I started this blog with this image:
This is the first image from my current life book, done this year. I realized that I'd done this sort of image before, but I feel that journaling is an intuitive thing for me, so I went ahead with it, and I was pretty pleased with how it turned out.
Lately I've been looking through some older journals, and I found two other, similar drawings. I should explain that these are from when I was keeping mandala journals a few years back. I use the term mandala journal loosely here. I realize that a lot of people associate the term mandala with circular, more pattern based or structured images.
These are from a method that I picked up in art therapy (depression and anxiety) which just involves the circle. Start with the circle, then do what comes intuitively. These images can then be "translated" to reveal where you are emotionally, mentally, etc. based on color. style, composition, etc.
Only I never went for the translation aspect of things. I really just used the circle as a starting point, and the art itself as a means of release. I do believe in the validity of this aspect of things... but I wanted to draw and play with color more than I wanted to research... There's a telling confession, I suppose.
(There are books out there on translating your mandalas. Perhaps one day I will find some links to share here.)
Anyway, back to the stuff I started rambling about in the first place... Tea or coffee cups with faces. I think these images come out of me for a lot of different reasons. Tea and coffee are comfort items for me, and I always have a mug of one or the other right on hand. Also, I think the images are a way of saying that I feel like I'm being consumed in one way or anther. I like that the drawings always turn out a bit kitschy as well. These are just a few of the far ranging reasons that I think I go back to them.
This image is from 2005:
For the mandala journals, my materials consisted almost exclusively of Crayola markers, fine and ultra-fine tipped sharpies, those yellow Papermate mechanical pencils, whatever colored pencils I could afford, and a few heavy artists pencils. I still keep all of these things on hand because I love using them, but I am trying to use new things these days.
I like the swirls here, and the kitty cat, and I think that I like the composition of this one best out of the three.
The last one here is actually the first one that I did, all the way back in 2003:
This one is actually probably the best example of that consumed feeling I mentioned before. And of how tired and fed up I felt at that point in time, even though I knew that the best thing to do was to just keep offering myself up in the best ways that I could. This was a very straining, draining time in my life, but one that I wouldn't exchange for anything, save a happy ending of the sort that only occurs in fairy tales.
If you look close, you can see just how stressed I was... The area inside the saucer was done in very dark pencil, and I apparently pressed hard enough to crease the paper.
Looking at all of these really forces me to think about where I was, and where I am now.
It shows me some of my common themes, and how I've grown ( and perhaps regressed at times) in my art.
See, I just really realized that these teacups are always me. Yes, a lot of things that I draw represent how I feel, but I think these little cups are the most realistic way that I have ever portrayed myself in my art. And it was all intuitive.
Please pardon me while I have a great big moment with myself...