I Am Back

After my last post, I got sick. REALLY sick. I got the never ending flu. For weeks. I think I am finally getting over it but I am still stuffy. It was the kind of sick where I was completely wiped out. I was out from work and all I did was sleep. I was so exhausted I couldn't read or pretty much anything. The third round of medication finally kicked in late last week. So, no more coughing up a lung and my head is a lot clearer.

What does that mean. It means I finally got back to a regular journaling routine. I am working in one of my older journals now that had remained unfinished. It is a smaller journal but has lots of cool stuff in the portion that is finished. It gives me a bit of incentive to get back to it. Even if just a bit.

One of my new supplies… colored pencils. Actually, I never really liked colored pencils. I didn't like the “white” in between strokes. So for all these years, I have not wanted to use them.

In my “new”, old journal, I wanted to have something simple to color my doodles. Kind of like an Adult coloring book of my own making. Markers don't really give shading… and you have to worry about them bleeding through the paper. Chameleon Markers could solve the shading issue but not the bleeding issues (besides they are expensive). So I searched through YouTube and found some Adult Coloring videos to get some ideas.

I saw some beautiful work with colored pencils… and I decided to give them a try. I had some old Crayola pencils that had mainly remained unused so I tried them out. They were okay but didn't go down smoothly leaving some scratchy strokes. I saw the possibilities that colored pencils could have but wanted to find an option that gave a bit nicer result. So I got a pack of Prisma colored pencils.

This is my first try. My journaling routine is to Write a Gratitude Practice in my journal in the am. It includes answering a few prompts and then a page of free writing. Then tonight I doodled in the empty spaces and on top of my free writing. I got to try my pencils and I have to say they are fantastic!!! I am not so good at shading but they did a wonderful job. The color went on easy and smoothly. I really love the results.

Hopefully, tomorrow I can have more of a step by step.

 

Happy Tuesday!

 

9/23/15 Making an Art Journal Page, My Art Journaling Practice

 

 

Today started with me looking at this page and deciding what to do next.

I love the idea of the yellow stenciled feathers but they blend a little too much into the page. I pulled out my yellow acrylic paint and painted over the feathers so that they were a little more opaque. I also outlined them with a black brush pen, so they would be a bit more distinct on the page.

I used water soluble oil pastels to outline some of the individual images. I used gray for the purse, brick-red for the gray tree elements, and a slate gray for the red and white bits. I rubbed them in to blur the line so it looked more like a shadow. This really helps integrate the bits into the page but I think it makes them look more artful.

Here is a section that I just scribbled on red water soluble oil pastels.

Then I smudged it in…

Here is how today looks after my practice.

 

That’s all the time I have. Tomorrow I will probably do some more work on the gray shadow on the purse to blend it a bit more. I might add some glitter or shine somehow. If I have time I might finish up with a bit of journaling. We will see.  Have a great day!

 

Why Art Journal?

Why should you art journal? There are all sorts of reasons… and I can’t decide your reasons for you. Do you want to have fun? Experiment? Document your life? Document your inner thoughts? Make a mess daily? Have a creative daily/weekly/monthly… practice? Keep track of your life? Plan your day? Goof off? Be rebellious? Save your junque? Make beautiful art? Make interesting art? A quick and dirty Scrapbook replacement? Make art for art’s sake, beautiful or not? Daily doodle? … That is just a small list of reason you could art journal. And you, only YOU can decide.

Me, well I think I art journal to break free of the ordinary. Ordinary written journal pages, ordinary planner pages with lists, goals, appointments, expectations… ordinary notes on works subjects. The daily grind of left brain spreadsheets, word documents, calendars, appointments, chores, responsibilities… that end up sometimes looking so gray and bleak. No fun in sight! No reprieve! Just work and responsibilities! YUCK! It is so easy when you are inundated with all this kind of stuff to forget the sun is shining, the butterflies are fluttering, rain is softly falling… and your life is gently passing. Art Journaling, for me, reminds me, there is more! Besides, rebelliously, I love adding fun, and color and mischief to my otherwise mundane work, just because I can! I can remember, life is fun! Life is beautiful! Life is an experiment! Life is passing!

