Sunday, December 13, 2015

Art Journaling Again

I started art journaling again yesterday and I am so happy about that! I have mostly been blocked and have done very little art this year because my mother has been extremely ill since February and I have been working short-staffed for 6 months. Both of those things taken together have left my energy level totally drained. Plus I have been cleaning out my house since October to prepare for a big (to me) move next year and that is a lot of work too. I need to fill the creative wellspring. I need a change and a fresh start.

What got me motivated to create art yesterday was that I saw a special friend who I hadn't seen in a long while and it was great to reconnect. I let him choose one of my new square moo cards with my art on the front from the five designs in the header of this blog. He chose the paint splatter one on the far right and we got to talking about art journaling, how I did the art piece, and the difference between painting what you see and painting what you feel. There is far more depth in painting what you feel. 

 I got curious about which piece I used as a jumping off point to create the artwork for the paint splatter card, so I went through all of my art journals (they fill several shelves on a bookcase)...

   And I found the spread! I remember that I was very happy when I created this page. I also remember that it was my way of affirming myself and my right to be who I am and the way I am at any particular moment in time. I have changed since that time because I am a fluid, not static, person and I continually change - like the tides, like the wind, like the seasons. This can be confusing to people so I present myself in a fixed, surface way until someone gets to know me better.

Seeing this spread and remembering how I felt almost two years ago, why I felt this way, and acknowledging how I feel now, inspired me to get out my paints and let my feelings flow through. I chose a rainbow of paint colors to try to bring out the feelings that were hidden inside. I used the same six bottles of acrylic craft paint in both of these spreads but they came out totally different.

I worked on both spreads simultaneously, going back and forth between them, with trips to the kitchen island with the heat gun to speed up the drying process in between. I used my typewriter font stamps to place the carefully chosen words in the top spread and I used my hand carved stamps and a Tombow marker to evoke a feeling in the bottom spread. I was very happy while I did these two spreads as I reconnected with myself and my feelings and felt totally immersed in the love I feel inside. It is awesome how the art journaling process works. I felt incredible and was glowing.

It is easy to go through life on a surface level, never looking at what is real inside. Maybe it is too difficult sometimes to face things, but it is in facing the difficult things and working through them that you dig down deeper to the core of  your essence. As I go about my day and get absorbed in my work or various activities, I can sometimes lose touch with the real me and think that I am a set of predefined roles that I fill. That is what I do but that is not who I am. It goes much deeper than that. There are layers upon layers, if you want to take the time to get to know me, and if I want to let you get closer.


  1. Both pages are beautiful. It's amazing that you used the same colors to create both, because of how different they look (as you said in your post).

    1. Thanks Anne. Yes, amazing these are from the same paint cokors.

  2. Beautiful and inspiring, Mary! You may be influential in getting me to do an art journal in the new year.

  3. Thanks Martha! Art journaling is a lot of fun. Enjoy!

  4. What gorgeous spreads, Mary. No wonder you were so inspired to get back on the creative path after finding them! Thanks so much for sharing! (Fiona/Phiona from Effy's BOD group on FB)

  5. Thanks so much Fiona. Sometimes it takes a bit of serendipity like this to get re-inspired. The simplest thing can move me towards finding new ideas, like skipping flat stones across the water, if I am open to it. I am so happy to be art journaling again :-)