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.