It’s supposed to be spring here in Southwestern, Ontario as I type to you here in Journal52, but what we are faced with is an extended winter season, complete with ice storms, snow banks, and frigid temperatures. It’s been dreary, and I have been longing for breezes that feel more like kisses than the smack down of air that hurts my face.
The sun is out today, though, and it has set my blood on fire. My whole being has settled itself in my body, in my bones. I feel languid, like a cat in a sunbeam, and I am so grateful, I could cry. I am so ready for this snow to melt, to put my bare feet on mama earth and wriggle my toes in the dirt.
It occurs to me that many of the pleasures I most associate with joy are sensual pleasures. The way a certain fabric feels against my skin, the delight I take in colour, the scent of my favourite incense, or my own delicious home cooking, the softness of my Sookie’s fur - especially the barely there peach fuzz that covers her little pink belly, the way candlelight glows in my living room, the top shelf whisky that burns deliciously, like good sex, like the way it feels to inhale deeply, and exhale deeply.
I love the sensual world. In fact, you could call me a ‘hedonist’ and I would nod and smile and quip ‘You, knowing me.’ I think that’s why art journaling appeals to me so much. Especially mixed media art. Something about combining colours, textures, shapes, symbols, and words makes me feel in my own skin in a way nothing else does. Writing can keep me pretty ‘neck up’, unless I’m writing or reading poetry, but visual art? Flinging paint? Smooshing, tearing papers, slapping them down, scrubbing paint in, feathering out - it delights all of my senses. Even the smell of certain mediums (like Stazon ink pads) can give me paroxysms of joy.
It’s a goal of mine to paint in a way that awakens other people’s senses, invoke in them a sense of their own ‘in their own skinness’, bring them into the realm of pleasure as experienced in the body. I want to enter into people’s souls through their eyes and make them feel something with the choices I’ve made in my art. This desire is what keeps me painting, keeps me sharing my work, even though I’m at a point in my journey where what I created isn’t always in alignment with my taste. (Oh, that tricksy, tricksy taste gap).
Practice, though, is play. It’s pleasure. It’s not that different from foreplay. It will, eventually, get me there.
Create a journal spread using colours, shapes, symbols, mediums, and sentiments that bring you pleasure.
How much sensual pleasure do you indulge in? What is your relationship with your own inherent sensuality?
“Mmmmmmm, yes.” - Kate Bush in “The Sensual World”
P.S. Everyone gets Journal52 this week! Feel free to share far and wide!