Friday, June 12, 2009

Art journalling

Since my son was born nearly 18 months ago, I am afraid that my long time papercrafting passion has gone by the wayside due to lack of time and opportunity to indulge. Oh, I still get my Scrapbook etc. subscription in the mail, and I am keeping all my supplies and continuing to take photos, but I have pretty much stopped shopping, and haven't completed a single layout for months. I kept telling myself the opportunity would arise again, and maybe it still will, but in the meantime my soul was withering away from creativity dehydration.

Enter art journalling.

For Christmas, many members of my family write wish lists, and post them on my brother's web site, to make shopping easier on us all. I didn't have many things on my list this year, which resulted in getting not one, but two, copies of Kelly Rae Roberts "Taking flight", one of the books on my list. A fabulous, inspiring, tall-drink-of-water book, but I still didn't need two. So off to Chapters I went to exchange the second copy for another book of the same type. I looked through all the scrapping and cardmaking books and magazines, feeling sort of ho-hum about them, and then a new type of book caught my eye: Sharon Soneff's "Art Journals & Creative Healing". I knew Sharon Soneff's name from the scrapping world, best for her Sonnet's line of scrap supplies, and so I flipped through the book, deciding almost immediately that it was the book I had been looking for.

Being the research-oriented kook I am, I had to read multiple more books, magazines, and online articles/blogs on art journaling and altered books before I was ready to put pen to paper in my own version, but during a recent holiday I took the plunge, picking up a spiral bound sketch journal, and a giant jar of gesso at Hobby Lobby. My work is simple so far, consisting of drawing and/or painting with a wide variety of mediums (watercolour, pen, coloured pencil, crayon, oil pastel) and handwritten thoughts. I hope to get into more collage techniques in time, and also complete an altered book honouring my love of children's literature, in a old copy of A. A. Milne's "Winnie the Pooh".

In the meanwhile, I am staining my bedsheets with art supplies, working in my journal before bed a few nights a week. It has proved a wonderful tool for combatting overthinking and negative self talk, and I hope create a record of personal growth (a la Sabrina Ward Harrison). The spin off benefit of beginning this new hobby is that, in addition to meeting my needs of getting messy and making things, I feel more in touch with my inner artist than I ever have, and I am having the strangest cravings to read poetry, or spend a day at the art gallery. If only I could afford real art lessons...

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