But enough of my moaning. I will write about my art journaling adventures, which is what this online meta journal of mine is at least loosely about in any case. Yesterday both babies (I still think of the two year old as a baby) took blessedly long naps, and I spent a happy couple of hours resting, curled up on the sofa with my laptop and a mug of chamomile tea. During this cozy and silent interval, I did a lot of blog surfing, reading, and sprinkling of comments of good cheer across the blogosphere. It's incredible-- all of the amazingly talented and sensitive bloggers you can find just by following links for part of an afternoon. :) One blog that I paused at for awhile was Art Therapy Reflections by Karen Wallace. I felt very pulled into the idea of an art therapy exercise for de-stressing she suggested to someone in a comment on this post.
"Take a large piece of paper. Have lots of paint. Start by doing some deep breathing and centering. Standing and moving the whole body, make large arm movements and paint large circles. Work big until your body feels relaxed and stretched, then start coming in smaller by making smaller shapes while saying out loud or to yourself things you want to release about the day. Keep working smaller until you reach the size you want to continue working at. Then paint one thing that you enjoyed about the day. This painting usually is abstract with lots of colors and feelings. It is a good stress releaser, try it. Whenever you need to release and de-stress."
That sounded so good, I thought, so relaxing, the idea of just painting/coloring/drawing circles to relax and unwind. I filed it away in my mind as something to try someday, and today (again during nap time, oddly enough) I actually did so. I tweaked the idea a little bit, as I didn't have a very large piece of paper on hand, and I never got around to the "something I enjoyed about the day" part because I became so engrossed in my circles. But anyway.
Using water soluble pastels, I started with drawing turquoise circles, then filled them in with concentric circles in reds, blues, and yellow. I painted over these to bring out the color. Then in the background I drew soft wavy lines in dark blue, lightly colored over the background with yellow, and added water to make it blurry and greenish. I loved the way the background looked. My circles seemed a little boring, though, so I kept adding layers of paint and water to make them brighter. Then I painted their outer rims in red to give them a little more oomph, but something still felt lacking. Impulsively, I started to circle one with a black sharpie marker, and, wow, it popped. "Where have you been all this art journal pages life, oh black sharpie?" I thought, and it kind of took off from there-- outlining, circling, dotting. Below are pics of the end result, this time taken by H, who is better with a camera than I am. I will say this was a great de-stressor, and I was quite happy feeling by the time it was done. It's a happy page.