I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Saturday 29 September 2012

Some day he'll come along

Hello all, and welcome to Words and Pictures - I'm very happy you were able to find time to stop by - though I have to admit I'm not sure about today's journal pages.  There was a point where I was really happy with where they were headed, and then sort of lost my way... partly because it mattered too much, so I lost the ability to make playful decisions (if you know what I mean).  

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
I'll understand
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
George Gershwin 

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!


froebelsternchen said...

this looks so wonderful... wow!

Lawsbom said...

I loved it when I saw it earlier and I love it even more now. I really thinks it captures the heartbreak - the ink blotches seem to me to represent teardrops...LOL I bet you can tell that I don't really know how to express myself too well!!! I just think it captures the side of love that isn't all hearts and flowers...sometimes it can be many shades of grey. This piece looks quite plain compared to your other works but it is so right...just some words (and your handwriting is always amazing), the ink blots 'ruining' it - To me the ink blots are perfect, simply because in life and love nothing ever is!!!

Claudia N. said...

I am afraid, Alison,

my English is not good enough to express what really moves me, reading your thoughts and ideas, that went into that project AND to find the traces of these thoughts and feelings in your work. They are there! As subtle but firmly imprinted as the traces of burden in Romeo's and Juliet's lives are in the play.

Such a shame, I am too far away to watch it. It sounds like some really deep going play that shows the very essence of life and strong and caring relationship.

I think, it was right, not to stress the "message" of the journal pages too hard. Those who have learned their lessons can read it anyway. And this way it feels "real". No "invented feeling" - I hope, I could express some of my thoughts upon your deeply touching piece right.

Claudia xxx

Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries said...

You told the story and turned it into a creation....wow Alison!

Have a good Sunday, Alie

Patti P. said...

Alison, how fabulous. Your words and the journal tell a beautiful story and as I sat here reading your post, I could see and feel it! That is a talent in your art work and posting to convey that to your readers in such a poetic fashion. Thanks for sharing, would love to see the play. By the way, thanks for the link to the music....beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Oh my this is sublime Alison. I've not managed to Blog hop these past days and had to limit myself to on-line time today.
The texture and fragility to this piece and to top it all, one of my all time favourite songs.

Brenda Brown said...

I sat listening to the song as I read your post Alison and through both words, music and pictures I could feel your tension but also your understanding of the situation. This is indeed very deep and emotional and your art reflects that. You are a very creative person in many ways. Don't stop what you are doing.
hugs {brenda} xox

sam21ski said...

Fab pages, great textures, love the heart one, but then again, it is corrugated, a love of mine!!!

Sam xxx

Lunch Lady Jan said...

Absolutely gorgeous - I find the pages beautiful and emotional. The play sounds amazing, but I don't think I could watch it at the moment, too many echoes of my lonely dad after Mum passed away earlier this year....
And I adore that song :)
LLJ xx

Unknown said...

I'm a hopeless romantic and Romeo and Juliet is by far my favorite of Shakepeare's works. This sounds intriguing and too bad I'm across the pond. :( You've once again captured something on paper that reaches out to many and I always appreciate the links you include for us to enjoy. Beautiful job Alison!

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

It's amazing how our heart works! It's equally amazing how stories can affect us, and hit us to our very souls! Too many times I've cried over songs, plays, movies, and even stupid commercials! You can feel your mood in these fantastic journal pages. The texture alone is to be commended...a real wow, and I love the florals showing through. It's gorgeous Alison! Kudos, and I hope the blue lifts!

...the yorkshire fox... said...

...awesome pages Alison, loVe the texture you've created with the layers & the story behind them, very pleasing to the eye, superb work as always...Melx :)

Redanne said...

Hi Alison, I actually read right through your words without seeing any of the pages you created. I was totally absorbed in what you were saying and it made my heart ache. Once I looked at your pictures I could really feel your mood and see why you used the colours and textures. The black ink said it all, I think. This is such a wonderful piece, you really are so wonderfully creative. Crafty hugs, Anne x

Andrea Small said...

