AJ daily practice: building pages organically

AJ Daily header2Background: Day by day, I add to my art journal. Over several days I complete a spread. And then I begin again. Some days I spend only five minutes, some days I look up after an hour or more, and some days—yes, I skip. But most days, I art journal. These are my notes where I reflect on my pages and record what I learn. I do not art journal to record time, but to make it a practice to BE in time. Time to be creative, to experiment, to play and to learn. It's a regular date with myself. Like what I used to do on the yoga mat. Breathe. Check in. How are you? How's the universe? What should we create today? 

gift of year

January 2 - 5, 2015

Spread: Gift of a Year One Day at a Time

This page came together so organically. The torn fuschia and green strip of paper top left called to be included with the image of the surprised woman (even though they didn't seem to go together). Then somehow over the days I saw that this spread expresses how I feel about the year as it begins. Remembering that each year is like opening a present—because of course life is a gift. Making this spread was the time I needed to feel gratitude for receiving this gift ...and yet I had no idea that's where this page was going when I started. Completely unplanned! Love that!

How I mixed the media

Dabber and other acrylic paint (non-gessoed page), collage papers, carved and purchased stamps/ink, gel pens, permanent black pens (Micron), stencil

What I like about this page

  • I love the warm color combo of orange and yellows. The background makes me happy.
  • I enjoy the grey-lime green  against that background and then black as a strong accent.
  • Love me my dark black swirls—the swirly January makes me happy and echoes the other black swirls, bringing the spread together in fact (I didn't add "January" until the very end.  I kept wanting to do it, did some second guessing, but the inclination was persistent.)
  • I do like the composition, with the swirly blacks and black in general balanced across the two pages, and the two focal points also balancing each other on either side like a teeter totter.

What I learned

  • I carved one number stamp a day for this spread and it was super easy and do-able. I printed out a computer font I liked (numerals 0-9) , transferred it to the rubber and away I went day by day.
  • The paper in this (Dylusions) journal soaks in paint without gesso--harder to move around. So I guess gesso is the best ground for acrylic paint.
  • Trust the process. One thing does lead to the next!

What I could have improved

  • Composition. Should have carried that green to the other page. I wish I'd had more of that collage strip, but I could have carried the green in other ways (the way I did at the bottom of the left page).
  • I stopped too soon. The spread needs more embellishment.,, especially around the largest swirls, bottom of right page. I often stop too soon (fear of ruining).
  • It's actually pretty safe overall. I could have risked more...

Notes for future pages

  • Use that orange/yellow and grey lime green again. Like that color combination!
  • Use my number stamps again (and carve the rest of the set soon!)
  • Risk more (and learn more).