I’ve kept a handwritten journal for many, many years. In it are thoughts from my days, trials I’ve worked (and am working) through, ideas and lists, Bible studies and prayers, poetry, hopes and plans and just bunches of stuff that I wish I had from a great-grandma or two regarding their lives, good, bad and ugly. I know some people say that journals should be kept clean, that is, nothing that would cause the reader to see the ugly side of the writer….but I don’t see the point of that. I *do* have ugly sides to me and I praise God for picking on those areas to refine.
Lately I’ve been intrigued with keeping an art journal, one that would allow me to incorporate more of the artistic side of me. But, as some people see a blank page and have “nothing” to write, I have the same issue regarding art. I *know* I have an “artistic side” because God, in whose image I am made, is the creative Creator of everything. So I think I need to dig it out a little, this bit of creativeness, cultivating mustard seeds that may lie latent.
There are a lot of online drawing, art, journaling (you name it) classes. I took one last winter in person, which was a stretch but I enjoyed it. Since then I’ve collected a number of mixed media art books and find myself loving them, the mix of drawing, paint, and words. My goal is to combine my writing and my art, each one reflecting and supporting the other. I think, perhaps, these will be treasured by some young lady a hundred years from now, and if not…well, the process grew me.
Here is a peek into my (first!) art journal, and the things I have done to conquer the blank page in front of me. I’m not going to pretend to be humble because truthfully I am pleased that I took the time to try something new, and I know if I keep at it, it will just get better in time.
I am very interested in God’s creation, love learning about botany, and use herbs a lot in my home. Learning to draw plants has given me a more observant eye to a whole lot more than just flora and fauna. No matter the season, there is always something that can be drawn.
I read years ago about the idea of illustrating sermons from The Hidden Art of Homemaking, but it wasn’t until I was going through that book with my small book group that I actually tried it. I find it incredibly useful for explaining the sermon to my toddlers as they listen in the pews with us. Furthermore, it is quite the brain-stretcher for ME, too, trying to translate spoken words into illustrations. I get lots of my own thoughts and questions during the sermon and can add those too.
I’m finding that art journaling doesn’t have to depend on my own talents (YAY). Like many of you, I love visual representations of handwork, gardening, homemaking, and so forth. Pinterest isn’t popular for nothing! I decided that the collection of pictures I’ve been saving from magazines and so forth would be great to put into my art journal. It moves them from the realm of clutter (or even filed away) to a place I can enjoy and look at often. Here I was still learning how to glue down pictures without causing bubbling. Like I said, “journaling for beginners.”
I finally decided to try the whole enchilada, mixed media bit. I used an old torn up Curious George book to cut into, and combined paper, paint, pastels and stamps (and I don’t even remember all else) for these pages. I feel this is the first set of pages that come close to combining my writing (which I haven’t added yet) and art. Because, like George, I have much to frighten me (another birth–what, am I crazy?, the political world, mean folks, the grotesque evil in the world, our nation’s moral and economic decline…..you know, the same ol’ things since the fall of man…). And yes, like George, I am holding on very tight (but to God!!). Through it all, I am “learning to fly”, learning to trust in God’s sovereignty and goodness in all things.
So, here are the last two pages I’ve prepared, ahead of time, for any writing to follow. I have a “blue” page, and a “pink” page, ready for this baby to come. My plan is to get this baby’s foot print on whichever page is most appropriate, and then write there about the birth. Who knew that nesting would include getting art journal pages ready, too?!
That is all for today. Tomorrow is my “official due date”. Now I am heading outside to sit in a chair in the glorious sunshine to keep my family company while they complete the first of two more pastures for our dairy goats. And I think……I think I shall take along my art journal, too.