preparing to Die

Part 4: Dying from the Common Cold

Part 5: Renewing Evolution

Part 6: Famous Last Words

Part 7: Fear of Fear

Part 8- Noticing

Part 9: A Commitment to Life

Part 10: Fear of Dying

1. Journal exercise:

Dying to me implies process.

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What is it that process we fear today?  What did we fear yesterday?  How did we move forward despite?  What made us move forward a year ago?

If you keep a journal/ diary /image-idea file, go back a year and revisit an entry:

June 10, 2016

Autopsy

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

[How fascinating that my brother told me yesterday he just finished The Bell Jar]

TB

What am I trying to convey in my work?  Is it of value?  Does it matter?

I remind myself that it doesn’t, that it CANNOT MATTER how I “fit in” to current zeitgeist or if my work has “value.”  I just do it.

It is a biological function.

PROCESS is my art form, obsessive ongoing process, either when teaching it, facilitating it, doing it.

So there in lies what MATTERS.  The PROCESS.

Process art is an artistic movement as well as a creative sentiment where the end product of art and craft, the objet d’art, is not the principal focus. The ‘process’ in process art refers to the process of the formation of art: the gathering, sorting, collating, associating, patterning, and moreover the initiation of actions and proceedings.

Process art is concerned with the actual doing and how actions can be defined as an actual work of art; seeing the art as pure human expression. Process art often entails an inherent motivation, rationale, and intentionality. Therefore, art is viewed as a creative journey or process, rather than as a deliverable or end product. – Wiki

I have come to terms with the fact that my particular imagery is a stream of consciousness process.  I suppose I am interpreting text in my illustration projects, but it seems more that I land on a particular word or phrase and play from there.  So the resulting image becomes a type of riff or image play.

Fleshy Tomb

I have tried other ways to work, but only my personal stream of consciousness expression makes me feel authentic. I am thoroughly enjoying Caroline Spurgeon’s book, Shakespeare’s Imagery- and what it tells us (1935) as she contemplates the evidence of Shakespeare’s thoughts in his imagery.

The bare fact that germinating seeds of falling leaves are actually another expression of the processes we see at work in human life and death, thrills me, as it must others, with a sense of being here in presences of a great mystery, which could we only understand it, would explain life and death itself.

For me, drawing and embroidering the drawings is to lie down into life and take time to look at the PROCESS as it slowly unfolds.  It is about TRUTH.

I would actually argue that the current art period is PROCESS.

Y-STR

the permanent analogy of things by images which participate in the life of truth… – Percy Bysshe Shelley

Check out:

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And which is what I think the thing that we call the Arts contains something that’s kind of alive. And I, I think image is the right word for it, and what the biological function of this thing we call the images or the arts might be. Because my argument is we wouldn’t of dragged it through all our evolutionary stages unless it had a biological function. So, that’s kind of what I’m going to be talking about. And then, work that I’ve been doing with students and scientists about this very thing. Weinman so I think, you know, when we’re little all of us are really connected to our inner artist and then the majority of us, as we get older, cut that off. – Lynda Barry

2. Capture chapter highlights:

We have enormous capacity to work with discomfort through inner means.

We get down to what Buddha said was the job we born for, knowing that letting go of our suffering is the hardest work we will ever do.

Let it come and let it go.  There is nothing to fear in fear.

The sincere exploration of fear results in a fearlessness which does not even fear to go away but to come open and free.

– Stephen Levine A Year to Live- how to live this year as if it were your last

3. Explore another source regarding listening to the messages from the heart:

You are the artist of this short, achingly beautiful life. Whether you answer your call to create or choose to let your chances slip you by, your life is the greatest work of art you’ll ever be commissioned.  

You are creatively responsible for dreaming up a life more aligned with your truth instead of endlessly complaining about what is. 

We rely too much on feelings.

Yet living a creative life is not a matter of “feeling” but of action, of will, of loyalty, of purpose and of duty to your soul. In fact, feelings often change or increase AFTER taking action. Rarely before. 

