10/5/15 Daily Art Journal Practice: Today’s Page

It’s Monday and all I can say is I am not the happiest to have to trot my butt into work. Today’s start of a new journal page reflects that… and my mood. I hunted down my jar of black gesso and went to town. I have to wait for it to dry before I can do anything interesting.

It doesn’t look like much now but this technique is one of the most fun ways to make a really cool page… I will show you tomorrow once everything is good and dry. Happy Monday!

 

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9/26/15 Making an Art Journal Page: My Daily Art Journal Practice

It’s Saturday and I have lots of studying to do… so my art journaling time is shorter than I would like. I am still working on the exercise from the online class I am taking: Lisa Congdon’s More Sketchbook Explorations. Lisa showed us how to draw some vines and leafy things. I was able to start but didn’t get very far. I used a micro point pen initially but changed out to a thicker lined pen. Since the background is so bright and saturated with color, a thicker black line makes seeing the design easier (if I had been able to make a lighter, less saturated background, I am sure the micro tip would have been fine.) I went over the first vine toward the bottom but didn’t have time to finish up going back over the top with a thicker line… maybe tomorrow.

This is very much NOT my normal art journal style. But I am glad I decided to try out what I learned from class. The background is an interesting technique that I could vary a lot of ways… and its super simple. And I am always ready to learn more graphic designs to doodle on a page!

Happy Saturday all!

 

The Mountain and the Nightlight: a fable for Journaling and life in general.

This last year has been one difficulty and challenges after another for me. I gained 75 pounds, lost all almost all of the family that lived close to me, had to give up a job position I loved because of crazy long hours that were made unbearable due to life happenings going on at home. I became a couch slug. Whenever I came home I was too exhausted to do anything but vegetate. The normal habits of taking care of myself and the house just fell by the wayside. They felt too hard. They felt impossible. How would I ever get back into shape and be healthy when I couldn’t seem to stick to a healthy eating plan let alone get off my butt to exercise? How could I get my home back into shape when I was too exhausted to cook dinner when I get home? I would generally never share all this with you… I do now, because this situation was my mountain. It looked insurmountable! It made me feel like a loser. It made me feel terrible. It made me feel hopeless.

Funny enough, as I was trolling for sample books on Kindle I found Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Really Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath {click} It was all about how to motivate change for yourself and others. What an amazing book. In the first couple of chapters, Switch explained that no matter how big and insurmountable a change may be there is a trick to finding a way to change that is crazy easy. That is where our nightlight comes in. You need to focus on the bright spots in the area you need to change and forget about all the problems that you can’t deal with. For example, the “mountain” of figuring out how to get fit and lose weight is made much easier if I shine my “nightlight” on what has worked in the past. Focus on that. Not on the other problematic stuff. Just the bright spots that your find. For me, my “nightlight” brought to mind my Trikke. My Trikke is a bike kind of vehicle that I love to ride. It folds down so I can keep it in my car and use it whenever I can find the time. And it is fun. It isn’t like exercise but a relaxing, yet a good cardio workout. Focusing on that, I actually worked out three times this week. Three times! It was effortless and fun! And it showed… I might be able to get over that mountain… I might be able to do this, really do this. Which is really amazing. I haven’t felt good about my mountain situation in so long.

If you want to see what Trikking is all about here is a cool video.  No, that’s not me and it couldn’t be farther away from my West Coast Florida home but I think you can see why Trikking is my “nightlight” to my mountain!

 

 

Journaling can be the same way (as well as any number of other things in your life). You can focus on all the things you don’t know or are uncomfortable doing (your mountain) when all you have to do is find one or two things that work (shine that nightlight) and focus on them… So do you have a Mountain in your life? If yes, relax and think about where your bright spots. See if strictly focusing on your Nightlights and not worrying about the Mountain helps.