Art, art journal

Symbol Dictionary

I have been working through Effy Wild’s May FB Wilderhood challenge which includes creating my own personal symbol dictionary, but also exploring what symbols mean to me personally. As part of that process, I signed up for Tangie Baxter’s Symbology Project Workshops and have been doing one page a day. I’ve always wanted to learn more about symbology, but always felt too stupid to “get” it and had a lot of trouble trying to keep what all those symbols were supposed to mean in my head.

So, I’m really loving exploring my own personal meaning through the course instead of researching what something means through researching it in someone else’s book or on the internet. I’ve found that these symbols hold very deep personal meaning to me, which I had not been aware of before, and it makes me feel like I “get” it now on a personal level. It feels good to know there is no need right now to research what others think about a symbol in order to get it “right.” The process has added an entirely new layer to my life and my work.

Below is my take on the symbol dictionary Effy created in her class. I LOVE how it turned out. It has my favorite colors and textures and includes a lot of the symbols that show up in my creative work again and again. I’m planning on adding it to the front of my Moonshine art journal soon, but I love looking at it every day on my art desk. For the amazing texture on the folders, I used two of my favorite Sarah Trumpp stencils along with acrylic paint. The folders are made out of torn sheets of watercolor that are stitched together. The cards are made out of watercolor paper that I painted with acrylic on one side and watercolor on the other, and then cut out with decorative scissors. Then I used stamps or hand drew the symbols that show up most often in my work. The total size of the dictionary is 8″ x 8″.

Art, art journal, journaling, writing

A Different Way to Journal

As the novel writing, revising, and editing has taken my over my life, I’ve had to rethink the way I use my time. One way that used to help me be more efficient was incorporating the Miracle Morning routine and a bullet journal into my daily life. Unfortunately, I stopped using the routine and bullet journal because I allowed someone else’s opinion about using them usurp my own needs. However, something I have been working on lately is listening to my inner voice until I can hear it louder than any of the other voices/opinions vying for attention in my head. This  led me back to restarting my Miracle Morning routine and tracking in my bullet journal last week, and it has helped me immeasurably in managing  my time and my stress. It’s helped me so much that it’s left me wondering why I ever let someone else’s opinion convince me to stop.

Part of the Miracle Morning routine is “Scribing” (journaling). I decided it would be cool to write all my thoughts for the week on the same page. Each morning, I chose a different colored pen, and wrote over my thoughts from the days before. The first photo is the result. I love looking at it. It’s mesmerizing. I find it fascinating to see a visual representation of my thoughts, but also a visual representation of the chaos that’s been running around in my head.

Then I decided it would be cool to create a piece of art over top of the writing. So,  I covered the writing with white acrylic paint and then chose Ady Almanza’s Abstract Dreams technique to create art out of my thoughts (second photo). I loved it so much, I have decided to incorporate this art over journaling process each week.

art journal, Moonshine 2019

New Moon Art Journal Spread: Willow in Taurus

Below is my new moon spread for Effy Wild’s Moonshine 2019 course. I had a vision of a goddess pregnant with the earth, infusing it with magick. I’m not sure if I exactly captured that here, but I definitely tried my best.

For this spread, I used Daniel Smith watercolors, tombow dual-brush markers, Faber-Castell PITT artist pens, and white and gold acrylic and gel pens. The willow leaves were inspired by Effy Wild’s full moon lesson, and I used a crystal sticker from Sarah Trumpp.

Art, art journal, Sketchbook Revival

Sketchbook Revival 2019

Last year, I decided I was done with writing. I was tired of always talking about writing a book, and then never following through. So, I decided to just give up. It was right about that time that I came across Karen Abend’s Sketchbook Revival. There are not words to express what an impact taking part in Sketchbook Revival had on my life. Since participating, I have created something every day for a year. In fact, taking part in Sketchbook Revival is what eventually brought me back to my writing. If you’re interested in participating, the 2019 session has just started, and it is free! You can sign up here.  If you’re worried that you are not artistic enough, just know that I could not even draw when I participated, and somehow, the exercises awakened a creative part of myself that I didn’t know even existed. So, if you have ever wanted to develop a daily creative habit, I highly recommend participating. I am eternally grateful to Karen Abend for creating such a wonderful, safe environment to allow everyone to spread their creative wings.

