GetMessy1000px

Get Messy Art Journal: 2

This second week of my art journal was both more relaxing and more challenging. I liked my first pages, and so this time I dealt with a small bit worry about “living up to them” in the second go-round. But it was easy to get over–pages need to be done, not perfect. Also, I felt freer to explore the materials however I wanted to. I got messier. And it reflects this tumultuous week very well.

gmajc2 1

I’m happy to say, in the process of making these pages, I wrote my first two poems in almost eight years! Creativity breeds creativity.

gmajc2 1 1

Nothing went wrong with my week, per se. But the job situation in this house has been quite a rollercoaster, and some of the feelings I’ve had have been dramatic. It definitely helps to know I’ve got a partner supportive of my career and creativity.

gmajc2 2

I tried to capture both the moments of calm and the days of intensity.

gmajc2 2detail

We have a cozy home, and it’s a refuge from the serious-business things we’re working out about the place we want to create for ourselves in the world.

gmajc2 3

Some days have really called on my inner resources.

gmajc2 3detail

All in all, this has been one of those summers where I got all ready to put my feet up, and instead had my socks knocked off. Can’t complain, though–it’s been a rocket of personal growth, career insight, exciting plans, dramatic realizations, and deep love. I know I will look back and be eternally grateful for the visual record of this art journal.

Here are my tips for documenting a turbulent week in an art journal or a scrapbook:

1. It’s okay to be oblique. You don’t have to describe exactly what happened, if you don’t want to. It’s not the same as vagueposting–this is for YOU, and the combination of words, pictures and colors will be enough to remind you of how you felt.

2. Conversely, feel free to be as explicit and descriptive as you like. If the image or words on the page seem too stark, try painting over them with a thin wash of color, partly obscuring them with a photo, or using paper and washi tape to create a “cover” that must be opened to see the story.

3. Let yourself go. There’s no need to contain your feelings into the style that you’re used to. The very purpose of the feelings that you’re having may be to broaden your style!

4. Some good art materials for intense emotions are acrylic paint, graphite sticks for scribbling, sandpaper to “open” the page, and india ink to create a feeling of boldness.

5. If you make your art journal page, and still feel that it’s too personal to deal with on the daily, don’t tear it out! Use some tiny tape rolls around the edges of the spread to hold it closed in your journal. That way it can still be there, but you won’t have to see it–and nobody else easily can, either.

Above all, love yourself for what you let yourself create. Authenticity is gorgeous.

***

GetMessy_1000x297

Get Messy is an art journal challenge where a gang of crafty vixens are sharing art journal pages we have created to practice our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. We share our pages without restraint every week, and once a month we create around a prompt. Go check out these crazy talented ladies who are creating pages who each have a unique perspective and style. We will be sharing our work around social media so follow the Pinterest board and the Instagram hashtag #getmessyartjournal.

summer books2

Summer ’14 Reading List

At the beginning of each season this year, I’ve set out a stack of books to read over that span of months. At the end of the season, I write a review post about what I thought of each book.

I tend to read faster when I’ve given myself an “assignment”. All those years in college gave me the habit, I suppose!

Here are the books I’ve been reading this summer:

summer reading 2014

The Secret Circle Trilogy, by L.J. Smith (author of The Vampire Diaries). This is a re-read for me. I first found and loved these books back in the 90s. It’s a lovely story about a coven of witches in New England.

A Natural History of the Senses, by Diane Ackerman.

The Power of Myth, by Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers. Another re-read of a book I loved in high school. Everything you ever wanted to know about mythology, psychology, and archetypes. Amazing stuff!

I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was, by Barbara Sher.

Being, Belonging, Doing: Balancing Your Three Greatest Needs, by Ronald Potter-Efron.

Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon.

Artist’s Manual: A Complete Guide to Painting and Drawing Materials and Techniques, by Angela Gair and Chronicle Books.

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, by Steven Pressfield.

Letters to a Young Poet, by Rainer Maria Rilke.

The Air Conditioned Nightmare, by Henry Miller (not pictured).

I love to read, and I’ve been trying to making more time for it. I got a little burned out on reading while I was in grad school, and I’ve averaged only 5 books a year in the years since. 2014 has already knocked the socks off that limit. I might be ready to go for the big 5-0 next year. We’ll see!

gmajc supplies 5

Get Messy Art Journal: Supplies

With only two days until Thursday’s Get Messy Art Journal layout reveal, I thought I’d share my favorite art journal supplies, as well as a sneak peek at one of my upcoming pages.

