art journal pages from the second half of last year

I mentioned in my last post (or the one before it, whatever) that I had kept an art journal back in summer/fall but then sort of let it go when I got back into painting. Also, let’s be honest- the weeks leading up to the election (and the weeks after) were extremely anxiety-ridden and the idea of working through that in this particular journal (which was something that was a place of reflection, mindfulness, and peace) was too much for me.

The journal wasn’t a scrapbook, per se, because besides some Instax prints, I wasn’t recording life as much as recording my emotions and feelings. I just wanted a space where I could cut and glue and curate. For a long time I thought an art journal had to include some art making ON the pages, but then I realized it can be whatever it is. Since I was doing so much watercolor last summer, I started including scraps of paper that I watercolored on along with collaged bits of ephemera and magazine images and other things I have collected.

I haven’t gotten back to it- yet- but I still am very interested in it and passionate about it. I think now that I am finally getting my painting process integrated (meaning: I figured out a way to explore all my passions- watercolor, acrylic, collage, mixed media, stamping, print making, etc.- and include them into ONE finished project) I will have the head space for going back to art journaling. But I feel no pressure- when it’s time, it will be time.

I thought I’d share some of the pages from the current art journal.

This was as I was recovering from my surgery. The lyrics “Some winters are harder than others” are from an Innocence Mission song (one of my favorite bands – *swoon*) and they sort of followed me all winter as I struggled with my health. So I included them along with the hospital wristband and a photo of the screw that pushed through the side of my foot.


More recovering- lyrics from a Rickie Lee Jones song (“she has been driven beyond all towns and all systems by now, and though it is long past too, far she keep going” – sort of my personal mantra) and a wonderful quote from Rachel Naomi Remen.

(As I look through this now I see a definite theme of healing, and also a lot of hints of me moving towards Buddhism… interesting.)


art journal from 2016

Trying to figure out what was next- I wanted to use the surgery and recovery as a way to really make a fresh start. I had been depressed for literally years (since Delilah passed) and wanted to finally figure it out and break free of that little fog that I couldn’t seem to shake.


The quote grabbed me and now it speaks volumes.


These pages definitely reflect the summer weather- rainy and stormy. I also included some bits from some snail mail, an old stamped image (the Japanese pattern), some labels from washi tape, and a test swatch of my Daniel Smith watercolor palette.


More personal stuff (India.Arie lyrics… from the song “Slow Down”)


Talking about the butterflies that came inside the garden with a vintage scientific illustration.  The flip side of the journal card is:

A collage of little postcard snapshots and a Merri Artist packing slip (watercolors- getting watercolors was a huge part of my summer. So much joy in little tubes of paint.)


Random collage page: watercolor playing, watercolor swatch sheets, some ephemera, a card a friend sent that I wanted to hold on to, a clipping from a magazine, some packaging from a Japanese notebook.


Going into fall and thinking about change and passion… and the idea of rest.


Getting so excited for fall and winter. Packaging materials and my first Instax prints.


VERY happy it was fall. Less journaling and just some collage.


Moving towards more mindfulness.


Celebrating the autumnal equinox. It was still pretty warm here, but ANY change in weather and the cessation of daily rain and storm made me so very very very happy.


The last page I worked on.

So not a lot of “around here” kind of documenting at all. But I kind of needed to turn inward a bit, especially as I recovered from surgery and was trying to figure out what was next for me.

As I look at this, I realize that this kind of journal might be really useful as I work my way through my classes. I have SO much spinning around my head- so many ideas and insights and discoveries and questions- and maybe expressing it in images and bits of words and quotes might help me feel like I’m working through it. Sometimes when I record something in my head, it allows me to let go of it because I know it’s somewhere for me to go and find it, if I need to.

Thank you so much for looking at all this and I hope you are having a lovely, peaceful day. <3