See the rest of my 2018 art journal on my other blog.
Here are some of my favorite pieces/photos from the past year. Each is going to be linked to the blog post that describes it, but I’m having technical difficulties for now.
Flower farm near our house in WI.
This photo was taken on our trip to Maine. We totally fell in love with Maine and look forward to many return trips! We went for the fall color and found so much beauty.
These hand painted cards are from 3 separate posts, but I wanted to include a representational sample and send you into the new year with plenty of peace.
Happy New Year!
Today I was pretty upset about the results of the election so I really focused on gratitude and making art.
This page layout is a different kind of grid based on some studio setup and getting my Etsy store launched. I really had fun selecting meaningful papers to arrange. In moving stuff around the studio I found some great painted papers, had my process painting class, and colored in some “store models” of my coloring pages.
I want to thank you guys for your generous comments on my bird selection question. I actually added tail marks to the bird in the bottom of the photo from yesterday’s post and put the spare bird in my art journal. The leaves are from an art therapy session. I’m very happy with my new therapist. I was interested in studying art therapy when I went to grad school to become a school psychologist, but went a different route. It is really interesting and exciting to be on the receiving end of art therapy. A technical note on this page is that I tried some pumice gel in the leaf background and it kind of became a mess. Probably not going to use it in an art journal again. But I did enjoy a new Liquitex set of supplies that I bought to check out their paint pen and how they work with other products. The spray paints really need good air circulation! Maybe I will save them for summer. But I like the pens and the color selection is interesting. Stay tuned for more experiments with these!
As you can see from the sticker in my art journal, I did vote. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to express my beliefs in the direction our country will go. This is not the first electoral disappointment I have been through and I know that there is going to be a lot of work for all of us who work for social justice. In the face of disappointment it is really helpful for me to focus on what I’m grateful for and I have so much. I still will worry, but this helped recharge my energy so I can do my part to keep our country great for people of color and others who are afraid of what the future will hold.
This past weekend was really great. Saturday was spent at the Morristown Festival of Books, as you can see from the pieces of the flyer and schedule that I included in my gratitude journal. Hubby and I went to 5 different sessions where panels of authors were interviewed by other authors. I was excited to meet Naomi Novik and hear about her book, Uprooted, that is not part of the Temeraire series. I love that series and I’m looking forward to reading my signed copy of Uprooted! She had a fascinating conversation with V. E. Schwab and now I want to read her books too! I went to a Young Adult authors session and found another new to me author I’m really excited about – Meg Medina. Lots more books and authors and so many hours of reading to look forward to! Keep an eye on my Goodreads feed if you want to see what else I’m reading…
Sunday was a day surrounded with Unitarian Universalists. We went to the morning service and my husband had choir practice before it and I took that time to knit and listen. Then we came home for a quick (restricted) lunch and I went to my UU process painting class. We were painting adventure and I posted about it yesterday. After painting we had a more leisurely dinner and went to a Rosh Hashanah service at our UU church. I had never experienced it before. It was so wonderful! There was a point in the service when they talked about awe and I knew I had to include that in my journal. Also the line “the heart of the universe sings.” How lovely! It was a weekend of books and how fitting to finish the weekend with the opening of the Book of Life.
The background for this journal page includes pages from lots of books in a variety of languages (so the Rosh Hashanah program fit right in!) I’m working on Illuminated Box #3 and am using more collage materials to cover the box. I saw some collage art done on a background of full pages of text and really loved how it looked. I will update you later in the week as I complete a side or something.
What are you grateful for today?
The Journal 52 prompt for this week is “The Heart Knows.” I frequently use different papers to represent people and events that I am grateful for and this journal entry is no exception. The music paper if from my Dad’s old hymnal I use that and the old fashioned magazine illustrations (in the heart in the lower right hand corner) to represent time with my Mom. My Dad died almost 20 years ago and my Mom’s health isn’t great. We had a really lovely day together the other day so here she is in my hearts. The red shoe is always Shannon and we had fun together another day. So many wonderful people in my life. Who are you grateful for today?
Artistic Restraint is the prompt for last week for the Journal 52 Challenge. I am almost caught up! I followed some of the prompt suggestions, but put my own spin on it as usual.
I used purple and added black and white to make the background of my journal page. I used an empty prescription bottle to make the circles. I used the cover to make the more solid circles and the open top of the bottle for the rest. She made tidy shapes and then painted them in different variations of the color. I just played with the colors right on the page and used the bottle to “paint” the whole page. I didn’t use a stencil. Instead I cut out a red circle and made a “Vision Map” mandala. I’m reading Lisa Congdon’s book, Art INC. and am enjoying it very much so far. One big realization that came out of this process is that my next journal will be a watercolor journal rather than an altered book. I have loved making altered books, but I really want to work on my watercolor skills and journaling on watercolor paper will really facilitate that process.
