At the heart of each of us is the divine impulse to express our magnificence in our own unique ways.
It’s just, for many of us, suppression of the magnificence of our self-expression has been a life-long learned practice that began in childhood. So accustomed to its presence, as adults, we do not question its validity, and live unconsciously within the confines of its limiting beliefs.
In the throes of creating examples and inspiration for my November 19 art journalling workshop at Kensington Arts, I am continually in awe of how the muse loves to dance out loud, wild and free in her expression.
Art journalling isn’t about ‘making art’. It’s all about that sometimes silent, sometimes unknown/never-before-experienced inner drive to wondrously, and sometimes what feels like miraculously, give form to our self-expression.
There are no rules. No rights nor wrongs. There is only your own unique self-expression.
For the course, I am building an art journal book from a Hilroy Scribbler — it is an inexpensive way to create an art journal to create in.
Albeit not my favourite kind of journal to use, the experience of working with it is almost magical. It demands I let go of my own preconceived notions of what each page will look like. – It’s impossible to pre-determine anything as every page spread is actually made up of three journal pages glued and taped together — which creates magical little lumps and bumps in the pages that become, of their own volition, part of the finished piece.
Which makes Lesson #1: Let go of expectations.
Lesson #2 is a little more challenging for me. Be willing to go through the chaos without forcing your way back to calmness.
Midway through creating the page spread above, it looked very different.
And then, I added a couple of elements. I overworked the piece and chaos happened.
My initial desire was to admit defeat, tear the pages out and start again.
I had to allow myself to stay present in the wonderment of creating and ‘go with the flow’. As in, pour some paint on the top of the page, spray some water, lift the page up and let the paint flow down and be surprised and inspired by whatever happens next.
The process, when I let go of expectation and my desire to control the outcome, is…
Mysterious. Magical. Expansive. Soul-enlivening. Sense-defying. Joyful.
It is these qualities I am striving to inspire in those who attend my workshop, as well as in all my creative expressions.
That feeling that it’s okay to give up control, to not know the answer, to not have to do it ‘perfect’.
Let’s face it, life isn’t a well-laid out map of perfectly aligned steps built on the premise that ‘this will happen next if I do this now’. Each step creates an unknown ripple effect that cannot be discerned, nor even predicted, until the step is experienced, felt, known.
Life is a magical adventure. An exciting journey of trusting in the wisdom of our hearts, engaging with our whole bodies in the ordinary grace of being present in this moment, right now, embodied, here, expansive and alive.
Art journalling invites us to get out of our heads. It is an invitation to learn the language of our hearts and opens us up to enter the rarified and beautiful air of the present moment where we are free to experience our lives in the wonderment and beauty of divine self-expression.
And it’s a great way to have fun!