Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Have you ever seen the work of Daniella Woolf? She was featured in Somerset Studio last year; I immediately fell in love with her works of paper, often constructed with shredded "morning pages." Writing morning pages is a technique in Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way: "three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning."

I have written morning pages off and on for years. The practice is an excellent way to get things out of your brain and off your chest, and put them right in front of your nose. What are you really thinking and feeling? Pour it out onto the pages without censoring and without stopping, and you'll find out.

When I saw Daniella's work, I loved the idea of using morning pages in art. There's something appealing about pouring out your heart in writing, then obscuring the words by cutting up the paper. The shredding maintains privacy. Morning pages are not meant to be read by anyone else; they are a safe place to vent. A lot of my writing wouldn't make sense to anybody else, and I won't want to re-read it, so why not put the paper to good use?

I started this piece last year, but I got around to finishing it only yesterday. I call it Outpourings: 13 Days.

Outpourings:13 Days

It's a tassel, of sorts.

Outpourings:13 Days (top)

The top is a simple felt heart stuffed with polyfil. A loop of cheesecloth is attached for hanging. The tassel is made from cut-up morning pages, strung onto embroidery floss, then sewn into the heart. There are 13 strings - 13 days of morning pages.

Outpourings:13 Days (tassel close-up)

I wrote on all kinds of papers and backgrounds. Watercolor washes, acrylic washes, inkjet photos, calendar pages. I tried cutting different shapes, sometimes folding the paper, sometimes rolling it into beads. It's been a long time since I've done any significant beadwork. This time, I felt that I was creating a beaded tassel with paper.

I think there's more playing with paper in my future.


liz elayne lamoreux said...

love love this! and using the morning pages is such a beautiful practice.

Nikki said...

I love this! Love how you turned morning pages into something so visually interesting and beautiful.

Lisa Gallup said...

I love this, Judy! I really love using my own handwritten pages plus others in my backgrounds that are then obscured a bit, as collages pieces, whatever I can come up with. I think it really infuses the piece with a very personal part of yourself. Great job!

jackie Green said...

Judy, your variety of creative expression in this world leaves me in awe. Thanks for opening me to possibilities and gifting me with beauty.

Tammy Gilley said...

I love this, too, Judy! What a wonderful way to incorporate your morning pages ritual into your artwork. Love, love, love it!! xo

The Dreaming Bear said...

LOVE this!!! So clever...and beautiful!!!

Suzanne said...

I've never been able to do morning pages on a regular basis, but I really love the artwork you made from them! I remember reading about what Daniella did with hers, and I was thinking -- that makes total sense. If you're fully committed to this, then you'll have a lot of pages lying around, and what do you do with them? Brilliant!

NM_Creatrix said...

Judy, I LOVE this. Can I borrow and adapt your idea? I have to come up with something that is 18" wide by 36" long - Art by the Yard and this has inspired me.
Something just told me I needed to check out your site, glad that I did