Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Straining for Messy

Anyone who’s read my blog for any amount of time knows I have a HUGE love affair with my art journals…I adore art journaling; it is my passion. I feel like a weight is lifted from my shoulders each time I am creative in my studio and my art journals take the brunt of my creativity and let me pour out my soul in an artful and not just a written way.

I just have this problem with being messy. I love to see journal pages or art pieces others create that have that grunge feeling to them and that style is one I would so like to replicate in my own way…but I find it almost impossible. I have to really strain and stretch to be messy, to be grungy.


Don’t get me wrong, I am all kinds of messy around the house…when I cook, when I throw my clothes on the floor, when I overlook the dust bunnies in the corners, when I’m at my art table with paints and papers and brushes, pens and magazine clippings strewn over every surface in the room…but on the page or the canvas, that is another story.

No matter how I try, putting clippings or borders on a page without lining them up perfectly brings a cold sweat to my brow. My heart races a bit if I force myself to let lines not line up just right or if I don’t equalize things on the spread.

What is the deal with that? Am I really that anal retentive? *rolls eyes* And how do I just let go and let it flow? How do I let those perfectionistic tendencies fade away when I’m creating and allow myself to just feel free to do whatever comes to mind?  Or, in the alternative, is that exactly what I’m doing in my own special way? Is my way, this lined up/right angles/even borders/non-tilted clippings way, just MY way?

I don’t have any answers, I just know it’s something I’m working on…not necessarily trying to break myself from doing but trying to branch out and see other ways of doing things. I’m trying to see what fits and what makes sense to me, artistically.

Just what is on my mind at the moment.  I just keep on creating my pages and see where they take me.

If you are wanting to take your art journaling to the next level (like I am) or if you’re just wanting to begin an art journal, and you’d like do it in the {virtual} company of others who love their art journals, there is a new art journal workshop being given by my friend Connie of Dirty Footprints Studio.

Connie is fun and hopeful and encouraging and absolutely full of creative energy and this workshop, Art Journal LOVE Letters, is bound to be full of that energy and creative spirit. If you sign up early (by Valentine’s Day, February 14th), Connie is even giving an early bird special of only $20!!! I know…unbelievably inexpensive, huh?

So come join us…it’s going to be amazing! Sign up here (and tell Connie I sent ya): Art Journal LOVE Letters

Peace & Love,


  1. Gosh, I love your sense of color!

    I have that same anal retentiveness when it comes to art journaling. It's the reason why I've had a love/hate relationship with it. I wanted to have that messy and free look, but I would over-think it too much and then feel I 'messed-up' the 'mess' look. Argh.

    In the past few weeks, I've attempted art journaling again. I totally screwed up a page, and almost threw it away -- but I've been continuing to work with it without much thought, and I am lovin' it!

    Thanks for sharing your art and thoughts! You are definitely an inspiration!

  2. There is the way We create, and what we admire in Others - often they are two different things. Art journaling is all about self acceptance. If you are bored with the way you do your pages (which I think are beautiful by the way) you might want to push yourself out of your comfort zone.
    On the other hand, if it is just a 'should' in your head, I wouldn't bother.

  3. I love the journal entries you share. Funny how we tend to have a lot of the same feelings!!

  4. I think that is why I use a graph paper Moleskine for my art journal so I can line up stuff. If you look at some of my pages, they are pretty lined up I think. But I like you want to be messy in my journal. I have just signed up for the Art Journal Love Letters class. And I told her my friend Barb sent me!! Have fun searching for messy journaling (good name for a class)Sharon

  5. You know what's so funny Barb!! I wish I could be more neat and contained like your absolute beautiful pages!!! Ha!! A little of the grass is always greener on the other side??

    Anyways, thanks for your kind words--and I am super excited that your Creative Juicy self will be joining the LOVE!! I'm so stinking excited for Valentine's day you have no idea!!

    Big hugs!

  6. I saw a cartoon once where the Cheetah was lying on the psychiatrist's couch, Dr. Antelope with big scared eyes. The cheetah says something to the effect of, "I'm trying the vegan lifestyle, but salad just doesn't taste right without a sprinkling of antelope..."

    Love who you are and what you do and you'll always be doing what you love.

    Wow. I could write Halmark cards...


  7. I think your journal pages are great the way they are!!! If you want to try something different and depending on your definition of "grunge", do what I started with. I took a dye ink pad in black or brown and started to go around the edges of a finished journal page. I'm trying to push myself to do more mainly because I'm bored with what I'm doing. Do what feels right to you!

  8. I appreciate your openness, and the genuine nature of your insights really touches the core of your emotion.
    I also love the way you are able to capture the emotion on the page while also adding a good amount of whimsy with the color and design. Very well done.


Thank you so much for taking the time to drop by. I am open to any comments, questions, suggestions, critiques, etc, so lay it on me...
Peace & Love,

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