The Soulful Art Journal
For me, the art journal is a sacred space. It is full with emptiness asking us to make it whole. It beckons us like the blank canvas of the painter. In spite of our excitement to begin a journal or journal page, we often feel somewhat intimidated. The proverbial inner critic begins to rant that we have nothing to say so why bother picking up a pen, that we have no artistic ability, so why bother with the paint, and on and on. This can stop us dead in our tracks. Or, we can simply start something, anything. We can make a mark, write a word, and see where it takes us. We can surrender to the moment and tell the critic, “Okay, I recognize you. You’re the one who stops me from being who I really am. You’re like my Aunt Sally who told me I would never be able to drive a school bus because I’m a girl and I never should have listened to her. And, I simply don’t have time for your nonsense, It’s time for me to get on with MY life, my art, my journey where ever it takes me.”
And, if we allow ourselves to open to the unknown forms, ideas, and insights that reside within us, to trust that our creativity springs forth from an eternal source, we enter into a dialogue with our ourselves. That dialogue takes us to our sacred space, to our deepest parts. For me, There is nothing more satisfying then this soulful journey of self-discovery.
The Mixed Media Art Journal
My journals are usually of the mixed media kind. They are made with sturdy quality water color paper and accept paint and ink, fabric, and ephemera. This kind of journal makes it easy to experiment and play with many materials and media. Somehow working in an art journal feels less risky than working on a canvas or a single piece of paper. I’m more able to let go of expectations – after all, it’s just a little journal – and allow myself to simply play and enjoy the process. An art journal is where I’m free to have a personal dialogue with myself – no one has to see it or read my words unless I decide to share. It allows me to experiment with ideas and different media – so what if I make bad art or no art at all, that is not my purpose. Most of all, spending time with my art journal is like being with a friend who helps me heal and work through my demons and sometimes come out the other side.
It’s possible I may feel that serotonin rush when a color or a line feels right or the words make sense out of senselessness. I may even feel in synchronicity with my muse, the creative spirit that gives my life meaning.