Thursday, 14 January 2016
Art Journaling for Beginners
The title of this post refers to me :) I've been saying for a while that I would give journalling a try, after several years of suffering from anxiety and mild depression I was told that I needed to develop a more positive frame of mind. Having seen lots of examples of other peoples art journals over the past 6 months I realised that there are lots of positive messages stamps and stencils out there and also lots of lovely new crafting goodies to experiment with.
My main reason to start art journalling though is not just to try and give myself a more positive frame of mind, but to help put my feelings and thoughts into something that can show how I'm feeling when words don't always come easy. Must add I'm peri-menopausal at the moment and one of the delightful side effects is losing words and having 'dumb struck' moments, moments when you suddenly stop talking not because you can't remember what you want to say, you just can't remember what the damn word or words are that you want to use is.
I'd been thinking about keeping an art journal for a while now, but I kept chickening out because I can't draw for toffee, that's not true, I can draw a mean stick man lol! I've never classed myself as arty, I think I'm creative, I used to do a lot of cross stitch and I can do basic knitting and use a sewing machine. But to me, art is something that goes on walls in museums, its what talented people do who can paint, and shade and capture a likeness on a canvas, that's not me. Well that was how I thought until recently, now I'm firmly thinking that if it comes from the heART its ART whatever it looks like to others :)
So with that thought in mind I gathered together some of the new stash I got for my birthday last week, and opened my new art journal to the very first page, I first misted it with water then added some Crushed Grape and Calypso Teal Dylusions ink to the page in random squirts, then I used a paper towel to remove some of the ink. Next I took some stamps from Kaisercraft and stamped some text, I was a little wobbly these were training wheels and I was flying in the face of the fear that I shouldn't be playing with these things. I got a little bolder and used one of my new BoBunny stencils and some Wilted Violet distress ink to lay down the heART's, a message to myself.
Next I stamped and embossed the sentiment and used another of the BoBunny stencils and some Antique Rose Sparkle Texture paste to put some butterflies on the page. The butterflies are the symbol of my nervous thoughts, those "I'm crap at this", "This is a mess", "Stop doing it you obviously can't" type thoughts, but they also represent freedom to create and ART is in create as well. I had to stop playing for a little while so the texture paste could dry, when I got up from my seat and looked down at the page I said "WOW!" because I'd started something that looked good to me, and that's what matters, its my art journal, its not being judged by anyone and anything goes.
I've done a little on it each evening for a few nights, adding bits, like some stamped flowers, highlighting the butterflies, added some photos of me and some additional sentiments and its finished... Ta Da!
Well as finished as these things can ever be! The photos of me are rare moments when I stopped thinking what others might think, stopped worrying about potential negative consequences and let my inner child out, moments when I just did it, and do you know what, nothing happened other than I had fun! Putting this page together showed me a little something about myself, the whole point of the exercise, and yes I know its not up to the standards of some of the fabulous art journalers out there, but I'm pretty proud of my first page. Me using my hands, mind and heart to tell myself something that at 52 years of age I should already know, love yourself, adore your ideas and cherish every moment, every pen stroke and ink smoosh, it may not always look arty to others, but if it comes from the heART its never wrong :) Now my mind is full of ideas for the next page and the page after that...