New Year's Resolutions
Do you make New Year's resolutions? I used to make New Year's resolutions, but then decided to make them all year 'round. I am not sure if it was my way of avoiding making them at all or avoiding the inevitable realization that I did not accomplish what I set out to do. Sometimes there is so much pressure to live up to what you have have spoken out loud as your resolution. Of course that is one way to help ensure that you try to meet your resolutions.
One of the resolutions I made years ago and still maintain to this day, was to spend more time journaling. I like it as a form of art, but also as a record of where I am, what I am feeling, and what concerns me. I still have wonderful journals I made in college where a professor made me draw and write and glue ephemera and those journals are really fabulous to look back on and see where I was in life. Sometimes I spend time just writing in a journal, doing morning pages like I read was really good for you or doing gratitude pages at the end of the day. Other times I do spend time sketching or writing lists of things I want to do or accomplish. I love making lists.
Color Your World
Sometimes I spend time just filling journals with paint and color and collage and whatever comes to mind. You can allow yourself to play and just do all backgrounds one day and choose to add a specific other element on another day like blocking out areas for text or collaging ephemera. I like dry brushing pages with gesso leaving gaps of paper, then once dry coming through with color washes can be easy and rewarding. It can be very freeing if you practice journaling daily, of course that depends on how much time you have available but that is a whole other subject for a blog post!
Day by Day
One thing that I discovered about my journaling was that often I would have the urge to do writing or sketching but I would not have my current journal with me. Whether I was traveling or just left the house and did not bring the one I had been working on with consecutive dates in it. I would hesitate to journal because I only had a blank notebook, not the next page in the current painted journal. And then I realized that it would not matter to me if I picked up a journal and saw January 25th followed by February 2nd. And another journal that had January 26th in it.
While dates seemed important to me for keeping track of what I was feeling or experiencing with written diaries, a painted diary or journal does not necessarily need to be chronological. And even written diaries will not be faulty because of lack of chronological order. Of course it will make the work harder for your biographer in the next century, but that should not be your concern today and now. Your concern should be doing the work, filling the page and allowing yourself the freedom to create whenever the moment hits you.
With non-linear journaling you have the freedom to paint several pages and then set them aside, grab another journal and write your daily gratitude list or bucket list, then pickup another journal and put some black gesso on that page. You can start to flit from journal to journal, this also allows for drying time. Even if you are just writing or drawing and don't need the drying time, experiment with changing the order of how you move around your journal.
Work like a Japanese book and start at the back. Open a fresh journal and start in the middle. Skip every other page. Working in this manner will also rejuvenate your brain. As we age, I have read that we need to do new things or even if we do the same things do them differently to keep our brain active and create new pathways in our synapses. Like trying to brush your teeth with your other hand, taking a different route as you drive to work, walking in a different neighborhood. All of these things help to strengthen your brain and increase your creativity and we all need that for the new year as we start new projects, take new classes and explore the world around us.
Join me for a week long workshop called Painted Art Journals where we will explore things just like non-linear journaling at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, June 3 - June 9th, 2018.