Artistic Alchemy

*blushes* My self-imposed internet/computer break has been dotted with wonderful little emails from Page by Page readers giving me amazing feedback and psyching me up for the next issue (despite me saying I was taking August off!). Reading about how the articles and artwork has inspired others to dive into their journals makes me grin and feel like a glowing teacher watching over busy and excited students. So much so that I'm researching some space near my home in which to hold my own, independent workshop sometime this fall. It'll be hard, not being connected to an established organization, but I remember this one piece of advice from an article in Somerset Studio; "Even if no one shows up to the first workshop, keep going!"

Lia traded me a copy of Teesha Moore's Play; what a fantastic visual treat! This one had a piece on the different types of journals; it felt like a permission slip to carry various notebooks/journals with me instead of limiting myself to just one or another. I've three, now, if my planner counts as one.


My Moleskine's become a valuable tool. When bored or needing something distracting, I clip images from magazines and tape them onto the pages at random. Want to draw something? I sketch. Ideas work their way up from there. Lists. It's become my repository, just as my first visual journal did. Yes, longer entries and pretty things go in my art journal, but this one's more relaxed. I've missed working in a Moleskine!

I've been thinking, lately, that my artistic self is divided in two. On one side is the older me, the one that started drawing what I saw, writing and doodling in a Moleskine, using only a pen as my tool. The other is younger, more colorful and playful, hands grabbing for pretty paints and papers. Last night, I attempted to pull the two together.

The background is a collage of found papers and fabric, atop it is an illustration I sketched out earlier in the week in my Moleskine. The combination didn't work as I imagined, but I'm determined to figure this out through a series of experiments in my art journal. When something doesn't work, I'll move onto another. The journal entry around the girl speaks of all this, of my plans to truly sit with my journal and play, to experiment, to make marks with purpose.

This is a new, welcome surprise in my art. I remember when I started, I wondered how people thought in visual terms -- my brain couldn't do the translation. Now, I feel more comfortable expressing myself through art than words, and the translation comes as second nature. Now, instead of sitting down with my journal and just playing around, I have real ideas. True ideas that need to come out.

It's amazing! By persevering with my art, wow...I can actually see the growth, the expansion. Feel it.  I'm loving it!

untitleddreamling girl

My two sides. While the paint was drying on the illustration, I played on the left-hand page. When finished, I liked that one more. Maybe if I combined the background technique from the left with some sort of illustration on the right....?