Tuesday, January 27, 2015

52 Motley Journal Pages #2

Happy Tuesday!  It's 52 Motley Journal Page Day!

This page was another RELEASE. I have no idea what painful or frustrating moments might have been written on these pages or if they were filled with hope.  I don't read the old stories written in a pile of journals before I tear them up and paste them in my journal.  I just do it and see what becomes of them.  This page transformed into a new beginning, looking forward and allowing great ideas to find their way and...emerge.  My word for the year.  :)

With each release I am learning to let go more and more and nurture my most tender places.  Each one guides me to a pause.


I started this page by cutting up some old hand written journal pages into squares and then randomly glued them into my art journal.  A few words popped out at me:  Begin Looking Forward and Great Ideas Find a Way. I used one of my Uniball Signo 207 pens to circle the words and brushed a nice layer of gesso onto the rest of the page.

I decided to make all the phrases I'd chosen to keep into doodled flowers. I purposely made this page messy, rough and imperfect.  As I do with many of my pages. It is more about the process and letting go and getting comfortable with perceived imperfections. It's about letting go of the old stories and trusting that I will emerge with new ones. I worked quickly. Not really thinking. No real plan.  I never have a plan.

Once the gesso was dry I doodled my flowers and painted the petals with Americana Coral Blush and the leaves Americana Festive Green.  The pink, purple and blue ink I used to write my entries bled and blended with the gesso.  I decided that some Desert Turquoise would be nice in the background.  I brushed it on haphazardly with water and then patted a dry paper towel over it to pull some of the color away from the flowers. The last step was to stamp the word Emerge at the top as well as some hand carved arrows and write a few more words about what the word means to me.

I'm not in love with this page but it served me well. I feel lighter.  I am hopeful. I know I am on the right path. I released some of the old and am ready to begin weaving in the new. It's a process and I'm taking my time.

What is your word or phrase for the year? Do you need to trust yourself more? What might you need to let go of? Do you take time to nurture yourself, to pause and rest?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Introducing 52 Motley Journal Pages

As much as I love mixed media and art journaling, I must confess that I have not made it a regular practice.  I have been using the same journal since the end of 2012 and I haven't used half of the pages.

That's not to say I haven't done any arting.

  • I participate in a traveling journal exchange with Instagram friends, but it is a little different when you are working in someone else's journal. Don't you agree?
  • I partake in an eCourse here and there. 
  • I participate in an art card trade called The Happy Art Swap with Sandra Kaye.  
  • And I busy myself with other projects:
    • making spell casters (magic wands)
    • re purposed an old napkin holder
    • turned my dish soap bottle into a work of art
    • made stickers and planners and cards and a couple journals for the shop
    • painted my desk tops

One of my personal challenges this year is to create 52 art journal pages.  I was going to make it 100, but there are other things I want to do and I didn't want to push it.  I average zero per week, so if I can accomplish ONE?  I'll be a happy camper! I've given myself permission to do a single page spread as pictured above, as apposed to the two page spread I normally do.  My art journal is really a messy, mucky, practice book where the garbage that finds its way into my brain, goes out onto the page. I wish to expand on that by practicing new techniques and creating less muck as I begin to write new stories.

Welcome to 52 Motley Journal Pages: A weekly feature 

My goal is simply to share more of my art journaling journey with a description of any particular technique(s) I tried and supplies I used.  And, of course, I will share links to any books or websites when I am inspired by another artist. 

Today I very quickly brushed a couple of blues and green/acrylic glaze mix down. Once the paint had dried, I sketched out the stem and leaves with a Uniball Signo Bold 207. (Available at most office supply retailers as well as in a medium and micro size) Inspired by a lesson in Dina Wakley's book "Art Journal Courage", I painted in the leaves with white and coral. I outlined the plant and scribbled around with a charcoal pencil and white opaque pen from Ranger. On the right side I tried to "highlight" the stem and leaves with black paint and water, but I didn't really like it so I scribbled in with white. The lines of text were excerpted from an actual journal entry:

"it's a new day. give yourself permission to call it the first day. don't fret about the past. don't think about what you should have done. wished you had done. don't go down that road. it's a dead end.

give yourself permission to like yourself. to love yourself even when you think no one else does.

believe that all is possible. tear down the wall. open the door. you can do this."

If you'd like to play or follow along, I'm going to use the hash tag #52motleyjournalpages on IG, FB and Twitter.

What do you need to give yourself permission to do?  Or, not do?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Let's Begin by Letting Go

Typically at the beginning of each new year I begin a purge of my environment.  I shred old financials, file away what needs to be saved a few more years, empty closets, drawers and cabinets. You get the gist. This year I'm taking it a bit further.

I'm applying this practice to my digital world as well.  I've unsubscribed from virtually every newsletter and email update I can.  If you are one of them, please know it is nothing personal.  I'm feeling called to simply start over.  Clean and fresh. There is a transformation taking place and it's touching every aspect of my life.

As I opened some cabinets in my studio, I came across my old hand written journals. I pulled one out at random and chose a random page to read.  The year was 2004.  As I read the words I had written I felt myself going back to that moment and feeling exactly how I felt then. I began to shed tears and feared a landslide of depression would run over me if I didn't stop.  I felt like crap for the rest of the day. I began to wonder why I cherish my hand written journals.

  • Why do I hold on to these? 
  • Why do I insist on keeping all these stories of pain, worthlessness, betrayal, guilt, abuse, depression, anger, resentment and self loathing?
  • Is holding on to these stories holding me back?  Keeping me stuck?
  • How can I move forward, forgive and let go if I'm holding on to all of these?

I couldn't really answer these WHY questions
. When I started writing my journals back in 1995, I thought they'd be a record of things I didn't want to forget.  Then I thought they'd be something I'd gift to my daughter when I leave this life. As I read those words written in 2004 it hit me. Most of these pages do not hold things I want to remember, nor are they any kind of gift to be left behind. These stories are holding me back. They are keeping me trapped in the mud and the muck of the past. These stories; perceived and told to me are stifling what is and what can be. When I see them all lined up on the shelf in the cabinet I feel tired and anxious and sad. I feel heavy hearted and weighed down. There is so much darkness in those pages. I've come to realize they are not something to cherish. I do not cherish them.  I do not like them.  I no longer need them. The stories I've put down to paper no longer serve me hidden in the darkness.  It's time to light them up; figuratively and physically.

What to do now? It didn't occur to me to just toss them in the recycling bin.  For me, throwing them into the trash seems dishonorable of the experiences I have gone through. While I do not want to live in that dark, painful space, with those emotions, I do feel the need to honor the experiences that have shaped who I am. Throwing them into the trash appears to be more "out of site, out of mind".  Which is exactly where they've been all these years. It's time to let them go. It's time to release them, say goodbye to them and all that they represent.  It's time to write new stories.

I've decided to tear them up without reading them.  Some of these torn pieces will be glued into my art journal and other arting projects for creative transformation and some will be released in burning ceremonies throughout the year.  On this first spread the words "find the best" popped out at me as I gesso'd over the hand written text.  I kept them.  I will do the same in each art journal spread I make.

{I hope you will follow along as I begin to share more of my art journal journey here.}

How about you?  What do you do with your hand written journals (if you do them)?  Are you saving them?  Do you dispose of them?  Do you use your writing for ceremonial releases?