Thinking Time

Art journaling creates space for thinking time. I don't see art journaling as being about "good" art or "good" journaling. It's about creating a time and place and space to reflect and listen and discern.
I glued a symbolic photo of "me" onto an already prepared journal page. I choose the photo because of the subject's confident sense of self. I chose the prepared background because I like it (no more complicated than that). I added layers of stenciling and thought about who I am and whatever I might be going. 
On the symbolic words and symbols included here: tree (of knowledge); windows (to knowledge); gibberish words (discerning); knowledge; education. 
I added some journaling with my (surprise) insight to stay put andale where I!

Who Am I? (Bilingual Instructions for Mixed Media Reflection)

Mixed media reflection of an immigrant mother seeking asylum.
Quién Soy? Un Mixta Reflexión Media Art (en la tradición budista)

Who Am I? A Mixed Media Art Reflection (in the Buddhist Tradition)

Primero: Utilice lápiz, crayón o pent tinta para llenar la página con palabras o frases que responden a la pregunta: Quién soy? Por ejemplo algunos temas a considerar: edad, sexo, raza, nacionalidad, orden de nacimiento ( hermano mayor ), el estado civil , las víctimas de la violencia, profundamente amado por mi madre, de grado en la escuela, idiomas que hablas, relación de miembros de la familia ( tía, sobrina, primo ), las creencias religiosas, los inmigrantes en busca de asilo, etcétera.

First: Use pencil, crayon, or ink pent to fill the page with words or phrases that answer the question: Who am I? For example some topics to consider: age, gender, race, nationality, birth order (oldest brother), marital status, victim of violence, deeply loved by my mother, grade in school, languages you speak, relationship to family members (aunt, niece, cousin), religious beliefs, immigrant seeking asylum, et cetera.

Segundo: Usa tus colores favoritos que le recuerdan a casa para cubrir la página con acuarelas.

Second: Use your favorite colors that remind you of home to cover the page with watercolors.

Reading her reflection to other immigrant mothers seeking asylum.
Tercero: Elija 3-4 palabras que mejor describen sus esperanzas y sueños y futuro y escriben estas muy intrépida a través del medio de la página.
Expressing pain through art and words.

Third: Chose 3-4 words that best describe your hopes and dreams and future and write these very bold across the middle of the page.
Quarto: Utilice los materiales de arte para contar la historia de lo que eres. Las opciones incluyen: una gran variedad de plantillas en muchas formas y tamaños, sellos de espuma en formas y letras, frotando la placa para añadir textura, ponche herramientas para cortar formas de papel bonito para luego pegar en su página, y las letras como pegatinas que puedas utilizar para deletrear su nombre o de dónde eres. Ponga su nombre y la fecha de hoy en el frente o en la espalda.

Fourth: Use the art supplies to tell the story of who you are. Choices include: a big choice of stencils in many different shapes and sizes, foam stamps in shapes and letters, rubbing plate to add texture, punch tools to cut out shapes from pretty paper to then glue on your page, and letters as stickers you can use to spell your name or where you are from. Put your name and today’s date on the front or on the back.

Who Am I? (Buddhist Reflection)

One of the insights I've gained from teaching World Religions and the section on Buddhism is their practice of reflecting on "Who am I?"  When you really spend time thinking about the possible answers that could compromise the answer it leads to more questions and more reflective thought. I began with big generic possible answers like gender, marital status and vocational calling. I gradually made the answers specific to "just me."
The profile stencil represents myself. I added layers of stenciling to add depth and to give me something to do while thinking and listening and reflecting. 

The continuing reflection will be on each of the four main sub heads which seems to beat define who I am. 
The cross symbolizes that I am specifically a Christian pastor and teacher.

Reflection on the Theology in Genesis

An assignment for a university course I'm teaching this summer on the Old Testament includes the requirement to produce an AV that tells the story of the Old Testament in 5-7 minutes. I'm doing the project simultaneously with the class.
I've included symbols that tell key stories: elements of creation; an Apple on the tree of life and "choose" signifying free choice; ABC stenciling and the Tower of Babel; rainbow and God's promise to Noah not to flood the earth again; stars (upper right) for Gid's promise to Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars; stenciled circles (bottom right) for the abundance of the offspring now living in Egypt. 

Experimental Art

I'm a mixed media artist because I love mixing up media and techniques and more media and more techniques. Sometimes I flat don't like what I'm creating or how it's all going together. But I press on. I might add a bit of collage to camouflage what I don't like. Or I'll add a large layer of something created separately (like the butterfly inset by my artist friend Tanya when we were experimenting with wax rubbings and watercolors).

At some point the motley collection seems "done" and a title signifies my artsy reflection. Here I am simply reminded that it's okay to experiment. In art. In vocational calling. In recreational pursuits. In life. Experimenting is powering. 

Clippings & Quotes

Another easy peasy road trip art option is to (A) cut and collect clippings of headlines and quotes and assorted bits from magazines and newspapers; and (B) use a glue stick to randomly add the clippings throughout your art journal. 
I carry a #10 envelope and a accordion file folder in my art tote to file my clippings. I put the small bits in the #10 envelope and the bigger pieces in the folder. I don't necessarily use everything I clip on any given trip, but they roll over and go with me on future trips. I often don't remember exactly when or where a clip originated but ultimately they funds homes in my journal pages. 
Often the clippings will get buried under many more layers. I generally top with clear gesso (not whole in the car) so they're ready to top with virtually any medium. 

Art Journaling on a Road Trip

One of things I love is being a passenger on a road trip. It's the perfect opportunity to add bits and pieces to my art journal. 
I have a fully stocked art bag for road trips which includes a little bit of my main mixed media favs. Then I add something fresh for each trip; usually a new medium or gadget to experiment with. For this trip from TX to AZ for my father-in-law's 90th birthday family celebration rendezvous I brought a stack of new stencils I purchased recently from the Artist Cellar. Cool variety and easy to add here and there to journal pages in progress. 
With the stenciled theme "gratitude" added I did some stacked journaling (writing on top of writing) of what I am currently grateful for. 

When There's Just No Time For Art

There's always something you can do when "there's no time for art." Golf requires 18 holes (or 9; but half a game never feels the same). Art is freedom to do a tiny little rejoice and be glad. 
I really don't have time. I'm slammed. But  I've got a pile of stencils. I've got tons of watercolors. I've got note journals to make more interesting for Art journaling (& note taking in general). Sounds like a perfect combo for art in a hurry! Let the spritzing begin! 
It's surprisingly soothing to do art something. Art anything. But ART. 

Oil Pastels & Stenciling

I bought some fun stencils from Artist Cellar & I decided to play with them as a stress-reducer no-particular-reason art fun session. Instead of my normal watercolors or acrylics I opted for total experimentation with oil pastels and Crayola Twistables. 
It definitely glops it on thick and messes up the new stencil! (But good news it easily washes mostly clean with 99% isopropyl alcohol.). Of course the thick glop adds texture (but it'll take awhile to dry). 
The thick stenciling adds texture and depth. 
I used Gelatos with another new stencil for a similar affect. 
Interesting way to add texture. It'll definitely take time to dry...