Welcome to the fourth edition of The Pulse -- The State of the Art -- a survey in words and pictures of the online artist community. Nearly 150 artists have answered a list of questions which make up The Pulse. Their responses will be presented as a series of online and print projects. Secret Sunday was the first project and the links to all the secrets can be found on the sidebar of my blog. The Book Guild is the second project and Chapter 12 starts right now!
All artists participating in The Pulse were asked to name their favorite art books. The Book Guild will present this list, along with links, book reviews, giveaways, and interviews with many of your favorite authors. And as members of The Guild, I am hoping YOU will participate by leaving comments related to the books in each post - for example thoughts, book reviews, personal experiences, or a link back to your own blog posts that include artwork based on a project in the listed book.
Chapter 12: Linda Woods
Rachel Whetzel listed Journal Revolution: Rise up & Create! Art Journals, Personal Manifestations and Other Artistic Insurrections by Linda Woods and Karen Dinino as one of her favorites and as one of her biggest inspirations.
We are lucky to have Linda share some personal thoughts about the book and the revolution!
The Beginning Of A Revolution
It seems like I can't do one thing without it leading to two other things. When I think about the time when we were working on Journal Revolution it is hard not to think of the other revolutions it started. My sister, Karen, and I started working on Journal Revolution in 2005 but we'd been thinking about it even before we started Visual Chronicles. It was really important for us to share our philosophy that art is really about self-expression and not about supplies. We wanted people to understand that the way they lived their lives and that everything around them was part of their truth- part of their art -and that they could express that with whatever they already had. Somehow in the last twenty years art became about using just the "right" supplies or following a certain pattern. People were losing their individuality and their voice and we wanted to bring that back! And, we wanted to help take the fear our of the process for people who needed the guidance.
Visual Chronicles and Journal Revolution are all about putting YOU in your art, and finding the most authentic way to to that. Seeing, feeling, meeting, knowing yourself --- it all involves reflection, and coming to terms with, or battle with, or to peace with who you see when you look in the mirror. That is what you will see when you create, one way or the other.
One battle we came to terms with when the books were in production and once they came out was from craft stores that did not want to sell the book. Our books did not fit the mold of typical how-to or craft books because we were not telling readers they had to BUY anything to create art or express themselves. And when we did suggest products for people to buy, they were often inexpensive and non-archival, which angered many of the people who believed the secret to "perfect" art lies in acid-free glue. Our belief is that the secret to any art is to express yourself with whatever you feel like using to capture a moment. You are the boss of your own art. There is no right way to do it. We learned quickly in an era of commercialized cookie-cutter arts and crafts kits, we were fighting an uphill battle in that market.
The more we were challenged, the more we wanted to keep going. We were on a mission to free the artist in everyone! When craft stores rejected us, traditional book stores welcomed us. When we were not being supported by our publisher, our Art Army helped us spread our message. Whenever there was a negative, there was a positive. We were inspired by so many people who made art for the first time, people who learned how to choose colors based on their moods, people who were inspired by their own lives, artists who had forgotten what they already knew. It was liberating!
While we were teaching people, we learned a lot about ourselves and persevering in the process. We spent a lot of time traveling and meeting the people who were becoming artists with Visual Chronicles and Journal Revolution as their guides. The Journal Revolution progressed to the next step -- another book and a new revolution. A revolution with even fewer art supplies and braver self-expression!
We had confirmed that constant self awareness creates great art, that great art is simple self expression, and that when you talk honestly with people about what is really going on in their lives, their hearts, their imaginations, we are all so much alike. So, we went to the most frightening canvas there is--the mirror. And we brought simple truth before it to create perfect art.
Visual Chronicles and Journal Revolution are both out of print now but Linda sells signed books in her etsy shop and both Visual Chronicles and Journal Revolution can also be found on Amazon.
In addition, Linda and Karen's Revolution continues with Meeting In The Ladies Room: A Reflection Of Women In A Room Of Their Own. Click here for more information and to purchase their newest book.
And visit Linda on her blog mixing the media of life and art.
Linda has generously offered to give away a copy of her book Journal Revolution to one lucky reader of The Altered Page. You know the drill. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post. Comments will close next Saturday July 3. The winner will be posted next Sunday July 4 as part of the next post for The Book Guild. Good luck!