Journaling My Dreams: Destruction is part of creation.

01 nest

Every act of creation, is first an act of destruction. ~Picasso

It was barely visible … but the wind was swaying a piece of netting used to weave a home for a family of Cardinals last year. In April, temperatures dropped into the 20′s and the rain became ice; it collected and melded the bits of twigs and grasses and various strands of elements.

The ice caused the final destruction of this nest as it melted away and weighted the elements until it began to fall apart … all on its own.

It was a natural process; part of life.

empty bird nest

But I believe my own voice continues to be found wherever I am being present and responding from my heart, moment by moment. My voice is born repeatedly in the fields of uncertainty. ~Terry Tempest Williams

Leaving a nest is a seasonal move for birds. Every season. Elements of nature and weather often cause destruction and thus, the need for rebuilding — for the creation of something new … pruning away what is unnecessary.

graphic for taking flight final frame

If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing. ~Coco Chanel

Our theme for May’s The Art Journaler Community journaling prompts is “Taking Flight” … This month’s author, Becky Bowen Craig, included some marvelous journal prompts like this one:

What habits have I developed to cope with painful/unsettling feelings? Are they truly serving my emotional health? I will identify something … no longer serves me and clear it out of my nest.

bird in a nest

I realized that I had become comfortable in the same space … for too long. Too long if my intention was to growto fly. Ready of not — it was time to do some clearing! ;)

Because sometimes life happens — the good, the bad and the ugly — without warning or time to understand it. And sometimes there is no one to hold responsible or to expect restitution. We simply need to honor our intentions in the best way possible — and dare to fly!

 We can take flight from our lives in a form other than denial and return to our authentic selves through the art of retreat. ~Terry Tempest Williams


As a community project, The Art Journaler Community subscribers are posting our discoveries and ponderings — and we are linking theme-related blog posts here on a weekly basis using Mister Linky {officially starting tomorrow, Saturday, May 4th}.

If you are a The Art Journaler Community subscriber, please feel free to link your blog post below.

 

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The Art Journaler Community — Exploring Your Secret Garden

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{For February’s Theme we will be exploring our personal secret gardens …}

And we will be doing things a little differently. With the help of Mandy Thompson, we have put together a 4-week guide to invite you into your own Secret Garden. We will be stealing away into the moonlight, tiptoeing down the ancient stone path and creaking open that old rusty gate that, much to our nervous excitement, it seems someone has left unlocked. Continue reading

Mistaeks are Mandatory — words and art by {courageous} Syda

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I had heard of art journaling, but I had no idea what it was or what it would mean to me when I pulled out my oil pastels and a few collage clippings in August of 2010.  I was not an artist.

I wasn’t very impressed with my initial attempts at art journaling and I wasn’t even sure I was doing it right, but it was therapeutic and I found great joy in doing it. Continue reading

Remembering to Dream — by Jeanne-Marie

Maybe somewhere in us living life, surviving things {really difficult things, at times} and moving swiftly through the child-raising years… we forgot to dream… Dream out loud, dream impossible dreams.

And sometimes, when we give ourselves permission to do this seemingly frivolous thing, just sometimes they come together and they become real gifts. Stolen moments in time. Precious and cherished memories.

Last year I knew how unhappy I was with my life {where I was living, what school my two beautiful girls were going to and who I was becoming}. I felt stuck, burnt out and desperately unhappy.

I didn’t really know how to move forward. I have never really known what I wanted for my life partly because I haven’t ever really known who I am or what I wanted… but all I did know — at this all-time low point of my life last year — was what I didn’t want and inadvertently found what I did want.

I knew something had to change in my life but where did I start when clearly everything needed to change. Well, in a nutshell – within 3 months, we actually changed everything. We moved back home to Cape Town and we basically started over. And it has been pretty incredible. Simplifying is a real gift.

I have been painting on and off for almost a decade… and I knew I wanted to try and pursue it on a more full-time basis. I knew it was a shot in the dark, maybe a bit of pipe dream.

But I did know the great sense of joy I feel when I am painting or doing anything arty. It’s a joy and peace I haven’t felt doing anything else. I guess it’s what helped me know it’s what I wanted to do full-time.

From the moment I made this the decision this year – things have moved forwarded and things have happened that have completely changed my life and my journey to be more in line with who I am.

