Tip #136 – Meaning-full Journaling

Do you ever get tired of all the tips, challenges, images, classes that use a straight how-to approach? Like “Use this brush, dip it in that pigment, make this mark…”?  Or maybe a too-limiting “challenge” that really isn’t much of a one?  Do you sometimes just want to sketch or paint what you feel inside, never mind the Golden Mean, or vanishing points, or classical proportions of the human face, or whatever?  Do you sometimes find the rules suffocating? (I do!)  You know the kind I mean–“NEVER use opaque white with watercolor,” “always lead the viewer’s eye through the image,” “be SURE to include context,” and on and on and on?

I believe our art should express something about how we feel, something we’re excited about, something that means something to us.  It should challenge us, make us think, make us happy! We can explore, as we did when we were children, and discover new ways of being.

A few years back, I took an online class that literally changed my life.  It came at just the right time, precisely when I needed it.  It was called Everyday Sacred, and there were exercises/inspirations to explore each day.  Being me, I chose to do so in my journal, as well, and I still treasure the lasting reminders of those images, today.  The class came at a sad, chaotic time in my life, a time with a lot of loss and I believe it pulled me out of a downward spiral I couldn’t seem to halt. The daily inspirations DID just that.  I sketched my dreams, my explorations, my sacred everyday actions — like savoring a cup of tea or making soup mindfully and with attention, gratitude, and love.

Give it a try…go simple or as complex as you like.  Whatever it is you find meaningful, sketch that. Use mixed media, ink, hand-cut rubber stamps, collage, watercolor, colored pencil–whatever suits the subject and your mood.

Try stopping right where you are rather than jumping in with a preconceived plan.  Take deep breaths, look around to see what catches your eye, what meaning it has for you, what questions it may ask — let yourself feel into that image.  Reach deep inside … and begin.

Check out the downloads of books and classes on my website, or give yourself or a loved one a mini-class, available whenever YOU want it — no waiting on my schedule!

I’d love to have you visit my newly re-born artist’s blog, my Etsy store where I’ll be offering original art, prints, and more, or drop by for a visit on Facebook! Check out my YouTube videos for lots more art tutorials.