A couple of months ago the theme for Expressive Art Journaling class was
“Art Journaling Your Archetype”.
Creating an archetype in your art journal can represent certain traits needed at a certain time, either in one’s self or in others. This theme presents a challenge with creating a character that you admire and helps you to tell your personal story or a cultural story that can represent a socio-cultural challenge as resulting from current events.
Artist Karen Bigham has created an archetypal character as a result of her perspective of current events. This work is done with insight, reflection, and time to understand the larger picture. Art journaling is a very personal practice so opinions about subject matter are very personal as this is a personal journey and the artist has the right to express his or herself for self care.
Read her story and see her work below.
The Author of Life
A journal spread by Karen Bigham
This two page journal spread was inspired by two things. First was an article I read in the New Yorker about an old movie featuring an actress with a closely shaved head portraying Joan of Arc. The article compared both the performance and the appearance of the actress to Emma Gonzalez of the Parkland, FL school shooting, who has become a strong voice for gun control.
That same week I saw an ad in the Sunday newspaper, which happened to be Easter. It was a striking full page ad that was visually stunning with lots of white space. It featured one of my favorite Bible verses….one that happened to be the same one I chose for my daughter’s adoption announcement 16 years ago. Then I noticed the ad was placed by Hobby Lobby, a family owned company that takes quite conservative positions about things like whether their insurance should cover birth control (they believe it should not). I strongly disagree with the opinions of the company’s owners. However, I saved the entire ad for its stark beauty and Easter message.
The spread came together as I contemplated the irony of this ad juxtaposed with images of Joan of Arc and Emma Gonzalez.