Hi guys! I have an art journal layout today that I hope will inspire you as we begin a new week and new creative endeavors!
I began my layout today inspired by this great poem written by an Bangladeshi woman named Taslima Nasrin. She writes frequently about the experiences of women in her culture and some of the injustices they bear in their life.
This is the complete poem:
The part of the poem that resonated with me is the idea of crossing a river, or any journey really, only to find emptiness on the other side.
The part of the poem that resonated with me is the idea of crossing a river, or any journey really, only to find emptiness on the other side. Recovery can feel an awful lot like crossing a wide river, and finding emptiness on the other side. There is tremendous value in the journey, because you discover things about yourself you never knew.
And the whole time you are on your journey, you believe once you get to the destination you will have the answers you were looking for. This is true, you will find the answers you are looking for.
But when you reach that destination, and you look at the emptiness, and you weep at how empty it is. You weep at what you had hoped it would be, what you deserved for it to be.
And you begin to look inside yourself, since around you is empty. It is there you learn you had the answers inside yourself all along. But you needed the journey to reveal them.
Hi there and happy Monday! I have to admit I ran out of week last week and was not able to post on Thursday or Friday! Sad face! But there is never enough time in the day to get everything done I want to get done, so I decided to move forward and see if I could get a full week published this week. Have a look at my Art Journal process today:
I am exploring more with the idea of cracks in the surface, although I did not reflect on this layout in my video today. The poem I was working with is written by Pablo Neruda, and in it he speaks of waves of water.
Lately I have been feeling waves of emotions come over me, sometimes happy and sometimes overwhelming sadness. Nothing that is unexpected, but nonetheless it is there. I wanted to create an ocean on my page, so I reached for this bubble stencil from Studio Calico and my texture cream from Art C.
I laid down some patterned papers that I had torn into strips, and also pieces of a map. The map, our location, collides with the ocean and sand.
The stencil created a lovely cascade of bubbles, sort of like the wild ocean when it meets the sand and it foams. The texture cream swirls around it like sand in between our toes when the tide returns.
For color I used a combination of blues, greens, and black. The colors spread across the page adding depth and dimension. What is left when the tide returns is all this lovely swirling color and texture, the depth and width and breadth of life.
I am in process of closing a chapter in my life. A chapter filled with swirling realities that no longer are, nor need to be.
The present chapter is wrapping up, the ocean has touched the sand and crashed upon its shores. The tide of emotions passing, sometimes returning because that is what oceans do, but what happens to the sand is fresh and new.
Hi guys and happy Labor Day Monday, if you are in the US. I found a new art journal a couple of days ago and decided this week I would try working in this one for a page or two. Have a look at my process here:
First things first: I am learning how addicting art journaling is, and also how much fun it is to collect art journals themselves. I found this one for about $5 at Wal-Mart, and I wanted to try it because it lays flat and it has kraft paper!
Typically when I begin working on a layout, I start by collecting a few things around my studio that look interesting. This week I found a gold doily that was really big, 10″, a geometric stencil from Faber Castell, and a poem by Philippe Jaccollet.
When working in lay flat journals like this one, it is always a good idea to cover your center seam with washi tape. This reinforces your pages and also provides a bit more stability. I also found that paint and watercolors will collect in that seam and the washi was good to have for that, as well.
Then I added the gold doily directly on to the kraft paper, using my matte medium. I added a light layer of gesso, leaving some of the kraft paper visible underneath the layers.
I also added my poem, which is torn from an old book of poetry I found years ago. The book itself has water damage and is of no value by itself, so no guilt.
I spoke a little about why I chose this poem in my process video, so I hope you had a chance to listen to that. The idea of light in the context of suffering is not unfamiliar to me, and I explore that idea artistically on this layout. Last week I worked with the concept of cracks and how those seeming imperfections become the part of our art that draws us in. Light plays an important role in revealing those tiny crevices too – light catches on those places and highlights those places more than darkness ever can.
The paper stencil I used reminds me of stained glass, and so I laid the pattern down with my modeling paste, and then began adding colors to the page. Bit by bit the colors ran across the page, picking up the textures and crevices on the page, going around the pattern, making these cracks become apparent.
Here is one more look at the layout:
I wish for you an inner peace today, and a light that shines on your imperfections in the best way. These are the places that allow the light to shine, my friends. See you tomorrow.