True Love, Real Freedom, Abundant Creativity, Unshakable Self-Trust — and all the things that you’ve been chasing your entire life — THESE ARE NOT FEELINGS, THEY ARE ACTIONS. 

Feelings are elusive, contradictory, unstable, fleeting. I didn’t quite “feel” like getting up this morning or sharing this with you. I’m still picking my remains from under that train.

But hey, coffee can change my feelings in a heartbeat. 

The question you should ask yourself every time you hear the fuck-this-shit bells is not “How can I create when this or that gets in the way?” but the exact opposite:

“How can I NOT create when this reality is too banal or beautiful or meaningless or painful, not to be alchemized into more life?” 

#howcanyoufuckingnot 

You don’t create because it’s easy, you do it because it’s worth it.

Not shaping reality with the brush of your unique imagination, not sharing your truth with the world for fear of loss, of rejection, or even of greatness — is a selfish, cowardly and limited way to live.

Not creating yourself and your life every day is just NOT an option. Not a truthful one anyway. 

You owe our smaller self to the service of your higher self, you owe us all your story, you owe your greatness to the world.

Please give it back. Somebody needs your truth today.

 – Andrea Balt

4. Today’s angel card(s):

Photo 2017-06-07, 9 12 10 AM

 

The permanent analogy of things by images which participate in the life of truth.

 

Autopsy

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

TB

What am I trying to convey in my work?  Is it of value?  Does it matter?

I remind myself that it doesn’t, that it CANNOT MATTER how I “fit in” to current zeitgeist or if my work has “value.”  I just do it.

It is a biological function.

PROCESS is my art form, obsessive ongoing process, either when teaching it, facilitating it, doing it.

So there in lies what MATTERS.  The PROCESS.

Process art is an artistic movement as well as a creative sentiment where the end product of art and craft, the objet d’art, is not the principal focus. The ‘process’ in process art refers to the process of the formation of art: the gathering, sorting, collating, associating, patterning, and moreover the initiation of actions and proceedings.

Process art is concerned with the actual doing and how actions can be defined as an actual work of art; seeing the art as pure human expression. Process art often entails an inherent motivation, rationale, and intentionality. Therefore, art is viewed as a creative journey or process, rather than as a deliverable or end product. – Wiki

I have come to terms with the fact that my particular imagery is a stream of consciousness process.  I suppose I am interpreting text in my illustration projects, but it seems more that I land on a particular word or phrase and play from there.  So the resulting image becomes a type of riff or image play.

Fleshy Tomb

I have tried other ways to work, but only my personal stream of consciousness expression makes me feel authentic.

I am thoroughly enjoying Caroline Spurgeon’s book, Shakespeare’s Imagery- and what it tells us (1935) as she contemplates the evidence of Shakespeare’s thoughts in his imagery.

The bare fact that germinating seeds of falling leaves are actually another expression of the processes we see at work in human life and death, thrills me, as it must others, with a sense of being here in presences of a great mystery, which could we only understand it, would explain life and death itself.

Babes in the Wood

For me, drawing and embroidering the drawings is to lie down into life and take time to look at the PROCESS as it slowly unfolds.  It is about TRUTH.

I would actually argue that the current art period is PROCESS.

Y-STR

… the permanent analogy of things by images which participate in the life of truth… – Percy Bysshe Shelley

Check out:

Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 9.45.41 AM

img_4712

And which is what I think the thing that we call the Arts contains something that’s kind of alive. And I, I think image is the right word for it, and what the biological function of this thing we call the images or the arts might be. Because my argument is we wouldn’t of dragged it through all our evolutionary stages unless it had a biological function. So, that’s kind of what I’m going to be talking about. And then, work that I’ve been doing with students and scientists about this very thing. Weinman so I think, you know, when we’re little all of us are really connected to our inner artist and then the majority of us, as we get older, cut that off. – Lynda Barry

And:

show-your-work-cover1

And:

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Creative engagement to energize and foster growth


Why do I  love utilizing creative engagement so much?  Well, let’s be honest, I don’t think I really know any other way to engage participants!  But seriously, what I truly love about it is that it creates an “active workspace dedicated to real-time creative activity to energize observers and encourage a different take on problem-solving.” (Lynda Barry)

For participants, creative engagement encourages “being present and seeing what’s there.” (Marilyn Frasca)

And I love that it equalizes everyone in the room and fosters safe dialogue and dynamic brainstorming.

