But the impulse to create these pages came from less-than-comfortable place, so maybe it's right that the pages feel less than comfortable. Maybe raw emotion doesn't make for easy crafting! Anyway, see what you think... (probably worth clicking for close-ups if your browser lets you - this was tricky to photograph).
The whole thing was kicked off by a show I'm working on at the moment for the RSC, called A Tender Thing.
It's a wonderful mosaic of Romeo and Juliet reworked as a piece for two older actors, an elderly Romeo and Juliet facing losing each other at the end of their long and loving marriage.
I think it's an extraordinary and beautiful piece of theatre, and if you're anywhere near Stratford upon Avon between now and October 20th, I would recommend it whole-heartedly... but it's not an easy ride - touching on the pain and difficulty of caring for a partner, of letting go of a partner, and on the question of assisted suicide. (Watch the trailer here.)
In the end, it's uplifting rather than depressing because essentially it is about the thing Shakespeare always writes about: the extraordinary capacity of the human spirit to endure, and to love.
But I've been sitting in a theatre with it non-stop for a week, and have been left feeling rather raw.
At one point there's a sequence tracing Juliet's deterioration, and the burden placed on Romeo, with a glorious version of Gershwin's The Man I Love, a 1928 recording of Sophie Tucker, as the underscore. It's wonderful - have a listen, if you like.
And it's been haunting me... it's a song I've always loved, with words that strike a resounding chord for me (cos he ain't got here yet...), so that's the text which arrived on the pages here. The rest of the lyrics are at the foot of the post.
The whole theatre piece has the shimmer of water running through it (with images and soundscapes of waves recurring) and is full of the light of their love, but shot through with the darkness of Juliet's illness and suffering, and of loss. The words of R&J play around with images of light and dark, day and night, almost constantly. So the pages have those elements strongly within them...
The background is full of music and text (as the show is), and full of glimmering textures - Rock Candy Stickles and Pearl Perfect Pearls mica powder rubbed in with my fingers to the places where I'd glued wrinkled tissue paper.
I used stamps by Tattered Angels and by Tim Holtz to add to the sense of structures decaying, cobwebbed and weathered (still haunted a little by Miss Havisham too, perhaps!). The stamping and inking is all done in Pumice Stone DI - I'm in love with its subtle depth of gray.
But at the core of the play, and also at my core just now, there is a sense of dislocation and discomfort - so I wanted to disrupt the beautiful background and confident sentiment with the jarring of things going wrong.
Having written the lyrics using my black fountain pen (girding my loins to let my own writing onto the page, as I know one really ought for art journalling), I then shook the pen to splatter blots of ink across the piece. I also added some stamped blots and blotches using part of an Indigoblu set called Yorkshire Evening Post.
The clock is part of the waiting for "some day" to come along. I cut it ages ago using the TH Weathered Clock die and some textured kraft packing paper.
It's slightly inked and gesso'd, as was the heart (handcut from some other corrugated kraft packing card); but the heart then also got a good spritz of Perfect Pearls Mist in Pearl, for that watery shimmer.
I'm very wary of the handwriting, and once the blots were there I felt the background faded too far into the background - if you see what I mean! Edging the pages with some Black Soot DI added some definition which brought it back into focus - but it was really tricky to photograph as the black seems to be what the camera prefers to pick up on.
Over all, it does feel as though it's reached somewhere meaningful, so I'm going to let it sit for a while, and see how I feel about it in a few days. I'd love to know what you think in the meantime, so do leave a comment if you feel so inclined.
Thank you so much for spending some time with me today, and I look forward to seeing you again soon - either here, or elsewhere in Craftyblogland...
Juliet: Come night, come Romeo, come thou day in night!
Romeo: What lady's that?... Oh, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
Juliet: More light and light it grows.
Romeo: More light and light, more dark and dark our woes.
I'm entering this for the following:
The Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge For the Love of Sparkle
The Artistic Stamper's September challenge Splatters and Speckles
Anything But A Card where they are having a Texture challenge
Some day he'll come along
The man I love
And he'll be big and strong
The man I love
And when he comes my way
I'll do my best to make him stay
He'll look at me and smile
And in a little while
He'll take my hand
And though it sounds absurd
I know we both won't say a word
Maybe I will meet him Sunday, maybe Monday, maybe not
Still I'm sure to meet him one day, maybe Tuesday will be my good news day
He'll build a little home
Just meant for two
From which I'll never roam
Who would, would you?
And so all else above
I'm waiting for
The man I love
Update: I know lots of you have been enjoying the song - there's always a lovely musical treat available at a favourite blog of mine... eclectic meandering. The thoughts and the musical interludes are indeed eclectic - and often wonderful and unusual finds!