Five Years and Counting
It is hard for me to believe: five years of Judy's Journals.
Sixty entries! Sixty deadlines. Most writers will agree that
five years of writing this journal every month is something
to celebrate. If nothing else, it's a form of discipline and
fun for me.
First, I need to thank some people: John Gaumond, first reader
and editor; Patsy McCowan, web manager, who makes my artwork
(7 Gallery Chapters!) and writing look so good; the late Donald
M. Murray, teacher, whose writer's spirit and work ethic are
ever-present; Jennie Benigas, Barbara Schifferle, family members
who are regular readers; Renée Fox, Rodney Gorme-Obien,
Michael Breault, Liana Kolb and Elizabeth Lane, readers who
are not members of my family, but they read me anyway; and thank
you, readers who visit this part of my website, but haven't
written to firstname.lastname@example.org.
That's not to say my "Inbox" is not bulging on most
days, but it's spams and scams for the most part. Delete, delete,
delete. It's great to hear from real people, and I am happy
when I do.
Second, to celebrate sixty journals, I would like to offer
some samplings from them. It seems like a good way to take a
creative breath! And if you missed reading one, you might be
enticed by one sentence to go back and read the whole thing.
October - I keep three different journals
going because writing is essentially need-driven for me.
November - I went to
college across the street from the Albright-Knox and felt the
confidence of familiarity when I dropped in between classes
[it was free back then].
December - This is my
dance with the canvas: step back, move forward, go away, repeat,
January - If my [museum]
shoes could talk, they would tell about places I had begun to
levitate or had gasped with astonishment.
February - I began to
search for other artist/writers.
March - "Rejection's
a real pain."
April - If acceptance
comes in the form of a telephone call
I have been known
to scream, laugh, and cry-sometimes all three.
May - Art is Amsterdam
and Amsterdam is art.
June - But what do rocks
mean to me?
July - Be suspicious
of sending out your newest work.
August - If you are
responsible for hanging the exhibit, your preparation goes beyond
making sure that you have artwork, proper tools, wall labels
and the program/price list.
September - I am still
keeping three journals: daybook, art, and museum.
October - [Stanley Kunitz]
wore a long-sleeved yellow plaid shirt and slacks, white socks
and black shoes.
November - Poems about
"family and personal history" form a category that
is widely shared by poets and writers who believe that we should
"write what we know."
December - My poem,
"Responsibility," describes my dilemma whenever I
have an experience that seems to cry out for a place in a poem
and/or a painting.
January - [Marc Chagall]
was my teacher, even though I never met him.
February - We fill notebooks,
store computer files, arrange manuscripts, and/or fill studios,
cellars and garages with artwork, meet with gallery representatives
and hope for a positive outcome.
March- Where did my
love of reading and writing poetry come from?
April - "Poems
are best delivered fast, sharp, smart and tellingly." Gregory
May - The rock wall
is gritting its teeth in anticipation.
June - Art making begins
with an intellectual and psychological urge to explore what
is on my mind.
July - I could change
the setting of the poem.
August - Four months
later, I have made eight Pulse paintings.
September - When I made
the decision to leave full time teaching, I thought the door
had opened to the writing life.
October - Brainstorming
is a list-making device that requires the same "anything
November - Music is
as essential as paint.
December - I made the
painting, "The Arrival" the day after my friend's
death at home.
January - In July, we visited the Carnegie
Mellon in Pittsburg with my sister Jennie and her husband, David.
February - I was lucky. I knew Donald
March - I finished my conversation with
the FBI duty officer by saying, "Well, I guess this ends
April - By using these questions, I
am erecting the scaffold.
May - Except for the very few, most
of us toil in obscurity.
June - If you walk by my studio, you
might hear me chanting Cezanne's advice over the loud music:
"Paint, don't think."
July - Who made me a wild woman with
August - Having knocked myself out to
the point of exhaustion or a case of hives, I sit and examine
September - I have always been a big
fan of hallowed ground.
October - Prior to this exhibit, I did
not feel particularly connected to [Joseph] Cornell because
I had only seen small, isolated examples of his boxes.
November - Could "Reciprocity"
be turned into an artist's book?
December - The phrase "nuclear
winter" came into my mind.
January - I reached for grays and three
rocks appeared, sailing through the air.
February - I set up an ambitious production
March - Wrapped in the folds of quantity
April - Whether it is a portrait of
a homeless person or a self-portrait, the tradition of portraiture
resides within the painting's shape.
May - Five hours in the Prado, with
its galleries full of Goya, were not enough for me.
June - One cannot live on art alone,
and we had lunch at a restaurant that combined both pleasures.
July - Tape record yourself reading
the entire manuscript.
August - How long will this obsession
September - Yes, Lizzie [Siddal] does
end up a suicide like Ophelia, but her journey is a compelling
study in gender politics.
October - My original questions (September
2004) formed the guts of all future journals.
November - Making new work is the juice
of an artist/writer's life.
December - My new tool for reflection
arrived , and I embarked on an obsessive project that took me
about three weeks.
January - When we visited the gallery
the following summer, I mentioned the situation to the owner.
February - Hooray for art and beauty!
March - Bringing an art lover and artist
together presents a delicious opportunity for a rich exchange:
what do you see?
April - These poets are my life's blood.
May - I gladly took the risk of failing
in doing this project.
June - What do two people, an ice storm,
a gallon of primer, and four cans of exterior paint have in
July - Anyone who knows me knows that
I am afraid of heights.
August - Will images of Iceland be reflected
in my painting?
That's it! I hope that you enjoyed reading these samplings
as much as I enjoyed writing them.