nce in a while a book comes along that really grabs me. Not the kind of grabbing that lasts for a few minutes...or hours...but days. That's how I feel about Sharon Soneff's latest book Art Journals & Creative Healing, (Restoring the Spirit through Self-Expression).
It was delivered to my doorstep two days ago, just after I was preparing my afternoon cup of coffee. Thumbing through the pages, I was mesmerized. There are so many journals and art pieces in this book that it takes time to go through it, not because it takes a long time to see it all...but because it takes time to read the stories.
Admittedly, I am one of those people that rarely reads all the text included in these type of books...but this one if different. The women who wrote the stories to accompany their work, wrote beautifully, and these are not stories that were easy to convey. They are heart wrenching, painful, and many grief stricken. There are a few women who shared their stories for the first time. It is this raw honesty, portrayed in art imagery that reaches beyond what you normally see in these type of inspiration books. My singular art piece and topic was diminutive compared to what many women contributed.
In fact, a year and a half ago, when Sharon approached me with the idea of contributing to another of her books, I wanted to commit to several entries. One particular art piece I had in mind involved my Dad, who went to be with Jesus in 2002. In the end, I was unable to finish it. It was too emotional and too difficult to put into words or art. While I was unable to complete one of my projects, this book is filled with women who WERE able to push past that emotion and get it down onto paper. Not just in words...but with photos and sketches and paints. In other words, it was boundless.
You will see lovely things, and you will see the unlovely as well. That's what I admire the most about this book...Sharon's only requirement was that we were honest. In fact, she shares glimpses of herself that are raw as well. Her personal struggles to author this book were no doubt great, but she pushed through that pain as well and produced an incredible visual and written volume that is worthy of your time.
I know my accolades could seem like a shameless plug...but honestly, I would purchase and read this book even if I were not in it. If you know of anyone who could benefit from creative ideas to work through various difficult life situations...then help get this book into their hands. For those interested, Sharon's first book is titled Faith Books & Spiritual Journaling
Here are a few closeups of what I contributed.
I created this using an old plate that I decoupaged with papers from 7Gypsies and Cloud9 Design, then added chipboard plates that I designed using Digital Designs from Rhonna Farrer's Parisian Alpha Rub-ons & Brushes kit and Vintage News Kit . The journaling is my own printing done using my Wacom digital pen. Plates are layered and flip open like a book with ribbon hinges.