Mindful Art Studio https://mindfulartstudio.com Art journaling and mindful creation from the heart Thu, 08 Nov 2018 19:26:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Art Journaling When You Feel Sadhttps://mindfulartstudio.com/art-journaling-when-you-feel-sad/ https://mindfulartstudio.com/art-journaling-when-you-feel-sad/#comments Thu, 08 Nov 2018 19:04:37 +0000 http://mindfulartstudio.com/?p=8675   Dear Wonderful, Creative You: One of the questions I get asked most is how to art journal when you feel sad. My art journal has been a great source of comfort and self-understanding for years. I’m blessed to be able to share my techniques here. I’m hoping this post will help get you started […]

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art journaling when you feel sad, art journaling for grief, art journaling ideas, art journaling prompts sadness, art journaling for depression

 

Dear Wonderful, Creative You:

One of the questions I get asked most is how to art journal when you feel sad. My art journal has been a great source of comfort and self-understanding for years. I’m blessed to be able to share my techniques here. I’m hoping this post will help get you started when you want to art it out in your journal, but you’re not sure how. Even if you’ve never made art, or never thought about making expressive art, I want to assure you humans are uniquely creative beings. We have been using the arts to process our feelings, and mark important moments in our lives since the beginning of time. Art as a coping tool belongs to me, to you, and to us all.

As an art therapist, I’m lucky to have a lot of training in how to use art for self-expression and healing. While I no longer practice art therapy, I still use art to help myself feel better, and I love teaching these age-old techniques to others as well.

 

art journaling when you feel sad, ideas for art journal pages, art journaling for beginners

 

TIP #1: FOCUS ON PROCESS OVER PRODUCT

One of the blessings of my art therapy training was learning to focus on art process over product. Of course I know you are art journaling because you’d like to make art, but getting overly focused on it can tighten you up and ensure that you won’t express your feelings or make anything you like. That’s a lose-lose.

As many artists know, the more you create, the more you open up space for exploration through your art materials, the more the process of art making becomes a balm to your soul. Funny enough, the more you do this the more your product improves too. It’s weird the way that works, isn’t it? That’s a win-win.

 

TIP #2: WORK IN LAYERS

The other thing I’ve found that really helps me to loosen up, create, and express myself is working in layers.  I find layers give me lots of permission to make mistakes, try out new things, and not have to know what the finished product will be. This helps me express myself. When I art journal because I’m feeling down, I don’t want to have to think too much, so I’d like to share a sort of art making formula that has helped me. You can use some of it or all of it, depending on what feels good to you.

art journaling when you feel sad, art journaling ideas, how to art journal, art journal page starters, expressive art journaling, art journaling about your feelings

 

LAYER 1: WRITING LAYER: Journal About Why You Feel Sad

You can approach this in many different ways. Art journaling when you feel sad is a super flexible activity. Here’s some ideas for writing when you feel sad:

  • Write a letter you’ll never send. This helps me clarify my feelings and get them out.
  • Describe how feeling sad makes you feel in your body.
  • Create a poem about feeling sad.
  • Honor your sadness: “Talk” to sadness as though it were a person. Honor it. Give it some room to speak back to you, perhaps even in a dialogue you write in your journal.
  • Sarcasm: Have a mock conversation with someone and be as sarcastic as you wish!
  • Imagery: Describe, with words, the images that come to you when you feel this way.
  • Flip the table: Write about how you wish you were feeling right now.
  • Conceal your feelings: Write over and over your own writing until you can’t read it. This helps create texture on your page, in your own unique handwriting style. I find this very cathartic too.
  • Reveal your feelings: Write in white gel pen on a white page, and then paint over it with high flow acrylic paint. Some colors also cover the writing more than others. This is a fun “magic writing” technique you can use either to reveal or hide your writing.

art journaling when you feel sad, art journaling ideas, art journal page starters

 

LAYER 2: PAINT LAYER: Paint Your Feelings

With this next layer, we move form words and texture on the page to flowing paint. Art journaling when you feel sad gives you opportunities in paint to use the colors to express how you currently feel, or how you want to feel. For me personally, I find I often need to shift to expressing what I want to feel, or I end up wallowing in negativity. You will need to be your own best judge of what helps you. There’s no right or wrong in self-expression. There are no rules, just do what feels right to you. Here are some options for the painting your feelings layer:

  • Paint with brushes, sticks, kitchen tools, rocks, shells, or plastic wrap
  • Finger painting for adults: Put on gloves and push and pull paints with your hands
  • Use colors that express your sadness, or colors that express how you want to feel
  • Create a grid over your writing and paint each one a slightly different color
  • Paint a repetitive pattern over your words
  • Black page, white stars: Paint your page black, then use gel pens to create a galaxy of white stars.
  • Take my class, Art Journaling 101 for more guided lessons on using art and writing in transformative ways.

