Monday, April 30, 2007
I painted this almost 2 years ago, but I only started posting things this month. This is my first oil painting. I call it Bellisima. I have had this image in my mind for many years of a woman who looked confident, and at peace. She's holding her hand just above her heart that show's 'all is well' in her world. I was afraid of oil paints because my Mom was naturally good at them and as I watched her paint, I didn't like seeing the process of waiting for the oil paint to dry. I wasn't certain if I would be a natural as she was, and I was right... I really had to work at them to achieve the desired effect I wanted. I still hate the hours it takes for an oil painting to completely dry!
I like the way this painting turned out, the intenseness of her eyes, the greenery in behind her. Staring at it just brings me peace for some reason. Let me know what you think.
Day 3 - Feeling a little toxic today, that is my fault as I didn't read all the instructions for the cleanse ahead of time and didn't know to take sea salt water and laxative tea everyday. Hmmmmm.... you think that might be the reason I'm feeling a little toxic? LOL Sometimes I swear I am the one in the family with blonde roots! Anyway, got the seasalt water, and the laxative tea and things are off to the races (literally) feeling much better.
It has been a relatively easy start to the cleanse as I have been busy with my son Benjamin's school play Mulan. A girlfriend of mine asked me if I could paint her daughters face for the play (she is the cricket), and that is what the pics are from. Then when I got to Ben's school I realized that I could help with the other kids make-up too so that's what I have been doing. It has kept my mind off the cleanse and has made things easy. There are three more times this week the play is showing and that will bring me to day 6, almost day 7 by the time I finish with that. I am hoping the rest will just be a walk in the park for me.
****So just a note**** if you are going to start the Master Cleanser remember to drink the sea salt water and the laxative tea! LOL
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Master Cleanser Lemonade Detox! I tried to do this last year... and failed. I journaled these pages last year. Now, I am doing the cleanse again and I am on my third day - so far I have lost 2 1/2 pounds. It is difficult for me to lose weight so I am hoping that this cleanse will boost up my metabolism so that I can start to loose weight. I am on anti-depressants and anyone who has been on them knows that it is really hard to lose weight while on them. These pages were fun to do because I visualized the lemonade working through my body, destroying all the toxins and fat and wiping them out! It's SUPER LEMONADE! LOL. I got inspired to do this cleanse again after I read a journal entry from a fellow art journaler, however I somehow managed to lose her site and cannot find it again. It was really cool, she took a picture of herself on the scale at 155pounds on day 1, then beside that is a picture after 10 days of her at 140pounds. Pretty cool if you ask me, and obviously it was a great motivator! Yesterday I had to eat something because my husband made chicken garlic tortellini and the house smelled so good, I couldn't help it, "It was calling my name!" I hope to have much better self control now though (pray for me please!) I have asked my husband to not make anything that smells so good again so I think I will be fine! LOL. Okay, so officially it's my second full day of the detox, so I will count it as day two instead of day 3. We shall see how it goes. I didn't take a picture of my beginning weight because well basically it sucks! I would love to start at 155 pounds and 140 pounds would be my ideal weight. It was the weight that I was when I was married and my healthy weight. So that is my goal. I will let you know how it goes.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Sometimes a poem that I write says everything that I need it to say; sometimes it isn't necessary to put anything else. This was the case with this poem... so as I put it in my art journal I doodled around it with hazel eyes and lips and love. It was a personal poem to my husband and I don't usually share such personal entries, however, the experience is liberating once you let it out into the world. I liked the way the page turned out because it seems somewhat mystical and I enjoyed all the doodles. When you don't quite know what to draw or how to put a page together just pick up a pen and begin doodling and see where it leads.
This was a fun, "yummy" poem to add to my art journal. I use the word "yummy" because I wrote the poem at a "Dare to Dream" conference at my church, and my pastor loves to use the word "yummy". The colors bring out the idea of God stirring us up, getting us out of our comfort zones and out into the world. The stir stick is like the hand of God. I tend to just begin journaling with colors and more colors and then I see where it turns out from there. It usually fills the entire page bursting at the edges for more. Colors and images make the poetry come alive for the reader.
