Sunday, July 23, 2006

#21 Create and Fill an Art Journal & #36 Create and keep a spell/prayer/magic book

I am so excited that I put these activities on my 101 List and have learned so much from doing them. I should confess that I combined these two activities. If you're anything like me, you have about 5 to 7 different journals for different purposes, probably some more empty journals waiting in the wings and you still lust after pretty blank books you see in the store. I had one book for things I was grateful for, one for things that made me happy, one for ideas, one for self-development exercises and most recently, one for wishes. I was feeling a little overwhelmed and very fragmented. I decided to keep everything in one place.

With the art journal, one of the promises I made to myself was to not take myself too seriously and to just try stuff. I have had the most fun just painting pages and pages of backgrounds. I tried different things. I tried watercolour inks. I tried acrylics. I tried gesso with watercolour ink added to it (my favourite). I tried crayons. I tried pastels. I tried collage. I tried little kid paint. I tried gel medium. I tried gel medium tinted with ink. I tried sparkle glue. I glued in a page from a magazine that I thought was beautiful and wrote all over it. If I loved doing something I did page after page after page of it.

I dedicated 2 pages to each day. Often I had a picture on the right and writing on the left. If something caught my eye, it went in the book for that day. On this page above, the beautiful, intense red seeds at the top right were picked up when I walked home the day that public transit was on strike. If I had a souvenir from the day, like a train ticket or a postcard, I pasted it in.

Then every day I wrote the highlights. What was the one thing I wanted to remember from that day? What was my favourite part? I didn't go crazy with detail just "Highlight: discovering black olives are delicious in spaghetti sauce." I also wrote what I'd like to acknowledge that I accomplished that day. Sometimes it was as dramatic as "I handed in my resignation," and somedays it was "I did my laundry." And I wrote some things that I was grateful for, "I am thankful for pink sparkle glue. I am thankful for raspberries for breakfast."

And then, the wishes. This is the spell/prayer/magic part. Every day in my art journal I confide in the universe what I'd really like. I decided not to put any limits on what I asked for. Every day it might be different. I could ask for something big or something small. I could ask for 10 things, or I could ask for one. I would write it in my journal and then let it go, trusting that the universe had listened and would see what she could do. And when it shows up, I make sure to say thank you in my book too.

I also tried to leave judgement at the door, noticing when suddenly I thought maybe I was asking for too much or troubling the universe about trivial things. I just decided to go ahead, be honest about what I wanted and ask away. So yes, I want a thriving practice that fulfills me personally and financially, I want for my loved ones to be healthy and happy, and I want white dishes* and for my tummy to feel better. It felt great to just allow myself to want what I want and to let that be okay.

So tomorrow, a new journal begins. I've decided to try a bigger format, which intimidates me a bit but also frees me up. I can always decide to only use half a page if it's just that kind of a day and 5 pages if it's that kind. I'm learning about myself as a person and as a creative being. I'm experimenting with and learning about art stuff. And I'm enjoying every minute!


megg said...

WOW - I am SO inspired. I wonder if we are not watching crucial parts of your practice emerging. I am so scared of starting any sort of art journal, but I think I could trick my brain into keeping a spell/prayer/magic book!

I laughed when I read that you had so many journals going at the same time. I am the same - and the thought of whittling it down to two is very liberating for me! I am definitely inspired - as always!! xoxoxoxo

Shannon said...

Go Jamie!!!!

This is so amazing and inspiring to hear, and see! I know yiou have been working on this a lot and it sounds like you have come up with a wonderful journalling & spell/prayer/magic book experience and process - go you!!!

Jessie said...

I love reading about the details of your journal. Like Megg and Shannon, I too am incredibly inspired! Yesterday, while packing, I found one of my Artist Way journals. At the time that I wrote it I thought it was a bunch of garbled crud. But looking back through it I am amazed by how well I captured what my life was like at that time. I love journals. They have the potential to hold everything.

and btw, yours is beautiful.

Eliza said...

I've started to keep a journal offline in addition to my online journal but I'm very tempted to start an art journal after reading some of your beautiful entries here.

Alexandra S said...

I am SO inspired by this idea i can't tell you. I am going to start one now. Ordering the paper from Basic Grey and am going to make a cool little cover and start writing and validating and asking this generous, wide universe for help.

deirdre said...

This is such an inspiring idea. I have so many partially filled notebooks and several more waiting their turn. Now I have ideas spinning in my head.

miss*R said...

oh, how I need you for a life coach or mentor xoxo

miss*R said...

it's me again :) - I have thought about this post all day. Your journal and how you go about it.
I get so anxious with journal keeping, I want to keep it all in one place but there is always a niggling voice that is telling me that I am doing it 'wrong' (ego) and I am not sure of how to ask. Is using the word 'want' ok.. I am never sure. thanks for the inspiration, Jamie xoxo