Hickory with hands - by Nancy Azara. Carved and painted wood with gold leaf and encaustic.
She goes on to suggest incorporating these diaries into daily life, keeping a blank notebook at hand and markers and crayons or whatever else takes ones fancy to record feelings and happenings by means of images.
Leaf Alter for Nunzia - by Nancy Azara. Carved and stained cedar plank with aluminum leaf.
Joan Arbeiter, one of the first participants in the workshops, writes that her visual diaries were made from the "stuff of my ordinary daily life. Mundane notions such as shopping lists, appointments, and phone numbers were used along with philisophical commentary, overheard bits of dialogue, and other sayings that came my way. These words were often grouped into shapes that 'read' as images along with doodles, designs , and sketches. It was in fact soon after the workshop that I began to integrate these ideas into my own large format paintings and drawings".
Although I don't belong to a discussion group I think I have been doing something similar whilst having long phone conversations or listening to audio books. While my mind is engaged with the discussion my hand creates intricate designs which are often intriguing. Abstract doodles, created without interference from my inner critic. These I tear out and glue in my journal where I sometimes develop them further. As Azara experienced, I am coming back to the same forms over and over again. I suppose it's a way of discovering one's own personal symbolism or art vocabulary.
"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for." - Georgia O'Keeffe