But I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to art journal to remember. When I was a kid, my mom had two photo albums that she kept on the livingroom coffee table. They were of our family… and was pretty much up to date. I use to love flipping through the pages. As time passed, making more albums didn’t happen. Mom had to work, life got busy… But I always remembered the joy I had, remembering those times. It wasn’t about the photos… it was the memories. Precious and so full of Life and Love!

Art journaling gives me a way to remember my life’s goings on, but in the simplest, quickest, way possible… if that’s what I need in order to just get a memory down on a page.

 

Or it can be complex and lovely.

 

It can be a mess.

Anything. And the truth is, no matter what you put down in your art journal, it reflects… it spills your life. You will always have a reminder of the day. The day… the days… the months… that seem to speed by faster and faster as you live your life. For me, a beautiful, artful page is nice… and reminds me of what was happening, but sometime it is the art journal days filled with junque… movie tickets, scraps of paper from web searches, book lists, song lists, blog posts… these are so fascinating and telling to look back on.

 

 

They tell the story. They tell the story of you… what you were doing, interested in… In the most intriguing way.

 

And regardless of if you believe it or not, anyone can art journal (just call it creative journaling, or junque journaling or be brave and call it all of the above!) If you can tape or glue paper, slap paint, doodle like you do when on a long boring phone call, yes, you can art journal!

 

So why do I Art Journal. Mainly to remember… to remember I was here… and “Hey, I did that… saw that… felt that… learned that and… made that!! And it feels like me… what I should be doing, called to be doing, somehow. It’s me… its my life…

Why do you Art Journal? Or why do you want to… think you might want to? I would love to know!

 

 

Sojourn #7

So, how did Sojourn #6 go?  Did you have some fun?  Did you decorate your page with wild abandon and make something that made you blissfully happy?  Did you add bits of journaling from your scratch paper to remind you what was going on with you on that day?Yay!  My hope is for you to have a weeks worth of pages that you find joy just flipping through!  Spilling your life can be all sorts of things for you… but one of my favorites is ending up with a creative page that reflects you!  What you like.  What makes you happy.  If you are going to be spilling your life on the page, you are allowed to make pages that make you smile. Of course, you can do other things with your pages, experiment, work out emotions, things that might not be so pleasing to look at but you always have that option.  It is amazing how adding a few bits of colorful paper and a picture of something you find beautiful or a doodle can change your entire outlook…

This is also true before you ever start out.  If you start will a decorated background page, instead of an imposing blank page, it can make all the difference.  The “mind dump” you do on plain white page can look like a scribbled mess.  While the same “mind dump” looks a whole lot nicer when it has a background behind it.  Starting a creative page can be so much easier if there is a bit of color on the page already.

So this week we are going to be decorating our pages before we do anything else.  You can choose to decorate your background pages each day before you write or create.  Or you can do a week’s worth at once.  But I want you to put paint, collage, color… backgrounds on your pages.  My favorite technique for making backgrounds that I can use for written journaling and art/creative journaling is “Acrylic Paint Scrubbing”.  Now, that’s a mouthful!  It is a very simple technique that gives you a rich beautiful background page that isn’t too distracting if you will be adding writing only but is also a lovely start for any creative journaling you want to do.  If you decide to try this technique, you will need a few colors of acrylic paint.  They can be any kind of acrylic paint.  The cheap craft paint probably works better because it is a little more liquidy… but any kind will do.  You will also need baby wipes.  Again I use the least expensive brand.  My YouTube video will go through this process step by step:

If you don’t have any acrylic paints on hand.  Not to worry.  Use anything you have.  Crayons really do work great!  Collage! Doodle! Experiment with what you have.

