Tag Archives: art journal

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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Mixed Media Art Journal Page: Fabric on Gesso

Phoebe's Garden - art journal page, fabric on gesso

Phoebe’s Garden – art journal page, fabric on gesso

This is why I love teaching  the Soulful Art Journal classes! When a 16 yr. old girl I’ve just introduced to the mixed-media art journal, produced this wonderful piece, I have to admit, I kind of wished I’d done it myself. There is so much for the imagination to play with when we allow ourselves the freedom to explore different media and approach the process with an open and curious mind, when we allow ourselves to follow our hearts. Following our impulses let’s us discover what works and what we like. It gives us a push into the unknown. We discover that we do not need a map. We do not need to know what the end result will be. In fact, one of my teachers said to me, “What would be the fun in that?” The media has a way of telling us what to do.

Kids have an amazing reservoir of creative energy. They want to express themselves authentically and be free to experiment in a safe environment. There is something safe about working in a journal. It can be an intimate dialogue between you and the muse. You never have to show it to anyone, but you can and probably will. You don’t have to be intimidated by expectations that you should produce perfection, but your pages will be perfect because they are yours. This is why so many of us are hooked and have become best friends with our journals.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.

– Pablo  Picasso

Love,

Kartika

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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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My Mixed Media Art Journal Workshop Is in Process

Woamn with a Jar

     

LIVING THE SOULFUL LIFE

A Self Discovery Workshop for Women through the Mixed-Media Art Journal

What is your story?

Women among women:  Telling our stories to ourselves and others. As creatives and creators, we as women give birth to form, function, and beauty. Living a soulful life involves accessing and expressing our deepest selves and sharing our wisdom with others.

Art journaling is a meditative process that goes much deeper than simply producing a piece of art. It is a step into the mystery that is ourselves. It is indeed a process that allows us access to our authentic selves. The beauty of the process (and the result) is that everyone is able to partake and everyone is able to create a beautiful journal.

All aspects of our unique self-expression are welcome in a safe and nurturing space, in which we come together to simply be ourselves. As women among women, we support and inspire one another on our paths toward healing and wholeness through inner self-discovery.

Thus we join together to:

  • Understand our personal narratives

  • Create unique mixed-media journals through which to tell our stories

  • Explore and identify our personal archetypes

  • Support and inspire one another on a path toward healing and wholeness

  • Have fun learning to use writing, paint, ink, fabric, stamps, ephemera, and all manner of stuff to make art

  • Share who we are in a sacred circle

“Be wild; that is how to clear the river. The river does not flow in polluted, we manage that. The river does not dry up, we block it. If we want to allow it its freedom, we have to allow our ideational lives to be let loose, to stream, letting anything come, initially censoring nothing. That is creative life. It is made up of divine paradox. To create one must be willing to be stone stupid, to sit upon a throne on top of a jackass and spill rubies from one’s mouth. Then the river will flow, then we can stand in the stream of it raining down.”― Clarissa Pinkola EstésWomen Who Run With The Wolves: Contacting the Power of the Wild Woman

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The Art Journal Is a Personal Diary

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.”

Mixed media art journal page

Mixed media art journal page

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.

Mixed media art journal page

Mixed media art journal page

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.

 

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