 

art journaling when you feel sad, art journaling ideas, art journaling prompts

 

LAYER 3: WRITING LAYER: Transform Your Feelings

  • Write out a poem that expresses what you’d like to feel. I love Rilke and Mary Oliver. What about you?
  • Write hope, love, or joy in block letters. Then write inside about what gives you hope, love, or joy.
  • Gratitude journaling: Write in block letters something you are grateful for, then write about why in a circle going around your letters.
  • Fold your own envelope, paste it to the page, and put a letter inside to someone you love.
  • Creative writing: Write a story or poem about what you wish was happening right now.
  • Use a script liner brush and paint to write down a message of encouragement.

art journaling when you feel sad, art journal ideas, art journaling for beginners, art journal starter

 

 

LAYER 4: DRAWING LAYER: Slow Down and Tune Into the World

I also like the invitation to slow down and observe something closely enough to draw it. Even when my drawing is kind of wonky, I try to embrace the practice in the moment. I also REALLY find the repetition of drawing patterns soothing. This frequently helps me feel better. Here are some ideas for your drawing layer:

  • Draw an animal that symbolizes protection, freedom, or strength for you. You can draw it cartoony or realistic. I like to find a photo and work from that since I’m not good at brining the image clearly enough in my mind.
  • Draw a repetitive pattern with a paint marker, gel pen, or brush. Use dots, circles, dashes, or wiggly lines. Imitate something in nature or make up your own based on what feels good to your hand. On light backgrounds, you can use a Micron pen too.
  • Use a photo to draw someone you love. You can also paste it into your journal if you prefer not to draw.
  • Illustrate a place that makes you feel happy.
  • Be sure you are on my mailing list for more art journaling ideas and inspiration!

 

art journaling when you feel sad, art journaling ideas

 

Remember, I’m sharing ways I use my art journal in my own life to feel better. This isn’t art therapy, and in no way should be seen as mental health treatment or advice. If you are facing overwhelming feelings or mental health struggles, I hope you honor your pain by getting the support you deserve. If art therapy feels like the right option for you, you can find a local art therapist here.

 

Creatively Yours,

Amy

 

The links shared in this post are affiliate links. That means if you choose to purchase something after clicking the link, at no extra cost to you, you will support the work of Mindful Art Studio to empower the artist in everyone. Thank you!

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My Brooklyn Sketchbook Project Journalhttps://mindfulartstudio.com/my-brooklyn-sketchbook-project-journal/ https://mindfulartstudio.com/my-brooklyn-sketchbook-project-journal/#comments Wed, 10 Oct 2018 13:33:08 +0000 http://mindfulartstudio.com/?p=8638   Dear Wonderful, Creative You: I’ve been interested in cutouts and layering in my art journals for quite a while. It started with my class, Fluid Art, where I create tunnel journals. Soon I started using my cutouts as collage, as I teach in my new class with 21 Secrets, Papercuts. All of this got […]

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The Sketchbook Project, Paper cutting art, Paper cutting journal, My Sketchbook Project Journal

 

Dear Wonderful, Creative You:

I’ve been interested in cutouts and layering in my art journals for quite a while. It started with my class, Fluid Art, where I create tunnel journals. Soon I started using my cutouts as collage, as I teach in my new class with 21 Secrets, Papercuts. All of this got me hungry to do more serious paper cutting. I dedicated my Brooklyn Sketchbook Project journal to practice paper cutting.  It’s been a ton of fun and I’m thrilled to share the process with you.

 

Tunnel Journal, Accordion journal, Paper sculpture, Paper art
Paper cut beginnings: A tunnel journal I made in Fluid Art

 

Paper Cutting Art Experiments

The Sketchbook Project, paper cutting art, paper cutting journal

Here’s one of the first pages I made in my Sketchbook Project Journal. It’s fun to play with opacity, and positive and negative space using paper cuts.

 

The Sketchbook Project, Brooklyn Sketchbook Library, Paper cutting Sketchbook

I also love when there’s an interactive element to my art journal pages. This page has little stamens in the middle of the flower form. If you gently blow on them, they flutter. Isn’t that fun?

 

Brooklyn Sketchbook Project, paper cut art, paper cutting

This page had so many cuts! There were moments when I wasn’t sure where this page was going or whether I’d like it, but I stuck with the process of following one step to the next, and I love the end product. So far I haven’t drawn or planned out my pages, but created intuitively, following one cut to the next. This page had so many cut outs! It feels amazingly light. It’s incredible how much weight came out of the page.

 

Paper cut journal, paper cutting art, paper cutting, The Sketchbook Project

Another thing that fascinates me about paper cut journals are the shadows each page creates. It’s wonderful to see how each page changes as you turn the page and lay down the next page on top of it.

 

The Sketchbook Project, Paper cut journal, Paper cut art

 

Really, one of the most important elements to a rich art life is curiosity. I’m curious about how to create interesting shadows. I’m curious about how to combine layers of cut paper in interesting ways. I’m curious about  layering cut lines and holes. Finally, I’m interested to see how much paper I can take out of each sheet and have it still hold together.

 

If you’d like to get in on the paper cutting and collaging, you can learn how to combine gorgeous painted pages with beautiful paper cut outs, like this one in my new workshop, Papercuts.

 

21 Secrets, Paper cutting art

 

To learn more about creating intuitively, take my free class, The Creative Self-Care E-Course. You can sign up right here:

 

 

 

 

You’ll also be added to the Mindful Art Studio mailing list. Keep you eyes peeled four weekly inspiration and project ideas, blog posts, and information on webinars and classes. Be sure to check your spam folder for the confirmation email and confirm your subscription. Once you are confirmed, you will get a special Creative Self-Care package via email. Let’s get creative!

Click here to see our Privacy Policy.

 

 

Creatively Yours,

Amy

 

 

 

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My Completed Collaborative Art Journalhttps://mindfulartstudio.com/my-completed-collaborative-art-journal/ https://mindfulartstudio.com/my-completed-collaborative-art-journal/#comments Tue, 11 Sep 2018 20:10:15 +0000 http://mindfulartstudio.com/?p=8536   Dear Wonderful Creative You: Tomorrow I am off for my annual art retreat for the next several days, so I want to leave you brimming with ideas for YOUR creative life. Connection with other artists is one of the most nurturing things I do for my creativity. An art retreat or a workshop is […]

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completed art journal collaboration, completed journal, art journal collaboration

 

Dear Wonderful Creative You:

Tomorrow I am off for my annual art retreat for the next several days, so I want to leave you brimming with ideas for YOUR creative life. Connection with other artists is one of the most nurturing things I do for my creativity. An art retreat or a workshop is an amazing way to do that, but a less expensive, more sustained way of doing that is to connect with someone and make collaborative art journals.

If you’ve hung around here for a while, you might remember that in early 2016 I started an art journal collaboration with artist Cait Sherwood. We both purchased the same Moleskine accordion journal, worked on it a bit, and then swapped. We continued this process for nearly 2 and a half years, until we finally met up in New York this summer. I’ve shared our progress all along the way. You can see the first marks here, see how the journals evolve and hear about my art fears here, and watch as I open Cait’s creation for the first time here.

This art journal collaboration was a ton of fun, and helped me stretch as an artist. When your style is similar, but also really different, it takes some time and trial and error to put the pieces together. Initially this felt like a challenge. I worried about upsetting her with something I did in the art – doing too much or too little. But as the collaboration continued, we found our groove, and things began to gel.

Cait had been the one to reach out to me on social media and suggest a collaboration. I didn’t know her. Over the last two years we have shared our art and some personal things too. I love the way that art has the power to connect us and make us better. Seeing Cait in person for the first time was such a beautiful way to complete this project. I also had no idea she was so tall! (And yes, I’m a bit short. But hey – not that short!)

collaborative art journal, shared art journal, art journaling inspiration

 

So my hope in sharing some of the completed pages here is to inspire you. Cait has an AMAZING eye for color and texture. I love how everything feels so alive in these pages, and how our styles melded. YOU could do this too!

collaborative art journal, shared art journal, art journaling inspiration

 

Aren’t these flowers that Cait made so loose and beautiful? They are a wonderful example of the beauty in imperfection.

collaborative art journal, shared art journal, art journaling inspiration

 

See how they contrast with my slightly more neat plants, but still relate? This was part of the challenge initially, and then once I figured it out, the fun – going back and forth between these styles and building bridges between what each of us was saying in the art.

 

collaborative art journal, shared art journal, art journaling inspiration

 

I made several of these birds throughout.

collaborative art journal, shared art journal, art journaling inspiration

 

Cait made these fanciful cows. We also mimicked each others marks.

collaborative art journal, shared art journal, art journaling inspiration

I punched holes all throughout this one, and we both took advantage of the different layering options that afforded us.

collaborative art journal, shared art journal, art journaling inspiration

I love the loose lilies that Cait makes.

collaborative art journal, shared art journal, art journaling inspiration

 

Cait introduced fish throughout, which were also a lot of fun to play with.

collaborative art journal, shared art journal, art journaling inspiration

collaborative art journal, shared art journal, art journaling inspiration

Inspired yet? What about doing your own art journal collaboration? You might have a friend nearby who is interested, or you might reach out to someone new and make an art penpal like I did. I have to tell you, getting a colorful journal in the mail takes fun mail to a whole new level. I’ve done a few other collaborations with other artists I didn’t know, and it’s always been such a  rich experience. Not sure how to start your art journal? This post has tons of great ideas, or you can grab my e-book guide here, or take my intuitive art journaling class for beginners here.

collaborative art journal, shared art journal, art journaling inspiration

 

Creatively Yours,

 

Amy

 

P.S. Today I was featured on the Self-Care Soother Podcast with Suzanne Falter. We talked about the way I use art journaling to express and transform my feelings. She had some great questions for beginners and I think you’ll really love it. You can listen here.

P.P.S  I’ve just added a free workshop for next Friday and I hope you can join me. We are going to build our creative muscles by playing creatively. You can RSVP here: Call Off the Art Police! 

 

The links in this post are affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, if you decide to click on something and purchase, you will support the work of Mindful Art Studio to empower the artist in all of us.

 

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Let’s Make Some Inchies!https://mindfulartstudio.com/lets-make-some-inchies/ https://mindfulartstudio.com/lets-make-some-inchies/#comments Tue, 21 Aug 2018 19:29:11 +0000 http://mindfulartstudio.com/?p=8510   Dear Wonderful, Creative You:   Join the Inchie Challenge! You’ll get my free Inchie Workbook, and from August 20 – 31st I’ll be sending prompts and inviting you to create small art. For this challenge, we will be creating art that is  3 inches or less, any medium. This is a wonderful way to invite […]

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small art, inchies, tiny art, make time for art

 

Dear Wonderful, Creative You:

 

Join the Inchie Challenge! You’ll get my free Inchie Workbook, and from August 20 – 31st I’ll be sending prompts and inviting you to create small art. For this challenge, we will be creating art that is  3 inches or less, any medium. This is a wonderful way to invite more creativity into your day.

Yesterday I was live on Facebook creating inchies and giving tips on how to incorporate images and text in your inchies, as well as how to use them in your journal pages. I’m excited to this little art tutorial with you here and hopefully get you inspired as well. Let’s make some inchies!

 

 

Supplies:

You can use whatever supplies you have on hand – even a post it note and pen. If you’d like to find some of the materials I’m using, I’ve provided the affiliate links here.

 

Strathmore Mixed Media Paper

Koi Watercolor Markers

Sakura Gelly Roll Pens

Micron Pens

 

Be sure to tag @Amymaricle and #mindfulartstudio when your share your work on Facebook and Instagram. One randomly drawn winner will win a spot in my class, Fluid Art.

 

Creatively Yours,

Amy

 

The links here are affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, if you choose to follow a link and purchase something, you’ll be supporting the work of Mindful Art Studio to empower the artist in us all.

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Fluid Art Journaling Pageshttps://mindfulartstudio.com/fluid-art-journaling-pages/ https://mindfulartstudio.com/fluid-art-journaling-pages/#comments Fri, 27 Jul 2018 14:51:32 +0000 http://mindfulartstudio.com/?p=8443   Dear Wonderful, Creative You: This week I had the pleasure of spending some time with you on Facebook Live to create some fluid art journal pages. I wanted to show you how I used mark making and layered paint to create intuitive images on this fluid art journaling spread. I love this process because […]

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fluid art class, fluid art journaling, intuitive art journaling, art journaling video

 

Dear Wonderful, Creative You:

This week I had the pleasure of spending some time with you on Facebook Live to create some fluid art journal pages. I wanted to show you how I used mark making and layered paint to create intuitive images on this fluid art journaling spread. I love this process because everything I’ve done here in this video is simple. I’ve used “x” shapes and lines that look like roots, as well as some more layers of messy paint.

