Prepping a New Altered Book Journal

A new year means  (for me) starting a new altered book journal. It's the perfect excuse to look through your bookshelf and find a hardback book that's been sitting unread with no expectation it will actually be read. So, a reason to repurpose & recycle. I chose two books for 2015 as I like to alternate between two; while art is drying in one I can press on and do art on the other. 
Start in the front and work your way to the back carefully tearing out 3/4 of the pages one page at a time. I leave pages where the art, photos, or captions are intriguing and might inspire future art journaling. I choose books which have some interest as the words and images will be incorporated into future artsy reflection. So, for me, a geometry or physics book just won't do! (Not a point of interest or inspiration for me!) I also like thick pages so they can stand up to the wear and tear of the art. 
Torn out pages can be further recycled (stored in a box) for headlines and art. If you like it; keep it. I "name" the book by its actual name so I can find it in my (picture) data. 

This one is "Pocket Gardens" a book I ordered on line that was disappointing but not worth returning. It will be put to great use now as a mixed media altered book journal. 

Prepping a 2015 Sermon Journal

Starting a New Year means starting a new sermon journal. It's a great excuse choose a blank journal, put a stack of CDs by the player, and create a bunch of nebulous backgrounds using your favorite paints, brushes, stamps, stencils, and ephemera. Since I know that the new year always erupts with too much to do and do little time to get it done, it's helpful for me to get a running start with painted backgrounds. It's also a relaxing way to de-stress from the hectic holiday season.

Poised to Obey: Just Do It!

One of the cool things about art journaling is flipping back-and-forth through the pages during the year (time frame) that you're working in the journal and gradually gaining new insights on previous journal entries. One of the epiphanies in all this is realizing that time/change moves slowly. A journal will have a consistent theme for several months, an entire year, or even longer as one slowly reflects on the space and place and circumstances. It isn't like you write about something this week and next week that same thing is entirely "fixed" or "transformed" (or whatever). The reality is that the reflection and insight occur on any give topic over an extended period of time. That is LIFE. What is super cool is that in the flipping back-and-forth over completed or partially completed journal pages is that continued insights one looking at; reading, reflecting upon early entries. Every now and then there is an whooper A-HA! What's really interesting then is to look back at the layers of thought and reflection that went into the journal entry. It helps one realize the (thoughtful) process that goes into the (slow) process of change. The journal entry here began in the spring, and I gradually added bits and pieces to it through the year. Now, as the year is nearly over, my whopper epiphany is simply JUST DO IT! For all the agonizing, wondering, lamenting, questioning...of which there has been much, the reality is that I need to take action and simply DO IT. I suspect that there is something in everyone's life that one is procrastinating on; knowing what needs to be done, but unwilling (or seemingly unable) to just do it. Journaling opens the path to action: JUST DO IT!
The page began with collage elements topped with an experimental layer of thick acrylic media

After the media was applied these words were prominent POISED TO OBEY.

The completed journal page was done over 8-9 months with layers gradually added. The epiphany: JUST DO IT!

Sermon (Art) Journaling for Christmas Eve

Prepping to preach on Christmas Eve includes breaking down difficult theological concepts so that they are quickly and easily grasped by a wide range of ages and places in the spiritual faith journey. I opted to prep by identifying the key themes from the biblical texts and then creating a simple visual which I will use with the children during our time to sit together on the floor at the front of the church and share together the message of Christmas.

Christmas Card 'Street Art'

Mixed media Christmas Cards for immigrant women and children was the art project my church took public at a downtown public festival (Wassailfest). We set up a food booth to sell tortilla soup and created an an adjacent station for children to make mixed media Cheistmas cards. We provided the art supplies and note cards, and a group of teens from the National Honor Society of a local high school volunteered to supervise the art project. It was a phenomenal success!

The tables were filled to overflowing for the duration of the three-hour event. We collected several hundred custom cards. While the children were engaged doing art I shared the plight of these immigrant women and children with the parents.