I like the ease that comes of setting my own schedule, within or outside the typical workforce hours. I also appreciate the quiet satisfaction that comes of my own, heads-down efforts, whether or not they yield immediate results. But while writing is a solitary endeavor, I'm really a kumbaya girl at heart. So I like knowing that the view from my office window isn't all that different from that of other writers.
This theme is portrayed beautifully in Jeannine Atkins' VIEWS FROM A WINDOW SEAT: Thoughts on Writing And Life. I'll review the entire book later, likely after the busy holiday season is behind us. Meantime, I'd like to share a couple of passages from the chapter called Keeping a Journal.
"I start most mornings at the same kitchen window or on the porch," Jeannine says, "where I often ease into work by recording what I see.
I planted a sunflower, bright and cheerful, and surrounded her with nurturing thoughts. The image itself is a very loose interpretation of something I saw on Pinterest a while back. I drew it freehand and then added text, off the top of my head. Oopsies are part of the process, I kept reminding myself–put down that eraser and keep going! Growth: that's what came to mind as I painted, stamped, scribbled, and glitter-glued the images and text. Funny, isn't it, how certain themes sometimes burst through the topsoil, as if they'd been planted there on purpose?
One thing I know for sure: journaling helps me find clarity in the moment, and calm. Gifts for any writer, maybe more so for memoirists like me. More importantly (and in Jeannine's words again), journaling helps us "commune with ourselves, in a given moment, as honestly as we can."
That page is gorgeous! How did you do it? Paint? Pens? Pencils? Enquiring minds want to know!
Also, I just read that particular post/chapter in Jeannine’s book the other day, and it has convinced me to start a journal as part of the warmup process. Just for me.
But my, I love what you did there!!
Thanks, Kelly! I learned a lot (and enjoyed myself very much) while journaling this page. I don’t plan to share my journal pages far and wide, but random samplings are kinda fun, right?
Here’s a list of art supplies I used. They last a long, long time, so don’t let the prices scare you! Lay in a handful of items, and see what speaks to your style and sensibilities over time. Warning: they’re addictive! Hint: I shop at Michael’s, with their emailed 50% off coupons at the ready.
1) Mixed media journals work best for collaging & painting with different mediums– the pages are textured, so they grip the color/glue and add visual interest. http://www.amazon.com/Strathmore-Mixed-Media-Journal-8-5X11/dp/B008HTCZYA
2) I colored the background and flower with Derwent Inktense Pencils, and then brushed them with water. I’ve tried watercolor crayons and other colored pencils, but I ADORE Inktense because, while you can certainly color things with a feather-light touch, the results are more vivid than most sets you’ll find on the market.
3) I used pastels for shading, but it’s probably not a great idea to do this with every journal entry, since the chalk can smear & cross-pollinate with nearby pages. But if you’re tempted, here’s a relatively inexpensive set to try. http://www.amazon.com/Prismacolor-Nupastel-Colored-Pastels-27049/dp/B000N3382G/ref=pd_sbs_hg_5
4) I love using Stickles for dimensional accents, and the single bottles you can pick up by the check-out stand at Michaels (or Joann’s Fabrics) for about $1.50. http://www.amazon.com/Ranger-ISG-33813-Stickles-Glitter-Turquoise/dp/B007P56L1U/ref=pd_sim_ac_8
5) Permanent ink pens that write on textured paints are hard to come by, but I like Sharpee fine points, and gel pens by Sakura. Google for other artists’ recommendations, as everyone has an opinion about this! http://www.amazon.com/Sakura-Color-America-Rollerball-Medium/dp/B0018N7WLS
Those are the only products I used on this page. Here’s a couple more suggestions to consider:
6)You can affix collage items with Mod Podge, glue sticks, or Gel Medium. I like having gesso on hand, too as it makes a fun color wash & can blur, say, a dictionary page or other ephemera you want to add as background.
7. Buy cheap paint brush sets that you can throw away without guilt! Sea sponges add interesting texture to acrylic paints. Try spattering ink/paint across a page by tapping your loaded brush, or blow the watercolor onto a page through a straw.
Have fun! Let me know how much you’re enjoying this, won’t you?
Love it, love it, love it! 😀
High praise, coming from you! I love & appreciate that you encourage us novices.
So glad we can share a habit, and I’m never minding that your journal is so much prettier than mine. I love how you connect to the visual world, and all that lies behind its door. And of course I’m happy that you’re find affirmation in my book — thank you!
I think this connection to the visual world comes of my mother’s early (then-gentle) encouragement: “Look!”
And more so, the spiritual invitation: “Behold!”
Both were/are equally important, in that they’ve helped me identify text and subtext, perceive similarities and differences, grow roots and wings.
I love your book for these very reasons, and more.
That’s a beautiful page, Melodye! It’s time to stop apologizing for your art skills, though.
A beautiful page, Melodye! But it’s time to stop apologizing for your art skills. 🙂
Thank you–for the encouragement AND admonition. You are right, of course. I need to get out of my own way.
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