One of the hardest parts of establishing a solid daily art journaling practice is showing up.
I find it very helpful to pull from contemplative practices to create a strong foundation for my art journaling. Clearing your mind aka letting go and noticing what comes will help you find and stay true to your unique artistic expression.
A great way to incorporate clearing your mind and noticing what comes into your art journaling is to work with what I call Mixed Media Morning Pages. Mrs Lefferts, my 9th grade english teacher, first introduced me to free writes, a writing exercise meant to get you writing. It doesn’t matter what you write, just that you write without lifting your pen (or crossing anything out) for three minutes. This, as Julia Cameron wrote about in The Artist’s Way, is a wonderful way to clear your mind and activate your creativity. Combining free writing with art making allows you to develop your daily art making practice and creativity.
Time: 30 minutes-2 hours.
paper ideally 90b weight (suitable for applying gesso, paint, collage, etc.)
photo of yourself printed out,
Your first step is to choose a writing implement, one that inspires you and will be fun to write with for three minutes. Grab heavier stock paper, preferably at least 90lb (I use a mixed media journal from Canson or Strathmore), set your timer and begin writing. Don’t think. Just write! When your three minutes are up, read what you wrote and pull out anything that catches your attention. This step is good for harnessing our creative intuition.
Next, to encourage letting go and noticing what happens, cover up what you have written. There are so many ways you can do this. Choose one that feels good to you. For this page, I used a paint marker to make repetitive marks followed by spraying a stencil with watercolor. I worked fast which helps me to quickly enter the zone of art making, not thinking, more sinking into my process and noticing my pages transform.
Next, I transferred a selfie I printed out on paper onto my page. I covered the backside of the image with black pastel, positioned it on my page, then using a fine tip ballpoint pen I drew my outlines and shadow. I drew a circle to frame what was coming up for me as I reflected on daily practice and art making.
Mixed Media Morning Pages are a great way to work with letting go and noticing what happens which is sure to enrich your daily art journaling practice immensely. Remember, show up, let go and notice what happens.