Journaling With Arches Text Wove: Part II

Yesterday I showed some experiments using Arches Text Wove (Velin). Today, I’m catching up with how I used the papers.

For the last few days, I’ve been fascinated with butterflies. We have a lot of them here now, enjoying the mild weather, wild flowers and citrus tree blooms. One of the facts that amazes me about butterflies is that when they change from caterpillar to butterfly, they don’t transform from one shape to another. No, it’s not that easy. The caterpillar actually builds the chrysalis, then dissolves into liquid goo.

Journal page using paper bags and newspaper as a background.

Floating in this goo are imago cells–the cells that holds the memory of change–and shifts the goo into agreeing with it to turn into a butterfly. That idea amazes me endlessly.

Using the colored papers from the experiments, I created a journal page on the transformation of butterflies. The only thing I’d change on this page is to make the butterflies less stylized and cute. The description would seem less fiction and more the way I hand intended it–a metaphor for personal change and transformation.

I had also created the beginning of maps by wetting and crumpling the Arches Text Wove. But when I sat down to create the maps, I had another idea. A different kind of map–of the stars. A map of imaginary constellations.

Map of imaginary constellations.

In this map, I found the Throwers of Spears, The Sextant (which I mistakenly called a trident), The Net of Gathering, The Beast who runs with Long Legs and a few others. The imaginary constellations appeal to me, so I’m saving this to develop for later.

Maps cut out of a map--rural area, city, mountains--top to bottom.

While I was thinking of maps and butterflies, I thought “What if I make a butterfly out of a map?” I have an old Atlas I purchased for just such a purpose, so I drew butterflies on the map and cut them out. I started simply and then found more complex maps. I’m liking this idea and saving it for development, too.

That’s the purpose of my journals–less to create frame-ready art (hardly ever) and more to capture ideas that will be developed or combined (almost always) in other ways.  I call them “save for laters,” concepts that are held until I think them through and find ways to use them.

–Quinn McDonald is a raw art journaler, creativity coach, and writer whose book, Raw Art Journaling: Making Meaning, Making Art, will be published by North Light Books in July of 2011.