Operative Words

I have been on Spring Break this last week, and when it started, I had grandiose plans of posting quite a bit to the blog and working more in my journal, but I've been busy working around the house trying to get things ready for June's Studio Tour which has meant reseeding the backyard and cleaning out and painting the garage which I will eventually convert into a studio for the tour. I'll share more in a future post once, I get more accomplished. Nonetheless, I have had little time and energy to post or to journal.

Today is a day off from all the physical work, and I am devoting it to working in the studio and taking care of some neglected work. I wanted to share my response to the Operative Words challenge from a couple of weeks ago. I haven't been able to keep up with my own challenges like I had hoped, and this response isn't complete. But I wanted to share it in progress.

I began this spread by stamping three random, red lines with watercolor soaked string and then writing about a phrase that I had picked out from my Random Word response. I looked over my Palimpsest page and highlighted four words and phrases. "Beneath the surface" stuck in my mind, and I wrote for several minutes. With some editing, this is what I wrote:
Beneath the surface lie our hopes and fears. They swell and undulate deep within and often only show slightly on the surface. Deep currents flow within us. Often we stoically hold our external facade steady and solid as not to give a glimpse of the turmoil that churns deep within. At times it all becomes too much, and the turmoil swells and breaches the surface causing great upheaval and volcanic explosion. Some people carry their fears, emotions, and inner lives close to the surface, cracking waves and explosive upheavals often. Emotions can run high, and they thrive on the drama labeling it as an essential part of identity. Yet the stoic individuals who push the pain and the fear and the happiness down, see this as part of their identities. Calm, cool, and collected or volatile, explosive, and emotional - two sides of the same coin. How deeply do I carry my inner world below the surface?
I then added the red-violet watercolor by tapping and dabbing my paintbrush randomly. After that dried, I added the indigo, red-violet, and umber watercolor pencil in successive layers. I then hatched and cross-hatched with black ink to give the umber shapes more definition so they looked like wholes and cracks in the surface. I then used silver paint marker and black ink to highlight two phrases and the last sentence of my writing. It is this sentence, a question to myself, that has struck me as the most compelling, and my point a direction for finishing this spread or for beginning future pages.

That's the beauty of the journal and of art. There is always more to ponder as one thing leads to another.