“What happens when students from different disciplines get together to work intensely using both drawing and writing to bring about the unthinkable?” – Lynda Barry


I asked them to draw themselves as a superhero…

I was doing graphic recording and co-facilitating a workshop for frontline staff at a residential living facility in Toronto last week.

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The focus of the workshop was Interdependence of Community Engagement in Residential Livingwith key facilitator Beverley Pomeroy.

We mind mapped so much with this group that we had to double/triple layer the large wall mind map!  I love and live for this!  Capturing the staff dialogue through visual recording.  The room was HEART-FULL.

To lighten the mood and to celebrate the incredible work that the frontline staff do, I asked them to draw themselves as superheroes.

This exercise is inspired by the pedagogy of Lynda Barry and her book: Syllabus.

BARRY.self_

Initially the staff was nervous and unsure.  Celebrate self?  What superhero?  Draw?  Eyes darted back and forth.  Fear, hesitation, confusion.

But a little encouragement to just go with it really helped…and the results are magical!

And remember that, in a world of ordinary mortals, you are a Wonder Woman. – Hippolyta

As I walked the labyrinth, I repeated the mantra: the question is…

Journal entry- at Xenia Retreat Centre inside the Sanctuary after walking the labyrinth on December 29, 2014 [unedited]

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@ Xenia with Laura.  What a treat!  Thank you!

She picked me up at 7:10 –> Ferry –> breakfast at Snug Cafe.

My hands now cold, limbs frozen, toes frozen, numb and painful.  Reminds of being on the lake in Sweden during Winter 1975 and 1976- skating and skiing with Pappa and Fredrik, toes painful and frozen.  

“Ta av skorna.  Försök att få blod tillbaka i tårna.  Vicka på tårna.  Fortfarande kalla.”

So what happened today?   This book/diary/sketchbook/journal was begun when I started my Connection and Creativity collaboration with Laura.  Now I am back in the sanctuary and ask the question… yes, I can profess, investigate, reflect, beg, recall, invite the question: 

What is the question?

As I walked the labyrinth, I repeated the mantra in Swedish: Frågan är… Frågan är… The question is…  The question is…

And what immediately came up- despite thoughts of “shoulding” around 2015 plans/ where I am now/ what I need to let go of- what came to me was family.  The question is family.  

I knew going into the labyrinth I did not need to dig further.  It felt like the labyrinth was tilted downward.  Angled in descent.  I was walking down hill.

I became hyperly aware of the Viking symbology.  As I stood at the centre in silence, eyes closed… the answer came: roots.  The answer is roots.  

As I exited the centre. I walked out with a new mantra: the answer is roots.  Roots.  Sweden.  Life.  Leaves.  Trees.  Mushrooms.  Torpet.  Fishing.  Ancestors.  Sweden.  Africa.  Family tree.  Upward.  Downward.  

As I worked my way out, the labyrinth now seemed angled in ascent.  

So entering into the roots, exiting into the branches of the family tree.  

Where do we come from?  Where are we going?

BRANCHES: PAST FUTURE

TRUNK: PRESENT

BRANCHES: PAST FUTURE

roots

I want to keep the past alive for the generations to come.  Our DNA journey.

I know now I need to translate all the letters my mom wrote to Sweden.  I need to read Moberg’s The Last Letter Home.  I need to connect/open space to visit Sweden and Africa with my children.  To fully sit in BC, where my kids were born, where my parents died.  To open to reconnection.  New connection to extended family.  Can the difficult conversations be helped along through a gentle delicious family exploration? 

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1976 conversation at the kitchen table in Sweden w my bestie Anki! I now have this table.

 

In a wonderful turn of events, my little brother invited me to work on our storage room on December 31.  He had already done a lot of the prep and we spent 12 hours together emptying locker 1022.  He then dragged my 400 sketchbook journals, dolls, kids clothes, memorabilia home to my West End apartment.  It is time to re-explore those roots.