When I put this poem in my art journal I thought about the meaning behind the poem. God as the Architect of our world, the builder. I thought of a carpenter and that is why I chose to draw boards and nails. God inspires me through words and then through images and when I am close to God the inspiration comes easily. The more time I spend in the Word, the closer I am to Him. He is such an awesome God and to think of Him as all those things in my poem I begin to realize how 'big' our God really is. Journaling to poetry or to scripture is always inspiring. As artists images flow easily.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
As posted earlier, God speaks to me through images as I read His Word. He has taught me to pick out words and search for true meaning in them, He speaks to me through them. As I read I have a pad and paper beside me and start listing off words that stand out to me, later I begin to draw these words, either the words themselves or the images that I receive from these words. In the entry regarding the breastplate God took me through the meaning behind all of his (what I thought at one point "strange requests)... I didn't understand why it had to be so precise, then as I did this page I understood; OBEDIENCE. That was why things had to be exact, God needed them to follow his requests exactly so that He knew their hearts were true (He obviously knew their hearts already, but it was for their sake, so that the people also knew their hearts were right with God). God took me through the number 12 and why that was so important through the bible and I came to understand that the number 12 represented Government. 12 Gems in the Ephod, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 disciples, 12 foundations to the New Jerusalem. All representing the leaders of God's people. It was a very cool journey.
The next entry, "How Lovely" I was taken through Psalm 91 and felt His presence, His comfort, His Angels all around me. I was starting a new job at my Church and was feeling very uncertain and nervous. After journaling however, I was able to feel God's direction and love and comfort in the shadow of His wings. He led me to the position at the Church and everything felt so right. I gained much peace from this page.
My first born. I used the same idea as with my second born. You can see that my boys are polar opposites through the pictures and I tried to capture that as I journaled and through color. My boys loved these pages and it was a fun way to journal and see the changes in your children. Also with the hands you can keep these as a reminder of how big they were when you did these pages. Little keepsakes for your heart. I am so thankful to God for how my boys have turned out so far. We had a rocky beginning with my illness, but I was able to put pictures that reminded me of my blessings together of my sons. This is my own personal way of looking at them as I read through my journal.
Monday, April 23, 2007
I used an older idea for journaling for this page, my first entry. Drawing an outline of my son's hand and then scrapbooking around it. This page is of my second born Ben. I chose pictures that captures his personality - because he has a big one! His second name(Isaac) means 'He who laughs' and he certainly lives up to it! I wanted this to be a fun page for my children when they looked at it, they would be able to see how I viewed them and it was especially fun to see their reactions to them. I am not afraid to cut out pictures like some scrapbookers are, I find fun creative ways to use them that saturate the memories forever into our minds. Ben loved this page because of the comments for each picture, the layout of each picture and my thoughts. I really enjoyed creating it.
There would have been no way that I would have posted this on-line for the world to see say ten years ago. First of all, I was very vain and barely put any pictures of myself in our photo albums unless I "Looked perfect". I hated looking at these photos because I didn't look good. Then God showed me how 'vain' I was and helped me to look at these pictures through His eyes. What I saw made me cry. I saw me as a mama (something I couldn't feel like for many years because of my post-partum depression) and I saw the times that I was there for my babies. I didn't look at myself anymore but I looked at me and my children together, interacting. These were memories that I do not have in my mind, but somehow managed to capture them forever in pictures. This is what I call a 'healing page' because God revealed so much to me as I was preparing this entry. He showed me how to see my blessings even though I couldn't remember them. I would never have thought that I interacted at all with my sons if I didn't have these pictures to prove it. It was as though God was directing my husband to take pictures of me and my boys so that one day I would be able to understand that my thoughts about myself during those dark days were not completely correct in my mind. He showed me the glimpses of the times I was okay to be with my children. What an awesome God we have!
