The Artful Journey

Exploring my self and the world through art.


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Art Journal Spread done with my new gouache.

Hey all,

I always try hard to give credit to wherever I find inspiration, and when I watched Jenniebellie’s FREE Inspiration Station classes, I saw her using pan gouache, and I fell in love.  Today’s spread was done with Caran D’Ache Studio Gouache and various pens:

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I love how intense the pigmentation is, and after playing with their Neocolor II Water Soluble Pastels, I’m not surprised.  These people know how to do color for absolute color junkies like me.  RICH.  DEEP.  REAL.  I wish the palette was smaller, and the pans, too, because this is kind of a big, awkward set for me to use.  I basically do all travel-type art journaling, sitting in chairs, on the bed, wherever, so I need things to be portable, and these kinda aren’t.  The closed palatte is about 10 inches x 4 inches, and it’s 8 inches when open, and kinda heavy and awkward to try and hold in my hand while I paint.  But I love their versatility, richness, and ease of use otherwise.  They bring to mind vintage posters, to me.  I’m sure that was what they used to paint them!  Bottom line is, I love them and look forward to seeing what else they can do for me.


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I just joined BlogLovin!

I just joined the blog reader service Blog Lovin, as both a reader and a blogger.  I’ve been using it as just a reader for a little bit to try it out, and I love how simple it is to keep up on your favorite blogs, and how fun it is to search for ANY type of blog and quickly gather a wonderful, exciting, inspirational list of content from all over the blogosphere, with hardly any legwork at all.  And they email you a little update to remind you to check your list, which is very handy for me with my absolutely terrible memory these days.  So now you can follow The Artful Journey blog there too!

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And if you have a blog on Blog Lovin, leave us a link below so we can check you out.

Random Art re-posting because all-text posts are boooooooring and this chick is one of my favorites:

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And yes, I’ve been doing some art after a big smackdown from the cosmos, but I haven’t photographed it yet.  I’ll get on that.  Got a gorgeous sunny day with lots of natural light today for it, so that’s awesome.


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List #3: Ideal Day and Jenniebellie’s new Journal Workshops

Yes, I’m late on this one.  Shit happened.  I mean, my whole being is being transformed, and from one day or even one moment to the next, I’m letting go of old things I used to love and inviting in new things I haven’t loved in this lifetime, so this prompt, the ingredients of my ideal day, seemed like poor timing.  Until I remembered my Desire Map.  Then I started listing the feelings I wanted to experience on my ideal day, and the page came together easily.  I was feeling a lot of resistance to doing art again (sigh) but then I turned the page after List #2 and I’d scraped red paint on the spread while doing some Fearless Painting (images coming soon) and it seemed all ready for me.  So I thought, “Well, I can just write a list on this.  In sky blue poster paint.”  And it went from there, adding embellishments, outlining every little thing, adding my three top symbols of star, heart, and spiral, and ending with this:

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One thing this taught me is that pre-prepped pages, even just a little prepping, can make a big difference between doing art and just not feeling like making that first mark.

I also spent the whole day yesterday exploring Jennibellie’s wonderful new FREE art journal community, Journal Workshops!  I watched every video in her free class, Inspiration Station, and it really gave me a lot of insight and ideas and yes, inspiration, for how to move my practice forward.  Thank you Jenniebellie, I honestly believe you are THE most inspirational art journaling teacher out there.


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List #2 Art Journal Spread

List #2 is How would I describe myself to a penpal?  A very cool prompt, especially since I have a great new penpal I’m just getting to know, and I would like to discover more along the way, and because I’m working on being more authentic in sharing my whole WEIRD and WONDERFUL self.  This drawing was done in Pentel Energel, then painted with watercolors, then embellished with brush pen, stick on jewels, glitter glue (in her pupils…so dreamy), poster paint pen, Pitt Artist pen, stickers (from my penpal!) and metallic gelly roll pens.

I’m comin’ out!

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29 Faces: Feb. 20 Art Journal Page and I begin Fearless Painting!

Today I began my Fearless Painting practice.  I did 2 of the 5 exercises in the absolutely wonderful, absolutely FREE Total Alignment Fearless Painting mini-course by Connie Holzvicka at Dirty Footprints Studios.  This course is free and beautiful and nourishing and powerful and just so very awesome, and if you want to paint, you are gonna want to take this mini course.  It has been so transformative for me that I am now considering her Sedona Retreat in May, although that seems like such a very short time away to create something kind of…major for me.  But anyway…I don’t have to make any decisions now.

Fearless Painting as taught by Connie is all about getting your head out of the way so your heart can paint.  It is not about making a pretty picture, and you don’t go in with ANY idea of what it will look like.  You put a brush or knife (in my case) in your hand and allow your heart to move it.  You paint on big but inexpensive surfaces to reduce inhibition, and you paint standing up in order to get maximum energy flow.  The result is not for the wall, it’s more of a visual record of an inner process.  I’m working in a Blick Mixed Media pad, 18 x 24, and I went to the easel with the intention of Opening the Heart Center, following a video in her course. The only direction for the painting is to hold this intention, and for this one, to decide where to put a heart shape to start, and then to just listen and move your brush as your heart directs.

This is my result:

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The frame is faked but the painting is all mine.  Honestly, I found myself crying while painting it.  I was so shocked at what came out, because I felt so empty and had such low expectations of my first painting.  I started with a brush, because that’s how Connie paints, but my hand LOVES the palette knife, and as soon as I did the opening heart shape, it demanded we move onto the fun stuff and grab a knife.  I don’t think there is a mark I find more exciting than that left by a palette knife and sticky, heavy body paint.  So that’s what I played with.

