What You'll Find Here

I post daily (photos of my journal pages, things that inspire me and personal bits and pieces) to inspire and encourage others. I have always believed that if I can do it, so can you.

You'll find resources (my favorite supplies, books, slideshows of my art journal pages, favorite bloggers, etc...) listed along the right hand side of my blog.

I've been teaching both in person and online workshops for more than twenty years. You can find out more about my classes by scrolling down along the right hand side of my blog. I strive to make classes accessible to everyone (both beginner to advanced).

I love teaching and truly believe that deep down inside everyone is an artist, capable of creating something. There is power and knowledge in the act of creating something with your own hands, made from your own heart and head.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at EGorey99@sbcglobal.net

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, February 03, 2014

Books Full of Me: Themes and Me or The Light Bulb Moment

noun \ˈthēm\
: the main subject that is being discussed or described in a piece of writing, a movie, etc.
: a particular subject or issue that is discussed often or repeatedly
: the particular subject or idea on which the style of something (such as a party or room) is based

For years I've said that I don't work with themes. Themes to me meant stuff like Alice in Wonderland Books, Frida Kahlo, etc... Being stuck with A THEME always made my head hurt. I like the freedom to wander, explore and see where the wind takes me.

In my classes I'm often asked if students should be exploring a theme. My response is often that they should pick what they like and what they are drawn to the most. If that working with a theme helps them in their creative process that they should work within the realms of what makes them comfortable.

It was pointed out in class yesterday (thanks Maria and Meryl) that I AM working in a theme. My buds pointed out that I often use the same kind of imagery repeatedly in my work. I argued that those were the kinds of images that I am drawn to, that I am using those images to represent and speak for me. I countered that what my friends were saying wasn't really a theme but that those images, colors and symbols instead represent my visual vocabulary. 

After class I packed up and headed home. Six hours to process and think (along with several hours of singing along at a very high volume to David Bowie, Talking Heads, Hardline and Dick Powell.
Eclectic is my taste in music.) Then it hit me. 

I DO work in a theme. Repeatedly. ME! I'M my own theme! Self exploration and discovery. Images of women and colors that represent ME, my feelings and my thoughts. Repeated words that are winks at things in my life. Books full of my own thoughts, reflections and pondering. Books full of me.

So, I'll have to change my thoughts on how I talk about themes from now on. Seventeen years of teaching and it's taken me this long to realize it and wrap my head around it. I'll have six hours on the way to Frenzy Stamper in Scottsdale this weekend to process and gather my thoughts some more.

Some other links that may be of interest to you:
Building a Visual Vocabulary
Another Building a Visual Vocabulary Post
Where I Find My Collage Images
Thoughts on Collage Work


Lottie said...

ooooh thanks for the lovely links. And yes - you do use lots of female faces, bodies, etc - but rather than them being a 'Theme' I think of them as your unique 'Trademark'. I think that now I could spot a 'Kelly Kilmer' journal, page, artwork, anywhere!

It is unique to you. So not a theme but your very own USP.

Don't change!

Susie said...

I gotta agree with you on themes to the extent that any theme that does not hold some manner of personal meaning to me is of no use to me. When I am journaling regardless of what I am exploring on the page, there is some connection to me, even if I am the only one who sees it. I think exploring 'self' or 'me' as a theme rings true for you but then add all the layers of what that can hold, our lives are just like collages, we are the paper, every event, emotion,insight, experience, every wound, every challenge, every wish granted, our deep loves and victories...it's never ending really, all these things are like a mixed media in the our lives, brought to the canvas of who we are, that might sound kind of dorky and kitschy but that is how I feel about it, as artists we 'get it' we can speak in our visual language, we know what to do with all the excess fodder in our lives, manipulate them in a way that makes sense to us and create a safe haven for further exploration, excavation, introspection...so you are not only the essence of a theme, your entire life is a living collage, she moves, breathes and carries her world everywhere she goes...folks like us, who 'get it' we were meant to do this, it's in the very fiber of our blood and your initial resistance to declaring/maintaining a theme even if just for one page is understandable. Just look at the names of all of your classes, they tell your story...every single title encourages self exploration...I'm not surprised you made this discovery and that it took some time, it was hiding in plain sight all along. xxooxx

Desert Mermaid said...

another 'theme' consistent to you, Kelly: truth.