“You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche
To me, art feels magical. I love when layers build up on a canvas or a page, and patterns and colors and images appear that I didn't plan on. I love going with the flow. I love letting my imagination and creativity accept the unplanned and then figuring it out. I love continually relearning to accept the chaos in order to give birth to something new and learning about myself in the process. Art journaling truly provides a place to embrace chaos to see what bubbles up.
I hunger to use bits and pieces of my life within my art journal. I knew that about myself when I met Julie Fei-Fan Balzer. Julie and I were in an art workshop together and Julie was quietly using all of her extra paint in her art journal underneath the table. I was enthralled. She makes her own art journals, carries them with her everywhere, and then paints in them. She puts bits and pieces of her life in it all the time and creates new pages. She's wonderful and I was hooked.
Using Julie as my inspiration, my art journaling evolved. I suddenly figured out what to do with all of those discarded paintings - cut them up. And what to do with all of those scrap pieces of old cards and calendars and paper that a mixed media artist hoards away. Cut them all up. And put them together in funky ways with needle and thread and glue and tape to create your own art journal. And then paint inside. Create your own chaos. And then give birth to a dancing star. Let the magic happen.
I broke my foot at the beginning of the summer. There has been a lot more sitting time in my life and more time to share my new found love of physically making art journals with others (my daughter, my friends, my niece, my brother-in-law). What better gift is there than a day of art creating with people you love? And each person walked away with their own personal art journal to paint in, save quotes in, glue wine bottle labels in, or just stare at. Perfect.
Am I the only one truly enthusiastic about eluding the blank page? I don't think so.
Julie Cameron writes: “Creativity is always a leap of faith. You’re faced with a blank page, blank easel, or an empty stage.”
Actress Octavia Spencer notes, “The hardest thing about writing, for me, is facing the blank page.”
I've done away with the blank page. Now my leap of faith occurs when I open my art journal, meet myself there, place the paint down, and trust the process.
Want to make your own art journal? You can join me next week in East Lansing at Grove Gallery (August 26, 9-4) or elsewhere this fall. To find out more, check out my upcoming classes and workshops!
hanks for sharing the article, and more importantly, your personal experience of mindfully using our emotions as data about our inner state and knowing when it’s better to de-escalate by taking a time out are great tools. Appreciate you reading and sharing your story since I can certainly relate and I think others can to
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