Depression sometimes distorts our realities and where we lack coping skills to truly understand God comes in and reveals to us His truth. If you have pictures of yourself that you do not like, maybe ask yourself why you don't like them and just maybe you will get to the heart of what was going on in those pictures and you can see yourself through God's eyes. Ask yourself what God see's in them and then let yourself begin to heal and create by adding them to your journal.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
This idea I saw somewhere, a page of textures. I decided to make some of my own because I loved the idea. These textures can be excellent fillers for your journal pages and I have used many of them on days when I just can't think what to journal but have a great desire to doodle. As I post more journal entries you will see the use of these textures throughout. Sometimes these make the pages complete and without them there would be spots that were blank and it wouldn't look right in my eyes. I am a stickler for detail though. You can decide on your journey if you too are a stickler! The more detail the more the page shines, with or without color.
Poetry comes very easily to me, not that my poems are all good. When God places words and thoughts into my head they simply pour out onto the paper. I may not even understand the meaning of them until after I read them through a number of times. It healps me to journal around my poems so that I can get to that point of understanding what God was trying to help me work through. This particular poem I was trying to see what I was living my life for, and in the end what will my life look like. Then while journaling it led me to consider if God was using me to further His kingdom, for His purpose. It was a great guidance for me and allowed me into the presense of God to see what He desires for me. Lead me further God and I will follow.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Sometimes funny events happen in your life. When this happens record them. This particular entry happened to be about a fun trip to the mall and the purchases that I made there. This is one of my favorite pages because it makes me feel good as an artist to add color into my life. I discovered that my entire wardrobe was dark - black, brown, navy's, nothing of color at all. My 'artist' friend went shopping with me and I ended up with light lime green boots, purse, scarves, and jewellery to match. I don't know why there are times in our lives when we hide behind dark colors, trying to blend into the background so that we aren't seen. We feel so much better when we are enveloped in color, yet we deprive ourselves from color? Makes no sense to me. From this day on I have chosen color to add to my wardrobe and I feel better wearing it, more alive and vibrant, awake.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
This particular day I was feeling completely enveloped by the Lord. My head is down in the picture because I was feeling depressed and alone though I knew the Lord was with me and therefore I drew the layers of heart around me. One way to ensure that the pencil does not smudge is to spray your drawing (in a well ventilated area) with a fixative and let it sit until it is dry. This way your drawing will not smudge on the opposite page.
There are many ways to capture your emotions, just look inside yourself and whatever comes to your mind put down on the page. It really is as easy as that! Once again, have fun.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Journaling can be a tremendous healing process relieving emotions, anxiety, stress and is also an excellent distraction. When I am stressed I bring out my journal and all of my lovely colors in all sorts of different mediums and I basically journal the words that match the emotions I am feeling. One idea is to actually draw the words you are feeling and color around them. You can capture emotions by the pressure or texture you use. For example, when I am frustrated I may add a tornado effect to my drawing, or press really hard to show that I am angry. When I am confused I usually use many words and colors until I have sort out what it is I am confused about. This particular idea got me through many emotional days and I was able to sort through emotions that most of the time were not useful to have. When I was finished I was relaxed and able to concentrate on more important things such as my family.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Being a visual person, when I read the Word (Bible) I tend to sift out from it the message that God wants me to receive. I will often have a pen and paper handy to write down specific words that have caught my eye. This is how I meditate on the Word and then God will lead me to images and other words to speak to me. This particular entry was from Revelations. I was caught up in the different colors connected with the twelve foundations of the New Jerusalem in Revelations 21. As a creative individual I couldn't help but realize the beauty of the the precious gems. I searched on-line to see what each gem looked like and as a result this journal entry developed. I love lot's of detail, I love words, I love color and for most of my journal entries I have used bright vibrant colors (usually felt pens) and words that spoke to me. As you read try sifting out words with special meaning to you and then begin a new journal entry allowing your mind to be open to whatever images you see - try to represent those images on your page and this entry will speak to you with great meaning.
