excavate, not levitate
1: to form a cavity or hole in
2: to form by hollowing out
3: to dig out and remove
4: to expose to view by or as if by digging away a covering; excavate the remains of a temple
1: to rise or float in or as if in the air especially in seeming defiance of gravitation
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather get in there. Hovering above doesn’t really do anything, except perpetuate the deeeeeeep rumble of worlds that want to quake. The mountains that are dying to be birthed, climbed, and meditated upon while staring at the birds eye view of the wilderness I just transcended.
Hey. That’s kinda cool actually.
So it’s more like ….
First we excavate.
Then we levitate.
Let’s do this.
The only way in is …..
Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. - Carl Jung
I did it.
I created four ‘backgrounds’ and one actual spread which might be finished. When I’m thick in it, I work all over the place - as demonstrated in the videos below. Going back and forth, getting lost in rabbit holes and tunnels, digging digging digging for the next vein to tap. I felt my frustrations at the beginning, when it wasn’t visually representing how I feel inside. I just kept going.
I am, above all else, an excavator.
I opened up one of those wrapped up packages from Prague. You know, the ones I bought there a couple years ago, then forgot about, then lost, then found, then left wrapped up for a little treat later. Inside was the most beautiful little prayer book, in the Czech language of course. How fitting, since one of my central ‘characters’ is Ilse, a nun.
On the interior level, I am finding some amazing tunnels, full of tangled wads of thread weaving together the decisions I have made in my life or happenings that have occurred, with the people who have intersected with my present tense from their history. Does that even make sense? Haha … it does to me.
There are deep explosions happening as a result, the kind that spew lava and muck high up into the atmosphere from the fissures of truth demanding my attention.
Some of the themes I am looking at are: betrayal, violation, love, loss, and forgiveness. Those are some whoppers, especially since all of them are reoccurring experiences in my life.
I am going to speak in more detail about the personal foundational aspect of my project in my demos below.
But first …
A conversation with Jana
Below is a chat with my dear friend Jana Freeman, who is alongside us in the classroom.
Some of the things we chat about are stuckness, self-image, and just doing the hard things.
This is a great thing to listen to as you do prep-work or begin to journal in your pages.
What you can do
Allow yourself to get lost, to drop away from your expectations and just lay down imagery.
We are not trying to be perfect, or ‘finish’ a spread.
We are excavating.
Using our hands and hearts and bellies and souls to lay down shreds of paper, lines of paint, pencil … or whatever calls to us.
We are taking the leap deeeeeep into the fissures …
Swimming in the lava ….
And trusting the process …
Because that, my lovelies, is plenty.
Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. - Carl Jung
Below are my demo videos.
The first is an explanation of the way I will be navigating demo videos in this workshop.
The second and third are visual demos of my technical processes, with a voiceover of my inner-rabbit-hole-meanderings and life-happenings and all kinds of other things.
I hope it is quite clear what my technical processes are. Please chime in on the FB group and ask for clarity if you would like to know what was happening with technique.
muse ::: Hannah Höch
Hannah Höch was one of my first influences as I began to leap into mixed media work back in 1996-97. My photos just weren’t cutting it, even after my devotional process of developing my own film in a blacked out bathroom on the 6th floor above 3rd Avenue in NYC, and then spending hours in the darkroom on 21st Street making prints.
I needed more.
It was people like Hannah Höch who showed me the way. In our present time, we are hit with collage imagery constantly through social media and the web at large. Back in Hannah’s day, though, what she was doing was daring. Bold. Because she was a woman, and because it was a new approach.
Hannah was a pioneer of photomontage, a member of the Dada movement, and had to cease her artistic endeavors and fly far under the radar when the Nazis came to power.
Her life is well worth reading about in one of the many books devoted to her work. And of course, there is always Wikipedia.