It was a great pleasure recently to find one of my pages saved in someone's Pinterest folder of art journal inspiration. It also served to remind me of a technique I haven't used in a while - that of drawing wavy lines across the page in which to write.
But first a simple background of lime green paint in two shades, blotted off with a wet wipe to give some interest and texture.
Then came the lines drawn across and the beginnings of some collage elements. I once took colour copies of an old journal in order to re-use some elements in new pages ... and promptly forgot about them. However, this pennant saying "there are times when I wonder" was one of those pieces, and it was enough to get me thinking ... and wondering.
We are at a time in our lives when we're poised between an unexpected calling which will take us on into pastures new, and trying to decide what to keep of the old life we've made here. I know what I ought to do is just stay calm and let things like where we might be going to live unfold, but I'm not made that way. This means I spend far too much time speculating about the shape of the future, and looking back at other times and places to learn what I can from them.
So that's what I found myself doing as I continued into the doodly phase of the process - which actually lends itself very well to the reflective process.
I know I need to learn how to spend more time in the present, just appreciating what is here and now ... and maybe this time of relative uncertainty is a gift in which to do just that?
A perennial problem for me is always wanting to do/be more than my body or mind actually has energy to achieve - so my life is a constant compromise and an exercise in the art of the possible.
I started this page in positive mode by painting it my favourite pinks and blotting it off in places with a wet wipe.
Then it was out with the pink collage scraps tray to begin the creative process. I was trying to avoid the all too predictable route of simply generating a border around the page - with the risk of too many straight lines.
I'd drawn these birds on a master collage sheet, which I then copied so that I could cut out and colour the shapes. Choosing to add the birds also gave my page its theme - expressing my feelings about wanting to fly but being earthbound. You can see once again my favourite technique of outlining shapes in black and adding a grey shadow to give depth.
I ended up with with large gap in the centre of the page, and I just doodled and coloured into that space until it looked "right". I've recently got some water colour markers, and I love the subtle shading they've given me here. I also outlined and added to some of the collage patterns I'd used, to make them more "mine".
It took me a long time to figure out the answer encapsulated here ... that my spirit IS free as a bird, and there are virtually no barriers (beyond tiredness and brain fog) to where it goes. I can still pray, meditate, reflect, learn and grow, albeit slowly ... and I can do all that while my body takes the time out it needs to rest.