I am also rereading The Fault In Our Stars by John Green for a book group I’m in and I wrote down a quote on the facing page. Then I wrote the word MARVEL all over the page. That is kind of my goal with mindfulness and gratitude, but this quote really summed it up nicely. I may feel like crap, but that doesn’t make life less marvelous. (or something)
Actually today has been a really good day. I went to aquacize and all of my friends are back from travels or medical leaves from the pool. I have been able to read and draw for hours. The fact that the temperature got above freezing and I had my kitchen window open for a while helped to. My cats, husband, son, and abundance are marvels.
What do you have to marvel at today?
Here is my journal page for the Journal 52 Challenge on the topic of “Valentines.” I was so happy that my Mandala I did for the Diva’s Challenge last week would complete the page so nicely. You may notice it is the only mandala on the page. In my attempt to adhere to the 100 mandala challenge, I have veered off my path of gratitude. I am enjoying the mandalas, but I really need to work on the gratitude every day for my physical and mental health. My migraines have been getting a little worse (which makes mandala making beyond me) and my doctors and I haven’t quite been able to tease out why. I have been considering looking for some paying work or applying for Social Security Disability insurance and the increased pain levels make me think I need to go the latter route. That is really depressing. So, gratitude.
Here is my 2 page spread for the past week. One of the things I love about altered books is the serendipity of what is on the page I’m going to use for any given week. I really love the photographs in this book. Look how the huge rock suggests a huge heart. It works so well with the Lao Tzu quote, too. I played with some patterned papers to accent the photos and did some journaling about my week and my love. I hope you have a lovely week.
The quotes, in case they aren’t very legible:
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply give you courage. Lao Tzu
Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none. Shakespeare
This week I’m grateful for things coming together nicely and the fun word serendipity. How about you?
On this darkest day of the year I want to wish you all a happy solstice. I will be starting the new year with a mediation retreat and will be entering into noble silence. I have decided I will not be blogging between now and January 10th. So I wish you all happy holidays and happy new year.
I have taken some time to reflect on the past year of my gratitude journal and would like to share my top 10(ish) pages/page spreads with you. I really enjoyed looking through all the art I have created within the last year, particularly because one of my big intentions for this year was:
I feel like I have been true to that intention to the best of my ability. Here are my favorite art journal pages either because of content, execution, or a combination of both.
I look forward to our continued journey in 2015. I have so much to be grateful for and I thank you for joining me.
I have been out in the world having adventures and have gotten way behind on posting! Please forgive me. Before we left for our adventures I was going to post a few pages but our internet access was unavailable. I had been listening to more Jack Kornfield meditations and the line that really resonated with me is “What would you have to let go of to be at peace right now?”
Here is the page for another gratitude workshop. I have started to make up a stencil and some coordinating papers or other related items to give out at each workshop as a door prize. I’m having fun with it. Next month’s workshop will be using back to school supplies in fun and creative ways with some school supplies as door prizes.
Here is the Thursday before the trip (see the “balance effort and ease” as our yoga class intention) and it included a lot of packing and other preparations. As in the yoga intention, I have to be careful to balance effort and ease with travel and travel preparation so as not to exacerbate my migraines. Having Joanne Sharpe’s Whimsical Letting book provided some lovely moments of ease. I also included the first day of our trip on this page. We started listening to the audiobook of Bill Bryson’s Walk in the Woods. What a great way to start our adventure!
I did sporadic journaling on the trip and I have a lot of components that I need to bring together. I hope to update you on the trip soon!
Today I will let go of too many things on my to do list so that I can find peace. I will make time for meditation after putting a load of laundry in the washer. How can you find peace today?
I have been getting upcycled art pieces ready for a juried show in Madison and it inspired me to use my Thanksgiving book to finish out the year. So each week I am using one page. Here is the page for the week ending today. It has been one of visual and audio arts. It has been super cold (the weather outside has been frightful!) and the kitchen has been so delightful. This year I have been making more cookies than I have in quite a while. Also, I am so happy with the collage pieces that I have finished at the kitchen table. You can see some of them in this collage.
I have also been working with the Director of our local Seippel Arts Center for a Gratitude Retreat we will hold in February. Marq and Mike have been singing and playing so much lovely music.
Here is my page from the first week in December. I really enjoyed the process of layering the handwritten journal entries. It made it easier to just write what was on my mind without having to think about editing or illustrating.
One of my favorite traditions that we have in our family is Game Day. The Friday after Thanksgiving we invite friends and family over for vegetarian chili and fun. We play board games, cards, and electronic games. Friends bring new games to share and this year we encountered Jungle Speed – SO Much Fun! It was such a wonderful day.
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All images © I-Shan Lin
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