It’s also a journey that took me to Italy this year to paint with some very special artists… I guess it’s been a journey of self-discovery as I head into my 40’s. I have had so much excitement and joy this year… It’s been pretty awesome.

.: about Jeanne-Marie — In figuring out what I didn’t want for my life anymore, I inadvertently discovered what I did want. And finding the courage to pursue it. Maybe it has to do with finally feeling like a woman and questioning – how I do 40 and still be vital, relevant and even beautiful, in this new way as my world is shifting into my new decade.

It’s both scary and exciting and I don’t want to miss a single thing about this journey I am on.

Connect with Jeanne-Marie aka Flowrsinherhair here:

Web Site:
Her Blog:
Project40:
Dreams in Italy:
Twitter:


About this series: I am a collaborator … and a story-scribe. That is why I have invited art journaling friends to share images from their art journals. The focus of this series is visual expression {collage, doodles, painting, photography, music, etc.}. The mission of this series is to present a wide variety of art journal pages — different styles and media, utilized by women from a wide variety of personal beliefs and backgrounds.

Because planning and dreaming {envisioning} what we want for our {wild and precious} lives begins with creative expressions {and excavations}, Braveheart. And our choice of expression is unique and specific to each of us … Dare to experiment with various artistic techniques and discover what you enjoy, what expressions “feel” right for you — what allows you to creatively remove layers and uncover your dream seeds. ~stargardener


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Life is worth writing down — {thriving!} and surviving by Christy

I believe my life is worth writing down. Even when it’s messy, it’s still my journey.

My current art journal is in a book called “Road to Survival.” My journal is a map of that road. The route changes, but that’s allowed. My journal doesn’t judge my decision-making processes or my thoughts or my wandering.

 

 Some pages are filled with my own words. Others are filled with images and words that inspire me.

My art journal {and my art journaling community} allows me to THRIVE as I survive.

.: about Christy Polek — i’m a california girl currently living in chicago. i ♥: traveling. learning. creating. laughing. literature. sushi. tacos. art in every form. words. and you.fortune cookie says: “your personality is fueled by the fascination you feel for life.”
{and she lives outloud, beautiful and brave — and lives so very strong! ~stargardener}
Connect with Christy here:

Flickr:
Her Blog:
Twitter:


About this series: I am a collaborator … and a story-scribe. That is why I have invited art journaling friends to share images from their art journals. The focus of this series is visual expression {collage, doodles, painting, photography, music, etc.}. The mission of this series is to present a wide variety of art journal pages — different styles and media, utilized by women from a wide variety of personal beliefs and backgrounds.

Because planning and dreaming {envisioning} what we want for our {wild and precious} lives begins with creative expressions {and excavations}, Braveheart. And our choice of expression is unique and specific to each of us … Dare to experiment with various artistic techniques and discover what you enjoy, what expressions “feel” right for you — what allows you to creatively remove layers and uncover your dream seeds. ~stargardener


There is a new subscription for Right Brain Planner: an e-mail subscription! :mrgreen: And as a subscriber, you will be up-to-date with the unfolding of future plans for this site:

It is free and there is sparkly goodness on tap! :D

Want What You Need — words and art by Shawnacy

Art journaling is a new idea for me, yet it somehow also feels very familiar. Like stepping for the first time into a house built specifically for me. I love (that is to say, adore in the extreme) that the linchpin of art journaling is #norules. None. Not one teeny tiny rule. Only the invitation to the page, and a list of prompts for when I’m in need of a small push.

The ugly-ish cover. i kind of love ugly. :)

 

I began my own altered book project a few months ago, spurred on by Teresa and Mandy‘s work, not quite sure if I would have the time, or how exactly art journaling would play out for me.

I really wasn’t in need of another journal. Of more pressure to write words. As a writer, there are times I need an escape from words. At least, from my own words.

I keep multiple journals for writing long thoughts, for scribbling down quick notes, for drafting poems and story ideas, for ranting and raving and going stark bloody crazy. These I will always keep.

But staring at the ugly book of quite dismal poetry that I had been saving for some unknown artistic purpose, I suddenly saw a place for a different means of expression.

Creative people, I am fully convinced, need multiple outlets for our inner explosive energies.

