Thursday, 26 December 2013


I made this page in the run up to Christmas at a stage when I simply had to take some time out to restore my sanity.  It appears the Queen and I are at one on the subject of reflection, since this was a strong theme in her Christmas speech.  God Bless you Ma'am, and that's a very cute grandbaby you've got there.

But it was actually one of those times when the page just grew, and I didn't actually know when I started out what it would be about.  I'm genuinely learning to love paint for backgrounds, and the wondrous properties of first adding a coat of gesso - which transforms the rather poor quality paper in my journals into a surface which doesn't just drink paint. 

So I picked out a cheerful colour and splodged away, before diving into my collage supplies to come up with these images - I love these Modigliani ladies, they're a sheet from Ceremony I think, and the square panel is Artchix with its central picture changed.

Noticing the reflective pose, I added the word sometimes ... meaning to write about something else entirely.  However, it got me thinking about how much I need space in my head just to think and be, and somehow the theme then got changed into what it needed to be.  
My subconscious does that to me sometimes, serendipitously mostly, and manages to tell me what's really going on in there that I need to pay attention to.  That's when journalling is at its best for me, listening to that inner prompt and getting down on paper something I didn't know I needed to express until I'd got it on the page.

So it seems that this is what it was really important, amid all the busy stuff that threatens to overwhelm you at this time of year, to take stock and figure out what really matters and what doesn't.  Actually my body was forcing me to slow down anyway since I fell victim to the most awful throat infection/virus, and am only just emerging from its grip.  There are times when God just has to trip you up to make you slow down ....?
And the page ended up a very simple one really, and my usual urge to doodle everywhere had gone away.  Perhaps its just that this basic truth needs no embellishment - it just is what it is.

Hope your Christmas was blessed and special - I like this pause between Christmas and New Year, when the world goes quiet for a while.  Well ours does.  It always feels like a gift to have time off at this stage, its when I get some of my best reflecting done ....

Friday, 13 December 2013


Ever had one of those days when you just want to ESCAPE?  Well this was one of them.  Basically I was feeling like just about ALL the doors in my life had closed, leaving me feeling trapped with no possibility of escape or growth and looking for a window to climb out of.  As always, I worked out my feelings in my journal ....

Sometimes I like to challenge myself by painting a page black, and starting from there, because it forces you to work in different ways.  The page below was just one that I was making without any particular theme in mind - I make a few basic starter pages here and there, and generally come back to them later.
So this was the page I found when I needed an outlet, and the first thing I focused on was the windows in the building, and it just went from there.  The house is from a Dyan Reaveley collage sheet and the strip on the left is from a collage sheet I made myself from magazine offcuts.
So then of course in my usual fashion I started writing on the page what was most on my heart at the time.  Often I don't know what that is until I do it, and you can see the result below.
Recently I bought some more Posca paint markers - I've been picking them up in ones and twos whenever I was in the art materials shop, and they work absolutely brilliantly on a painted background like this - even when its black!
So that's what I used to doodle away in the spaces ... very simple, just dots and triangles for the most part - give it a go.  There's something very restful about just doodling away until it looks "done" and it does help with the angst moments.  I also doodled myself in a window with ladder to make climbing out easier!

Sorry not to have posted for 3 weeks - I'm still journalling, but Christmas is catching up with me fast.  I try to be very organised and ready in good time, ie by the end of November, but there are always last minute things to catch up with, and the carol services etc which take up a lot of time in December are already under way ....

PS I make absolutely no apology for addressing God as "she", its how I think of her.  For a lot of women it works better than the father analogy.  Neither is "right" but neither are they wrong .... and it works for me.