For all of my kind, faithful readers, here is a bonus art journal page created last year on a piece of paper. I thought I might frame it, didn’t.
One of the reasons I bought myself a bound journal is because I have so many single pages falling out of books and piles everywhere, and I thought it would be fun to have them all collected in one space.
I taped it opposite today’s page in my art journal. That way I can take it out if I ever decide to do something else with it.
I have to say, I really love the way this looks together. I had no idea where I would be this year when I played with collage last fall. It is all just casting it on the waters and seeing what returns.
I love how this project began and ended with fall-themed scenes.
While the official month of creating is over, by no means am I finished creating. It has been such a fun joy to prioritize making art each day and sharing it with all of you. I have been humbled by your feedback and blessed by your encouragement.
I step into November with deep gratitude and much reflection. Stay tuned to see what’s up next!
Today’s reading in Deuteronomy had the word marryin it. It was in the context of what not to do in a list of regulations (7:3 for the curious), but it was there. Since it is wedding week, I find it kind to art journal marry.
The morning got off to a good start. Phone calls with two sisters, a birthday text and clothing text exchange with another, asking my daughter to take pictures of me in my wedding outfits to send to my fashion advisor. . .
A phonecall at 10:17 alerting me to the fact that I was missing a 10:00 appointment for my daughter. While asking her to snap pictures of me, time was ticking away past when I should have had her somewhere. Thankfully, we were able to redeem some of it as we rushed out the door.
That is what found me cutting and gluing in a waiting room.
Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly, not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. 1 Peter 5:2 NLT
Here is today’s word and page. The verse says it all. This is truly where I am right now in life. Posting this from my phone and signing off to spend the evening with my love, after I read to a child, of course.
The sun and moon stood still in the sky as your brilliant arrows flew and your glittering spear flashed. Habakkuk 3:11 (NLT)
With his own weapons, you destroyed the chief of those who rushed out like a whirlwind, thinking Israel would be easy prey. 3:14, (NLT)
Today was hard to choose. There were a lot of words in Habakkuk 3, but it came down to experiences and feelings that I had this week. Sun. Moon. Whirlwind.
On Thursday while driving my son to school we were caught between a stunning sunrise and peaceful full moonset. In that moment I remembered the same ride the year before. It was a moment that felt frozen in time, and I wanted to mark the feeling.
That is the divide on the paper. The in between.
But I was also so drawn to whirlwind. As I went back and forth, overthinking it, my youngest said, Why don’t you just do them all?
Not sure how I felt about that, I pondered it on the morning dog walk. The feeling of whirlwind was strong, and it was right in the midst of the peace I felt over the sunrise and moonset. That inspired its placement.
Here is the final page with added touches. My kids had a lot of imput like, Watch me suck the light and life right out of the room.
That statement was curious to me. I added the light at the tail, because as the whirlwind draws light in, it spreads it around on the other side.
And, yes, there were references to the digestive system, as well.
My husband looked at the page and asked if it is how I am feeling. Truthfully, yes, it is.
And I am so grateful for a place to create and process the feelings.
We escaped like a bird from a hunter’s trap, The trap is broken, and we are free! Psalm 124:7
As excited as I was about yesterday’s page, I was equally frustrated by today’s. In fact, it was difficult to push through creating and even more difficult to want to write about it. At one point I said, I do not like this at all!
A voice from the other room said, Ohhh, I hate it.
I assured her that hate was a strong word which I wasn’t ready to use. A few minutes later I was ready.
I hate this page.
While reading in Psalms this morning, I was eager to choose a word. It was almost mercy from 123, but when I reached the end of 124, I knew it was bird.An image came to mind that I wanted to create, much like yesterday’s thistle.
I envisioned an open cage with a bird flying from it or maybe a trap or something that looked like a trap with a bird escaping. I wanted to portray being set free and freedom. I also wanted to use watercolors again, because I loved yesterday’s look so much.
It’s today, though. A new day. A different one. What worked yesterday was not going to work today. This became painfully obvious shortly after I painted the background. When I added colorful triangles around the border that I thought would look like a trap, they didn’t.
Glue stick would not work, so I used wet glue. Which smeared the watercolors.
I have lots of ready cut pictures of birds. All perching, not flying. I did not have time to search for a flying bird. I was hoping to get this page knocked out quickly. Instead it was knocking me out.
Looking through my cut pictures, I chose one of the perching birds. I was also drawn to a house shown from the side with manicured shrubs and rose bushes lining its brick walkway. I glued it on. It took up most of the page.
I decided to perch the bird in a tree, so I found some branches and glued them on the page. I cut random parts of other trees for the leaves and perched the bird. This is what my work space looked like all morning. I felt as if I were working upside-down and backwards as I tried to compose the page.
Here it is almost finished. There are a lot of layers.
This is the end result looking nothing like I imagined. I have gone from hating it to tolerating it to loving it. As I study what I was drawn to add to the picture and where I could or could not place things, I see how the bottom and left side are more structured, rigid, and formal. There is movement to the right and upwards where the bird is. This area is less structured, more playful, and free-flowing.
It depicts movement into freedom!
I find my words on the opposite page ironic. This is my style, my touch, the way I show up. And. It’s. Okay. I totally showed up in this space as myself today. I could not hold it back, no matter how hard I tried to do it the right way.
I share this as encouragement to continue to trust the process, wherever you are in it. Today looked nothing like what I planned time wise and picture wise. I battled perfectionism and self-doubt and fear. There was anxiety. Then I stepped away and looked back.
Out in the Lebanon mountains a thistle sent a message to a mighty cedar tree, “Give your daughter in marriage to my son.” But just then a wild animal of Lebanon came by and stepped on the thistle crushing it. 2 Chronicles 25:18 (NLT)
It is 2 Chronicles we are talking about here. I wanted to use the word thistle. That is the only meaning I am taking from this verse other than we are going to absolutely crush the wedding next week!
I also wanted to use the box of watercolors that has been sitting on my youngest child’s bedroom floor for quite some time. I asked her this morning if I could borrow them, and she said yes.
I began with the background building from the ground up.
This is the finished background.
I added the thistle.
I really wanted to use glitter, so I covered the blossom. I also added marker detail to the leaves.
However, I still felt a nudge to more on this page. It is something I have contemplated going back to do on others after sharing them publicly. I wanted to write about what was going on inside of me during the process.
A phone call with a friend this morning prompted me to add more words to the last picture, which is the real finished page. Scroll further.
As I think about art and myself ~ what is me ~ I battle the insecurity that says not good enough or not like someone else’s. This inspired the following words that I transferred from my journal to this page.
What is your style, Dear Reader? It is not mine. My intent in sharing this (rather personal) series of pages from my art journal this month is to inspire you to find your own artistic eye, not to copy mine. It is to share the joy of bringing something from inside of you out onto a blank page and create. It is to help you discover the beauty within you.
Each day I wonder, Is there something more inside of me? What if there isn’t? What if it isn’t good? What if I mess it up?
And each day that I create something the doubt grows smaller and the joy grows bigger.