Old pen and ink study (Dec 2000) of "Death comes to the monk" from Holbein the Younger 1538. I brought home approx 400 of my "image idea files" (I.e. Sketchbook/journals) and planning to share highlights on the blog throughout the year. An incredible purge and feels so good to have them all in my studio-bedroom now. Letting go of a lot of stuff as we emptied the storage room on the last day of the year was exhilarating.
Old pen and ink study (Dec 2000) of “Death comes to the monk” from Holbein the Younger 1538. I brought home approx 400 of my “image idea files” (I.e. Sketchbook/journals) and planning to share highlights on the blog throughout the year. An incredible purge and feels so good to have them all in my studio-bedroom now. Letting go of a lot of stuff as we emptied the storage room on the last day of the year was exhilarating.

 

Making the task more ME… #mindmaps #visionboards #projecteverything

On this rainy Saturday, it’s time to re-focus on the projects I am working on by using:

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I am getting clearer as to the multiple directions in my life and how they actually all relate nicely to each other and feed each other into A LIFE OF ART.   Each category needs full attention to come to fruition, but by relating them all to each other through imagery, connection and layout, I keep it simple.

To make the task more ME and to make me energized, I tend to collect images I love and draw them out.

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For a visual learner and do-er like me, it’s the perfect way to stay on task and to have a check in and to ease anxiety.

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Then I add notes and analyze and type out… It’s just SO MUCH MORE FUN doing it as a piece of art…  Plus I practice drawing at the same time!

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I keep all the boards and check in on all of them daily.  Just a glance is enough to remind, to create inner dialogue, to stay on course, to trust.

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Naked Ladies Naked Ladies Naked Ladies, by Lynda Barry (Real Comet Press, 1984)

Recall my obsession with my superhero, Lynda Barry.  Well, the obsession rages on, fueled by the newest addition to my collection:

Real Comet Press, 1984

OMG.  It’s spectacular.  Each page is a full-page playing card  illustration of Lynda’s exploration of female body images.

Along the bottom of each page runs a classic Lynda Barry storyline.  Charming, funny, tragic.  It starts with:

When I was about five years old my cousin who was the same age came running around the corner from the back of the house and said did I want to see a boner.  I didn’t know what a boner was but I knew it was probably pretty good from the way he was running...

I will resist the temptation to color in it.  It’s just too amazing.  Copying from Lynda Barry is my personal art therapy anyways, so maybe I’ll color my own versions instead.  I’m definitely thinking wheatpaste!

18″ x 24″ china marker on newsprint.  Inspired by page 8.

This rare book was purchased via ETSY from the shop, DAME STYLE:

Art is a biological function. #LyndaBarry @ideaprogram

Two artists are my greatest influences: Frida Kahlo and Lynda Barry.  Both are tatooed on me.  It’s serious business.

Recall my post the other day: Lo and behold, my greatest hero, Lynda Barry, is in town.

Being able to attend Lynda’s lecture at IDEA, Capilano University Friday evening was a dream come true. And Lynda delivered.  WOW.  What an experience it was.

Her whole thesis resonated with me and the work that I do- my own art, my work with Dad, art therapy, crafts… whatever.

ART IS A BIOLOGICAL FUNCTION.

Unless we have this place, the image world, and we can work stuff out there, which is what part of our biological makeup gives to us, then I think that we’re fated to try to date them or marry them.

A scientist named V.S. Ramachandran has done some astonishing work with neurological problems he’s actually solved with a mirror. He had a patient who had lost his hand, but the patient’s experience was that the hand was still there, and not only there, but it was in a really tight fist — you know, painfully tight. This guy was miserable; he couldn’t get away from that feeling. Ramachandran made a box, tilted the mirror in there, and then he put a hole in the other side. He asked the guy to stick his hand in the hole, the fist that was still there, and look down. So what the guy saw was his fist and then the reflection of it, which was like his other hand. Then, he told him to open his hand, and what he saw was the reflection of his other hand opening, and it solved the problem.