There is a need for us to be focused, surely, to know what it is we are and what we must (MUST) do with our brief flashing lives, but there need also be set in place, sluiceways, fissures, cracks and windows through which all the dammed-up things inside us bursting for life can escape. Not everything that wells and thralls in me is meant to be a poem. Not every idea is story-shaped.

Some things find their way out as I skill-less-ly strum my guitar, other things as I re-arrange the furniture in my house to open up new pathways, and still other things through the meditative practice of art.

This is what my art journal has come to be. Although there are times I use it to generate spontaneous ideas, and times I find myself spilling out poems (NoRUles, right?!), more and more I am drawn to the pages as an escape from words. I turn a fresh leaf, grab the box of art supplies and scraps of strange paper that’s now stashed under my desk, and turn off conscious thought.

Splashing, swashing, swirling, spackling, drawing, doodling, meticulous and intricate, or swift and blunt, my hands work their work and I am allowed to swim the deep currents underneath. The places that do not correspond to language. The places that I must learn to dwell with in instinctual understanding and knowing, in order for the work of words to come to me, full of truth and light.

And for once I am under no obligation to make my pages ‘right’ or ‘beautiful.’ I do not need to be a grand artist. I compete with no one. This does not have to be my one great work. This can be only what is so gorgeously is, an active, creative mediation. A place to set down stones of remembrance for things I am learning, places I have traveled, things I have seen and heard and felt. A reminder to myself that I know the things I know.

Strangely (or perhaps not so), I draw strength from the creation of this book. The time spent creating in this first small book, I hold inside me and it colors me brave. It lifts my head. It connects me to the places inside that are most alive; a tangible relic of the deep soul excavation that is continually taking place.

.: Shawnacy Kiker is a full-fledged, if slightly reluctant, member of the human race. She thrives on a hearty diet of books, music, ideas and tea; and is committed to a life of wrangling thoughts and slinging words.Shawnacy and her mighty clan enjoy spontaneous living-room dancing, a good bowl of soup, and the Unexpected. They reside in sunny and overpopulated Southern California, and dream of someday residing somewhere else. Connect with her here:

Flickr:
Web Site:
Twitter:
Google+:


About this series: I am a collaborator … and a story-scribe. That is why I have invited art journaling friends to share images from their art journals. The focus of this series is visual expression {collage, doodles, painting, photography, music, etc.}. The mission of this series is to present a wide variety of art journal pages — different styles and media, utilized by women from a wide variety of personal beliefs and backgrounds.

Because planning and dreaming {envisioning} what we want for our {wild and precious} lives begins with creative expressions {and excavations}, Braveheart. And our choice of expression is unique and specific to each of us … Dare to experiment with various artistic techniques and discover what you enjoy, what expressions “feel” right for you — what allows you to creatively remove layers and uncover your dream seeds. ~stargardener


There is a new subscription for Right Brain Planner: an e-mail subscription! :mrgreen: And as a subscriber, you will be up-to-date with the unfolding of future plans for this site:

It is free and there is sparkly goodness on tap! :D

Art as a saving grace — waves of Brave by Deb

Deb inspires me to live free through both her syllables and art. These creative tangibles emit invisible {but penetrating} waves of Brave. And … I have to admit that in compiling this post, I found myself savoring each image of her photographic portfolio here and on Flickr. ;)

I also had a heck of a time deciding which of her amazing art journal images to include here … Knowing her love and boundlessness, I knew I was free to decide though. She made a point to say, “Do what you want; use what you want — it’s all ART!”.

I am going to share niblets of what I feel is very important about art journaling: the good.the bad.the ugly.the beautiful. ~Deb

{then and now}

 

sew Sisters. Put a needle thru the paper.
It will free you up!!

 

this was my saving grace when I endured a hysterectomy alone // I visualized that the red-swirly-black paper was what it must look like inside my uterus filled with fibroid tumors

when I am stuck
I pour paint on my fingertips

I rub, wash, and color the blank pages
which are now eager, waiting and thirsty to receive my story

 

.: about Deb Taylor — In 2007, she moved back to the States from Isla Mujeres, Mexico. When she began a new adventure as a Bed & Breakfast owner in her state of birth, Texas. At present — after years of travel and adventures — she has settled beach-side in Florida with her life mate, Matt. She captures amazing and inspirational images, tells stories, and creates via sewing, painting, cooking — or whatever else her Muse calls her forth to create! Connect with Deb here:

Flickr:
Her Blog:
She is Three:
Pinterest:


About this series: I am a collaborator … and a story-scribe. That is why I have invited art journaling friends to share images from their art journals. The focus of this series is visual expression {collage, doodles, painting, photography, music, etc.}. The mission of this series is to present a wide variety of art journal pages — different styles and media, utilized by women from a wide variety of personal beliefs and backgrounds.

