Sunday, April 29, 2012

Family Inheritance

This post has been sitting in Draft for many many days now. 

I guess it's sometimes tough to lay out my emotions.  Either that or I am lazy ;)

Seriously though, stigmas concerning mental illness make me angry - I am trying to change that.

This is in my Anxiety Journal - an appropriate place for it. 

My usual method of working in my journals is creating several backgrounds in one sitting having fun with paint, collage, gel transfers etc.  Then when I feel the urge to journal I flip through my book to see which page calls to me and fits my mood.  I have never created a page from start to finish in one sitting - until this page.

On this page was a failed - in my mind - attempt at using an image transfer - it was an inkjet copy used with self leveling gel - it didn't work.  The image smudged, the image wore off, it didn't work to my satisfaction at all.  You couldn't even recognise faces - my Geda holding me with my Baba and my older sister Carol.  I love this pic - there is a cow in the background!!  Anyway, one day I was playing around with some crackle paint and spread some over the pic to see if it would improve it.  Much to my delight it did!  I got out my Distress ink - vintage photo - and spread it around the edges. 

All of a sudden something clicked.  This page with my grandparents illustrated deep thoughts that had been on my mind for quite sometime.  The genetic aspect of anxiety and mental illness.  I have suffered from anxiety all my life and depression on and off for over 20 years.  Mental illness - both diagnosed and undiagnosed is prevalent on both sides of my family.  It is daunting to think what I have passed on to my daughters. I am not blaming or taking blame - just acknowledging the very real family history.

I got out my swirly stencil and my trusty Tri-Art Transparent Brown liquid acrylic.....

I had a greenish background in my head - I used Green Gold and Titanium White - not completely covering the page - just here and there....

Whoa!!  too limey yellow - toned it down with some light blue.....first sponging it on and then blending and rubbing some off with a baby wipe....

not quite the colour I was going for....I wanted to push it back a bit....I swear I owned Paynes grey - I must have taken it to leave in Phoenix at Carol's house.  So I improvised - picking out a more neutral blue and a grey - again sponging on and then wiping off with a baby wipe...

ahh yes....Titan Buff!!  the awesome colour that just kind of pulls everything together for me.  A fairly solid layer sponged on and then immediately water drops from my fingers sprayed all over.

After waiting a minute or two to let dry a bit - dabbed off with a tissue and then when almost dry I rubbed with same tissue to buff and weather it a bit.

The page titled itself - Family Inheritance.  I used rubber stamps with a sepia liquid acrylic.

Thank you for indulging me.  I believe by initiating discussion we can break down those old ideas about mental illness and maybe we can start to heal. 

My sister Carol is coming over today to work in our journals - it is going to be a great day!!


  1. Beautiful pages Emily. Once again I'm admiring the depth of your colors and of your post. Thank you so much for bravely sharing with us. I probably mentioned before that I also struggle with anxiety and depression and so appreciate the idea of an anxiety journal. May we both (all) find the understanding and healing that we need. xoxo

    1. Lorinda - I don't know if you have any idea of how much it means to me that you reponded with honesty to this post. So many people do not want to talk about it - which of course adds another dimension to the struggle of living with depression. thank you from the bottom of my heart!!