Please note, all of my paintings are protected by Copyright Registration
BEFORE I place them into the public, or present them online.
A Silent Story book is a sandbox for your heart to witness relatable feelings. A place for you to empathize and feel seen. A safe journey through art, to validate YOUR real life journey. Order Your Copy Of A Silent Story Of Heartbreak & Hope.
THANK YOU for being here ♥ Join me in the free private KmBerggren Facebook Community to see behind the scenes details, process images and first notice of upcoming opportunities.
PLUS! A Silent Story book TWO is in process, and sneak-peeks of art are shown in the group.
The Silent Story project is ALWAYS on my mind, I see my Seeker everywhere and in everyone. She is the core heart and spirit of us, the emotional and vulnerable being that is not hidden by our hairstyles, body flub, clothing choices, make-up and accessories.
Here are some tidbits from the process of creating A Silent Story, from mid-2019 to mid-2022
Learn & See More on The Seeker Page
When I first put pen to paper and began creating this book, I did a lot of work that may have seemed unnecessary. But it WAS necessary for the evolution of the book. The first storyboards were intense, I think there were three layers of them, and they weren’t perfect, but I HAD THE BONES. I needed to gain and lose over the years, but the bones were there, and the heart was there. I tried to cling to those first threads of truth, emotion, passion and purpose as I re-worked and created new paintings, new directions for this book.
While suffering through the silence, sadness and confusion that come with being tossed away and then ignored… I found healing in writing. More than just healing, I found my summit of realization and processing. I reveled in the work of Byron Katie.
And once the writing pulled me through the first doorway, creating drawings about the experience pushed me across more thresholds.
I want it to have rich golds and yellows and blues, to show the emotions. Reds to show anger and frustration, blue to show calm, cyan. Golds/yellows to show his glowing heart. Her?
October 2019 Journal Entry: Marcy and I have been talking a bit about the fact that someday we will be dead and we will wish we’d done more things… so she is trying out some business ideas and work ideas, and I am… contemplating my book, but I haven’t taken a step forward in at least a week.
I’d like to take at least a step forward every day.
October 2019 Journal Entry: My Silent Story is a heartfelt secret that I’m sharing with you. Looking past shame, turning her back on fear, she is opening her heart to you. She is hoping you will listen. She is encouraging you to create space for her and others to share their stories and secrets. This little silent story is attempting to prepare a place in our hearts for the authenticity of others to step in – so that we may listen to then, see them, hear them and accept their secrets. I talk a LOT about The Seeker in the audio book.
January 2020 Journal Entry: Dana and I had a great two-hour call yesterday. She’s wonderful. I had sent her a vid of me talking about my SS paintings last week, and she immediately wrote back with a video of her own. It was so sweet. She had tears in her eyes and got choked up. I kept the vid, it’s precious. And yesterday she had me take her through them one by one and she was choked up. I have so many feelings about this project… I promised myself I’d start sharing it on Thursday of this week, but I’m worried about a few things.
March 2020 Journal Entry: To Do & Partially DONE:
Meet & share with some key people,
herding the ideas!
creating a mock-up (or two)
research at bookstores,
how I want the book to look!
publisher queries? Maybe.
Kickstarter to help with printing? Maybe.
more writing… more sketches… more painting.
I wonder if she looks oddly familiar because you and I may both “see” that the shape of us beneath our hair and clothes and chub and all that we put on and say and pretend, is thin and awkward and gawky and open-eyed. That is how I see her. She’s angular and awkward, but also soft. With long arms that will wrap around you if you need them, but will also wrap around herself when she’s feeling vulnerable. She has long legs to stand tall, but also to fold in on themselves. She has a long body that can arch in triumph, or fold in half from grief. I think many of us, deep down, relate to this awkward true being that we are.
March 2020 Journal Entry: These pieces hang on my wall and together make a vortex of emotion that I can fall into. There are more paintings on the opposite wall that aren’t shown. I’m approximately half-way complete with the art. Here’s a shot my hubby snapped of me kneeling on my desk… putting on some finishing touches.
