My Book of Days
Last month I decided to start sharing my art journal here on my blog, because in only a year's time it has become such an important part of my creative life and my artistic process. In the previous post I shared my latest spread (you'll find it HERE) and today I'm going back in time to share my very first art journal page from November 2016...
At the time I was getting over a major spell of resistance, and the world was in such a surreal state of confusion and distress... I needed to feel surrounded by love, life and warmth, which is why I temporarily set up a little art corner in our living room, by the fireplace. Kids running around and kittens purring made it all better!
Another thing that really helped me get started was making my own journal: it got my hands moving, got me working, and that in itself was so good. I ended up with a journal that was full of imperfections and love. I had already cut and folded each of its page, I had held them in my hands, stitched them together, and somehow they were not as precious and unknown as a brand new, store-bought journal would have been.
I decided to leave my journal open on the table as a way to lure inspiration back. With my supplies at the ready and my creative space in plain sight all day long, there were no more excuses not to do it! Like for so many things in life, making a commitment is the most important part.
As I revisit this page today, I remember the uncertainty I felt. Will I complete this page? Will there be more pages after it? Can I find my own way of creating this practice? Can I let go of the shoulds and shouldn'ts and the beliefs around what this is supposed to be, how this is supposed to go? Will I feel guilty and disappointed if I let this be buried under so many other projects and demands? Will I quit in a few months, a few weeks? And if so, what's the point of even starting?...
Of course, this was just resistance doing its thing, trying to prevent me from beginning something that I deeply felt I needed to do. And of course those questions became irrelevant the moment I sat down at the table and started gluing down paper, painting and writing. The moment I let go...
Let go. Trust. Immerse yourself in the present moment.
I didn't see it at the time, but the collaged cheesecloth looks a little bit like wire netting, and it feels like this little birdie is stepping out of an enclosure. She stands there on the edge of freedom, full of questions and doubts. But something in her whispers that it's all OK, that she can go at her own perfect pace, that she doesn't need to open her wings and fly just yet. She can take the time to feel and observe, the time to adjust and retreat for a while if she needs to. She's being guided every step of the way...
Now, a year later, I am so glad I pushed past the doubts and completed this first page, the first of many (and yet not so many) more. I have found my flow with this practice and it gives me so much in return.
If you keep an art journal, do you remember your first steps, your first page?...
If you've always wanted to start one but haven't yet, what is keeping you, what are your doubts and questions?
If you've started and then given up for a bit, what has been missing to really make this practice your own, to make it something that nurtures your soul and fills your heart with joy?
I'd love for you to share your thoughts in a comment below! And stay tuned as I share more journal pages and stories in the coming weeks/months.
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Thank you and see you soon!