Working intuitively with high flow acrylic paints is a soothing experience for me, and an adventurous one. I know it does the same for a lot of my students. Here’s the 5 minute speedy version and my commentary about the process. You’ll find the supply list below the video.

 

 

Resources for Fluid Art Journaling:

Moleskine Watercolor journal
Golden High flow acrylic paint, White
Golden High flow acrylic paint, Indigo
Golden High flow acrylic paint, Teal
Golden High flow acrylic paint, Nickel Azo Yellow
Micron pen in Sepia
White Posca paint pen

 

Want play more with high flow paints?

If you loved this fluid art journaling process, you will LOVE my class, Fluid Art. We make mini masterpieces in the most playful, low pressure way that helps you weave this gorgeous art practice into your life, and into little accordion fold journals. You can take a peek  at a video here: Fluid Art E-Course

Here’s a gorgeous piece of work by one of my students, Cheryl Razmus:

fluid art class student work, fluid art class, fluid art journaling

Creatively Yours,

Amy

 

 

 

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Intuitive Art Journalinghttps://mindfulartstudio.com/intuitive-art-journaling/ https://mindfulartstudio.com/intuitive-art-journaling/#comments Fri, 06 Jul 2018 14:46:48 +0000 http://mindfulartstudio.com/?p=8394   Dear Wonderful, Creative You: Intuitive art journaling is one of my favorite ways to work through feelings, let go of stress, and play with art. It’s a journey that started for me in graduate school, as I learned to use my journal not just to write, but to process my feelings through a combination […]

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intuitive art journaling, intuitive art, intuitive painting, fluid art

 

Dear Wonderful, Creative You:

Intuitive art journaling is one of my favorite ways to work through feelings, let go of stress, and play with art. It’s a journey that started for me in graduate school, as I learned to use my journal not just to write, but to process my feelings through a combination of words and images. I find that I can breathe again after I get things out when I’m stressed or confused. There’s often a sense of adventure when I’m open to the mystery of what can unfold on the page instead of trying to manufacture and control the images. For me working intuitively is like a mindful prayer. It’s contemplative. It’s present. And for those reasons it’s both grounding and inspirational.

In today’s video, I’ll show you how one intuitive art journaling page unfolded. You’ll see how I combine writing about my feelings with an open-ended painting process. Sometimes it’s important to just focus on something simple, like color; that was my focus with this page.

 

 

5 Tips for Making an Intuitive Art Journal Page

  1. Start by writing about your feelings.
  2. Cover your writing with a color that feels good to you. Dry your paint.
  3. Make shapes in a contrasting color, and let them vary a bit in tone and size.
  4. Collage with scraps or tiny pieces of your own art.
  5. Stand back frequently to see what your work might want or need and follow your instincts, even if the idea seems “weird,” those are usually the best!

 

Fluid Art Journaling Supplies: 

High flow acrylic paints

Strathmore Watercolor Art Journal

Strathmore mixed media board, cut to 2 inch squares

Art brushes

Water

Paint rag/ paper towels

Parchment paper or wax paper for protecting other pages from paint run off

 

Intuitive Art Journaling with High Flow Paints

If you are looking for more guidance on how to use high flow acrylic paints in an intuitive, playful way in your journal, Fluid Art can help you find artistic joy with these playful, addictive paints. Learn more about Fluid Art here.

 

I’d love to know how your intuitive process unfolds in your journal. Will you share about it in the comments?

Creatively Yours,

Amy

 

 

*The links in this post are affiliate links. That means that if you choose to click a link and purchase something, at no extra cost to you, you’ll support the work of Mindful Art Studio to empower the artist in all of us. Thank you!

 

*Mindful Art Studio and Amy Maricle provide information on using art and art journaling for personal enrichment. This is not art therapy. To learn more about art therapy, and find an art therapist in your area who can help you with mental health concerns by working through art, visit: https://arttherapy.org

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Even If You Think You’re Not Creativehttps://mindfulartstudio.com/even-if-you-think-youre-not-creative/ https://mindfulartstudio.com/even-if-you-think-youre-not-creative/#comments Fri, 29 Jun 2018 14:15:14 +0000 http://mindfulartstudio.com/?p=8372   Dear Wonderful, Creative You: Our creative lives are made up of lots of little acts of creativity – the way you arrange the flowers, the card you made for your mother, the silly poem you wrote with your nephew, or the art journal page you worked on while waiting to pick up your daughter. […]

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if you think you're not creative

Dear Wonderful, Creative You:

Our creative lives are made up of lots of little acts of creativity – the way you arrange the flowers, the card you made for your mother, the silly poem you wrote with your nephew, or the art journal page you worked on while waiting to pick up your daughter. Your time spent reading this post about art is creative. It’s all a part of your creative life, and whether you own it or deny it, you are an innately creative human being.

