For my second look on the 2nd, I knew I had to go with something that related to back to school, since that's the theme I'm hosting at Art Journal Journey this month. In looking back through my posts I decided to share a post from a now defunct challenge blog. That doesn't make the prompt or the story any less relevant, though. Sadly, I was still using my old camera that took nearly unrecognizable photos. Here is the post from October 14, 2011.
The challenge was to discuss your fear(s).
I began by laying down dressmaker tissue on a block of 1" thick wood,
over which I painted gesso mixed with violet Golden Fluid Acrylic. At
this point I wasn't sure where this was going, but I knew I wanted to
create something close to my heart. Something
artistic about fear, although it was not for or about myself, but for
the young people in this world who are being bullied.
I started with these six colors because they were mostly dark, and therefore colors I would most closely associate with fear.
Now I'm not a person who can draw a pretty picture, relying more on
mixed media and magazine images. And I'm also not very good with
abstract art. But I wanted this to be something dark, going into the
As I worked on the piece, I saw a tornado emerging. I certainly
knew about tornadoes, having been in five before the age of 15.
I continued to work on the tornado image and remembered the one and only
time I was bullied through teasing. I began attending a new school in
the 6th grade, after attending a different one, one that was all ground
level, for my first five grades. The school I was now going to was old
and the upper classes (5th and 6th grades) were on the top floor.
too long into the first semester, we had a fire drill. We had to go
out very tall cast iron lattice see-through stairs and I made the
mistake of looking down. I froze. I could live through tornadoes, but
not those stairs.
The teacher, who was supposed to protect me,
was also no help. In fact, she made matters worse by trying to force
and push me off the top stair landing and down the steps. After all, I
was holding up the line which had to keep going. Clearly, this type of
behavior had never happened before! Afterward, I was called all kinds
of names, including "scardy-cat"
and "wimp." Thankfully, my grandparents (who raised me and were my
rock) stepped in (something kids these days seem to resist) and spoke to
both the teacher and the principal. After that, I was allowed to be
the last person down the stairs, with the teacher at my side. I'm not
sure what would have happened had there been a real fire.
the kids forgot what a wimp I was, mainly because I went to a new
school (what we called Junior High) the next year. At that time, I was
reunited with my friends from K through 5th grades, had a good support
system, and was once again on a ground level floor.
I tried to show the texture at this angle, but my camera doesn't take decent photos this close.
kids today, who have social networks via the internet, I was lucky. My
friends were close at hand and I no longer felt the humiliation of
being singled out. Nor did we try to single out and bully any students
like the mean kids did. I was a big part of Junior High and High School
because I loved school. I became active in many extra-curricular
activities and took part in as many as I could fit into my schedule.
also had very supportive grandparents, who would have gone to hell and
back to make sure I was safe from harm. You have NO idea how innocent
and sheltered I (and my friends) were. Young people nowadays don't feel
like they have that option, especially since many bullying problems
happen on buses, something we didn't have in our small town of a little
more than 4000. Young people also don't believe they can talk to their
teachers, and when they do, they are told to "buck up" just like I was
told that day back in 6th grade.
Although my fear of being
bullied soon passed, my fear of heights remains present to this day. I
can't seem to climb on anything higher than a two-step step stool until my
legs begin to shake like crazy when I reach the second step. As for being
called names, I believe it made me stronger, more easy going, more understanding, and more
I could have called this piece "Eye of the Storm," but decided to call
it "The Bully Pulpit" instead. It is truly a different looking and more true to color and texture piece on
I hope each person who reads this will become an
advocate for young people, people who have been bullied, as well as
those who bully (because these bullies are often either bullied or
ignored at home). October is Bully Awareness Month and bullying could
truly be one of our young friends worst fears. It is up to adults to
see to it that youngsters are safe from internet violence, from school
bus violence, from being picked on in class or in gym, and from vicious
life-changing name calling. After all, this is the next generation we
are talking about.
Normally I would stop here and invite you to join me with your Second on the 2nd post. But before I do that, since I'm hosting Art Journal Journey (AJJ) this month, I wanted to create something to go with my Bully Pulpit. For those of you familiar with AJJ's rules, this will be redundant. However, if you are not familiar, there are two very obvious reasons I cannot use my Bully Pulpit for my AJJ entry today. First, all entries must be created in a journal, altered book, or large loose pages, like my used file folders. Second, all entries must be shown for the first time and cannot be back linked. No cards, tags, or even wood are allowed, either. And since this is a journal, at least ONE word needs to be included in your art. That's why it's called a journal blog.
In following the "Back to School" theme, I have placed my Bully Free Zone sign in the middle of several School Caution signs.
I used washi tape for the sign posts and gifted washi tape arrows to call attention to the sign. I painted the green strips and added the black strip to imitate the green and black chalk boards you used to find in schools.
Now it's your turn to add your Second on the 2nd post. The rules
are quite simple and everyone is welcome to join the fun look back. All you have to do is bring back a post that you are
proud of, or one you shared before anyone knew your blog existed. Anything you choose is acceptable, any subject, any genre. Then
link below. Once you link, Bleubeard and I, along with other Second Look participants will be by to visit.
Please be aware this link is only open for five days, so it's best to post sometime on the 2nd.
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Bleubeard and I welcome you
Art, including the journey, background techniques, new experiments, photos, failures, and successes will be shared on this site. I have removed my e-mail address until such time as I can get it to work again. Thank you for understanding. You can always leave a note on my blog and I will visit you.
Please check out my Previous Collaborations link above to see what projects I have been involved in over the past seven years. Current and ongoing projects only are shown below.
Occasionally, Silent Sunday will showcase photos of my home, neighborhood, or community. A picture is often worth a thousand words.
Feelfree to drop by every second Thursday of the month for my Second Thursday Tutorials. They are interspersed with my other Tutorials found at the link above.
Bleubeard will guide you to each Altered Book Lesson as it appears
Click on any lesson you might have missed or want to review