I suddenly find myself fascinated with painting. OK, It's not sudden. Besides a library, an art museum is my favorite way to spend a morning. (I really should do that more than once a year...) It's just that - I never thought that I could actually paint. I've written here before about playing around with different kinds of art. But the thing is, it's more than that. I think it's my age. And I also think it's on-line learning. When I was younger I never consciously felt like I was afraid of other people's criticism. But I guess I was, because I never even tried to do all the things I loved.
In recent years, its been a "what the hell" attitude. I try free tutorials in everything that interests me. There are so many of them on Pinterest, and You Tube. I've tried paper-making, and collage,and acrylics,etc. I try them at home and if I am terrible at them ------OK hold on there ---- that is an old message. People are not naturally terrible at things - they just don't know how to do them. And it takes time (which none of us have) to learn them.
Then last summer when I attended the cross discipline workshop in Rhode Island (which I wrote about here), the artists were so encouraging, that "can't" just left my vocabulary, and as Yoda says, suddenly there "is no try," - I simply "do" Somewhere along the way, I think I just decided that these things were a fun way to spend an afternoon. Just as in photography, I can get into the zone and a morning can pass just like that. Last summer I invited a friend to join me at a photography workshop. She likes photography, but her love and her background are in painting, and since retiring recently, she's been diving back in. I've been spending a few days a month painting with her, and it's really fun.
I also have expanded my journaling. I have always liked to write, but never consistently journaled for any extensive amount of time. But in Rhode Island, when the artists opened they're colorful journals full of quotes and scribbles, and washes of background blues and greens, I fell in love. The other day, a friend of my daughter's who was an art major, showed me her gorgeous travel journal. She recently went to Spain, and kept a journal.
So what do you think of when you hear "journal?" Mine are filled with words - my whole trip to France last year full of facts and anecdotes, with photos pasted in sometimes. I know many of my FOL sisters keep scrapbooks with the history of their activities. But this little travel journal was a revelation. It was obvious to me that this young woman thinks in pictures as clearly as I think in words. One page would have a pen and ink sketch of one of those beautiful, ancient buildings in Madrid, full of turrets and hallways, and arches. It was a sketch - nothing more - it had a few watercolor highlights on its facade - but it spoke volumes. The next page would have a picture of the four of them sitting around a table. And you could see exactly the European style meal they had shared. One person was laughing. There were little cutouts from tourist brochures pasted into corners. One page was a freehand topographical map of their route. I'm telling you, it was like reading a book about their trip - completely understandable to this novice. Even more fun, her other journals just followed her interest - little hands depicting the sign language alphabet on one page, the planetary symbols on another - then ancient runes. Whatever she bumps into she really looks at.
I've been keeping a collection of artist's journals in Pinterest. I've doodled in one since January. I took a course by Jane Davenport (which was not free - but she has free tutorials on you tube) which was called "Supplies Me." It exposes you to different mediums and how to use them, and I've been filling the pages with that. But after seeing and digesting all the possibilities with journals, I just signed up for an art journaling class. I'm sure mine will not be all art. It will have lots of writing, and I will follow my interests. There will definitely be some photographs in it - but all that color makes it so much prettier! So I guess I'm a closet artist now - unbelievable!I will tell my story in words and in pictures, as well as with my first love - photography.
Do you journal? Do you use words or pictures? What methods and styles do you use? I'm looking for ideas, and would love to see what you do. Post some fun pages, would you please? And please don't forget to follow your dreams!