Tuesday, December 12, 2006


I have been in an art-making frenzy the last couple of days. My fingers cannot fly fast enough to keep up with the ideas brimming in my head and spilling over into my dreams.

It has been so very hard to even think of studio time in the past few months. Among other things, I am challenged by chronic, severe migraines; in October, I lost 26 days to these monster headaches, 24 days in November, and so far in December, 9. This is an ongoing battle the neurologists and I have waged for the last six years with only moderate success. The headaches make me extremely sensitive to light, nauseous, dizzy, and so on. Daily chores take on a whole new dimension of difficulty, much less art-making. But when the fog and pain lifts, especially after an extended period of time, my mind switches gears and inspiration blooms. Perhaps while I am laid low, my brain secretly continues to comtemplate, ferment, and imagine on another level. When all the plans and schemes are ready, I and my brain emerge from the haze and begin. Whatever the reason, the result is fruitful and fabulous art time.

I am continuing to journal, exploring new forms of image altering and following story threads, old and new, that have wound themselves about my mind. Last night, I started a large-scale visual journal (think atlas-sized) entitled "The Alchemist's Journal." I am fascinated by alchemy and see it as a metaphor for personal transformation, artistically and otherwise. This new journal will weave fictional and autobiographical elements as my art and life evolve and intertwine. It will be way too big to scan so I will have to see if I can manage decent photos with my digital camera.

The little art piece featured in today's entry is executed on a 5 by 5-inch canvas board. I actually dreamed this image while struggling through a pounding headache; perhaps my unconscious was puzzling through the whys and hows of life with migraines. In my waking life, I decided to turn the dream image into something positive, a bit of inspiration for future days. Ironically, the little pharmacy label was lifted from one of my headache medicine bottles. How nice of the pharmacy to contribute to the cause! Along with tiny watch parts and blueprints pulled from my stash, I found the most perfect accompaniment in the words of Placido Domingo. What a delight when it all falls together...


  1. Great collage and good for you to soldier on. I, too, suffer from a chronic condition, so I know how hard it is. Hang in there and allow your body what it needs to heal. *hugs* Fran

  2. Anonymous3:48 PM

    This piece is lovely and really describes a splitting headache, let along a migraine.

    I too have enforced down-times and have also learnt that thinking time is just as important as doing time and yes, the brain seems to puzzle away at things even when you don't think it can. I mean, have you ever kept a dream diary, I did as an experiment for a few months a couple of years back and it was a revelation and a very creative time for me....hmmm, must do that again...

    Too much time spent only thinking though, may not be so good!

    I am so glad you are enjoying your art time and looking forward to seeing the results of your giant journal pages.

    Kari x

  3. Love your new piece Michelle the really hit home for me :-)

  4. That should have read "the message really hit home for me" (just ignore my typist she hasn't had coffee ;-)

  5. I love this piece, Michellle! And an atlas size journal ... that would be such a blast!


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