art journal pages from the last few weeks…

Because I’ve been painting pretty obsessively, I haven’t been working in my “illustrated book of quotes” art journal as much as I would have liked in the last few weeks. But I did get inspired to do two pages, based on some things I have been thinking about these past few weeks:

spirit art journal page
spirit art journal page

This page came together pretty quickly- it was a photo from my planner from last year (Sierra Club weekly agenda) plus a few layers of scrapbook paper. I added a strip of paper from the packaging sleeve from some beautiful paintbrushes Tom got me for Christmas,a bit of ephemera from a scrapbook collection, and a wood veneer.

I don’t love how the quote stamped out because the stamps “overstamp” but the quote is readable, so that’s what matters.

yourself art journal page
“Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly.” – St. Francis de Sales

For this page, I found a postcard I bought years ago from the MFA in Boston. I have a little Iris bin full of different things I have collected over the years- images from magazines, calendar pages, snapshots, postcards from museums, bits of mail, etc. so for every journal page I have a good time digging through it and seeing what images resonate. I layered it with a page from a different old calendar, plus some patterned paper, and a flower from the Maggie Holmes flower ephemera pack (which I LOVE). Instead of stamping the quote, I used letter stickers.

yourself art journal page
yourself art journal page

I REALLY enjoyed making this page- it came together in about an hour, and the whole process from looking through my box of images to layering things and playing with different compositions was really relaxing.


It’s interesting to see how this project, my reading of Mark Nepo’s “Book of Awakening” (which is a book of brief daily readings on things such as serenity and peace and well-being and mindfulness, etc.), and the whole “Peace” being my word for 2015, is all sort of tying together.

As I focus on the theme/word of “peace” I’ll get inspired by an aspect of it, and then that idea turns up in “Book of Awakening” (or somewhere else in life), and then I’ll go and find some quotes about it and feel compelled to spend some time thinking about the idea, which then inspires a journal page.

For example, the last few weeks I have been really thinking long and hard about authenticity and honoring who you are (my whole introvert thing) and how truly honoring who you are and following that path can actually bring a lot of peace to life, AND the lives of those around you, etc.

I’ve also been reflecting on how there’s a misconception that if we’re following our own north star, we’re somehow neglecting the world around us or being selfish or whatever, even though it’s not the truth. I mean, how many of us have REALLY lived 100% true to ourselves for long enough to see what happens if we followed through on being 100% ourselves? Everyone I knew gets siderailed by things creeping in and pushing things off course and the endless cycle of feeling obligation to other things.

So these two pages definitely reflect my desire to live authentically and see it through. I can be a bit of a people-pleaser/do-whatever-it-takes-to-make-people-comfortable-and-at-ease, so these quotes are really important reminders to me.

I know that some people get caught up on the word “perfectly” in the Francis se Sales quote, but to me, the quote seems like permission to be 100% yourself – meaning, if you are true to yourself and your true nature, *that’s* perfection, right there. No one else can be you, perfectly.

I love the idea of being Chel, and being that one thing perfectly. It makes me ask “well, who is Chel?” which then leads me to think a bit about my nature and my preferences and then work on honoring those things in daily life. Letting those values guide my decisions.

The thing is that my true nature really values family, community, and compassion, ALONG with independence and quiet and creativity etc., so “being Chel, perfectly” forces me to learn a balance between things that come naturally to me (quiet, creativity, family) and things that are a bit more challenging (community) but really important to me.

Okay, enough babbling. Off to swim. Thank you, as always, for checking in. Hope you are having an amazing day 🙂

4 thoughts on “art journal pages from the last few weeks…

  1. I have a better idea of who I am than I did years ago, but I still struggle with self-discovery. And I always, always struggle with the idea that who I am right now is not good enough, nor will it ever be. That this “someone I will become” is going to be good enough. But why should she be? I thought years ago that the someone I am NOW would be good enough. It’s a very tiring way to keep thinking.
    I especially love the page with the MFA/Boston postcard. Do you remember who the artist is? It looks very Art Deco/Charles Rennie Macintosh.

    1. It’s funny because in a way when I paint create right now, I feel like I am building a bridge to my teenage self- the one who spent hours in the high school art studio just working and playing because she loved art. Like when I turned 17 or something, her passion ended and it was replaced with “success”. And now I feel like I’m back to being that person, literally spending hours lost in the paint, but now I have more perspective on other parts of my life that hurt so much at the time. I don’t know if that makes any sense…

      I’m pretty sure the postcard was from an exhibit of Japanese Mail Art that we saw while we were there, maybe from a book of postcards from that exhibit.

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