The first sketchbook page below is continuous line portrait drawings from Koosje Koene‘s session Portrait Party. One thing that I love about the Sketchbook Revival sessions is that they are so much fun. This was no exception.

The second page (second/third photos) are sidewalk crack animals. Yep! That’s right. In Carla Sonheim‘s session we made animals out of sidewalk cracks. So. Much. Fun! I  imagine my son and I will have a lot of fun doing this creative exercise over the summer.

The third page is filled with magical mindfulness houses from Tamara Laporte‘s session which really did help me relieve some overwhelming stress I was experiencing this morning.

I’m hoping to keep up with all the sessions this year, and to share my progress here.

Art, art journal

Full Pink Moon 2019 Art Journal Spread

I’ve been participating in Effy Wild’s Moonshine course since January. I love how it’s helped me become more aware of the moon’s cycles. I’ve noticed that since I’ve created a ritual around creating at new moon and full moon each month, I receive visions tied to them each month. When a vision comes to me, which usually happens a few days before new moon and full moon, I try to get down a rough sketch, and then I just let my mind work for the next few days on how to translate what I’ve been shown onto paper.

Below is my full pink moon art journal spread. It is a bit different than the vision I received. In the vision, I saw a woman curled up inside the center of a fully-bloomed rose which was encased in a full pink moon. For this spread, I covered the page with gesso. Once dried, I sprayed it with water and added several different colors of Brusho crystals. I then created a moon mask with cardstock and painted the remainder of the page with black and payne’s gray acrylic paint. I sprayed gold and white acrylic ink on the background once it was dry. I then applied a stencil from Sarah Trumpp with gold acrylic paint to add texture to the moon. Adding the curled form in the center was difficult. I ran into a lot of issues with pens that would not write on the surface, and so it took several tries to get her to a place I was okay with. I traced her image onto the moon using carbon paper, then tried to outline her with white which didn’t work out very well. So, I painted the image with black acrylic, and then tried once again to outline her with white. It still didn’t work out. I took a baby wipe and wiped most of what I had done away, and then added the same stencil image with gold acrylic as I had added to the moon. That left her looking a bit snakish. So, I took a gold gel pen, outlined her, and then started to outline some of the markings from the stencil, and that created an image that I was really happy with. Since this moon was a full pink, willow moon, I added willow leaves with a stabilo-all white pencil, so they would be less prominent than if I had used a gel pen. Overall, I really love how this spread turned out.

art journal, Daily Art Devotion

Daily Art Devotions: Day 40

I did it! I completed the 40-day #DailyArtDevotions Art Journal Journey with Elizabeth Foley. I have enjoyed expanding my creativity with the daily prompts. I really enjoy flipping through the journal and looking at everything I’ve created. I do still have to paste into the journal some of the entries that I created on separate paper. Along with those I’m going to add some other pieces I’ve created these last forty days, and I believe those together will fill up the entire book. Yay!

So, what’s next? Well, I’ve made a commitment to once again return to finishing my novel. I’ve joined a six-week writing program that offers support, structure, accountability, and fear busting so that I can fulfill my one main goal this year: having a polished first draft of my novel completed by 12/31/18. This novel continues to call to me no matter what I’ve done over the last seven years to avoid writing it. It’s clearly a story that must be told.

I don’t know how much art I will be doing over the next six weeks, but I am considering doing a short blog post each day to share my favorite line from that days writing. I realized today, as I was speaking with Elizabeth Foley, that I love art so much because of the connections I’ve made. Writing is a lonely process and there isn’t a beautiful piece of art to share at the end of each day. Connections get lost, and since I’m already fairly isolated, losing those connections is difficult for me. So, I will have to come up with a creative way to connect even while dedicating myself to completing my novel.

For the final day of this art journal journey, my page represents the gift of gratitude. I put gesso on the page first. Then I filled the entire page with what I’m grateful for in turquoise ink. I then added more gesso and some gold acrylic paint and used a brayer to spread them both across the page. I then added some Brusho Crystals in red and violet and sprayed them with water. Once the background was complete, I added my present made with cardstock with an embossed mandala (which is the first time I’ve embossed anything! Woohoo!). I then added a bow on the top with gold ribbon. And my gift of gratitude is complete as is this special journey ❤️