Then pick whatever practice you want to use for the week.  Do you want to continue doing written journaling “mind dump” style?  Would you rather just write one sentence… or even just one word… everyday?  Or do you want to forget about written journaling completely and just make interesting journal pages?  Whatever you decide… do it.  Do it on the backgrounds that you have made.  And next week tell me how it went!!

 

Sojourn 6: My Examples

So how did your week go? Did you actually try journaling, then decorating your page afterwards, even just once?

How did you feel about the journaling? Do you feel anything after doing this process? Relieved? Productive? Cleared?

What color pen/s did you use? How did you like using your pen choice? Was it easy to write with? If not, did it affect how you were able to spill your ideas onto the page? The first pen I picked to use was what I thought was a light purple color… but it turned out darker than I thought. I wasn’t sure how the darker ink would work out with writing on top of it. The second pen, a thin, lime green, crayola marker… turned out to be dried out as you can see below. It got lighter and lighter as I spilled down the page. I am not too hip on using a marker. I think I have been spoiled by some of the smooth writing ball points and gel pens… but the experience still was fine.

When it came to jotting down notes about what I wrote, I have to admit that the lighter the pen the harder it was for me to read and pick out what I wanted to focus on. So as the week went on, I actually would put a star beside a line or section I wanted to note as I wrote it. Starring the section didn’t seem to take away from the flow of the journaling but helped me locate what I wanted to note after I was done will the journal spillage. So, I think I will continue to do that.

Next came decorating. On this page I chose to tear out collage elements that I liked and glued them on the page with a cheapie glue stick. Not a whole lot of thought. Just grabbed a handful of magazine images, picked a few out that seemed to go, than arranged them on the page. Glued them down. It took maybe 15 minutes at the most.

The main image… the girl in the left corner… seemed to blend in a bit more than I wanted. I grabbed a red water soluble crayon, outlined some of the collage pieces, including my girl image… then smudged it really well with my fingers. And it made it pop out of the page a bit more. Then I took my black waterproof pen and my white uniball ink pen and doodled, did my lettering and added the things I decided to write down on my scrap paper. And of course HAD FUN!

 

To be honest, my loudmouth inner critic, tells me this is a really lousy page… the lettering is just terrible, it is too busy… on and on. Again, your inner critic will probably often tell you that any artsy endeavour you do is not good enough! The truth is it doesn’t matter. I will alway like looking at the pictures I chose to add to my collage… that’s why I chose them. The rest was all fun! It really is okay to have fun… And you have a memory of your fun to boot! Looking at the page makes me smile. I journaled and have a fun, funky, interesting page. A page that will remind me of the important things that I journaled about. A page that is so much more than a page filled with written journaling.

 

This is my doodle page. I took my black brush marker and started to doodle some flowers, quick. Not much thought. I even added the my Hibiscus Happiness zen doodle design in the middle (I made it up myself).

Again, I grabbed my scrap sheet and added the items I wanted to remember on to me doodle page.

It could have been done. But I decided I wanted to take a little more time to unwind, so I got out the crayons and…

 

I hope you tried Sojourn 6… and if not… maybe decide now to give it a try! Please, I would love to hear from you! Make a comment below and let me know how it went!

Tune in tomorrow for Sojourn 7!

 

Sojourn #6 Time for Fun!

You spent a week journaling and adding bits. Did you enjoy the week’s practice? Did you have any special insights? Did you feel like the pages had any value? Did you go into your daily practice wanting something special out of it? Or did you work more intuitively? I would love to know?

One of the things I found with the “brain dump” method of journaling is that the pages and pages of generated journaling often aren’t very satisfying if you want something pretty, interesting, funky?

This week we will change the practice up just a bit in order for you to continue the “brain dump” practice but to give more flexibility to make the page into something more interesting.

