Monday, May 6, 2013


While I was resting this afternoon, as well as being severely depressed, I had a vision of what I needed to do on my next journal page.  To me it spoke a lot of the conflicts that are tearing me apart.  It is symbolic of the struggles I am going through emotionally, physically and spiritually in my life and how it feels to be torn apart. Inside this broken heart is the little girl who was the first one to encounter the abuses of this life.  I know that I am not the only person to have had a dysfunctional childhood, bad teens and abusive twenties (in fact, I know many personally who have had it much much worse) and I am fortunate to have found the love and grace of God to help me through the years ahead and to live with and deal with the memories of the past.  But...this does not negate the painful feelings that exist and continue through the behaviors created in defense to try to prevent these things from reoccurring.  They are old and inappropriate but hard to eliminate.  They often cause me to seek approval in all the wrong places and by doing all the wrong things.  This is always followed up with guilt, depression and unforgiveness both to myself and often by others in my life.  The one good thing that has happened for me recently is that I have finally started to realize the enormity of the love and forgiveness of God.  No matter what stupid mistake I make He is forgiving in ways that humans simply are not.  That is helping me to forgive myself although not as quickly or totally as I need to in order to escape the pain of the depression and anxiety.  I realized that I need to forgive myself because these past, present and future sins and mistakes were all taken and nailed to the cross of our Savior Jesus Christ.  If He did this for me what right do I have to hang on to the unforgiveness of others or for not forgiving myself.

I started my page with the usual layer of gesso to prep and strengthen the paper and then my latest favorite Dry Dex Spackle and my absolutely favorite Crafters Workshop template with swirls. I love the texture of the spackle and how it goes on pink then turns white when it is dry.  Helps with my impatience as I actually can tell when it is truly ready to add color and other elements.  I think I like the swirls because they represent my swimming thoughts and behaviors, they run in all different directions and in circular motion which is often how my emotions feel when I am working on these issues.

My next step was to add background color.  I started with a full coat of black gesso smeared on with a credit card.  Next I dripped on various colors of acrylic paints which I smeared into the wet black gesso with my fingers - yes...very messy but I am very tactile and love to get into the feel of everything I do.  On top of the drip and smear I added some spray inks.

Obviously the next step will be to lighten things up a bit so everything doesn't get lost in the blackness.  In order to do this I add some white gesso scraped on with the credit card while the mists were still wet. The paint layers were getting a bit thick and the texture was getting lost so I rolled over it all with paper towels.

I added some gold Perfect pearls for highlighting as well as a red doily heart torn in two, a little girl with a face of me as a child and the chains on each side of the heart showing the pulling apart.  I finished it off with splats of red to represent blood and blue to represent tears.  I then smeared those with the credit card.  I am not happy with the page but I don't know what else I would want to add other than possibly some words.

Yes...the words have it.  I tried a White Sharpie Paint Pen but did not do well with it and ended up with gesso and a paint brush.  It is messy and rough but as the feelings and the whole page is so raw it probably suits it much better than neat lettering would have.

Not one of my favorite pages but it is full of raw emotion and that is one way of getting the pain out.


  1. This spread speaks volumes!! well done

  2. Sometimes you just need to get the words and feelings OUT so you can make room for healing and better things! Great job on the page! Big hugs!

  3. A page that is most certainly part of your healing process. Hugs.

  4. I'm so sorry you are having such a difficult time. I'm glad your able to share some of it thru your art. Will definitely start the healing (like Melody says). Forgiving ourself is sometimes the hardest. God loves you unconditionally. Humans are the ones that have strings attached.
    Love & hugs girlfriend! Praying for you!!

  5. I hope that creating this helped smash some of those old feelings Paula. I've heard that it's very therapeutic to get it out on paper. You're very brave for sharing it...which makes me think that your healing is well underway.

  6. Someone once told me that to stop reliving the past in my mind, it already hurt me one time why let it do so again. Hearing that helped me so very much I just thought I would share it with you. I've been there where you were, and also where you are, and now I am here. Here is better. Healing is PURPLE, Love Ree