I’m pretty simple when it comes to a project’s supplies. I choose some tried-and-true things, and whatever other supplies I’m most in love with right then, and attempt to stick to that “limited palette”, as painters call it. Too many options and I get anxious. That might change as I become more comfortable with the project, but right now I’m trying to see how much can be said with the basics.

gmajc supplies 1

What I’m using (approximately clockwise):

  • Quad Rule composition book
  • Tombo glue pen
  • Assorted washi tape
  • Various brushes
  • Black liquid acrylic paint
  • White craft paint
  • Gold acrylic paint
  • Craft knife
  • 3 dip pens: 2 round nib, 1 crow-quill
  • Black India ink
  • Silver, gold, copper and black Sharpies
  • Black photo corners
  • Conte sticks in many colors
  • White Sakura Gelly Roll pen
  • Graphite stick
  • White crayon

gmajc supplies 2

K & Company and Crate Paper pads, and Mi-Teintes art paper.

gmajc supplies 4

Some of the Crate Paper pad selection.

gmajc supplies 5

Some of the K & Company paper pad.

gmajc supplies 3

And I finally found some magazines! I think I last bought a magazine seven years ago–I mainly get media from the good old internet. But these National Geographics I found have beautiful photos, and will go great with my art style.

Finally, here’s a tiny peek at one of the first pages I made for this week’s Get Messy Art Journal Challenge. Full reveal right here on Thursday morning!

gmajc2 sneak

 

***

GetMessy_1000x297

Get Messy is an art journal challenge where a gang of crafty vixens are sharing art journal pages we have created to practice our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. We share our pages without restraint every week, and once a month we create around a prompt. Go check out these crazy talented ladies who are creating pages who each have a unique perspective and style. We will be sharing our work around social media so follow the Pinterest board and the Instagram hashtag #getmessyartjournal.

GetMessy1000px

Get Messy Art Journal: First Pages!

Here are my very first spreads for the Get Messy Art Journal Challenge!

gmajc spread #1

The same evening I joined Get Messy Art Journal Challenge, I started making my first art journal pages in years. I spent the night preparing my journal and gathering supplies, dabbling with ink and washi tape on the pages of the composition book I’ve chosen as my journal. It was exhilarating.

But doubts crept in over the following days. My unfinished pages taunted me. One of the reasons I’m glad I didn’t get accepted to the scrapbooking creative team I applied to last fall, is that I’ve begun to realize that being creative under pressure is hard as hell for me, especially when I know my finished product will be seen. In art school, it was particularly difficult to avoid that problem, as there are so many assignments that almost every bit of creativity is bent towards schoolwork. I quit art school for many reasons, but getting fed up with feeling like a stepped-on tube of toothpaste was definitely one of them.

gmajc spread 1 detail 1

I need structure and accountability to do my best, however. So while I waited until the very last minute to finish this week’s pages, I blessed Caylee and the other women for building a safe space to push past my resistance. I was terrified—what if I couldn’t make anything worth sharing? What if my style was embarrassingly different from the other women, and I didn’t fit in? How awful would it feel to fail right out of the gate, either by sharing crap or by running and hiding? I could hardly figure out which would be worse.

Well, at least I’m not running and hiding.

gmajc spread 1 detail 2

And I like both what I made, and the fact that I made something at all. Take that, fear.

gmajc spread #2

gmajc spread #3

gmajc spread #4

gmajc spread #5

***

GetMessy_1000x297

Get Messy is an art journal challenge where a gang of crafty vixens are sharing art journal pages we have created to practice our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. We share our pages without restraint every week, and once a month we create around a prompt. Go check out these crazy talented ladies who are creating pages who each have a unique perspective and style. We will be sharing our work around social media so follow the Pinterest board and the Instagram hashtag #getmessyartjournal.

GetMessy1000px

Get Messy Art Journal Challenge

“I’m not an art journaler,” I said.

“I’ve tried this before,” I said.

“How many notebooks do I already have?” I said.

Resistance is futile.

For weeks I’ve been following the blogs and Instagrams of the Get Messy Art Journal girls, loving their unique visions and talents. The work they do seemed particularly creative, as though they’re not just making art journals, but giving themselves permission to let their books look different from the “typical” art journals one sees.

So I sent an email to the awesome Caylee, and signed up.

I see art journals all the time on places like Pinterest, of course. And while I was in art school, I tried multiple times to keep one. It always resulted in aggravated shame when my notebook never turned out looking “artsy” enough–one of the many ways in which I felt less of an artist, and more like some weird hybrid of designer, writer, and mad scientist.

This is my attempt to finally give myself permission to make an art journal the way I want to, that reflects how I actually think and do things. Some days the “Messy” in the challenge’s title will refer to actual paint splatters and chaos; other days “Messy” will reflect how confusing it can be to not fit in to society’s definition of how an “artist” looks and acts and creates. It’s all creative, and so it’s all good.

Here are some pages of my old art journals, from 2003-04:

black & blue

b & w

will she return

flower

copper & black

***

GetMessy_1000x297

Get Messy is an art journal challenge where a gang of crafty vixens are sharing art journal pages we have created to practice our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. We share our pages without restraint every week, and once a month we create around a prompt. Go check out these crazy talented ladies who are creating pages who each have a unique perspective and style. We will be sharing our work around social media so follow the Pinterest board and the Instagram hashtag #getmessyartjournal.

cutting the other edge

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 226 other followers

%d bloggers like this: