Compare and Contrast

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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:

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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.

Journaling with limited materials

 

the table is ready for us

the table is ready for us

Today we had a surprise…

Usually our journaling days are organized like this: we choose a subject by pulling one or two of the cards we made for this purpose. Then we start working on the subject using any of the materials we have. But this time it was different.

There on the table we found a very limited amount of materials that Jan prepared for us. She also asked us to choose a new place. The day promised to be very unusual!

So each place had a tube of paint and a tool to apply it (a brush, a sponge, a palette knife, a credit card and a roller) and no Gesso! No Gesso?! (Because we use old books for journaling we usually cover the pages with Gesso first)
 

Step 1. Background.

First each of us worked with one color and one tool and then we exchanged them. When all the paints and tools available were used we all had beautiful backgrounds to work on.
For me this limited choice was very good.

And usually after creating a nice background I get stuck because I don’t want to touch it anymore, I like it the way it is and don’t dare to add anything else. So since I was introduced to art journaling I have made several pages that are just backgrounds.

Step 2. Collage.

Jan brought a box full of pieces of different papers. We had to grab a handful of these for making a collage. After playing around for a while I finally got a collage on top of my background.

Then more paint went on top of it and I arrived at the point that once again I liked my page and wouldn’t want to touch it anymore. But that wasn’t the end. Now we had to create a Focal Point.

Step 3. Focal Point

This is something I always miss in my journal pages – a Focal Point. Jan proposed that we drew a face. Oh well here I feel pretty comfortable. I love drawing faces. So I stepped into my comfort zone and drew a face. Now my page started to look more like a journal page.

But we had one more step to go.

Step 4. Writing

Writing is not my thing. Usually I don’t know what to write. And even if I have an idea I think it will look silly. So I don’t write.

But now I had to do it. Jan suggested that we wrote about the process of creating our pages and about our feelings. So I started, and went on and on,.. and when I was finished the page was finished. I did it! I liked my page and I enjoyed the whole process!

Having a little choice of materials at the time and only one task at the time I was able to create my first real journal page!

Thank you Jan so much for organizing this day!