I’ve got a great little exercise I’d like to share with you, it comes from my new class, The Small Creative Acts E-course. Take out your journal or a sheet of paper and when you get to the questions, pause the video to give yourself at least 5 – 10 minutes to write about your answers. Really let your mind wander. I’d love to hear about what you discover in the comments.

 

What did you discover? Who are the makers in your family? When I did this exercise, I was astounded to realize how many makers there are. And now looking at the family I’ve created for myself with my husband, it is FULL of makers. Frequently at Christmas, I’m thrilled to notice that we exchange so many handmade items: bread, candles, cutting boards, scarves, and tiny paintings. There are makers in your family, you just need to take some time to look. Think about the immense creativity of things like being a good story teller, creating technology that makes our lives easier, and putting together a delicious meal with whatever you find in the cupboard.

If you want to start really living your creative life, I’ve created The Small Creative Acts E-course to help you do it. With 1-hour 15 minutes of video instruction and a 22-page workbook, I’ll help you to appreciate your creativity, visualize your creative dreams, and make more art. You can get playful and creative with your art supplies in ways you never thought you would, and commit to your art practice. You’ll have lifetime access to class material and your private FB group.

 

Small creative acts, you think you're not creative

I would love to have you in class! You can register here right now.

 

Creatively Yours,

Amy

 

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Facing the Empty Space: Practicing Mindfulness Through Arthttps://mindfulartstudio.com/facing-the-empty-space-practicing-mindfulness-through-art/ https://mindfulartstudio.com/facing-the-empty-space-practicing-mindfulness-through-art/#respond Wed, 20 Jun 2018 14:57:41 +0000 http://mindfulartstudio.com/?p=8323   Dear Wonderful, Creative You: Since last fall, I’ve been participating in a practice called authentic movement. It’s a movement-based mindfulness practice and active imagination process. I’ve been inspired by all of the parallels between the movement practice, and my art practice, and I wanted to share with you about one of them today. Just […]

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mindful art, mindfulness and art, practicing mindful art

 

Dear Wonderful, Creative You:

Since last fall, I’ve been participating in a practice called authentic movement. It’s a movement-based mindfulness practice and active imagination process. I’ve been inspired by all of the parallels between the movement practice, and my art practice, and I wanted to share with you about one of them today.

Just so you understand, I’ll give you the basic layout. We practice in a light-filled renovated barn – a big open space. There is a facilitator who is the witness, and there are movers. Each of the participants moves with her eyes closed for about 45 minutes. The idea is to tune into what your body wants to do, and to follow the impulse as closely as you can. So if your hand wants to make a fist, you do that. If your feet enjoy sliding on the wood floors, do that. (I do that often.) But it’s not a planned movement or a performance of any kind.  It’s about being mindfully, non-judgmentally present to your body and what it wants and needs in the moment.

When the movement is over, the witness reflects back something she saw and what it made her feel and experience. Her job is to help you feel that you were non-judgmentally seen, not interpreted. It’s a very beautiful practice, and I find it more accessible than regular meditation practice. There’s something really powerful about being seen non-judgmentally, both by yourself and by another.

Before we begin, we stand at the periphery of the room and make eye contact to honor each other, and then we do something interesting – we look at the open space to honor it too. We do this again at the end. At first I wasn’t quite sure what this meant, but recently, my teacher offered a little nugget of wisdom that really struck me. She said:

“In the beginning, there is nothing. In the end, there is nothing.”

It’s the same with art. In the beginning, there is nothing, and in the end, there is nothing once again. You begin a piece in the empty space, fill it with your marks, complete it, put it away, and return to the emptiness. We face the possibility, the curiosity, and the anxiety of not knowing. 

practicing mindfulness through art, mindful art mindfulness and art

 

So much of what scares us about art practice stems from facing this empty space. So much of what excites us about the art process stems from the emptiness too. What helps me to face the possibilities and the anxieties is knowing that I am not alone. I face the unknown in community.

