Monday, December 30, 2013

Visual Journal Spread: Protect Your Sacred Space

Temple Guardian Spread, Right page

There are a lot of layers here and the last bit, the journaling, has still to be added.
I collaged images of the Tara or Guanyin being protected by a temple guardian.
The first layer of the page was a hand made stamp using Wood Icing on styrofoam
to create the stamp.  I painted over the stamped images with iridescent acrylic.  I
used my Big Shot to emboss sticky backed metal sheets (Ranger) with an embossing
folder called "Pattern and Stitches Set" by Tim Holtz.  I used the metal strips for a
border all around my pages.  I last added the mandala using a stencil from the book
Stencil Me In, by Marthe Le Van.  This book, which I found on sale, included 28
light-weight stencils!  I used color box ink and a cheap pouncing tool, which is just
a stick with a foam gumdrop shape attached that you can find at any art supply
store along with the craft paints.  I really like the subtle look of ink applied this way.
Finally, on the edge I tried Faber Castell Gelatos , which I had never tried before.  A
pigment stick sort of creamy like lipstick.  The fuchsia line on both pages was done
with a Gelato stick, blended with my finger.  Will try those again!  I have found them
in small sets of related colors at craft stores.   I had not found the National Geographic
images of the Chinese figures found in a cave when I prepared this page with all
the right colors.  Overall, my favorite thing about these pages is the range of colors.
I remember once being in an American Hindu temple that had walls of this color.
I was told, at the time, that this pinkish color is the color of the heart and supports
meditation.  I had good fun cutting out shapes from the fabric picture on the
magazine pages to fit the upper corners.

Temple Guardian Spread, Left Page

I this page I collaged a fierce temple guardian protecting the Buddha statue.  I used
all the same techniques that I used on the right page.  I added the words:
"Protect your serenity.  Protect what is sacred"

These pages are something about my need to set a new level of priority surrounding the importance of honoring
and protecting what is sacred to me.  What IS sacred to me is my meditation and my art making.  Lately I have
been mostly focused on stressing about how to make a living as an adjunct college teacher and an artist.  The
adjunct work has been shrinking over the last few years but it really became alarming when I was only offered
one class for the January term.  It has been ok in the past because I'm also working a bit for other schools and
I can make my finances work with three classes at my primary school and other art courses I can teach, art I
can sell and individual classes from other schools.  Suddenly I am terribly under employed!  

Part of me is saying, "do what you love and the money will follow" but another is listening to creditors and
realizing that I just need a JOB, any job.  But how does one protect their sacred space when working in the
market place?  How do I get my just short of retirement age body to do what I need to do to work along side
the young and vigorous workforce of today?  I remember being one of those dynamos, working all hours
and 2 or three jobs at a time.  Be I am now in the place where I work for a while on my projects at home, or work
in the classroom for several hours, and then go and take an hour nap.  I suspect that my soon to be employer
may not approve of my required naps, lol.  

I also have a renter moving in, another teacher who is getting divorced, who just needs a couch to sleep on
while he is making a meaningful mosaic of his shattered life.  He also identifies as a Buddhist but seems to be
somewhat dismissive of much of the strange mixture of art/psychology and spirituality that comprises my world.
So how do I protect my unique self from the onslaught of an extroverted masculine who is soon to arrive?
How do I protect my sacred space?  An adventure is soon to begin.  I'll keep you informed.

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