Journal Entry: Because this is a self-imposed project, I rely only on myself. I have no one to blame but me. For delays, mistakes, dropped balls. I must be driven from within, driven from a visualization of holding the mock-up in my hands (and later, the final product). And I am. Order your copy of A Silent Story Of Heartbreak & Hope.
Journal Entry: There are times now where this project feels like too much, too big of a definition of a life situation, an exaggeration. But in my heart, I know that I was there not too long back, I know that it’s not too big. I felt it and it felt very big. The fact that it feels too big now is a sign of healing, in my humble opinion 🙂
Journal Entry: This project has my heart. This project wrangles my heart, squeezes my heart, ruins my heart, requires that I steep myself in past pains. But this project is healing me. This project is completely self-imposed, and is stretching me. This project is an enigma. I can see only about 2-3 steps in front of me, like reaching out along a dark path, but I’m determined to do it.
In March of 2021, I had an epiphany spurred by a visualization:
After my Silent Story had been on the warming burner for a few months, as I worked on other projects and generally let Resistance* keep me from the project, I was lying in bed on a Saturday morning, and I had a self-perpetuated vision:
Me, 65ish years old, sitting in the living room on the floor with my 10-year-old granddaughter. I have something to show her and I pull out a large envelope. I unwrap it and pull out my Silent Story paintings. Unfinished.
She looks through them, “these are neat!!”
“I made these for a book idea I had over 20 years ago”, I say, “but I never finished the project. That’s one of my big regrets, I guess…”
She says “You STILL CAN make the book!”
I respond with: “Now the feelings are too far in the past, not fresh enough. It wouldn’t make sense because my passion behind the project is gone.”
Lost potential. Lost connection.
What a shame it would be to have this whole thing die in an envelope under a table. After that visualization, I switched to a new one, a future moment created intentionally in my mind:
… being 45 years old and holding my book – and smiling. Thinking about how the process went and how proud I felt for moving forward even when I felt like there was NO WAY I could pull this off. Trusting the process, trusting that this book was meant to be a part of the world, and thankful for the learning and growth that came with the ideas/sketching/planning/painting/sharing/preparing…
Me, feeling so GRATEFUL for the people who nudged me along and believed in me. THANK YOU!!
After that second vision it was so clear to me – I simply asked: what do I need to do to move forward? I wrote down the answer and I’m doing it.
(for you the answers will be different, but my answers were along the lines of: finish the storyboard while making sure the happy-sad-hopeful ratio was correct, sketch out the main pieces, gather the paper for each painting, start putting together samples to share with publishers, create samples to share with my people, itemize and register paintings for copyright, make a list of publishers, go to the bookstore for research, and paint, paint, paint…)
April 2021: Created a new private FaceBook group to share this project in – had 55 members by the first day! 583 members after 7 months. Join us!
Some artwork did NOT make its way to the final book. Pieces I spent hours and hours one were later set aside. Some were reworked, some I LOVE but they didn’t fit the storyline closely enough. And one… well, it went fully out (but it was recreated):
Below are two more pieces I love that just took the book astray, I felt, so they are resting aside. The original artwork from this book is available for purchase.
Order Your Copy Of A Silent Story Of Heartbreak & Hope ~
Bundle options available that include Greeting Cards, Pins and Audio Visual books
Journal Entry: Also, Seeker looks younger in the earlier paintings and over time she looks older… and that is FINE! I want her to be more mature in the end. I talk about this in the audio book. Order your copy of A Silent Story Of Heartbreak & Hope in hard copy and/or Audio Visual format. Want a SAMPLE of the Audio Visual book?
August 2021 Journal Entry: Poured through the mock-up and made notes. I decided I wanted The Seeker to read before she wrote, and that she shouldn’t be smiling while doing either. I decided she needed to decide she was Ugly In A Puddle and have Sad Parenting before she got MAD. Because to discover that someone else is changing how you view your countenance AND how you parent YOUR children SHOULD make you pissed off. It’s after she gets MAD that she starts to make changes. Reading, Writing, Meditation. I talk about this in the audio book.
