Spectrum 2015 has begun. The first release was on May 1.
The first thing I do (now, thanks to Radiant Faces with Effy Wild) is I read through the material and I watch all the videos before I begin working on any class.
This small shift has been an incredible boon in my life and in my work, let me tell you. I used to watch and try to work or watch and take notes, instead of just experiencing the work set before me.
I was a part of Spectrum 2014. Spectrum 2015 is completely downloadable, which is such a blessing on so many levels. Spectrum 2014 was not. I downloaded everything I could, but with everything that was not downloadable, I took notes, detailed and vivid notes, with scribbles and random wanna-be doodles all over the place, so I would remember what I was seeing on the video or hearing on the recording.
I missed doing so much of the work of Spectrum last year because I was too focused on making sure I took notes, because I understood the inherent value of this work—I knew it was the work I needed—it went into the places I needed—and still need—to go. I knew I would be coming back, working some lessons over and over again. But in the moment, the fear of losing everything, never being able to have that information again, was an overwhelming fear.
Last year was a rough year for me. It was my first year of taking online classes…and I took a lot of classes. I had to make sure I gave each class adequate attention. Many classes with fully downloadable content or online content with lifetime access was downloaded or skimmed—and then left to sit until I could come back around.
I am still upset I missed the class participation of several of those classes. They meant quite a bit to me when I signed up…but between life, depression, CFS, toddler, and everything else…some things had to be set down for awhile. I get that. I understand that. I am actually as ok with that as I can be. But still…I mourn the loss of what could have been with some of those classes.
So, back to Spectrum. I watched the videos and listened to the audios for this first installment of Spectrum – and I love the work being presented…but the one thing I was truly called to do was to go back to Spectrum 2014, pull my notes, listen to the introduction for the first offering, called Opening…and engage in that work.
And it felt good.
I do not have a chosen art journal prepared for Spectrum this year. I have a number of hand-made journals that I have decided to use for various classes until they are all full. Such is the issue when you make journals with so many pages in them. No one told me that if you are making a hand-bound journal for a particular class that maybe you should only make it big enough to hold all the pieces from that class. The way I work isn’t like that. I go back and forth. I do the piece from the class. Sometimes I do that piece several times. I practice. I change things. I do something completely different. I never know. Bigger is better for me, when it comes to pages in a book. I am having fun—what else does it matter?
Throughout the year, and who knows for how long after that, I will be posting pieces from Spectrum, both 2014 and 2015.
Last year, I was a neophyte. I look back at some of the pieces I did for Spectrum in 2014 and I shake my head. I can see exactly what teacher I was working with in other areas of my life in many places.
Now, I have a firmer grip on who I am and what I want to do in my work.
That feels good.
Here is the first piece I did. The original video in Spectrum 2014 by Hali Karla was about creating a cover for your Spectrum art journal. What I did here was take a journal from a different class that I had never finished working in…I believe I finished the class, but not the journal. This was not an art class, although there were ways to express yourself creatively and with collage—so that is what this journal was about. I took the front page spread that listed the class information with some collage and whatnot…and I re-worked the entire thing.
Dictionary pages. Water soluble crayons. Graphite crayons. Conte pencils. And I should have stopped there, but I kept going because it felt good. The trees with the white flowers…I really liked the original background…not enough of it peeks through. But—it is what it is…
And then — there is the word…Awaken…
For Spectrum 2014, my guiding word was Open.
Now, to Awaken…
The Sleeper must awaken…