Hi guys and Happy Monday! Today is back to school for us, and back to regular routine, and I am so happy about that. I am working in my art journal for today’s post, so have a look at my process:
For my layout I was inspired by the art and paintings of artist Kathe Fraga. Her blog is linked here: Kathe Fraga.
I really wanted to create a crackled background on this piece, so I pulled out my crackle mediums and acrylic chalk paints and went to work. Those paints are available at Michael’s and AC Moore, if you live in the US, and they are typically located in the acrylic paint aisle. They are water based and really easy to work with.
In order to bring out the beauty in the cracks created by the crackle medium, it is necessary to build up layers underneath and on top of the crackle. Then you apply the crackle medium, add a layer of contrasting color, then lighter color, on top. The cracks reveal the lovely colors underneath and add beautiful texture to your page.
Once the background was completed, I layered flowers using the modeling paste directly on top of the cracked background.
Of course one of my favorite parts about art journaling is applying the color to the images created by the modeling paste and stencils. I love the process of laying down the paint, letting it run about the page, lifting it back up, and laying it back down.
I added the leaves using a gold texture paste from Faber Castell. That paste is available at Hobby Lobby and it is the thing that made this layout really pop. After I added the leaves, I went around the border of the page using the gold paste, and I added some of the paste on top of the crackled areas within the layout as well.
My quote is just hand-written with a Sharpie marker, nothing complicated or too thought out. The original quote is from Pinterest, credit goes to BMM Poetry.
I spoke about my emotional connection to this piece in the process video, so I do hope you will have a few minutes to have a listen and be inspired to explore the cracks both on the page and in life. Many people had such encouraging things to say about me sharing this part of my journey, and I thank you for those kind words! See you back tomorrow!
Hi guys, so today’s art journaling layout is going to be a bit serious. This post may contain mention of sexual and intimate partner violence, although from the perspective of using art journaling to heal. Typically when I create my art journaling layouts, I try to come from a place of positivity and I try to use these layouts and the process to build myself up. Today’s is a bit different because I started with a black canvas and am studying some contrasts here. Take a look at my process video, and then I will chat more:
I have mentioned in the past that I am a survivor of intimate partner violence (domestic violence) in my previous marriage. Trauma is a very real part of my past and for several years I have been working through some of my pain related to that. I am a true believer that art has a tremendous ability to help us express some of the very complicated emotions that come with being a survivor.
Part of my urge to create art journals is to be able to tap into some of the art of color and texture and expression. Today’s layout, I will pre-qualify, is not meant to be pretty. I purposely began with a black canvas and then worked layers on top of that.
Sometimes, although not always, survivors find that their abuse they survived within their marriage is not the only abuse they have survived. Many women go on to learn about hidden abuse that lay dormant, hidden, in their past. When trauma occurs in childhood, frequently it becomes normalized, and unhealthy patterns of thought and behavior develop around them. Sometimes those unhealthy, but sub-conscious ways of seeing the world, set us up to be victims later on.
This past week and month I have had to face the reality that indeed, my abuse was not only in my marriage but also in my childhood. That is all I am able to speak for now, but this art journal layout is an expression of the world around me. It is cloudy: some of it black and dark, some of it colorful and bright.
I used the tear drop stencil (from Faber Castell) to represent the tears that have been part of my whole life. Years ago a psychiatrist, based on the information I was able to give him at the time, diagnosed me with dysthymia, which is chronic depression. He asked me if I could remember a time in my life when I was ever happy, and truth is I couldn’t. Ever. Sure, there were many happy moments, and I had great parents who loved me very much, but I had always struggled with a feeling of something being wrong.
There were always people who convinced me to see the positive in life, although they now would never imagine what was happening to me in the dark. And I was able to make a good life, have beautiful children, and now have a stable marriage with a good environment.
When I look back over this layout, I find some very interesting things that happened on this page. First, notice how the girl is sparkly with her beautiful wings and her sparkly top, pretty flowered skirt, and happy brown boots. She is untouched by the darkness around her.
I added some more black as I was finishing the layout, particularly around her. She is elevated off the page, as if the darkness could not touch her. I stamped the word Brave around the page because it represents all the people who told me to be brave in my sadness, even though they had no idea what they were telling me to be brave about.