What you will need is a lighter colored pen. I actually picked up a small set of pens at my local drug store that had orange, pink, light blue and purple ball point pens for a few bucks. {( wouldn’t use the purple color for this week’s exercises, it’s a bit too dark but any of the others will work well). You could use Flair markers, Gel pens, even Crayola markers as long as you pick a lighter shade… one you can read but not too dark. You want the pen after it covers the page to shade the page but not be so pronounced that it can be easily read. You will also need a dark pen with a medium point. It can be any type of pen you like to write with or to do lettering. You will also need a magazine or a stack of images/photos/scrapbook paper/…. your choice, and glue and/or tape (or anything that will affix any images you would like to add onto the page). Any other art supplies you might feel like using.

Your mission is to do a brain dump, this time on both side of your page, each morning. Again the size of the page doesn’t matter, just remember to journal on both front and back. Use your light-colored pen. Keep a scrap sheet of paper handy so if you journaled about something you wish to keep a record of or explore further you can jot it down after (and only after) your brain dump is all done.

So, you have completed your journaling. The next step is to decorate the page. You can cover it… or not. Put down some interesting magazine pictures, photos, paper, bits and bobs… anything in any way that pleases you. Decorate both sides of the paper. The journaled paper is your background. Use it as the first layer of whatever you want to create. Maybe you just want to put down some pictures that strike your fancy. GREAT! Maybe you want to doodle a bit! TERRIFIC! Maybe you want to do both! DO IT! Whatever you want… if you have paints and want to paint. DO THAT! But that isn’t necessary. I think you will find the less different types of supplies you have a choice of, the easier getting something down will be. BUT IT’S YOUR CALL ALL THE WAY!

Keep in mind what you may have noted on your scrap paper. Was it a few words? A few ideas? A few important decision, discoveries, or conclusions? Was it an important paragraph? I want you to use your dark black pen to document these notes on your page… Maybe you want to doodle them, write them in fancy lettering, or just write them again, over the top of the collaged material or the light written background in a way that you can see them.

Fill the page, front and back, until you are satisfied… or until you don’t know what else to do. YOU ARE DONE!

Continue this for the week. It is my hope as you are adding your pictures, papers, ephemera, photos… that you add things that make you happy. What is nice about this week’s practice is that you are doing triple duty. You are clearing you brain, getting it down on paper, (then when you are done) making quick notes of anything of particular value that you wrote. Then you get to use your creativity to make the page into something that you enjoy… Turn the blob of words into a page filled with things that make you grin! Journaler satisfaction is key!! We have been journaling and adding bits but the focus hasn’t been specifically to create happiness on the page. The practice itself was what was important. Now we are bringing in the fun, the creativity, the joy of pleasing yourself on the page but keeping one of the most powerful of journaling practices, the “Morning Page” style of brain spill.

I hope you really have fun this week! At the end of the week I want you to be able to flip through you pages and SMILE. I want you to feel like there is something to journaling!

Please leave me a comment about how this week’s exercise went! I would love, love, love to hear how it is going! Happy Journaling and I will see you next week!

 

 

Welcome to Spilling Life. I am so glad you are here!

This blog is dedicated to everything journaling.  Especially those practices that help you spill your life in a journal, on a canvas, on a napkin, on a blog, in a book!  I will make personal blog post discussing daily issues and how they relate to my jounaling practice and my life.  I also want to make this a special place where you can find lists, review, suggestions of books, magazines, and classes that relate to journaling in all its many forms.  My hope is to make this an interactive blog.  I have included Sojourns, journaling exercises, that I hope you will try out! Then comment, ask questions, let me know what you think!

And please, please, please, pardon my electronic dust.  I am learning how to create this blog as I go.  From day to day for the next couple of weeks, you might see lots of changes, maybe some blank spots…  and some leaness on content.  I have photos and videos and lists, and review all waiting to be added.  Some have been easier to add, some more difficult but please, stop by from time to time, to see what is new.  Again, thank you so much for stopping!  Hope to see you again soon!