For those of you who know me, I began dabbling in art about seven years ago, pooh-poohing myself all the way because I was a writer not an artist. Writing had long been my passion and I both wrote for a living as a PR person, and then fell in love with Ira Progoff's National Intensive Journal in the late 1970s. I studied with them to become a consultant and began offering workshops in 1984. I did that for many years and have long had general journal groups for psycho-spiritual exploration in my home and in the commuunity when I am asked.
Then I was introduced to rubber stamp art and mixed media collage. In 2003 or thereabouts, I first read about psychotherapist Seena Frost's method of SoulCollage® in an issue of Somerset Studio. A psycho-spiritual method in the Jungian tradition, I immediately ordered the book and self-trained myself to make cards for about a year. SoulCollage® cards are an excellent spring board to journal writing and I was able to combine both writing and art for the first time. Next I went to Santa Cruz for training as a SoulCollage® facilitator in 2005.
Though I do not lead large groups, I do work with an ongoing small group and many of them use their journals to write about the cards they make.
I've played around with digital collage in PhotoShop for years, but never became proficient in digital layers until Meri Magic introduced me to Polyvore in December. It was devised originally as a fashion site but many artists quickly came to find the site a real boon for digital collage art. I've written about it before here.
So, this afternoon I came home and made a template for SoulCollage in the classic 5" x 8" format on the Polyvore site and made my first card above. The average person who uses SoulCollage will never want to create cards digitally, but it's one more thing I can do to continue exploring myself. You know the old saying, "The unexamined life is not worth living?" Well, I tend to overexamine.
So, this card is called "The Evil Queen," an archetype card in the Council suit of SoulCollage. It could also be used as a classic death card. Using the "I am the one who" statements, I wrote: "I am the one who can cause havoc and doubt when trying to live a spiritual life, but I am also the one who makes it possible to tell the difference between good and evil. Yin and yang, anima and animus. Evil is a loaded word, and you could have named me more gently."
If I could ask a question of this card it would be, "OK, I named you too harshly, but can you tell me how I can sometimes kick up my heels and not be so preoccupied with outcome: death?"
She immediately answered with a laugh, "Check out Woody Allen's old movie 'Love and Death.' Both Woody and I have something to contribute to your question."
By the way, when posting to Polyvore, several friends have told me my art is improving and I have to counter that doing art by hand and digitally are two entirely different things. Digitally I am largely using images of my own or others and digital effects, then altering them. My hand made art is still very kid-like, but very healing to me. It's just like writing by hand in your journal and writing journal entries in your computer. They are two entirely different things. Different parts of the brain are used and different outcomes happen; both can be beneficial for what I use writing and art for. But, if I really want to work something out in depth, I still have to handwrite in my journal or create art with my hands, paints, pens, pencils, etc.
By the way, now I'm incorporating bits and pieces of both Polyvore and SoulCollage in another passion: art journaling. There simply aren't enough hours in the day considering I still work three days a week, volunteer in my community, take classes, spend time with family and friends, watch movies and love the Internet. But, you know what? I'm rarely bored.