Because planning and dreaming {envisioning} what we want for our {wild and precious} lives begins with creative expressions {and excavations}, Braveheart. And our choice of expression is unique and specific to each of us … Dare to experiment with various artistic techniques and discover what you enjoy, what expressions “feel” right for you — what allows you to creatively remove layers and uncover your dream seeds. ~stargardener


Art journaling as a way back into making art — Rachel’s art + her story

I abandoned my creative self for many years and art journaling was my way back into making art. Art journaling is now my daily commitment to myself as an artist. A year of journaling led to my making big life changes which gives me more time to devote to my creativity.

This was one of my very first journal pages in early 2011.  (I don’t date them.)  The prompt came from the title of a book by Rice Freeman Zachery ‘Creative Time and Space: Making Room for Making Art’.

I wanted to affirm to myself that I do have time and space for my art.  The central image is my younger self doing exactly that.

Once I had started, I didn’t always need to include words and did more intuitive pages that came from inside myself without needing to know why or how.

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Dream big! This is what I so wanted to do, I wanted to dream big and give my life over to my creativity.  I find that art journaling is a marvelous tool for manifestation!!  The more I can put it out there to the Universe by using affirmations and positive statements, and using my art journal as a vehicle for doing this, the more I can bring into my life the things I am seeking.

When I’m stuck I head for the junk mail journal route. I love it! There are always #secretmessages in the mail.  (I learned this from Teresa and Mandy, woohoo!!).

What’s on my desk at the moment?  I am signed up for ‘21 Secrets the Art Journal Playground’ run by Dirty Footprints Studio.  My first class (I signed up late in September), is Journal Quest with Tracie Hansen who has inspired my latest pages; excavation of soul secrets in the paint on the page.

I love the support from my Internet sisters on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.  And I’m LOVING the extra support and discussion at The Art Journaler Community {Inspirations}!!

I abandoned my creative self for many years and art journaling was my way back into making art.   Art journaling is now my daily commitment to myself as an artist.  A year of journaling led to my making big life changes which gives me more time to devote to my creativity.

.: about Rachel Andrews — Art is my connection to Source. I believe that when you step into your creativity you step into your most authentic self. I originally trained in Fine Art what feels like about a hundred years ago and my creative self has been buried for a long, long time. Learn more about Rachel at her web site. Connect with Rachel here:

Instagram: Rachellen333
Facebook:
Flickr:
Her Blog:
Twitter:

 


About this series: I am a collaborator … and a story-scribe. That is why I have invited art journaling friends to share images from their art journals. The focus of this series is visual expression {collage, doodles, painting, photography, music, etc.}. The mission of this series is to present a wide variety of art journal pages — different styles and media, utilized by women from a wide variety of personal beliefs and backgrounds.

Because planning and dreaming {envisioning} what we want for our {wild and precious} lives begins with creative expressions {and excavations}, Braveheart. And our choice of expression is unique and specific to each of us … Dare to experiment with various artistic techniques and discover what you enjoy, what expressions “feel” right for you — what allows you to creatively remove layers and uncover your dream seeds. ~stargardener


There is a new subscription for Right Brain Planner: an e-mail subscription! :mrgreen: And as a subscriber, you will be up-to-date with the unfolding of future plans for this site:

It is free and there is sparkly goodness on tap! :D

Evolution of an art journal — the art and syllables of Mandy T.

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I am a collaborator … and a story-scribe. That is why I have invited art journaling friends to share images from their art journals. Some posts will include glimpses into their stories, favorite quotes or inspirations — but the focus of this series is visual expression {collage, doodles, painting, photography, music, etc.}. The mission of this series is to present a wide variety of art journal pages — different styles and media, utilized by women from a wide variety of personal beliefs and backgrounds.

