One of my New Year’s resolutions was to do more mixed-media art journaling, and so far I’ve done one spread:
The journal is actually made from an old magazine listing college courses. I put gesso on the pages to strengthen and prime them. Here is what one of them looks like, pre-gesso and without anything added:
And this is the cover:
I’ve put what is actually a relatively thin layer of gesso over it, avoiding the “Pathways to a bright future” message across the cover. I thought it would be quite fun to leave that there. If you look closely, you can spot the faint face of a woman beneath the white. I was surprised when I looked at this photo and saw it, because I had completely forgotten that it was there.
What I like to do with my art journals is to stick torn pieces of paper in them – most of the time, bits of newspaper or scraps that I don’t want to throw away. As I have quite a few journals, I open them up and work on all of them at the same time. This way, while one is drying I have time to continue on the others.
I then go over those pages, adding drawings, paint and whatever media I feel like using. This is the fun part. I have one journal with a page made up of old used teabags that have glued themselves in, drying onto the paper. There is another page with cumin seeds, and one more with candle wax. I will not show you all of them in this post, though, because I am saving that for a later date! I would like to do a specifically journal-related post in the near future.
This is a slightly closer view of the spread.
Featuring a one-day travel card.
I tend not to worry about my pages being messy – my art journals are a place to let myself go and I like them to have as much texture as possible! Everything must overlap or be linked in some way. When I draw a picture I try to make sure it goes on top of more than one piece of paper that I’ve stuck in.
This one is over a packet of KoolAid and a torn part of an A-Z road map.
I dripped blue candle wax over the top as a final addition; you can see it more clearly in this picture:
Since the new year I have been on a vegan diet. I thought I would be a lot hungrier than I actually am, as the last time I attempted this I was always feeling peckish. It has actually been completely fine so far, and I am not greatly missing meat or dairy. I think it is because I am preparing to go on a lemon detox, so my mind has been on that and imagining how hungry I will be when I attempt it. In comparison, I am not missing much food at the moment! I’m really glad that I’m doing this veganism thing; it is as much for the mental feeling of achievement as it is for health or animal protection.
So far, I’ve made an avocado and soya-cream smoothie; spaghetti with a sauce made from soya yoghurt, soya cream and salad leaves and potato and soya protein burgers. The burgers were delicious! Yes, a lot of soya.
I think I’ve picked up my guitar every day since New Year, which means I’ve been playing it more than I usually would. This is significant progress for me, as there was a time when I would neglect my guitar for months on end. I’d see it as an intimidating skill I needed to practice, but would do “some time in the future” and not right now. I admit it: I was scared of my guitar. Now, I look forward to playing it, and when I’m away from home I actually miss being able to pick it up! I told myself to I owed it to my future self. I think something else that helps is the fact that I’m trying to write a novel. In order to procrastinate and avoid that, I play my guitar.
I’ve got new bed sheets – black ones, of course, and decorated my bed with gem-shaped fairy lights! The poster-board is back in my room, Metallica cheering me on in my daily efforts. I also have a new lampshade that looks like a celestial cabbage floating from the ceiling.
All in all, my whole “Do it Now” idea has helped with small everyday things, like tidying up and putting stuff away, as much as it has helped with resolutions. I truly believe it is through the small things that we develop the discipline to handle larger goals. It is always better to tidy up now than to to let the mess collect.
This evening I spoke on the phone to a friend I met a few months ago. Before, I would have put off phoning her till the next day – not because I didn’t want to talk to her, but because it simply wasn’t necessary to phone her. But I didn’t put it off. I called her even though I didn’t feel obliged, and we got to catch up! It was great to speak to her again. Last year I would not have done that. I would have waited. Procrastination isn’t something you do exclusively when you don’t like the idea of something. It even works on things that you enjoy. One of the best parts of phoning my friend is that I didn’t have the guilty feeling of being the one to lose contact. And hopefully we will continue to stay in contact, haha.
Thank you for reading my post. What have you been doing this year? I ask with genuine interest and curiosity!