Tag Archives: art journal pages

Satisfaction is Creating Your Own One-of-a-Kind Altered Books

Creating one-of-kind altered books is a deeply satisfying process. You simply choose a book you are thinking of recycling or donating, or you buy something at a used book store. Then you begin to alter it by collaging, painting, adding ephemera, or making any number of alterations to make it your own. The pages from my altered book below are mostly collage, however I kept the picture in the book of this man sitting in a lotus position as a focal point. When I saw the coral skeleton I thought, “Now that is a heart that embraces all of creation.” Who knows why we are drawn to this image or that one. We could spend hours analyzing our work. But we really do not have to – we simply feel something and that is what matters. And, if others enjoy, that is icing on our cake. Now we can share ourselves with them and perhaps inspire them to choose a book and see what happens…I feel blessed to be working with wonderful women weekly who inspire me with their creativity and enthusiasm.

Collage Pages from my Altered Book

Collage Pages from my Altered Book

To create one’s own world in any of the arts takes courage. – Georgia O’Keefe

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Art As Escape from the Matrix

Play in Your Art Journal and be Free From the Matrix

Why make art? Why spend hours working and playing in our art journals? For me, it’s a way to temporarily escape the Matrix. Remember the movie, “The Matrix?” Remember when Morpheus tells Neo the Matrix is like a “splinter in your mind?” We feel the itch, the pain, the pointlessness of this dualistic reality – we get tired of being batted about by the play of opposites, the never ending wars of good versus evil. We know all too well we are tethered here, we are tethered by time, by our temporary forms, by the attachments, and the demands. Along with the joys and freedoms we experience, along with the glitz and premisses, we know we are plugged into a system that somehow runs us, that dictates the course of our lives, that calls the shots.

Art Journal Page

Art Journal Page

The creative process, however seemingly humble and insignificant we may sometimes think it is, offers reprieve from these demands. We can find ourselves in the flow, outside of time, and hopefully free from the internal editor or the voices of parents and figures of authority. This is why artists have been willing to sacrifice everything to devote themselves to the call of the muse. This is why we make time to sit and write our blogs or novels, our prose or poetry. We continue to pick up our crayons, put ink to paper, brush color onto the blank white canvas. And, humans will continue to express themselves creatively – to  sing, dance, draw, scribble, doodle, garden, write music, and explore the unknown until the end of creation. It is one of the ways we escape from the Matrix and tap into our unbounded source.

Start an Altered Book

Altered book Madona

Go to a used book store, or simply select a book from your library and begin the process of alteration. I’ll post more on getting started soon!

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious – the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”
Albert Einstein, Albert Einstein

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Art Journal Pages – Soul Work

When creating a collage, I begin with searching through magazines and choosing images. I often don’t understand why an image resonates with me; I just know it moves me. When an image moves me, I trust that on a deeper level of Self, it is speaking to me and that it can be used in my work to express a part of me, AND I do not need to consciously understand why. Artists need to learn to trust those impulses that reside in the gut, beyond the linear mind, beyond the noisy chatter that dictates what is pretty and acceptable, what people will say or think about what we produce. We have to embrace our bravery in order to do our soul work.

I call my workshops, The Soulful Art Journal, because my wish is that everyone who participates will access the joy that comes with connecting with the source of all creativity. For me the Art Journal is a place to perform meditation in action, to feel the release from and time and space, and from the constraints our daily living. The page below is one that originally held no meaning for me, but later, its message for me unfolded. By going Inside, there is freedom, mystery, and wonder. It is okay to be a bit grey, shadowy and moody. It is important for me to remember that and not try to hide my shadow sides. Both the light and the dark are parts of nature and deserve our recognition and respect. A beautiful page can take many forms, and what is important is how you feel about it.

Insider - Art Journal Page

Insider – Art Journal Page

Art allows us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.

– Thomas Merton

The beauty of creating an art journal is that everyone’s art journal is unique. In my classes I am constantly excited and moved by the work of the participants and amazed at the never ending possibilities of the creative self. Each artist has a signature, a style and flavor that makes her work unique. Just like each snowflake is one of a kind, so is each page, each creative work.

Women Frozen in Time and Place - Art Journal Page

Women Frozen in Time and Place – Art Journal Page

As one of the world’s most wonderful writers, Maya Angelou says,

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use the more you have.

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New Journal Pages

Kartika's art journal page

Kartika’s art journal page

I’m loving these pages! They make me happy. And, I’m so lucky to be able to create and to work in my own journal while having classes in my home. I get to work with wonderful women who are kindred spirits in my “Soulful Art Journal Workshop.”