Because planning and dreaming {envisioning} what we want for our {wild and precious} lives begins with creative expressions {and excavations}, Braveheart. And our choice of expression is unique and specific to each of us … Dare to experiment with various artistic techniques and discover what you enjoy, what expressions “feel” right for you — what allows you to creatively remove layers and uncover your dream seeds. ~stargardener

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So, art journaling … Something you have always done? What is your practice? {example: times per month/week/day}

Up until a year ago, I’d not considered myself a journaler. The tedium of writing and writing everything that happened that day just didn’t fill me. It felt a bit narcissistic, if I can be so honest. (and probably ironic) When art journaling entered my life, I found a way to not necessarily chronicle the days, but process them. For me, art journaling is more about making sense of things than it is about recording all of it.

I’ve gone through a few cycles in my art journaling experience. There are seasons where I journal every few days, then there moments, like the one I’m in now, where I may fill a few pages in a day. The frequency usually increases in times when I need to climb in my head and sort out the piles of thoughts and emotions that get tossed in there throughout the day.

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How did you first learn about art journaling?

Actually, I first learned from you and Mandy. Both of you simultaneously “opened” your books to me, by encouraging me to take a few tiny steps in to the world of self-care, in the form of art journaling. I was going through a time of uncertainty in my life, with regards to my work, my passions, and my beliefs. So many pieces were shaking and falling off the tree and I needed a way to pick up the clean fruit & toss the rotten fruit.

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In what ways has art journaling proved to beneficial? therapeutic? relational {example: something that introduced you to new friendships/situations}

Art journaling is a sort of secret club. But the funny thing is that it’s not really a secret. I think the dividing line is between people who “get it” and people who don’t. Those of us who “get it” seem to speak a similar language. We understand each other in ways that reach beyond the paints and pages of our journals.

For instance, I’ve had the privilege of teaching art journaling classes in my area, and have introduced art journaling to dozens of men, women, and children. And, within a short while, I can see who “gets it” and who doesn’t. It’s interesting to watch, actually. And the process can’t be forced. They either fall in love with art journaling or they walk away from it.

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How do you typically art journal pages? doodles? collages? handlettering? paint? sketching?

This is an interesting question. For most of my art journaling experience, I’ve preferred a messy mix of acrylics with a collage element or two. My pages were colorful and intense, balanced, with a bit of writing or captioning to bring the concept together, and my joy was in the world of altered books. These were the days where I could spend much time and table-space on a page.

My season of life has shifted and I’ve gone “back to the drawing board” in my art journaling style (haha that was such a bad joke!) Now, I have a very convenient and portable set of supplies. I have a mixed media notebook, and a Koi watercolor travel kit with a few pens and pencils inside it as well. I keep these tucked in my purse. I can art journal anywhere, indoors or outdoors, and I don’t need to wear my “painting clothes” or pull out my self-healing mat to make a page.

I found that there were too many obstacles to my art journaling, in a time in my life where I really, really needed to be art journaling, so I made things a lot simpler. It works. Right now, it works very well.

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What is something you would share with someone who was curious about beginning an art journal?

Be patient with yourself until you find your style. I often remind my students that their pages won’t always look like the examples I show them in class. In fact, I encourage them to experiment with the techniques until they find their own “way” of using them. We each have our own heart language; we just need to learn how to speak it. For example, you and Mandy both lean towards a collage style with choice words & phrases. Even though you have similar elements (scrap pages, stacked words, etc.) I can still take one look at a page and know if it’s from you or from her. You both have distinct styles, and I really like that!

P.S. Mandy and I consider Mandy T. our third partner in The Art Journaler; her love and presence in our lives has changed us in marvelous and mysterious ways {as the three of us say, “yes”…} ;)

 

.: about Mandy T. — She is an ever-evolving artist who’s current obsessions include mixed-media and iPhoneography. She fell in love with a preacher ten years ago and they make their home near the Georgia coast, where life is almost always sunshine and rainbows. And she’s learning that faith, much like life, isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Mandy vulnerably shares her life and faith through various forms of art, be it painting or singing or writing.

Mandy’s artistic expressions …

Society6 Shop:
Her Music:
Her Blog:
Etsy Shop:
Twitter:

 


There is a new subscription for Right Brain Planner: an e-mail subscription! :mrgreen: And as a subscriber, you will be up-to-date with the unfolding of future plans for this site:

It is free and there is sparkly goodness on tap! :D