Joy Journal Project Assignment #3

I thought this day would never arrive. I was ready for this last week. Finally!

For those of you just joining us, this project has a wonderful mix of experienced art journalers and those that have never approached journaling in this way. I have laid out detailed instructions, but please take the liberty of altering/adding/subtracting to any portion of this assignment. If any step leaves you with questions, would you let me know?

And a reminder: your self critic is not allowed here. If you feel yourself judging your pages, shush that critic and allow yourself room to play. If you find yourself getting frustrated, make yourself a delicious tea, take a walk, read a book, or listen to some of your favorite music, then approach your pages fresh.

With our past assignments, we have focused on appreciation of a person in our lives, and a reminder to find that place of quiet. This month the focus will be on self. Stop for a moment and recall the things that delighted you as a child. Are they really different than the things that delight you now? Find a joyful connection with the childhood you. What makes you who you are? If you were to tell a story about your childhood that would help someone else know who you are, what would you tell that person? Allow yourself to ponder and perhaps even write out some memories.

Before going to our journals, I want to give a shout out to Jessica Herman Goodson, a friend I met at Artfest 4 years ago. She is an avid and wonderful art journaler. I was inspired by her latest project published in Pages magazine and have tweaked it to fit our purposes for this assignment.

The first thing that I would like you to do is gather your art supplies around you, pull up a chair, and sit quietly for about 5 minutes. Breathe deeply and slowly. Closing your eyes can also help in removing distraction. Think about the beautiful character traits that come so easily to you. Quiet.

Then here we go:

#1 If you’d like, slip some waxed paper underneath your pages to protect the rest of the journal.  Cover the journal pages with gesso.

#2 Collage one page. Apply gel medium to the back of the collage paper, utilizing your old magazine as a disposable surface. Press onto journal page and scrape with plastic card to remove any air bubbles.

#3  Intuitively pick paint colors. Grab what draws you at the moment. Squirt a few drops randomly on the page. Paint freely without too much thought or direction, leaving room for more colors. Add a couple more colors. If you would like the colors to blend, don’t allow the paint to dry in between colors. If you would prefer the colors not blend, allow each layer of paint to dry.

#4 Add additional marks with paints and markers. Play. Don’t worry about placement or whether it all fits cohesively. Also, on each page, write a word or phrase that defines a quality of yours, or that shares something about your being.

#5 Continue in play, adding elements to the page. Just have fun.

#6 Place a silhouette of your face down on the page. Paint around the head, holding the paper in place with your hand.
Note: To have a silhouette of my face, I had a photo of myself taken while I was standing in front of a window, so it would be high contrast. Then I just adjusted the photo to several different sizes before printing on regular copy paper. (I also “erased” much of the image before printing so as to use less ink. That is why my image is white in the center. This is totally optional.) When you cut out the silhouette image, be sure to save both the head and the “stencil” you have created.

#7 Here I added another light coat of paint and the blotted the excess away. You do what feels good for your page.

#8 Lift the silhouette and set aside.

#9 Add a silhouette or 2 or 3 to the opposite page. Here I used a smaller silhouette as a mask and painted around for one head, then used the stencil from a smaller cut-out silhouette to add smaller heads on the page.

#10 Here’s the pages after adding silhouette images with paint. Now begin to play again. Have fun adding details, making marks, journaling if you’d like.

Here’s my page as it rests now. I may add more details and continue to play with color. This page tells a story of how I thrive on change, but also find how there are many things about me that are constant, like my compassion for the broken-hearted. The mark making on this page is very personal to me. The orange doodle on the right page that is still seen as part of the silhouette was taught to me by a dear grandma-type person in my life. She’s also the one that taught me to make paper boats. I have found myself doodling this pattern repeatedly throughout my life.

I would love to see your pages and hear your stories as well. Please connect by:

  • leaving a comment with a link to your blog post -OR-
  • joining the facebook group to share photos and stories

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