More Visual Journaling . . .

This week’s workshop was a winner. Finally, someone was able to explain and demonstrate how in the heck art journalers create those fabulous layered pages I have always admired but never been able to create on my own. Thank you to Karen Dawn for putting together this Visual Journal Meetup group in Edmonds, WA. If you are curious, the technique depends on using very thin, tissue paper like layers, stencils, spray bottles of ink and acrylic paint, patience, and, at least in my case, that reckless (lol) spontaneity that young people seem to have in spades.

IMG_4252The finishing touch on my collage paper is the white drippy stuff that runs from one corner all the way to the focal point. Across from me at the table this week was a young lady (maybe 12? or so); when I tried (oh so carefully) to add a couple of drips of white acrylic liquid to the paper project, she said, “Here, let me show you how this works,” and proceeded to make three LARGE drips of pure white paint onto one corner of the paper. Then we quickly held it up so it ran down in rivulets, and I was left to figure out how to “make it work!”

I think it ended up pretty well for a first attempt at collage. But, more importantly, I was gently reminded how easy it is to take your work too seriously, to forget what it means to play, and that the often the best art comes from working out those ‘happy’ accidents. You should only be so lucky as I was to share your workspace with a child who so effortlessly shatters your pretensions of “making” art.

Visual journaling- my first try

A shoutout to the Visual Journaling Meetup in Edmonds, Washington for hosting such a supportive environment. I spent the better part of two hours this morning trying to tap into something these artsy people call the inner self. Evidently it is a process of self discovery and self expression that even psychologists think may a worthwhile means of increasing emotional wellbeing. Well, I am all for that!

IMG_4200The day did not begin on a particularly auspicious note–I managed to drive off with my morning coffee still perched on the top of the car. So uncaffeinated and a bit nervous I joined a handful of journalers for what turned out to be a feel good morning of playtime with paint, paper, and a pleasant exchange of personal stories. Thank you Karen Dawn and company for making me feel at home, and for giving my overwrought journal page the ultimate compliment, “That’s very . . . creative“. It may not be good art, but finding that creative zone was really my goal.