 

Fluid Art Workshop:

We’ve been talking a lot in my Diving Deep class about how important community is in building our courage as artists. I want to help you build your art courage too. I’m inviting you to a free workshop tomorrow, Thursday, June 21st at 12pm EST. There’s still time to register, and you’ll get an amazing PDF with all the goodies from the workshop. There’ll be a 48-hour replay as well. I’m thrilled to tell you that I’ll be announcing an AMAZING freebie at the end, so stick around for that. Click here to register now.

 

fluid art, fluid art journaling

 

Creatively Yours,

Amy

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Trusting the Process: Notes from an Intuitive Art Journaling Classhttps://mindfulartstudio.com/trusting-the-process-notes-from-an-intuitive-art-journaling-class/ https://mindfulartstudio.com/trusting-the-process-notes-from-an-intuitive-art-journaling-class/#comments Thu, 31 May 2018 20:23:00 +0000 http://mindfulartstudio.com/?p=8265 Dear Wonderful, Creative You: I’ve been having the most wonderful spring, spending time with my students in the Diving Deep intuitive art journaling class. As often happens, I’m learning almost just as much as the students as I teach. I’m so excited to be able to share some of the Diving Deep process with you. […]

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intuitive art journaling, intuitive paint, trusting the process

Dear Wonderful, Creative You:

I’ve been having the most wonderful spring, spending time with my students in the Diving Deep intuitive art journaling class. As often happens, I’m learning almost just as much as the students as I teach. I’m so excited to be able to share some of the Diving Deep process with you. Trusting the process is a big piece of the puzzle in intuitive painting, so I’d love to share with you about what that means for me, and show you how many transformations it sometimes takes before a page reaches its final iteration.

This piece started as an abstract watercolor page with pinholes.

intuitive painting, intuitive art journaling, trusting the process

I didn’t ultimately feel the page had reached its potential, and it’s in the Strathmore watercolor journal I like a lot, so I decided to use it to do a smoky background. I was quite pleased with the result, especially the light. However, I did not care for the mark on the left page, so this spread was a good candidate for further work.

Getting started can sometimes be hard. Where to start? This is a place where a lot of people get hung up, and never get started. I work on backgrounds all the time so that I always have something to start with.

intuitive painting, intuitive art journaling, trusting the process, intuitive painting class

I like to look at pictures I’ve collected and works in my own journals for inspiration. Starting with a background such as this one, and an inspiration photo or two helps give me a starting point. After looking at the mysterious, green background, and many ocean themed and pattern driven inspiration photos, I had a sense of wanting to paint cellular shapes in gold. Soon I added a circle of yellow, but I soon covered in teal, and started to really enjoy the colors that were developing before me.

intuitive painting, intuitive art journaling, trusting the process, intuitive painting class

Something seemed to be emerging near the bottom, and I thought it was some sort of nest or cocoon.

intuitive painting, intuitive art journaling, trusting the process, intuitive painting class

I added something that I thought might be eggs or berries, but they soon disappeared. Can you see how I let the process lead me rather than trying to be so in control of it? I try not to force anything too much. That beautiful green background was practically gone, but if I was going to work intuitively and trust the process, I had to be willing to let it go. 

intuitive painting, intuitive art journaling, trusting the process, intuitive painting class

I wasn’t sure what I was seeing or where the piece was going. I think this not knowing stage is a place where a lot of people give into the anxiety of the unknown and give up. Sometimes they put the work away all together, and other times they settle for something trite and safe. There’s nothing wrong with that if it fills your soul. But if you are looking to dive into the depths of your inner landscapes, I find it usually takes a willingness to dig deeper.

Sitting with the anxiety of the unknown in our art has deep parallels to our lives. Not everything we feel is pretty. Not everything we experience happens on a liner path. Not all the outcomes are clear from day one. We can’t possibly know what’s going to happen, so we have to walk through our lives with a certain amount of faith in the process of putting one foot in front of the other.

To do that, we all have routines that help organize our lives. We trust our routines, they make us feel safer. It is the same with our art.  My art routines help me tolerate the uncomfortableness of not knowing if my efforts will result in a piece I don’t like.