That’s a perfect example of what images do. My feeling is that in the course of life there are certain things for us that are like phantom limb pain, like a horrible, horrible parent who dies before you ever work things out with them. And I think the only way that those things can be worked out is through something that’s akin to that mirror box — except it may be a fairy tale, or it may be a painting, or it may be a song you can remember from when you were 14 and you had to play the same song over and over and over again, like 400 times in a row. Yeah, what are you doing there? You’re opening your fist. You’re looking at a reflection.

– LYNDA BARRY, source: kqued.org

Lynda gave us more than expected and I laughed and cried, applauded, nodded, and all that good stuff.  As she ran overtime, there was no time for meet and greet, but I managed to thrust a bag in her hands as she ran by me (fittingly, a Frida Kahlo sock monkey and Frida Kahlo street art… naturellement).

There she is!!! “No cameras allowed” was then announced. Sigh.

A signed copy of her latest book, EVERYTHING, is, well… EVERYTHING!!!

My current Lynda Barry collection:


This post is dedicated to my little brother, Fred.  We obsessed over Ernie Pook’s Comeek together and felt it illustrated our lives perfectly.

#LyndaBarry is in town! @ideaprogram

Lo and behold, my greatest hero, Lynda Barry, is in town.

I am a tad overwhelmed to say the least.  She is always my inspiration.  My idol.  My number one.  The greatest- PERIOD.

One of the most successful alternative American cartoonists, Lynda Barry has blazed many trails over her 30 year career. Best known for her Ernie Pook’s Comeek about family life from the perspective of pre-teen girls; Freddie, Arna and Marlys, the syndicated strip ran for two decades in non-mainstream weeklies. Barry is also a painter, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator and teacher. source

Lynda will be participating in several events on campus from Sept 24 to 28, culminating in a free public event on Friday Sept 28.

Details here: www.capilanou.ca/nscu/Lynda-Barry/

Lynda Barry has worked as a painter, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator and teacher and found they are very much alike. She is the inimitable creator behind the seminal comic strip that was syndicated scross North America in alternative weeklies for two decades, Ernie Pook’s Comeek featuring the incomparable Marlys and Freddy, as well as the books One! Hundred! Demons!, The! Greatest! of! Marlys!, Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel, Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies!, The Good Times are Killing Me which was adapted as an off-Broadway play and won the Washington State Governor’s Award. Her bestselling and acclaimed creative writing-how to-graphic novel for Drawn & Quarterly, What It Is, won the Eisner Award for Best Reality Based Graphic Novel and R.R. Donnelly Award for highest literary achievement by a Wisconsin author. D+Q plans to publish a multivolume collection of Ernie Pook’s Comeek, Barry’s next prose novel, and the follow up and creative drawing companion to What It Is, November 2010’s Picture This: The Near-Sighted Monkey Book.

What It Is is based on “Writing the Unthinkable” which is based on a tried-and-true method creative method that is playful, powerful, and accessible to anyone with an inquisitive wish to write or remember. Lynda explores the depths of the inner and outer realms of creation and imagination, where play can be serious, monsters have purpose, and not knowing is an answer unto itself. Barry currently offers her workshop “Writing the Unthinkable” all over the place. Source

My son just brought back this beautiful Lynda Barry Tote from Montreal!

Recommended Lynda Barry links:

WRITING TO REMEMBER AUDIO ON YOUTUBE IN SEVERAL PARTS

Creativity, imaginary friends, writing, memory, inspiration, mental health, the importance of play…

I’m actually digging menopause by the way…

At the centre of any artwork we do there is something alive…


DOODLE YOUR WAY OUT OF WRITER’S BLOCK RADIO INTERVIEW ON NPR

“When it comes to writer’s block, author Lynda Barry believes the key to unblocking your thoughts is right in your hands.”

Hands are the original digital devices run on biofuel.

PURCHASE LYNDA BARRY AT POWELL’S BOOKS!