To me, as I look back over this layout, it seems as if this girl is trying to rise out of these ashes, working towards moving forward with her wings and her boots. People told me to be brave, but they never realized I already was. I already sparkled and shone, even though my wings were invisible. In this layout, they are most definitely visible. They are the brightest element on the page, and rightly so.
I know this is not the prettiest art journal layout in the world; it is not intended to be. Sometimes what we are processing is dark and difficult, and there are no pretty colors for those times. I hope you will try something like this for yourself and see where the medium takes you. Thank you for being here today, and for watching and reading. See you tomorrow.
Hi guys! Happy Monday to you and let’s jump right in on my art journal project. Have a look at today’s process:
I began with a thick rough layer of gesso and then embossed a toile stamp in clear embossing powder to create a resist underneath. On top of that I added some of Art C’s texture paste for the gelatos to settle into.
This is how beautifully the texture paste takes on the colors.
I also layered on some papers and washi tapes to create more interest on the background. The butterfly gift wrap is from Papyrus, it is actually one I have had for a long time, and the music note washi tape is Heidi Swapp. The solid color washis are Scotch brand.
Of course everything is covered with a thin layer of gesso, and then I added flowers and butterflies using modeling paste and gesso.
This time I used watercolors to add the color to the stenciled images. I have to admit it was not my favorite way to add that color. I find watercolors make great washes, but they don’t run very well! I most definitely recommend Tim Holtz’ distress paints for that as they are much thicker and the color has more staying power. However, the watercolors do still create wonderful blends of color, even if they aren’t as vibrant as I had anticipated. And of course, the purpose of art journaling is to embrace the unexpected!
Once I had all my layers added and was happy with the colors and the textures, I added my quote. I was completely inspired by this quote from the old Beatles song, “Let It Be.” Once again, my One Little Word is showing up in my journaling, with a gentle reminder that the light is still there inside me.
I used a plain old paint pen from Elmer’s to write the lyrics and could not believe I have not tried writing with these before! I absolutely love the color and how smoothly it went onto the surface. My only fault was that it turned out the modeling paste was not quite as dry as I thought it was, so the paint pen ran a little at the bottom.
I hope you are enjoying this art journaling process with me! I am learning so much and even though I don’t have it figured out in any way, there is still so much value in creating these layouts and in sharing them with you. See you tomorrow for Project Life 2016!
Hi there and happy Monday to you! My art journal today is inspired by an image of a woman that I found in one of the travel brochures we picked up in Charleston. Have a look at my process and then I will share a little more about it:
I began with a layer of tissue paper that came from my store purchase at a place called Luna, on King Street in Charleston. I wrinkled and textured the tissue papers on purpose, and then layered gesso on top.
I then layered the magazine image on top of the tissue paper, along with the doily and the paper strips.
I also hand painted the flowers in contrasting colors. Notice that even though I chose a color scheme to begin with, I sort of just let the journal page lead me where it wanted to go.
I struggled a bit with the painting. First I wanted to try circles, and in the video you saw me paint purple and green circles on the page. They were ok, but not really making me happy, so I left the layout overnight and came back in the morning. In the morning I realized across the top of the page the tissue had left this lovely swirl and the paint had drawn into those crevices. That inspired me to repeat the swirls across the page.
I also gained more confidence to add more circles and swirls and I made sure they all directed your eye towards the main image, the woman in the photo. Once everything was completed on the background, I added my quote. This quote inspired me because of the word Luminous. This year for my One Little Word project I chose the word Shine, and as part of that exercise I did a word study. Surprisingly, the word Luminous did not appear in that word study, but it did appear through my search for a quote to use here.
I did not fuss too much with my handwriting, I just wrote it as it came to me. My hope is to develop my own distinct handwriting that is not influenced by others, and so you will see me try different things out in the process of this journal.
I love this process so much. Every outcome is a pleasant surprise, and a journey to arrive. I did not know for sure what this image of this lady was telling me, but through the process of journaling I figured it out and put it to paper. I hope you feel that you are luminous today, too, because you are. Your energy and your spirit do indeed shine brightly, so don’t let anyone tell you any different. See you tomorrow!
Hello Lovelies! Happy Monday to you! I am so excited because I decided to start a new art journal and cannot wait to share with you. Have a look at my process:
Here is the completed layout:
I was inspired by the brush strokes on the wrapping paper, so after I gessoed the paper in the journal, I added some random brush strokes in similar colors as the background.