I think part of why the Diving Deep class is so powerful is that within an intimate, supportive group, artists have the chance to experiment with techniques, but also find the habits that help them trust the process and translate their intuitive voice onto the page.

intuitive painting, intuitive art journaling, trusting the process, intuitive painting class

After a lot of back and forth, looking, listening, and waiting, I ultimately realized that this piece was all about the enjoyment and celebration of color. This became a guiding force in each decision I made moving forward.

intuitive painting, intuitive art journaling, trusting the process, intuitive painting class

And despite this realization, I did get stuck again, but each time it happened, when I sat back,  I’d return to looking, waiting, and listening, and the art reminded me of where I was going.

intuitive painting, intuitive art journaling, trusting the process, intuitive painting class

It’s funny how we need so many reminders about what matters, isn’t it? And with our art, it’s the same. It’s the process that matters. Art is about you taking time to listen deeply to yourself and the world around you. It’s about an exploration of what is, in all it’s color and depth.

intuitive painting, intuitive art journaling, trusting the process, intuitive painting class

Is IS all about the color. And the diving in. I hope you dive into your journal today. You can get some help getting started here.

 

Creatively Yours,

Amy

 

 

 

*The links provided in this post are affiliate links. That means, at no extra cost to you, if you decide to click the link and purchase something, a small fee will go towards the work of Mindful Art Studio to empower the artist in all of us. Thank you!

 

 

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Let’s Make Perfectly Imperfect Arthttps://mindfulartstudio.com/lets-make-perfectly-imperfect-art/ https://mindfulartstudio.com/lets-make-perfectly-imperfect-art/#comments Fri, 04 May 2018 14:11:34 +0000 http://mindfulartstudio.com/?p=8167   Dear Wonderful, Creative You: In my Diving Deep class, we focus on learning to dance between intuition and technical skill. The skill we have been focusing on this week, blind and semi-blind contour drawing, is one that can really call up the inner critic. Blind contour drawing also offers tons of opportunity for self-reflection, […]

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Dear Wonderful, Creative You:

In my Diving Deep class, we focus on learning to dance between intuition and technical skill. The skill we have been focusing on this week, blind and semi-blind contour drawing, is one that can really call up the inner critic. Blind contour drawing also offers tons of opportunity for self-reflection, surrender, mindful attention, gorgeous attention to detail, and the development of your intuitive, personal style. As a teacher, I dance between guiding students in technical skills, while also helping them to hear their own inner wisdom about what each art piece needs. Above all, I’m encouraging us all to be on a journey of making perfectly imperfect art. The magic is in the imperfections.

As with anything, folks come to class with a range of experience and comfort level with the techniques. One of the things I offer in addition to the live videos is to continue practicing and posting the techniques myself. I try to offer a mix of inspiring images, and images that show my mistakes, and how to dance with them.

Here’s a good example: I tend to do blind contour drawings in a very slow, detail-oriented way. I almost never do completely blind contours, unless it’s for an exercise. I enjoy semi-blind drawing where I peek at my paper a little. I also take my time and don’t go too quickly. One of my students shared a video of artist, Phil Hansen, doing blind portraits of people in 1.5 minutes. I thought this sounded like a fun challenge.

I decided to use a picture of my brother as a child and do 3 drawings this way. As you can see, there’s not much recognizable here at first glance. However, look more. See if you can find some details of accuracy, even in the distortion. See if you can find playful creatures in these drawings. They are really quite fun, actually.

imperfect art, blind contour

One of the things I love about teaching live classes online is that it pushes me too. I had this rich background, and while looking at ostriches in National Geographic one evening, I had the idea to put an ostrich face staring at the viewer on this page.

art journal background, perfectly imperfect art

I went to our friend, Google Images, to find the right expression on the right bird. I found it and here’s my semi-blind contour drawing of her:

Now, I don’t have rights to the picture, so I can’t share, but I can tell you that I’ve changed several details on this model. The biggest difference is the right side. The mouth and the eye got smushed up because I made some “mistakes.” However, thank goodness I do blind drawings in pen and could not erase, because that mistake made the sassy expression that is the magic of this bird.

imperfect art, blind contour drawing

The right side nostril was also drawn in the wrong spot, so I gave myself permission to adjust that when I painted her in.

How to draw a blind contour, blind contour drawing, perfectly imperfect art
Meet Jeanine the Ostrich. “Whatchoo lookin’ at?”

 

Let’s get busy making some mistakes.

Oh and speaking of embracing imperfect art, I’ll be co-hosting a super cool workshop this coming Wednesday, May 9th at 12pm EST on a private webinar page. Lauren Hooper, of Lauren-Likes and Get Messy Art Journaling and I will be talking about Travel Journaling. We want to help you take your journal everywhere. This is the secret to finding time to make art – you carry it with you! We will be sharing all our best tips, prompts, and how to get over the fear of creating in public.

You can register by joining Lauren’s list right here: JOIN THE TRAVEL JOURNALING WEBINAR!

I hope to see you there!

 

Creatively Yours,

Amy

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