HER SPECIAL DAY Video excerpt from Comic Book Confidential (1988)

Studio visit!  See PICTURE THIS originals!  VIDEO

Feeling stuck? Try my Sunday night #journal exercise: twenty words. #arttherapy

Feeling a bit scattered, stuck, like you’re treading water?  Trying to focus on the next step?

Based on Lynda Barry

Try this exercise I came up with for myself tonight:

Write 20 words that simply pop into your mind when you think about your “stuckiness”… Don’t hesitate.

Draw out a lined sheet of paper.

Rewrite the words and mark it as you contemplate each word and realize it’s OK to be stuck sometimes.  For those are the times we rest.  Open ourselves up to new chapters.

Don’t power walk. Saunter slowly in the sun, eating chocolate, and carry a blanket so you can take a nap. – SARK

#Tattooing journey- step 4: Testing on skin! On myself! #outline

Recall my posts:

Watercolor tattoos 1

Watercolor tattoos 2

The purchase of a tattoo machine

Getting to know the machine

Tattooing- taking it seriously

Tattooing Step 1: plug it in

Tattooing Step 2: testing it out

Tattooing Step 3: testing skin markers

Initial outline. Shitty, shaky, not deep enough but fun!  Will fill it in once this stage has healed. Fitting that the first tattoo I did on myself, is a freehand sketch of Lynda Barry.

Checking in one hour later:

Checking in 12 hours later:

It has the pencil sketch look I wanted. Let’s see how it heals!

Note:

I am not interested in doing old school tattooing and classical tattooing.  I will leave that to the extraordinary tattoo artists out there!  It takes years of dedication and apprenticeship.

I am really into tattooing my own style though and preferably free hand.

So if you’re in the line to get a tattoo from me, please expect it to be in “my style!”  And I won’t be doing any on you until I have four COMPLETED, well-executed and well-healed tattoos on myself!


Tattooing- step 2: testing it out!

Recall my posts: the purchase of a tattoo machinegetting to know the machinetattooing- taking it seriously, and Tattooing Step 1: plug it in.

Since I got my machine, my schedule has not allowed me the time to play with my machine.  Too many other things on the go.  But I now have a wonderful student, Simon, who is teaching ME the ropes during our art therapy!

He is a great teacher, and he also gave great advice on how to let go of perfectionism.  He helped me get over the fear.

Also, having the space to experiment is key, so bringing the machine to my art therapy room was a good step.

Simon

Portrait of Lynda Barry on banana

Simon's dog, Peanut.

Simon recommends:

 

Part 26 daily journal workshop. PERFECTIONISM. #arttherapy

Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis. – Brené Brown

Struggling with the need to be perfect = my life.

How about you?

Write about your relationship with PERFECTIONISM.

Now give a gift to yourself by drawing something you simply feel like drawing. Just to relax. I get triggered by writing about perfectionism, worth etc. For me, I find comfort in copying from Lynda Barry and Daniel Clowes.

Now research someone in the arts who epitomizes vulnerabilty and the need to be perfect. Find some quotes by or about them.

I chose Diane Arbus.

By doing this (or any of my )exercise(s), you make yourself vulnerable.

FULLY EMBRACE VULNERABILITY!

I recommend this incredible 20 minute talk:

Dr. Brené Brown is a researcher professor at the University of Houston, Graduate College of Social Work, where she has spent the past ten years studying a concept that she calls Wholeheartedness, posing the questions:

How do we engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness?

How do we cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection that we need to embrace our imperfections and to recognize that we are enough — that we are worthy of love, belonging and joy?

Brené is the author of I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Telling the Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy, and Power (2007) and The Gifts of Imperfection (2010) and the upcoming Wholehearted: Spiritual Adventures in Falling Apart, Growing Up, and Finding Joy ( 2011).