The second painting was done with the intention of creating inner Balance.  And don’t ask me how it relates, because I don’t know.  In Fearless Painting, you don’t have to like it or understand it, you just have to paint it.  So I did.  And it’s not that I don’t like it in general.  I do.  I think it’s cool.  I just have no idea how it relates to the intention.  But hey, not my business to know that I guess!  The black is actually ink, making this a mixed media painting.

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Painting like this is HARD.  For me.  Because I live in my head.  And my head has allkindsa ideas about how things should be.  And it wants to KNOW all about WHY we are doing this, that, and the other, and what does it MEEEEEAN?  And Fearless Painting is about shutting all that away and just letting the heart play.  And when the head asks, “What are we going to do with all these paintings on paper?” I just answer, “We’re going to keep painting them until it’s not fun anymore.”

My studio is currently whatever space I can take over in the bedroom of our small 2 bedroom apartment, and I’m currently working at a table easel at my art desk in the corner.  I love to see other people’s home art spaces, so I’ll share mine.  This is my set up before I started painting today:

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In the process of doing the paintings, I had leftover paint on my knife or brush many times, and I smeared it into my journal and started doing all kinds of backgrounds.  Then I used watersoluble graphite to draw a face over one of them.

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The journaling says, “Be available to LISTEN” and she had a mouth, but it was my idea, whereas the eyes were more intuitively guided.  And sure enough, that mouth was allkindsawrong no matter what I did, and my hand finally dragged the brush across it and just smudged it right out, and I knew the page was done.  I’m trying not to be offended by Spirit gagging me like that.  😉  I have realized/decided that my highest intention with my art is to be available to listen, and to allow Spirit to speak to me through my art, so the message is pretty clear to me.  Shut up and paint what the heart wants to paint.  I’m gonna work on that.


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29 Faces: Feb 19 Art Journal Page

She started with a simple pencil drawing, then I added watercolor pencil, then pen, stamping, and poster paint marker.  The strip of colors on the side is from junk mail, and the moth is from a magazine.  The message is what Spirit is talking to me about right now.

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She seems unfinished but finished, somehow.  She is what she is.

29 Faces is over at the end of February, and I’ve just registered for the 30 Days of Lists challenge which starts March 1st.  I plan to do those in my art journal as well.  I’d love to do some kind of daily creative practice challenge each month to keep me doing things and sharing them, so I’m always on the lookout for the next one.  These practices are showing me that there is more inside me than I think, even when I feel like I’m in a creative ebb, and because it’s journaling, it gives me an opportunity to connect with my intuition on a daily basis, whether it’s easy or not, if only for ten or fifteen minutes of slapping together a page.  I’m learning that it all contributes toward my learning, development, and self-awareness.


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29 Faces: Feb 18 Art Journal Spread

She started at my partner’s suggestion that I draw a face with my eyes closed.  I did that, in light blue Playcolor, then I opened my eyes and refined the original drawing just to help define what was what and give her a body of sorts, and fill out her hair.  Then I journaled a bit and doodled a bit.  My artistic mojo is gone right now, so this was a great suggestion for freeing up my hand to just move.

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29 Faces: Feb 17 Art Journal Page

The theme comes from a reading I did with my new Creatrix Anything is Possible Activation Deck.  She is done with watercolor pencil, then watercolor paint, poster paint pen, marker, Pen Touch pen, and ballpoint pen.  I am feeling NO inspiration right now, so I’m surprised she’s not a complete hot mess.

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29 Faces: Feb 16 Art Journal Page

She’s done in water-soluble graphite, and I don’t particularly like the way she looks.

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But I think she looks the way she’s meant to look.  And there are some things I like about her and some I don’t.  If I kept working on her, I could refine her more and emphasize those things I like, and ‘fix’ the things I don’t, but she is perfect for doing her job, which is sharing her message.

I’m going through some very intense transitional, transformational death/rebirth/resurrection stuff right now, and I’m being Guided toward working a whole new way, allowing every artwork to be a message I channel through my hands from Spirit.  It’s not about whether the message ends up pretty, it’s about whether it was received clearly.  So I am working on doing things that I know won’t be as pretty, because that’s what is calling to be done, rather than what my mind believes would be most pleasing.

As to subject, I have been taking comfort in the visual of the in-process painting as a metaphor for my life right now.  I am the smudge that is eventually going to be the amazing, well-defined and beautiful focal point in the fantastic painting of my new life, and all around me the Artist is sketching out different possible surroundings, but nothing is set right now.  The Artist is, I suppose, my Higher Self, my Wholest Self, the Self that knows everything I’ve learned in all my lifetimes.  She knows more about how to get me from here to happiness.  And right now, she’s having to build pretty much a whole entire life from the ground up.  And she’s making it more and more clear to me every day that the best way I can be of help to her is to do this kind of art.  Get my messed-up head out of the game and bring the heart in to run the show.

I am the smudge in the unfinished painting of my new life.  I don’t have to have understandable definition or recognizable beauty right now, I just have to be patient and trust that the Artist knows what s/he’s doing.  And I didn’t want to do this face today, but I felt I needed to, and I’m really glad I did.


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Total Alignment: Opening the Heart Center, 29 Faces Art Journal Spread

Today I started working with Connie H’s FREE Total Alignment Fearless Painting mini-course.  The first assignment is to open your heart center and let your heart guide your hands.  This is what was in my heart.  This is for Shannon.  Happy Valentine’s Day.

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Watercolor on mixed media journal with pigment pen lines and journaling, and the yellow is crayon resist with watercolor, then outlined.