I wrote this poem a number of years ago and it was hidden in my closet. I took it out when I started Artistic Journaling and made this poem into a form of art work. It was healing to do this, creative and represented the poem in a new light. I really enjoy reading it now, whereas before when I would read it, it made me sad. Now I see colors and beauty and strength. I wrote out each line in a different way and used many different images and/or textures around the actual words to give the poem an artistic face lift so to speak. If you are a writer, give this a try and you will be amazed at how differently you will view your writing. Keep in mind that you do not have to be an artist to have an art journal - anything goes. Please comment if you use this idea so that I can see your ideas. You can also e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Sometimes just thinking about your life can create a journal idea. For instance, one day I was sitting thinking about what was important to me... further along... what my treasure in life was. This started me thinking about a treasure box so I began my journal page by drawing exactly that, a treasure box. There are many ideas and ways to start journal pages... you can use pictures, stamps, different mediums such as water colors or pastels. There really are no rules; but there are some wonderful ideas out there. This is simply one of my ideas. Maybe you can use it to create a journal page in your journal.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Sometimes I have a hard time finding inspiration. So I usually go on-line to get ideas to journal. Here are some more pics of my journal pages.
The first picture was inspired while I was reading them Bible. I was given a vision in my head of what "Wisdom" looked like through the Bible passage. This has always been an inspiration to me as the Lord helps me to visualize the meanings of His Word.
The second picture... I write a lot of poetry and for this journal page I journaled around one of my poems - the images that were given to me through the poem, sometimes it will be feelings that come across as images. I encourage you to really look into yourself and allow yourself to be fully aware of what goes on in your mind visually as you read anything. If you write, try to visualize your writing. If you read, try to visualize what it is you are reading, and capture those images on a journal page. Have fun with being aware of the pictures in your mind, the textures, the colors, the emotions.
Now that I finished the cover of my new piece of art with excitement and hopeful anticipation that my creative juices would start flowing out of me; I started my first assignment. My friend told me... Gather pictures of yourself that you might write about. Now draw an outline of your hand on the first page. In the picture of your hand cut down the pictures you have collected to fit into your hand. Now journal around your hand what you are feeling. Okay... this was interesting. Hmmm... I had to think about this and gather the colors I wanted to use; choose the pictures etc. I chose pictures of when I was in highschool and my first two years of college. It was a time I was very uncertain of who I was... and I went from there. From the picture I posted with this blog you can see that my focus after placing my pictures on my hand was on that of 'Vanity'. I felt that during that period in my life I was concentrated on my physical appearance... so much so that it defined who I was. When I finished the page I was surprised at what I had learned about myself both from that period of my life as well as the present and how much I had grown to discover who I really am. Try it and please comment on your results as I would love to read them and possibly see pictures of how yours turned out.
I was creatively stumped on my artistic journey when I was introduced to the 'Art of Journaling' and was at that very moment a reformed journaler. I went to a group in which just a small number of artists gathered and amongst them was a wonderful lady named Alice. She showed me her art journal and taught me how to go about getting one for myself. She called it "Gemming" in which she decorated the front of her journal with beautiful shiny gems, chains, pearls... basically whatever pleased her eyes. This inspired her to draw in her sketchbook (ofcoarse it was originally a black hard covered sketchbook initially). However, when whe was finished creating it was a beautiful masterpiece of art. The first picture I have posted is the cover of my Art Journal. I used basic gray duct tape and covered the entire covers (both front and back) of my sketchbook (which is crucial for the next step). Secondly, I took a palette knife and covered the majority of the front cover with modeling clay paste. As I did so I added little trinkets to the cover by sticking them directly into the paste (so you must have a thick enough layer in order for the trinket to firmly stay in place). I chose trinkets from my jewellery box, ones that I had collected over the years that I no longer wore but desired to keep for sentimental reasons. Each one is precious to me (although none are worth much money), but each represent a specific time in my life... for example (I became an auntie when I was 14 years old, so I placed a picture of my first nephew that was in a charm for a necklace, on my journal cover); I placed a button from one of my maternity blouses in another spot; an earring I used to where when I was a teenager; a key my father found once when metal detecting... I found these to inspire me to create more in my journal. After I was finished I painted the edges with gold acrylic paint and lightly brushed over my trinkets with that same paint - giving it an antique finish. I was very pleased with the results. There are no 'official' rules to what you can create on your cover. This is just one idea that worked for me. Give it a try and you will be amazed at the masterpiece that will be staring at you from the cover of your new 'Art Journal'.