Amanda Jolley

Studio Joy


This house is a representation of the way I drew houses as a child. It was really quite fun to bring up those memories of drawing uninhibited. I also gleaned some insight into my drawing and its representation. This page was began late July, and journaled in early August. I never felt it was quite complete, but have moved on, especially after the cat threw up on the page. 😉

I’ve moved on to the grief stage of acceptance. Julie commented, “I hope that you can use your journal to pour out all of your hurts and disappointments… and what you are learning about yourself and God on its pages.” I didn’t receive this comment until after I had been busy journaling. It truly did help, gave me clarity on issues, and also helped to move past that achy feeling.

In The Artist’s Way by Julie Cameron, the author has many assignments, each chapter with a different focus, all with the purpose of breaking free any blocks in creativity, but the morning pages gave me more insight into myself and how I viewed life than any other. From The Artist’s Way website:

Q: Tell me about the two central exercises in the book—the morning pages and the artist dates.

A: The morning pages are three pages of stream-of-consciousness longhand morning writing. You should think of them not as “art” but as an active form of meditation for Westerners. In the morning pages we declare to the world—and ourselves—what we like, what we dislike, what we wish, what we hope, what we regret, and what we plan.

By contrast, the artist dates are times for receptivity, preplanned solitary hours of pleasurable activity aimed at nurturing the creative consciousness. Used together, these tools build, in effect, a radio set. The morning pages notify and clarify—they send signals into the verdant void; and the solitude of the artist dates allows for the answer to be received.

The morning pages and artist dates must be experienced in order to be explained, just as reading a book about jogging is not the same as putting on your Nikes and heading out to the running track. Map is not territory, and without reference points from within your own experience, you cannot extrapolate what the morning pages and artist dates can do for you.

I had been journaling for years, but would edit even my journaling so that if it were read someday, no ill will would be thought about anyone, or any event. I was only letting out the good stuff. With morning pages, it is generally good, but I allow myself to write out negative thoughts and feelings. As I write on, often the source of these feelings comes to light and I am able to resolve the negativity. I am not editing the flow of the writing and have been amazed by what it has revealed.

My husband knows that if I were to die, the journals need to be shredded. Actually I rip out pages frequently and use them in my art. I paint over the pages, but the words often bleed through. If there is anything I don’t want read, I cover it up. Here’s a couple examples of incorporating my morning pages into my art:

With both of these pages, I remember distinctly what is written on the morning pages I used. Often the art itself is the process of dealing with the words that have revealed themselves.

So, I encourage everyone to journal uninhibited in longhand in a cheap notebook. Oh the things you will learn.

amanda ∞

7 Comments on “Acceptance”

  1. Amanda, I am glad your journaling is helping…

    And, I love the last page you posted. I love the colors, your obvious talent, the peaceful bird (she reminds me of the Holy Spirit) and that you took something that was painful and made it beautiful.

    I always find joy when I get to the point of acceptance. But, It is often a hard journey ~

  2. Your pages are wonderful. You are a great artist.
    I am proud of you for finding an outlet. My journaling has been an outlet for me for years as well.
    But I want most of my journals read by my kids. I think they will explain a lot.
    When kids are little they really do not have a clear concept of what adults go through each day. Just providing for them.
    Sending you much love, Nita

    P.s thank you for all the comments you leave me. You are important to me.

  3. ok amanda , i’m not kidding, it seems everytime i’m going through somthing new in life , i get a chance to come and read your blog and it totally goes along with what i’m going through! i just struggle so much with my writing… not that anyone will probably ever read or even look at my books… i k now there’s lots in there that needs to come out. but ive just been making art … not really writing. i think i may have to check out this book! thank you again amanda….


  4. Amanda, The Artist’s Way changed my life. Still, I have never been consistent with morning pages… the inner critic in that area lives on!!! Thank you for the reminder (and also for commenting on my blog)!

    I’m not always consistent with my morning pages either, but am always glad when I get them done. Also, I signed up for a class of yours at Artfest. Your work inspires me. 🙂

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