This week, I’ve been having some personal sessions with a friend’s 16 year old daughter. There are those people who take to the creative process like the proverbial ducks to water. They sink like stones into the zone of timelessness. They begin to journal and experience the joy of self-reliance. Self-reliance comes with this territory as we learn to trust ourselves and our perceptions of what works and what doesn’t for us. We learn to let go of the fear of what others will think of our creations. We take the flying leap that is required to dare to make art, to accept that we can and are creative beings who can start whereever we are on this path to self-discovery.

Kartika's art journal page

Kartika’s art journal page

Having the time and the resources to play with art, to be creative, is truly a blessing. But even if we’re extremely busy, it’s important to carve out some space for some kind of creative expression, especially for those of us who say things like, “Someday when I have time, I will write a book,” or when I retire, “I will learn to paint.” Tomorrow may never come.

“If you have never kept an art journal, the prospect of doing so many seem intimidating, but the beauty of keeping a journal is that you don’t ever have to share it. It can be a unique and private place in your life for personal exploration. Journaling may allow you to express yourself in a way you never thought possible and can help expand your artistic skills and confidence. – Dawn DeVries Sokol

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The Soulful Art Journal Workshop: Working with Mistakes

Sunday was an interesting and fun Soulful Art Journal Workshop. This was the second session in a series of 4.  The workshop is working in the mixed media art journal, so on Sunday I introduced ink. I love seeing what the women come create. I worked on my own mixed media piece along with the other women, and some of us were struggling with the inner critic.

Altered book pages done in collage and mixed media

Altered book pages done in collage and mixed media

Why I love Titan Buff paint color 

Making art requires us to be flexible and learn ways to deal with so-call “mistakes.” In reality there are no mistakes because art is just a process of trying things and learning what we like and how to make what we like happen more and more.

What do we do when we don’t like what we are producing? Do we have to rip out the journal page and start a-new? This week while teaching my workshop, I used myself as an example. I admitted that I hated what I’d done so far, but I kept changing the paint color. Finally after trail and error and going over the color with diffferent colors a few times, I pulled out my tube of acrylic Titan Buff. It is a staple in my paint stash. I always have a Titan Buff on hand – all artists have their equivalent of Titan Buff (often it is Gesso, another favorite of mine). Titan Buff is a lovely, creamy off-white color. It is a paint color I love and it works well with all of my earthy tones. And, it covers beautifully.  It accepts layers well, so you can paint over it or stamp on it with great effects.

So that’s my little story for Sunday’s The Soulful Art Journal Workshop.

Happy art journaling and happy art making….there are no mistakes, just opportunities.

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Today’s Art Journal Post: The Gatekeeper and Bird on a Teapot

Gatekeeper

I call this art journal page “The Gatekeeper.” Over the years I’ve become fascinated with the idea of the stages of the hero’s journey as described in the numerous works of Joseph Campbell and other teachers such as, Caroline Myss, Clarrisa Pinkola Estes, and many others who draw insight and inspiration from the wisdom of mythology.

I’ve come to believe that Campbell’s description of the hero’s journey is applicable to  both women and men and offers insight into the passages we move through toward self-realization or discovering our life’s purpose.  In the Hero with a Thousand Faces, these phases are separation, initiation, and return.

Once we accept the call to fulfill our highest potential, we enter a world of danger as well as the promise of initiation into higher knowledge.  But there is always a Gatekeeper, often a terrifying demon or shape shifter who tests the mettle of the candidate, who must pass tests before being allowed to proceed to the next level of the hero’s journey. In this collage, I chose a feminine figure to represent the Gatekeeper.

Art journal page - mixed media

Art journal page – mixed media

“Bird on a Teapot” represents the power of voice and speaking our truth. I imagine this bird as the part of me that needs to speak freely before being able to take flight. It represents the fifth chakra of the physical body’s subtle energy system. 

In this collage, the bird signifies the willingness to speak the truth in spite of consequences, to use speech as a vehicle to uplift, inspire, educate, sing, and bring beauty into the world. 

The heroine must become a spiritual warrior. … She must not discard nor give up what she has learned throughout her heroic quest, but learn to view her hard-earned skills and success not so much as a goal but as one part of the entire journey. She will begin to use these skills to work toward the larger quest of bringing people together, rather than her own individual gain. This is the sacred marriage of the feminine and masculine–when a woman can truly serve not only the needs of others but can value and be responsive to her own needs as well.

Maureen Murdock

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