Sunday, 26 April 2015


I'm not very well this weekend so this will have to be a shortish post.  It began as a yellow painted background with a green edge - which I hated, although I liked the stencil and the window image.
So I changed it a bit and gave it a grey edge - and also added the lettering.  One of the reasons we're retiring soon is because its hard for me to get out of the house without help, so I spend far too much time alone and inside.  Rightly or wrongly I sometimes feel cut off from the world (except for the internet) and left out of so much that is happening "out there".
But the next day I looked at this again and saw nothing but a wail of self pity - which will never do! So I pulled myself together and wrote the stuff up the side.  It helped.

I hesitated before sharing this because (obviously) I prefer to share things with a positive message, or that celebrate my victory over something negative.  This sort of does the latter, but the greater part of it arose out of the need to give voice to how isolated and lonely I feel at times.  This is an integral part of my journey and it felt important to share my occasional darkness as well - for me art journalling has to be HONEST, and document both the light and the dark.

Thankfully the lights have come back on but I am in sore need of a long lie down .....

Sunday, 19 April 2015

WINGS ....


OK, so how to explain this one because I'm not sure I can??  Well it began as below with just random circles of pink and lilac shades scribbled on the page with my Neocolour II crayons - I took the picture before I'd hit all of them with my damp/wet paintbrush so you can see the before and after. To begin with it looks like a scribble a child might make, but under the influence of water it just blooms and the colour is "set free" ....
I had no particular sense of direction here so just began to play, adding random bits of collage - this moon face, some wings (from a stamp I have) and stripey legs.
Then stuff started to happen and before I knew it I'd gone and finished without taking any more pictures!  Ooops.  Anyway, I was cutting up a childrens' book from the charity shop and thinking how these grey shapes looked like rocks on the seashore and one thing led to another.  As you can see I've outlined them quite strongly and done all kinds of other pen work - most notably using dots as shading.  I even found some collage shapes that, with a bit of pen work, reminded me of mussels on the rocks.
The lady got drawn on arms, feet and hair, and it was only at this point that I sat down and wrote in the empty space .... and this is what came out!  I surprise myself sometimes I really do, but I love that part of the process of art journalling - just going with it and seeing what emerges.

Now please don't ask me why this poor woman is "on the rocks" so to speak, because I have absolutely no idea!  She actually looks happy enough to be there - wait, maybe she's broken through all the rocks that were in her way and thrown them out to the sides so that she can be free?  I guess you can make up your own mind about that!!

Hope the Spring is arriving where you are - here there are green shoots and buds everywhere, and that wonderful intense lime green of very new leaves.  Lovely :)

Saturday, 11 April 2015


When I started this page I'd been reading a passage about an individual's moment of epiphany (meaning arrival) and thinking that I knew exactly the feelings they were describing because I'd shared them.  So that's what it came to be about ....

It began as swirls of blue and turquoise, with a little bit of collage - the piece in the bottom left corner was actually a huge picture of an eye that I found rather beautiful.
I was busily adding more bits and pieces (and some spiky doodling) when I came across a fragment of wrapping paper with these stars on.  They added a lot to the page, and also to my train of thought.
And that allowed me to get down in words the feelings swirling through my head.  Such moments of illumination are rare in my life - but they turn up occasionally as unexpected gifts, which are all the more precious for being infrequent.  After a few months I can't normally remember the content of such a brief insight, but what I do keep with me are the feelings that went with it, of suddenly seeing how everything came together exactly as it was meant to, and being utterly at peace.
And that was all there was to say - just a reminder to myself whenever I look back through the journal, how very precious those unlooked for moments are.  Yet they aren't something to be grabbed, pinned down under a microscope and examined, rather they are rare shafts of sunlight that keep you going through what can often feel like quite a lot of grey fog ...

So then, having nothing more to say, I just went mad with the stars in the remaining space - the biggest one is a clear stamp . Quite a simple page, but it pleases me because it celebrates something special which, while indescribable, nonetheless remains in my memory as a shaft of illumination and understanding, even if only for the briefest moment.  :)

Monday, 6 April 2015



This is one of those pages I'm really pleased with - difficult to explain exactly why, but I like the shapes and the colours and I'm satisfied with it in some way which is difficult to quantify, but has something to do with having got down on paper what I wanted to say .....

Anyway, it began with paint - just bog-standard acrylic paint, and I then deepened the colour at the edge with a strong pink neocolour II crayon.  I added a piece of patterned paper for no other reason than that the pink and orange look nice together.
And having introduced the orange I went on to add more - from an assortment of collage pieces copied from previous journal pages.  The Modigliani lady just seemed to belong there - almost every page seems to need something HUMAN, whether its a figure or a pair of eyes, just something.
You may notice the grey shadow I added between the above and below pictures - I used a grey Promarker, and it always amazes me how much difference it makes!  I didn't know that I was going to write this until I did - but then again its not very surprising since this is what is most on my mind at present.  Health issues (mine) have led us to the decision to retire early, and while I'm sad to be leaving where we are, I'm also a bit excited about the future and time to be together .... and I WANT to be allowed to look forward to it.
So having said what I wanted/needed to get out of my subconscious, I did the my usual trick of filling in the remaining gaps with this and that - I often use dots as shadows/shading and this time I used the grey Promarker again, and like the subtle effect it has given compared to using black.  The flowers are just doodles to fill up the space.
So there I am - caught between a life that I've loved but can no longer sustain, and a new life of freedom from responsibilities if relative penury!  Fortunately I LIKE beans - we may well have to eat a lot of them for a while - and am happy to get my clothes from charity/thrift shops.  I have a secret slush fund saved up for craft supplies - I definitely can't do without those!!