September 2021 Journal Entry:
Bookstore research – buy what feels right (so actually, a second hand bookstore is best)
Talk to Columbia Litho and ?? printers
Set up appt to show them the sample and my book and get prices ordered
Set up Kickstarter after I know how much it’s going to cost to print
Set up tiers and intro and photos and bio and info for Kickstarter
Kick Ass on next paintings
Share with more people
September 2021 Journal Entry: I’ve been putting the new mockup together because tonite I’m seeing Kerri, Lindsey and Mary. And next Wednesday I am seeing Meghan.
I rephoto-ed and reprinted all of the paintings that I had edited and am taping it up today.
Resistance is still totally trying to separate me from my project, but I’m holding on. Everything I do pulls the stitches tighter.
In a few words, I must say… WHERE would I be without Dana?
A couple months into creating the book, I realized that I was painting a Fair Weather Friend… I talk about this in the audio book. In the beginning of the book, the trees and sky show the good weather when they are happy, BUT when the storm and blues come in… The Other splits from The Seeker.
This feels very true to life. Looking back I’m glad. I am glad that that friend of mine split when I started to share my pain. This person was not the right place for me to put my trust and heart.
I’m thankful for ALL Weather Friends, every day ♥ Want a SAMPLE of the Audio Visual book?
October 2021 Journal Entry: After writing an entry on Friday, I spent about 7 hours on Silent Story. I created 6 color pages to put the new friend on. And I took a hard look at the “giving of the heart” aspect. That piece Giving You My Heart has been my least favorite because their bodies are too thin and awkward and their heads are so big, and it just seems imperfect. Even though I worked hard on it, it just isn’t right. There have been several paintings I have taken out of the book. And I decided that I needed to at least edit that one. Edited is below. (but it was later removed)
Below: Stormy Head. I talk about this piece in the audio book.
November 2021 Journal Entry: So… I’ve been grinding. Yesterday I got to a good stopping point and stacked them all up after photographing them. I think I’m getting close to scanning them. That will be a big job.
The funny thing is, even though this has been a big job I have NEVER dreaded it. Each step is a big job, but I always find it joyful. Never a drudgery. Never dreading. I actually dreaded putting it down, but I have four commissions right now that I need to be working on 😊
Silent Story has brought me joy!
November 2021 Journal Entry: On Friday I started scanning the SS paintings – wow, what a feeling. It felt so final, so complete, like they must be really done if I’m scanning them! I have spent WEEEEKS finessing them and fussing over them and so it feels right to say they are done. It was a pretty cool feeling.
November 2021 Journal Entry: I may just put Despairing (below) back in. I talk about this piece in the audio book. I have worked a bit more on this painting and will scan. I think that there needs to be some more bits of sad woven in to the happy toward the end because that is the nature of this whole thing. You don’t heal then BAM are fine, you heal then break and then heal then have threads of sadness again.
January 2022 Journal Entry: Making plans for upcoming paintings with New Friend. How their bodies will look, etc. what gift will they give and/or is it even necessary for them to give a gift? Maybe not. Might add a dog for New Friend and a kitty for Seeker…
January 2022 Journal Entry: Realizing as I was making the video that I have a lot of art still to make. So today I am analyzing and planning. Refiguring the layout. Have about 8 more paintings in plan. Sketched some of them. Have some color changes to make. Re-shaping a couple to have a slightly different meaning.
January 2022 Journal Entry: Churning on SS. Yesterday I found Steven Pressfield’s mention of “the seeker” in The Artist’s Journey. Gasped out loud! Photo’d it and sent it to Dana. This morn sent it with my message to Steven. He responded quite quickly. I fan-girled ♥
If we go back to basics, remembering what we truly want and need for our lives, how would that change what we do each day? What we buy, who we hang out with, how we spend our time.
Back to basics… our original intent before things got ‘busy’. There are things we’ve owned, done and said that now aren’t useful. But they got us to where we are now ♥♥
I had a page of all the basics I wanted for the Silent Story book, so I could make sure in the end… that I didn’t go into the weeds.
When I first put pen to paper to plan Silent Story, I did a lot that now seems unnecessary, but it was the evolution of the book. The first 4 storyboards were intense, imperfect, but I had the bones.
I needed to gain and lose details over the years, to simplify and strengthen. But the Silent Story heart was there. I clung to the first threads of truth, emotion, passion, and purpose as I pulled everything together for publication. For YOU.