I discovered art journaling back in 2008 when I found the Stampington & Company Art Journaling magazine at Borders bookstore in West Hartford. Awed by the artwork, I knew I was destined to do this, but at first I didn’t know where to start. I had painted with watercolors, mostly traditional, representational paintings of landscapes and still lifes, but they felt so constrained. It took time, and then one day after gathering some supplies, I just started.
With art journaling, things are much freer and there are no rules. Anything can be used when creating an art journal page or spread… acrylic paint, paint pens, inks, paper, glue, mark making tools, rubber stamps, stencils, and even glitter. Feelings are far more important than the end product.
Art journaling is a way to bring out what is inside of you and it is an incredible tool for self discovery. When I sit down to art journal, I don’t have a plan and have no idea what the page is going to look like when it is finished. It is a very intuitive process.
Sometimes I start with an idea, or a prompt, or just one word. Other times I get inspired by a quotation, a photograph, a combination of several paint colors that look good together, or a particular art supply.
There are times when I start with a feeling that I am having trouble putting into words. In that case I use art journaling to bring clarity and understanding. There is a place where there are no words and art journaling brings me to that place. I like to go deep, beneath the surface, to uncover the real meaning in my life.
I have been through a lot of change in my life and at times that has been very challenging. There was too much change and it was continuous. When I came to art journaling, I was unsure of myself and did not have a strong sense of who I was. Even though I had been creative for most of my life, I felt that I did not have a clear path to follow or a connection to myself. I realize now that I had lost my art spirit.
Art journaling has changed my outlook on life. It has given me direction and firm ground to stand on. It has helped me find my core, my roots, the essence of my being… my identity. Art journaling together with written journaling gives me tools for self discovery and self affirmation. I try to bring only positive feelings to my written and art journal pages because that nourishes my art spirit and makes me feel whole.
Art journaling has opened the door for me and has led to other things… altered card decks, art quilts, painting on canvas, freedom of expression, teaching others. Art journaling has opened my heart and allowed me to see the world in a different way. I was closed off and afraid to express my feelings before. Creating intuitive art from my inner self as a conduit for source has had a profound effect on my life.