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Journaling...a process

So, I have a lot of journals. A lot. Like, an entire wardrobe full of them that stands in the corner of my 600 sq. ft condo...seriously. Some say I have a problem, but I say I have a passion, a commitment if you will. I love the potential of a blank page, however intimidating. I love having tangible proof of my thoughts and feelings in a particular moment. Journaling allows me to purge what is going on inside by putting it on a page and setting it free. It's cleansing, it's medicinal and it's a necessary part of my creative life.

It is also really hard! It's a practice that requires a commitment and I am always practicing. I used to think, "Oh my God, I have to get this right because I teach this stuff!!!" Well, what I didn't realize was that all the while I was comparing my work to others who were knocking their journal practice out.of.the.park. .... was that my style was just what it needed to be.  Because, drum roll please, it was MY style, and that is the whole damn point! I mean, emulating another persons artwork is flattering and a common way artist try learning new techniques and can help to expand their vision. But to expect my work to look like others while strangling my own creative voice was exactly what I was teaching my students NOT to do. Exploring my own style and finding my journal, "Language" as I call it is what this process is all about for me. I believe the use of journals is a portal into so much more than visual imagery as well. At times it can be a meditation, a release, a catharsis of words that you later burn!!! Journals hold whatever power you put in them and hopefully you allow them to empower you back. 

Here's a little step-by-step view of a journal spread I did last summer. I used an old planning sketchbook from school, (I always re-purpose them because the paper is just too good!) acrylic paint and gesso to cover the writing, various ephemera for collage material and my old standby, a Sharpie! I hope to post more of these step-by-step posts soon! I'd love to hear comment and am happy to answer any questions about this or any of my processes! Cheers! Amy~

A cropped view of the beginning...covering the old surface with a layer of gesso, then color that works as underpainting.

A cropped view of the beginning...covering the old surface with a layer of gesso, then color that works as underpainting.

Final surface prepped and ready. I don't now if the blue with show through, but it's there if I want it to.  

Final surface prepped and ready. I don't now if the blue with show through, but it's there if I want it to.  

I collect images from magazines constantly. But when I saw this headline about Paul McCartney performing for 3 hours at the age of 71, I had a reaction. The lotus bloom on the bottom right is actually the inside of a Yogi Tea box...who knew! 

I collect images from magazines constantly. But when I saw this headline about Paul McCartney performing for 3 hours at the age of 71, I had a reaction. The lotus bloom on the bottom right is actually the inside of a Yogi Tea box...who knew! 

The final product. ROCKSTAR!  After gluing the pieces down I go back and forth with additional gesso to blend edges and make space to write and draw. Then the Sharpie comes out. I'd been having a hard time tapping into that which really made me feel joy in my life...and when I saw Sir Paul I was so inspired by how he so easily embodies joy by doing what he does best. We all know we've seen people like this...and it's what I aspire to. Point the way~

The final product. ROCKSTAR!  After gluing the pieces down I go back and forth with additional gesso to blend edges and make space to write and draw. Then the Sharpie comes out. I'd been having a hard time tapping into that which really made me feel joy in my life...and when I saw Sir Paul I was so inspired by how he so easily embodies joy by doing what he does best. We all know we've seen people like this...and it's what I aspire to. Point the way~