Compare and Contrast


Art Journal Group

Here is a nice picture of our group working together a couple of weeks ago.  See how tidily five of us manage to work together in a small space.  Compare this image with the photo below:


Art Journaling

This is how my desk looks this morning.  This is more or less how my desk looked last week when I cancelled the group and more or less the same as it was 24 hours after I had tidied up for our last gathering.  In fact, this is more or less how my desk is all of the time.  You see, I don’t play tidily – I never have done.  I am an only child and never had to share my space, so I became used to spreading out, making a mess and working through my muddle.

In one respect, this muddled workspace fuels my creativity.  I find that that I get buried in the pile that surrounds me and draw on whatever is immediately to hand.  In another way, of course, it can be counter-productive.  Mess, as I know only too well, leads to spilled paint and water, splodges on the page that weren’t intended, pages stuck together etc.  You can imagine.  This is my style though – my method.  I have learned to work with it rather than fight it.  The accidents that happen to a page are momentarily frustrating but I have trained myself to accept them and use them as a creative opportunity.

I know my friends in the group accept me as I am and I am grateful for that.  If we are to grow in our creative processes, we must embrace our style and learn to love it.

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About Jan Langford

I've been developing my personal journaling style for a long time.  I started with an old-fashioned children's scrapbook of snippets and later, developed a journal writing voice, discovering how to use it for self-analysis and solving personal problems. In 2006 I started blogging and used it as a combination of the above i.e. a place to gather interesting snippets and a place for working out the personal stuff.  I used it sporadically and on a whim.  I wasn't entirely sure of my motives for blogging and I wasn't concerned whether I had a readership or not. Four years ago I introduced paint to my journals and became enthused with mixed media and visual journaling.  I had no aspiration to call myself an "artist" at that point and was more likely to call myself a witch, or a tarot reader, a back-to-nature smallholder, an ageing hippie, a toker.  One thing is certain. I was then and still am, a retired ex-pat living in central Portugal, struggling with the language and the culture. Things move on, as they do.  I find myself part of a supportive group of developing artists, Art Group D'Acha.  Having dabbled a bit with oils, I've now gone back to basics, learning drawing with Irisha Panteleimonova and leading an enthusiastic art journaling group, which I have wanted to do for some time. If you take the time to read my posts, or to follow our group as we continue to grow, I am very grateful to you.  In return, I will share fragments of myself that I hope will encourage your own inner journeys and help you to develop confidence to be yourself in a society that seems to want bind us in conformity.  

3 thoughts on “Compare and Contrast

  1. I love that mess, Jan! It tells a great story, and looks inspiring! Maybe for a change you should leave it as it is for the group, and see how that affects everyone’s creativity 😉 And about “spilled paint and water, splodges on the page that weren’t intended, pages stuck together etc. ” -those often turn to be Happy Exidents.

    • Yes, you are right, one has to be open to seize the opportunities.
      It could be fun to work in my muddle. Equally, it could be very frustrating for 5 of us to claim space in this work area. Maybe one day, when we both have the time, you will join me like this – just the two of us?

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