Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a beautiful little journal from Robin Seiz, sharing with us her experiences over the past year, and using my Triple Play stamp set and our theme: Another Door Opens – There is this saying, “when one door closes, another door opens” that basically is an optimistic way of looking at change in your life. Create an art journal page with this in mind, however you’d like to express it, however the idea inspires you to create!
This month’s theme was about emerging. When one door closes, another one opens. I am a strong believer in this saying.
I haven’t journaled or written much about the pandemic, yet I feel like I have “processed it” in the daily moments as the days and months have unfolded. It’s been a year of ups and downs for me. It felt really scary in March, 2020; it was a dark time. I really missed seeing family and friends, especially my children and grandchildren. As the months went on, I got into a rhythm; a pandemic pace, if you will. I spent enormous amounts of time in my studio creating. One day rolled into another; I wasn’t sure how a week had flown by. We developed our pandemic pod and learned how to see a very few friends in a socially distanced way.
By June, I was feeling better. We had learned how to get what we needed, we had our systems down, we were zooming with friends and family with the warmer weather, we could get outside.
By the fall when we were moving indoors, it felt disheartening. I really couldn’t fathom the thought that our long standing Christmas traditions had to be put on hold. We managed to quarantine and test and could at least have my children and grandchildren in for a gathering. We did everything we could to mitigate the risks. My partner and I made our own new traditions, which we have decided we will keep. A silver lining!
By January, I was feeling like this pandemic would never end. I was still enjoying the studio and vowed to get out everyday for a walk, even in the cold. And then the spring came, vaccines were on the horizon and it seemed like there was a glimmer of hope.
If I think about the doors closing — for me that included an over-scheduled life; all wonderful things, but just too many of them. I have come to really appreciate the “pandemic pace” and it’s opened the doors for a different way to think about family gatherings, what I add to my plate, and how I spend my time post-pandemic in a way that brings me joy everyday.
I used Nathalie’s new Triple Play Foam Stamp to illustrate what I just verbalized.
I started with an 8 x 5 Strathmore watercolor journal. I spritz it with water and lightly added some Quor watercolors to the pages, just so I wouldn’t have a blank page. I used grays and blues. Then I splattered black paint on the left page to represent this dark time. Next, I put black water color on all but one side of the hexagon. I wanted the one side open so the triangles could emerge from the opening.
On the left page, I stamped the same triangle in black signifying those first few dark months. and how I felt. Then I used more grays and a different triangle to show how I settled into a routine of sorts. By Christmas, the triangles are emerging, but it’s a little scary.
On the right side, the page becomes more hopeful, but as January arrives, it’s sad again and it seems like it will be a long winter. As the months go on and spring arrives, the news of vaccines is better, my colors are more hopeful. The last stamp, the sun, ends with the day I received my first vaccine. We can do so much with color to select feelings. It can tell a story on its’ own. I was also selective about which triangles I used to tell my story. The tulips and other spring looking triangles were used at the end. And finally, the sun, always a symbol of a new beginning to me.
The message for me in all of this is to hold on to the things that have given me joy during the pandemic, to cherish every moment of being with those we love, and to honor this time as a a moment when the world slowed down.
Thank you Robin for sharing such a thoughtful page – there are so many familiar emotions and ideas here that I know will ring true for almost all of us. What a beautiful representation of them!
Don’t forget to check out Nat’s Creative Squad on Instagram too: Each week we post projects, ideas, and inspiration for mixed media art.