My first art journal which I titled "Comfort Journal" because that was what I intended it to be. You can find the definition in "The Woman's Comfort Journal" by Jennifer Louden. It started in late 1993 with two Nick Bantock postcards given to me by Todd Allison who I consider to be my personal muse. It was a lined blank book with a cloth padded cover and it splayed out because of all of the things I attached. The photos above were clipped from a magazine article about McMenamins Edgefield where I had spent an afternoon with friends and spent a deal of it wandering the grounds while I read a long letter from a 6 year correspondence with a mad poet from West Virginia. It all felt marvelously 19th century romantic. The first quote is from "Possession: A Romance" by A.S. Byatt which is still my favorite book. The word "quiver" is from a lexicon I was creating with my good friend Roadside Rosie. This entry is from 1997. The Anais Nin quote: "We don't see thing as they are. We see them as we are." still rings true to me.
When I review this volume I am carried back to a time when my life was changing a great deal and I first felt its spiral. It contains quotes, dream symbols, poems, lists, photos, recipes, tickets, stickers, rubber stampings, labels, cards, movie stills, questions, maps, envelopes, a scan of the woman on the cover of Poemcrazy, copies of antique photographs copied at out of library books, fortunes from Musee Mechanique in San Francisco, bits from magazines, quotes from books I read, bits of gift wrap, used postage stamps and probably fortune cookie fortunes, which I personally find to be the most reliable form of divination.These photos show a recurring symbol for me, the spiral, whether it is the inside of a nautilus or the curve of a stairway. I like to assemble repeating patterns and this is probably when I started doing that visually. At this time I had begun to recognize that parts of my life I had thought outgrown and discarded were coming back into my psyche. And that was a huge discovery for me.
I finished this journal and began my second Summer 1997. So it took about 4 years. It was very sparse to begin with, but I would go back through and add things as I discovered them. I did not know anyone who was doing anything similar at the time, so I wasn't influenced by anything beyond the written descriptions of journals such as the Comfort Journal.