Stop and Smell the Roses

StopandSmellI realized last night when I was creating this page that the theme was emerging from an inner desire to be able to just stop. A lot has been going on in my life, all good things, but these things have been eating into the time I spend with my journal. I realized last night that my journal creates a place of pause for me, a haven where I can stop, look, and listen to my heart and soul.

Fall has always been a favorite season of mine since I was a child, but the longer I live in the Pacific Northwest, the more I love Spring! I love the bright vivid chartreuse green leaves emerging from the skeletal trees dominating the landscape all Winter. I love the bursts of color from the early spring bulbs – crocus, daffodils, and soon tulips. I adore the abundance of cherry blossoms, especially the trees that have double blossoms and look like puff balls. I am energized by Spring and restored by it. I think I’m just a bit frustrated by everything (ie. life) moving so fast. I need more time to focus on what is beautiful around me. Art is one of the ways I do that. Working in my garden is another. There are so many opportunities to live and breathe and be. I am full of gratitude and it’s abundant.

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Serenity

SerenityLayers!  Layers!  This page was fun to put together.  I used inspiration for the background from one of Kelly’s pages.  I love the torn look and the contrast with the calmness of the woman’s face.

I put down the shiny blue background paper first and then layered the flowers on top of that on the left and across the top.  Then I glued down the image of the resting woman and added flowers at her head and neck.  I watercolored her lips pink and added pink and yellow to the paper flowers which were originally white.  Once everything was dry, I added a piece of plastic – a repurposed sheet protector across the entire image and then stamped the swirls with StazOn.  I stamped “serenity” as well with the black permanent ink.  Lastly, I journaled.

This page speaks to all the changes that are happening around me and my desire to remain calm and centered through the whole process.

Gratitude

prompt 5For this post, I incorporated the title of my journal “Abundance” into my journaling.  Instructions were to divide the page in half and try using transparency and/or journaling on top of the image.  The hearts and the word gratitude were done in gesso.  A black glaze pen was used to doodle and to enhance the word gratitude.   The rest of the decoration was done using layers of paper and a K & Co. border element.  The image of the woman I saved because I liked it, but had carved out a word from the back of the image for another project, making a rectangular cut across her nose.  So I used this to highlight the word “gratitude” and since I journaled on top of the image, the cut is less apparent.  I think this is a good example of how you can really push the limits of using what you have in your stash.  In the past I would have thrown something like this away, but I saved it and now have been able to use all of it.

Unexpected Subject

prompt 2One of the gifts of journaling, especially when done frequently or regularly, is that it surfaces things that have been lingering in the background. Things that cross your mind for brief seconds or that linger in your subconscious suddenly need recognition. The next thing you know, if you’re working intuitively and you’re open, you’re creating a pieces of art about these seemingly unimportant subjects. Sometimes the subject is something you’ve avoided because it’s painful. I’ve journaled a great deal about my divorce and my pain of loss, but I’ve never created art about it until today.

The prompt for today stumped me since I read it yesterday. I didn’t know what to write about, what images to choose to illustrate my feelings or insight about the prompt. So I opened my box of images and started searching for inspiration. I pulled several and little by little I started to think about memory being the ghost (Kelly’s own example page served as a guide). And I thought about what memories I have that haunt me. Then I found the image of the two people sharing a private moment over coffee and it reminded me of my ex husband and I in the early years of our marriage. One thing I can say for certain is that my love for him was real and true and after all these years, it’s the one thing that I will always have. I have those good memories.

I recently started dating and naturally, this has brought up memories of times long past. Our marriage might have had a dark ending, but there was once a good deal of light. I will always remember those days, those moments. Today this unexpected subject became art.

Lovin’ Orange and Turquoise

This 4×4 canvas piece is my debut back into swapping after a year hiatus.  The swap is from my favorite group “The Swapping Artist.”  Our task – create an original piece of art using only Orange, Turquoise, Yellow, or Green.  Given that it’s February, I decided to go with a “love” theme.  I’ve been doodling a good deal lately, so I created the background with Sharpie on a gessoed canvas, then I painted it using Twinking H2Os on top of acrylic paint.  I used the same kind of paint on the dominos and the detail work is also done with a Sharpie.  Lastly I added the letters to spell “Love”.  Concerned with protecting the Twinkling H2Os from chipping, I sealed the whole thing with Krylon crystal clear sealer.  I will caution – Krylon doesn’t play well with Sharpie.  Thus, some of my details blurred more than I intended.  This might be the effect you want, but I was a bit surprised since I was going for a crisp look.  Overall, though, I’m happy with the piece.

My hiatus?  I bought my first home.  It’s a goal I’ve had since my divorce 8 years ago.  I wanted to have a home of my own and be done with apartment living by 40.  Magically, I achieved this a year ahead of schedule.  I have lots of room now and finally feel at home.