Daily Journal Workshop:

For links to Parts 1-25 go to: JOURNAL 1-25

Part 16 daily journal workshop. COMICS! Shameless copying. #artschool #arttherapy #LyndaBarry

Daily Journal Workshop:

Part 1 JUST WRITE

Part 2 DRAW OUT THE WORDS

Part 3 HEART

Part 4 SPILL OUT COLLAGE

Part 5 NAKED SCREAM

Part 6 INVITE ALTER STRETCH EXTEND

Part 7 ARISE AROSE IN 3’S

Part 8 SELF-PORTRAIT. HUMAN

Part 9 WORD CRAZY QUILT

Part 10 VINTAGE WORKOUT

Part 11 GESTURE DRAWING

Part 12 DEAR WORLD. SECRETS

Part 13 NEGATIVE – POSITIVE

Part 14 BE THE MAP

Part 15 GUEST SPEAKER

Today, I want you to copy/recreate a comic panel.  You can check in the funnies section of your local paper, find something online, or if you’re like me, dig in your comic book/ graphic novel collection.  I used to take my dog and my sketchbook and a bunch of Archies and Donald Duck comics into the forest when I was 14/15 and copy copy copy.  It was the best art school.

So grab a favorite panel from a favorite comic by a favorite artist and copy copy copy.  Be a kid again!

My greatest hero, Lynda Barry, is my inspiration today.

She is always my inspiration.  My idol.  My number one.  The greatest- PERIOD.

Self-portrait by Lynda Barry

Source:

Lynda Barry has worked as a painter, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator and teacher and found they are very much alike. She is the inimitable creator behind the seminal comic strip that was syndicated scross North America in alternative weeklies for two decades, Ernie Pook’s Comeek featuring the incomparable Marlys and Freddy, as well as the books One! Hundred! Demons!, The! Greatest! of! Marlys!, Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel, Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies!, The Good Times are Killing Me which was adapted as an off-Broadway play and won the Washington State Governor’s Award. Her bestselling and acclaimed creative writing-how to-graphic novel for Drawn & Quarterly, What It Is, won the Eisner Award for Best Reality Based Graphic Novel and R.R. Donnelly Award for highest literary achievement by a Wisconsin author. D+Q plans to publish a multivolume collection of Ernie Pook’s Comeek, Barry’s next prose novel, and the follow up and creative drawing companion to What It Is, November 2010’s Picture This: The Near-Sighted Monkey Book.

What It Is is based on “Writing the Unthinkable” which is based on a tried-and-true method creative method that is playful, powerful, and accessible to anyone with an inquisitive wish to write or remember. Lynda explores the depths of the inner and outer realms of creation and imagination, where play can be serious, monsters have purpose, and not knowing is an answer unto itself. Barry currently offers her workshop “Writing the Unthinkable” all over the place. 

The original:

My page:


Recommended Lynda Barry links:

COMIC BOOK CONFIDENTIAL

WRITING TO REMEMBER AUDIO ON YOUTUBE IN SEVERAL PARTS

Creativity, imaginary friends, writing, memory, inspiration, mental health, the importance of play…

I’m actually digging menopause by the way…

At the centre of any artwork we do there is something alive…


DOODLE YOUR WAY OUT OF WRITER’S BLOCK RADIO INTERVIEW ON NPR

“When it comes to writer’s block, author Lynda Barry believes the key to unblocking your thoughts is right in your hands.”

Hands are the original digital devices run on biofuel.

PURCHASE LYNDA BARRY AT POWELL’S BOOKS!

HER SPECIAL DAY Video excerpt from Comic Book Confidential (1988)

Studio visit!  See PICTURE THIS originals!  VIDEO

Art quote of the day from Lynda Barry PICTURE THIS @DandQ “the place where the shapes are happening”

What happened on the day I realized I could not draw?  It happens to almost everyone.  The transformation of the paper place for an experience into paper thing that is good or bad.  Shapes divided into pretty or ugly and the ugly shapes are pushed away into a place on the otherside of thought.  To keep them there some of us had to stop drawing completely.  Or we had to learn how to draw in an organized way that others could recognize and say yes to.

YES that is a nice drawing.  So you have not wasted time or paper.

Keep drawing and if you are lucky and you can remember what drawing used to be to you.  You may be able to find your way back to the place where the shapes are happening.

The Sketchbook Project page 8, and mysterious photos from #MysteryMister

THE SKETCHBOOK PROJECT 2011 TOUR

Theme: And Then There Was None

Page 8 Transcript

Sunday October 10, 2010

21:22

PJ’s and Arrested Development.