I looked at the pictures in close up while the song played and now I shan't be able to hear it without seeing the pictures! Not that I mind - this is a wonderful piece - delicate and vulnerable and (a quality I can't quite identify - dignified?). Lovely lovely lovely.

And thanks for the shout out :-) xx

Jenny Marples said...

It's a funny thing this crafting lark - we do it to make us happy and give us a release from the rest of 'life', but it always ends up influencing what we do - unsurprisingly I suppose.
You have 'tackled' your pages with your usual panache, textures/elements/stamping which evoke your feelings and stir them in others too. And does it work? Well for those of us standing outside that would be a resounding yes, but for you, well only you can judge that. You can always have a go at a second version so as not to spoil this one and maybe get rid of those nagging doubts? (time allowing of course!) OK, war and peace over, off to see your latest post. Hugs, Buttons x

Anna-Karin said...

This is gorgeous Alison and how great that you made a piece based on your experiences of being at the theatre all week. Wonderful textures and shine and the stamping is awesome. Love that everything has a symbolic meaning. Thank you so much for sharing with us at Simon Says Stamp and Show! And for your sweet comments on my blog.

CarlaKH said...

Absolutely gorgeous- love the soft colors and all the texture. Truly breathtaking! Thanks so much for joining us at Anything But a Card!

Candy C said...

Alison...I really really like your art journal pages. You are so right in that our moods greatly effect our art. And so it should be. Your art journal pages really do reflect your feelings and emotions while working with this theater presentation of an aging Romeo and Juliet facing the end of their lives together. Your pages are wonderfully done. Thank you for sharing your inspiration for them as well as the lovely process you went through to achieve them. And thanks for sharing them with everyone at Simon Says Stamp and Show. <3 Candy

Mrs.B said...

Hi Alison, just catching up- and what a catch up! These are beautiful pages, so delicate and vunerable and obviously refelecting your mood after being involved in such a moving play.
Avril xx

Terry said...

THank you for sharing your fabulous journal pieces wowwzerss love the colors and the hearts and all the little detaills you have used, love em....Thank you for sharing your project with the DT from Simon Says Stamp and Show, hugs terry xxxx

Marjie Kemper said...

It sure is haunting. I love the texture and depth of it. The handwriting, too.

mark gould said...

As always I am absorbed into the work, it's great to see something so personal at times, I think that's where real art comes from.Thanks for sharing it with us.

on a different note.I hope you don't mind but I nominated you for a child's shoe blog award. details are on my blog. xx

Lisa Minckler said...

I read your post like a novel I never wanted to end. Such incredible pouring forth of emotions and thoughts and unfortunately, reality, at it's most wonderful and saddest moments. Your journal page depicts the description wonderfully and truly touched me.
Outstanding work Alison and thank you for the links. Great to see and hear that music again.
Lisa xx

Julia S-W said...

I know you have created this with much pain, thought and tension inside you but it what it reflects is love, light and understanding. To have the close ups brings this beautiful piece alive and reading your words makes me feel I'm sat with you and talking as a friend. You have an amazing capacity to communicate both on and off a piece of art and I absolutely thank you for that. I love the subtle shades, the texture, the almost violent ink splatters and the beautiful gleam which to me represents a hope - why? I don't know and it would take ages to unravel that one. Thank you so much for letting us in with this outstanding piece - it has been a pleasure.
Have a wonderful week and don't ever stop doing what you do.

Christy said...

So pretty and I love that heart! Thanks for joining us at ABAC :) :) :)

Lynda said...

Catching up with your amazing blog- listening to that wonderful music- The Man I love.
The music is inspirational and so I can only imagine what must it be like alongside Romeo and Juliet. You have brought the two together with such feeling and with simple effect by pen and paper. Brilliant.