Sunday, July 17, 2016

What is an Art Journal?

Kudos to Shawna Mayo Barnes, a StencilGirl StencilClub member starting a non-profit group that will someday offer actual art as therapy, art therapy, and regular ol’ art classes. One series of classes that to be offered will be on art journaling. 

Hence, Shawna has thrown out the question:  What is an art journal?

An art journal, in my understanding, is a blank journal of multi-media (thick, strong) paper, wherein the journalist sets herself/himself free to express feelings, events, dreams, prayers -- anything and everything -- using art media (such as acrylic paint) and art tools (such as stencils.) It's a freeform combination of visual and verbal processing. Some feelings can't be expressed in words alone; only artwork frees the spirit to reach the inner child, who expresses herself/himself in pre-verbal imagery. An art journal can become a sacred place; a place of non-judgmental integrity. In terms of art therapy, it is a place where a person can release anything and everything, no matter what – a physical place to, in a sense, "get it outside" of oneself, rather than to carry around something that might weigh a person down.

We live in a very judgmental world; persons who openly hold traditional beliefs are at times accused of harboring hatred.  Long ago in psychology class, I learned that this mental maneuver is called "projection." 

Art journals can be intensely personal because at times it seems here alone an individual can at long last be honest.

Here are some pages from one of my art journals (which have watercolor-paper pages)...

These were done before my happy debut as a designer for StencilGirlProducts, hence the lack of stencil use.  In these pages I practiced a form of meditation that called for first wetting the watercolor paper, then dropping in color at random; after the paper dried, the next step was to use black ink to doodle or sketch whatever came to mind.

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