Already missing Anna even tho we still have tomorrow and she is coming to Vancouver for Halloween.  I need to look into anxiety tools.  Redo pages with watercolor a la Lynda Barry.  Woke up with a panic attack at 5:45.

Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind.

– William Wordsworth

Eldon Braun

Are you him?

Vintage photographs purchased  during my trip with Anna to the amazing store: Mystery Mister 1506 Haight Street, San Francisco.

Here is the doll I REALLY wanted to buy but didn’t.  REGRET!

I bought a bundle of old photos that I find exceptionally inspiring.

The photo in this Sketchbook Project entry had some writing in pencil in the back, indicating that the man is “Eldon Braun, son of Eldon Braun, Sr.”

When I searched “Eldon Braun, San Francisco” online, I came across the following obit:

Eldon [Braun] was born on May 28, 1943 and passed away on Friday, February 19, 2010.  Eldon was last known to be living in San Francisco, California. (source)

There are discussions online about Eldon Braun arrested for false passport at San Francisco airport (source)  and ‘Detecting Criminal Minds: At deaths of active Sociopaths (e.g. Dave Bird, Eldon Braun), other Sociopaths come forward to praise these’ (source) and Eldon was one of my favorite critics of scientology, someone I loved and admired. He was a good man and I will truely miss him. (sourceFASCINATING!

BE SURE TO VISIT MYSTERY MISTER’s ETSY STORE!

See page 1 at The Sketchbook Project page 1

See page 2 at The Sketchbook Project page 2

See page 3 at The Sketchbook Project page 3

See page 4 at The Sketchbook Project page 4

See page 5 at The Sketchbook Project page 5

See page 6 at The Sketchbook Project page 6

See page 7 at The Sketchbook Project page 7

Photo source

Creativity Workshop with Lynda Barry

1. WRITING TO REMEMBER AUDIO ON YOUTUBE IN SEVERAL PARTS

Creativity, imaginary friends, writing, memory, inspiration, mental health, the importance of play…

I’m actually digging menopause by the way…

At the centre of any artwork we do there is something alive…


2. DOODLE YOUR WAY OUT OF WRITER’S BLOCK RADIO INTERVIEW ON NPR

“When it comes to writer’s block, author Lynda Barry believes the key to unblocking your thoughts is right in your hands.”

Hands are the original digital devices run on biofuel.

3. PURCHASE LYNDA BARRY AT POWELL’S BOOKS!

4. HER SPECIAL DAY Video excerpt from Comic Book Confidential (1988)

5. Studio visit!  See PICTURE THIS originals!  VIDEO

 

The Sketchbook Project page 5

THE SKETCHBOOK PROJECT 2011 TOUR

Theme: And Then There Was None

Page 5 Transcript

Saturday October 9, 2010

Plan for today:  Leave 11 AM

Hayes Valley –> 12:40 Castro “Lime” Lunch at 1 PM –> Castro Street –> 3 PM bus Mosaic to Haight Ashbury –> shop –> 6 PM –> Filmore Str (Haight & Cole Street Bus 71 to Filmore St –> 22 Filmore?)

13:07 October 9, 2010

@ Stacks Comfortable Food 501 Hayes Street

Recall amazing phone call with Julian this morning!  Another new chapter! 🙂

Vintage shopping @ Verunica

Anna notices that Tenderloin pigeons have one leg!

Anna’s new blogs

RawFabFash Just pictures

I Need a Social Life– one sentence blog about People, Places, Things.


Monkey Drawing inspired by Lynda Barry‘s new book: Picture This (Drawn and Quarterly)

See page 1 at The Sketchbook Project page 1

See page 2 at The Sketchbook Project page 2

See page 3 at The Sketchbook Project page 3

See page 4 at The Sketchbook Project page 4

See page 5 at The Sketchbook Project page 5

See page 6 at The Sketchbook Project page 6

See page 7 at The Sketchbook Project page 7

See page 8 at The Sketchbook Project page 8