Background: Day by day, I add to my art journal. Over several days I complete a spread. And then I begin again. Some days I spend only five minutes, some days I look up after an hour or more, and some days—yes, I skip. But most days, I art journal. These are my notes where I reflect on my pages and record what I learn. I do not art journal to record time, but to make it a practice to BE in time. Time to be creative, to experiment, to play and to learn. It’s a regular date with myself. Like what I used to do on the yoga mat. Breathe. Check in. How are you? How’s the universe? What should we create today?
January 12- 15, 2015
Into the Mystic and Back Again
Before I started this spread, I read this wonderful piece by Susannah Conway about our preoccupation with the external and not the internal. I felt a huge need to spend some time in my writing journal about that topic and others I've been thinking about lately and I ended up clarifying some thoughts around art as one important pathway to greater consciousness (and how society's devaluation of artists is a reflection of our devaluation of the internal/spiritual). I know, not the lightest stuff in the world. But in any event, that's where I was when I turned to my art journal that day and the title of the spread is a good one. Into the Mystic I went for a while...yet, as the week progressed I shifted back to concerns of the days and I was able to capture "back again."
How I mixed the media
Acrylic paint, Andirondack spray (dye-based), stamps, ink, permanent pen (Micron), stencils (handmade and purchased)
What I like about this page
- Teal circles that ended up looking like planets (to me) on left side filled with some sentences from my writing journal.
- The check boxes for my list of creative tasks those days, especially how I carried over the unfinished tasks
- As the journaling continued that week, I left the ideas of the "mystic" and came back to the here and now - and the checkboxes/list reflect that nicely. A full circle.
- Yellow stars — I carved the small one to repeat in lines to demark the days and echo the large stencied stars already on the page
- Composition of patterns across the spread framing the empty middle of the page.
- Layering of stamps and stencils, paint and dye spray.
What I learned
- Carving stars—especially little ones—is difficult because of the internal angles. I had to make a few attempts before I could come up with a non-nicked little star. I learned that you have to start at the points and carve INTO those angles.
- Writing at length in a writing journal gave me ideas and images to work with in my art journal. I've done that before, but now I see how powerful a process it can be and I should do it more often.
What I could have improved
- The stamped title is a definite oops - no space between "the" and "mystic". I'm proud of perfectionist self for letting it go, though!
- Too much plum in background—overwhelms page—especially the dark spray through stencil on right side
- Waaaaay too much blank space in the middle between the journaling. I think the spread would be aesthetically pleasing if the text filled the space and looked like one element.
- I'm just not risking much on this spread—again—which really means I didn't learn much, either.
Notes for future pages
- Stretch myself! Try new things. Risk failure! What I especially need to do is have the courage to cover up and layer over elements that I like too much. That's where I stop the most and I then don't get the depth of layers I'm looking for.
- If I'm using a lot of text (journaling), fill the space so it becomes one element to the eye. Maybe go overboard at first before I find a happy medium...
If you have anything more to add as constructive critique, I welcome your comments below!