Hi there! Recently, I’ve discovered that I am in the midst of a transition period in my life. I’m moving forward, and growing, and – like everyone! – am finding myself busier and busier.
The other day, I realized that part of my busy-ness is that sometimes I am too rigid or strict with myself. Instead of creating something just for fun, just for the sheer joy of it, I wrap it up in “should dos” and “have tos.” I end up spending extra time trying to make things fit into my pre-conceived little notions of how it “should” look – and end up forcing things.
So, I decided to STOP IT!
My friend, Effy Wild, recently suggested that we all work through Liz Lamoreux’s book called Inner Excavation together. Liz’s book is about combining mixed media art journaling with photography and poetry in a journey of self-discovery. And I found myself wanting to not only document this transition phase of my life, but also to rediscover creating writing and poetry.
Effy is recording videos as she works through the book, and she is including links to videos that Liz created previously. The group is further along than I am, but I am not in a hurry. I am savoring this process and just allowing it to take the time it takes.
My solution? A No Rules Art Journal
What I decided to do is begin a new art journaling project, based loosely on Liz’s Inner Excavation book, but with NO RULES. I want it to be completely free form. My intention is to allow myself some space to create without rules, without “should dos” and “have tos.” To create from my heart, for fun!
Part of my “No Rules” approach is that the art journal isn’t even going to start out as an art journal. I am going to be working on different sized pages and papers, no bigger than 8 1/2″ x 11″. I am going to work on just one page at a time, in whatever way I like. And if I end up hating what I made, I can throw it out or gesso over it and begin again.
The pages that I do like are going into a box for now … and toward the end of my project, I am going to take all the loose pages and arrange them in a way that pleases me. Then I am going to take them to the copy center at an office supply store and have them coil or comb bind the pages all together.
The photo above shows three such pages – a poem, an art journal layout, and a handmade postcard-sized photo print that a friend sent me with her lovely note on the back. All are different sizes, and I see them all working and blending together in my new No Rules journal.
Firm Foundation Layout
My journal layout is meant to compliment a poem that I wrote, about how I am working toward laying a firm foundation for my future. I started with a piece of Penny Black scrapbook paper, cut it to size, and painted a mixture of taupe paint and gesso on top to distress it.
Then I placed the new Notre Dame Cathedral Floorplan stencil from Artistcellar on top. This stencil works more like a mask, in the sense that you use it to block off areas that won’t get color – instead of adding color through the design. I applied Vintage Photo Distress Ink over top of the stencil, using a sponge dauber. The result is that the gesso mixture shows through where the stencil was placed.
Next I added the lettering, accenting the larger letters with blue colored pencil so they would pop. And then I added a brick design from a stencil by The Crafter’s Workshop (see current designs available from Artistcellar here).
What about you? What rules are you self-imposing?
Where could you lighten up or loosen up? What self-imposed rules, should dos, or have tos could you let go of?
Thanks for stopping by!