Hidden Journaling

I recently changed jobs. I had been working for there for over three years and really felt at home in many ways. I truly had mixed emotions about leaving. It's funny how you can be so excited about new opportunities and still be a bit sad about it all. I think all new beginnings are like that to some degree.

I find it so helpful to write about all the conflicting and confusing thoughts running through my head. Even though I don’t keep a journal just for my written thoughts, I infuse a lot of that into my art journal pages. I find I can work through my thoughts and emotions more fully with words and color and shapes. Sometimes when I do a lot of writing, I don’t like for it to visible in the end. One of my favorite ways to do this is to use a water soluble pen. I write everything I want to say. Then I go over it with a wet brush and it becomes part of the background. It’s a really cool effect! On this page I also added lots of paint splatters so it could blend in with writing.

 
 

Here are some other fun ways to cover your text:
-Use a water-soluble medium to write your thoughts like I did here. There are many options to chose from- crayons, colored pencils, paint pens, etc.
-Paint over it with opaque or semi-opaque acrylic paint.
-Collage over it.
-Write on a separate sheet. Then tear it up and use that for collaging.
-Make a pocket to hide your thoughts in.

Do you use your art journal to work through stuff?

The mantra I can't stop repeating

Everything is as it should be.

I find it so easy to blame myself for not doing enough, for saying too much, and for playing it too safe. This is the case in my life and my business/artistic goals. A few weeks ago, I came across this mantra while doing this yoga video. Once the video was over, I wrote it on a post-it and stuck it to my bathroom mirror. Whenever I find myself in the mind loop of berating myself for everything I think I’ve done wrong, I stop, take a deep breath, and repeat this mantra. It’s helped me to take things at face value. I’ve started to see my path, my struggles, and my successes in a better light.

Recently, I started a new art journal. It seemed fitting to make this mantra the first spread. Here are a few details about it. The background is layers of teal tissue paper adhered with matte medium. The letters were stamped and white embossed. I added payne’s gray paint to the edges and splatters in white paint and dark purple acrylic ink.

It was an easy spread that allows the words to be the focus.

Black and White- Art Journal Page

In case you haven't noticed, I really love color! And I have a hard time with white space. However, for this page idea, I really wanted the words to come across without being in competition with a colorful background. So I decided to just use a black paint pen on this page. That's it. One supply. A black paint pen. And I'm really happy with how it turned out. It feels dynamic but not cluttered. The proportions on the person are off, but that's the first time I've drawn that, so it's ok. This page gives me the courage to try more "clean and simple" styles while still embracing my style.

If you're thinking you would like to start art journaling, I suggest you give the Get Messy community a try. Not only do you get weekly journal prompts, but it comes with an amazing supportive community of artists!

Just one step at a time...

Just take it one day and one step at a time.
I'm pretty sure this is what God is telling me lately. I so easily get caught up in the distant future and how it's all supposed to work out. Then I forget the small steps along the way. I forget to focus on what I can do today and in this moment that can lead me to those bigger dreams. I forget to be present. I forget that I can't do it all right this second no matter how hard I push myself. 

 

Art Journaling to Remember

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, art journaling helps me work out things or emotions. But lately, I’ve noticed I’ve been adding an extra layer to this- including things I don’t want to forget. Specifically with these two pages, it’s scripture I want to make sure I remember. These two verses tugged at my heart when I read them. I wanted to process that feeling but also I wanted to document them so I could easily find them again.

Art Journaling hurts sometimes

Last week, I discussed how I love the freedom of art journaling. And I still do. But you know, art journaling can hurt sometimes. Or at least it can help us face things on paper that maybe we've been avoiding in our everyday lives. When given the push to look at our true selves through an avenue as safe as paper and paint, it's amazing what comes up. While working on this spread, I had to be honest with myself. Honestly with ourselves can be hardest to muster. But I pushed through and I'm glad I did.

The Freedom of Art Journaling

I recently joined the Get Messy Art Journal group. It's a monthly membership site that provides you with weekly art journal prompts. Every two months a new season begins. I somehow had the lucky timing to join just before a new season began! This season is called "introspection". I'm not going to share the specific prompts, but I wanted to share my first pages and some thoughts. 

I started first my altering a hard bound journal with watercolor and cardstock pages. (I'll be sharing a more detailed look at how I made my journal soon.) Then I decided I wanted a title page of sorts. This is what it looks like. It's pretty simple. 

After the prompts were realized, I created the spread you see on the bottom. The photo was collaged after I painted the basic rays of color. After adding my journaling, I added those dots. I know there are a lot of them, but I painted them while talking to my sister on the phone, so it went by quickly. When I finished that, I had a bit of paint left over so I added some dots to the cover of another journal. 

Here is a closer view of that. 
So, here's the thing I love about art journaling. Ever since painting those dots, I've had ideas for a larger painting developing in my mind. I'm sure something I saw at some point influenced those dots. However, without the freedom of my art journal, I may not have come to the idea of the painting. Or it may have taken a while longer. While I was working on that spread, I wasn't thinking about what it may become or how it would look in the end. I was just taking one step at a time and not over thinking it. It helped something unlock in my mind. 
Have you tired art journaling yet? 

Collage Circle Journals

Circles make their way into my projects a lot! I haven’t figured out why that is yet, but I’m embracing it. And I will see where it takes me. This time it took me to a journal cover. Two to be exact. I posted a photo on Instagram last week before I made these into journals. I still can’t decide which one I like better. 

 

They are both made with painted and stenciled papers, stamping, and a bit of doodling. I love how bright and colorful they turned out! 

Mandala Journals

I recently made a trip to Pittsburgh to visit my sister. (I'll share more about my trip in the coming weeks.) I'm sure I've mentioned before that my sister is a writer. Well that means she works through journals quickly. I do my best to keep her stocked. :) This trip she asked if I would make a journal for one of her friends who also happens to be a writer. 

These are the journals I came up with. I'm calling them Mandala Journals because of the circular pattern. I started with a piece of Gelli Printed photo paper. It has a really cool shiny and matte appearance that is hard to capture on camera. Then I used different paint brushes and tools to create marks in a circular pattern. I find it easy to start in the center and work out.

Then I attached a similar piece of cardstock to the other side and bound it in a simple journal. 

Quick and easy!