Then I layered paper, flower tags, and butterflies onto the background. I created one major focal point on the right hand side here:
And the second cluster at the top here. Once the glue dried I added a light layer of gesso on top:
Using my brush ben from Faber Castell I added my sentiment in my handwriting. In highsight, the name is written in a brush size that does not really match up scale-wise, but it is ok. It is only an art journal layout so perfection is not the point or the desired result! Just embrace what you have accomplished.
I added a simple date stamp, something I had been leaving off before, and this one is done. Be sure to leave me a comment and let me know what your favorite part of this layout is! And then go have a great productive and scrappy week. See you tomorrow!
Hi guys! So when I went to create my art journal layout, the back cover came right off my journal! Ha! So I am taking that as a sign that it is getting full, and also I took the opportunity to alter the cover since it was all torn apart. Here is my process for the cover:
So this journal was a spiral bound book from Barnes & Noble, and I already knew I was planning to change the cover. First I layered on gesso and washi tape.
Of course I also added a bit of modeling paste using my Heidi Swapp floral stencil, and then I layered color on top.
I am totally feeling the trend right now using black lines as a background, with florals layered on top. So I drew really rough black lines on the cover before adding my floral embellishment.
An interesting thing happened while I was working with my modeling paste: when I began adding color I was trying to remove some of the excess water and I discovered that the modeling paste wasn’t quite dry enough. So the paper towel left a bit of texture in the paste, and it dried that way completely overnight. I really like that unexpected effect, how about you?
For the back cover I also gessoed and washi taped the surface, and then I added some splotches of color. Once the colors were added, while they were still very wet, I rotated the page around in circles to get the circle effect.
The back cover is very simple and uncomplicated, and I love it almost more than I love the front. I love how the circles almost form a flower, and this is definitely a technique I plan to experiment with further!
Thanks so much for stopping by! I think I will probably create two more layouts in this journal and then call it done, and it will be time to start a new one! I am considering this one a tremendous success – I love every page and have learned so much from these processes. I will see you tomorrow for a Project Life update!
Hi guys and Happy Monday! We are back from our fun week away and I am ready to get back into the full swing of things here. Let’s start with our inspiration piece, today’s Art Journal layout:
So I picked up this darling elephant stamp at Paper Source and he was the inspiration for this entire piece. I have always had a love affair with elephants ever since I was 9 years old and my Dad let me ride one. So this little guy came home with me and found a home right here on these pages.
Interestingly enough, this layout is sort of an intersection of three different projects: Art journaling, Story kits, and One Little Word all together. Our prompt for the month of July in One Little Word is to remind ourselves of what it is that we need to hear this month. Even though I had not worked on the prompt when I created this layout, I think it assigns for me precisely what I need to hear: I need to believe in myself.
For this layout I took some of the elephant wrapping paper from Paper Source and several of the journaling cards from the Believe Story kit and created a collage. I then covered all that with gesso and stamped my images.
I used several of the sentiments from the Believe Stamp set around the page. I also specifically used the “I believe in:” stamp to create homes for my journaling. The things I wrote that I believe in are: myself, my dreams, my talent, my hard work, and my future.
On top of that I added my fibers – these vines are also from Paper Source and are intended to tie around gifts, but they are beautiful on this layout. They are adhered with fabric adhesive and then gesso has been applied on top.
This. This quote right here has more meaning to me than I can possibly express. I have been a subscriber to Ali Edwards’ Story kits less than a year, but I can tell you that every month there has been something in the kit that I precisely needed, right at that time. You see, I have been struggling to keep my faith in the last few weeks. Things have not been working out like I thought or hoped they would, particularly withmy blog here and my YouTube channel. And then this quote, in this card, in this kit, arrived in my mail box. I still tear up when I read it, because I’m not sure I believe it quite yet.
On top of all the collage work and the stamped images and the vines, I added Heidi Swapp stenciled flowers. Then I created magic with my watercolors, allowing them to flow over the modeling paste. This brought the flowers to life, and slowly, just maybe, my dreams are coming back to the surface as well.
That is all for today, but I promise to keep at it. I promise to keep believing, even if it doesn’t feel like things are working out. I promise to be back tomorrow with more creative work, so that you can keep believing too.