Sometimes, to ‘loosen the ligaments’ of my creativity, as Virginia Woolf once wrote about keeping a written diary, I pull a card from a creativity deck such as Julia Cameron’s, The Artist’s Way art cards. Or, as I did yesterday, I pull one from the cards I recently created for the art journaling classes I am offering both here in my Wild at Heart Studio and Kensington Art Supply.
The cards I created are mostly single words meant to spark creativity through association and stimulus of non-linear thinking.
The first word I pulled yesterday was ‘Earth’. When I let myself become present in the word, I saw (in my mind’s eye) the big ball of the earth spinning through space. I also saw the sky, greenery, water.
Wanting to deepen my journal process, I pulled two additional cards: Explore. Heart.
And then… the fun began.
As this art journal is an example of ‘the possibilities’ for my art journaling course on Nov 19, and each two-page spread uses a different medium(s), this page was to demonstrate the possibilities of using only one medium – ink.
I dropped some yellow and blue inks on the page, squirted some water at the inks, brought the two sides of the book together and squished the pages against one another, á la Rorschach. Next, I took a damp paper towel and moved the ink out towards the edges of the pages, as well as pulled off some of the ink onto secondary sheets of paper I always keep on hand, just in case. In this case, because I had too much ink on the pages, I needed to remove some of it. (The extra sheets will become part of some other art expression.)
All of that was done intuitively. I had no ‘plan’ when I began. I didn’t even know the colours I’d be using, just the medium.
And that’s the point of art journaling. It’s not about ‘making art’. It’s about expression.
In this case, two things happened as I kept creating. 1. I collaged in some papers I liked.
2. I used a stencil of the world to connect to ‘earth’ I wanted to use orange ink but didn’t have any spray orange ink so, I sprayed it with purple ink instead.
Using a black pencil, I wrote along the outside of the map and highlighted the countries and grid with white ink.
My journal page is completed in under an hour.
And here’s the thing. In creating it, I didn’t ‘know’ the theme, nor what the quote would be before I began working. I let the process guide me as opposed to me directing the process.
And yes, there’s a country or two missing from my globe because the purple bled into their space when I sprayed.
It’s okay. It’s not about ‘perfection’. It’s all about expression.
And for me, the reminder that no matter where I am in the world, Love is there too, inspires me to stay with the flow of life. In that space I do not have to consciously trust that Love is underpinning everything. It is a felt relationship I experience as true.
This means, sitting at my desk, I am in relationship with the two squirrels who are making me smile as I watch them chase one another up a tree trunk outside my window while I type. They are also part of Love’s everywhere present, as is the river flowing past and the traffic driving across the bridge and the trees standing tall along the river bank and that person walking across the pedestrian bridge towards Bowness and… you get the picture.
And… I need to say “Thank you Grade 10 typing class”. Because of that experience many years ago, I can touch type today, which frees me to lift my head from my computer screen to watch the river flow past and the squirrels play without having to watch my fingers on the keyboard!)
You know. It’s kind of a magnificent day to be alive today! I’m so grateful.