Friday's prompt has been added! see the bottom of the page :)This is the last for this week ~ have fun creating!
2018 is getting me – ALREADY!
Despite all of my preparations, organization, inspiration and all of the other ‘tions’ possible….I just can’t seem to get motivated to start. Maybe it is the weather? -27F can certainly freeze you in your tracks.
But I don’t think that is it.
I feel – at the beginning of this New Year – like I am having an identity crisis.
My word for 2018 is Wonder.
I fully anticipated spending each day discovering something new, something that would make me say wow, or inspire an awe that would rob me of speech altogether. But here I am….
You see, there are more definitions for the word wonder than what I thought I would experience. According to Webster’s dictionary, wonder inspires words like:
But it says also: a feeling of doubt or uncertainty.
…and if I’m honest, this fits. It explains what I am feeling, the emptiness of purpose that I am feeling.
Have you ever been there?
Maybe you are there now.
So I turned to the one who always sets me back on the right path. The one who knows me, knows the beginning from the end, and loves me too much to let me stay in my wondering. The Master Creator.
My morning prayer felt more like a plea for a lifeline. “Send me something, anything!”
…and He did
He sent me you!
YOU are my purpose
YOU are my inspiration
YOU are my encouragement.
and I feel like I’ve been kicked back into play. No sitting on the bench today, for there are things to do, posts to write, classes to prepare for, and art to create.
If you are feeling at all like I am:
Trying to decide who you are creatively
Searching for the inspiration to unfold your becoming
Stumbling through the creative process and wondering if this is really for you
You’ve come to the right place! Let’s discover together
This week we will create the first page in our 1word journal made from a deck of cards that we put together last week (did you miss it? Read it here)
This first of many will:
- explore how you see yourself
- give purpose to your process
- and help to answer the question: Who am I creatively?
Create a background using your favorite color and any medium of your choice.
Only one, mind you. White and black are freebies and can be blended with your 1 color to create lighter and darker shades. Or if you prefer, you can make it a collage of paper that has different variations of that 1 color. Create a random patterned background with whichever medium you choose to use. Don’t think too much about it, just choose what you are drawn to.
Discovering this favorite color is a peek into who you are and what you are like, creatively speaking. If you are unsure about what your favorite color is, take a look at your wardrobe, home decor, or the kind of art that you love from other people. Are there any consistencies? Look for repeat colors, the ones you seem to choose over and over, no matter the context.
Even if you think you like all colors, there is always one that makes a more consistent appearance. Finding it may help you to sort through your creative tendencies and put you on the path of creating a body of work that shines with your personality.
Do some test pages first, if you like. Sometimes we think we know what is going to make us happy creatively, only to find out later that we were completely off base. Exploring different options is absolutely fine, even encouraged, and taking risks with color can produce amazing results. But for today, let’s discover what we really LOVE.
WORD- proclaim it!
My kids went through a young teenage phase where they would say “word!” whenever they thought something was true or relevant to the conversation. It used to make me laugh. The kid-isms that they would come up with were imaginative and catchy…although I don’t believe they came up with this particular slang.
I especially liked when they would say it because they thought that something I said should be shouted from the rooftop. Like a proclamation.
So that is what I want you to do today –Proclaim your intention from the pages of your journal
I don’t necessarily mean simply writing the word on your page. You could – but maybe try one of these instead:
- Paste in an image that represents how that word makes you feel. The emotion inside of it. Photos are great for this….magazine pictures too. It doesn’t even need to be evident to anyone but you. After all, this is your journal, your intention. Make it personal. You never have to show it to another person. Maybe you desire a becoming. Butterflies are a great symbol of transformation, or possibly a cocoon to show that you are in the process.
- A list of definitions or other words that are relevant to the way you have chosen to use it this year, would be a great reminder to assist in solidifying your intention. If your word was dwell, you might insert things like: rest in His presence, or covered by his wings. Maybe it is something as simple as Home…for that is the place that we go to rest, our dwelling. Be creative in how you choose your reminders, they should invoke a personal reflection.
- Come up with a short phrase that would set your word into motion, changing it from a noun into a verb. For instance if your word is love, a deep affection for something, give it movement by making it a verb: Love Deeply. Here you are taking something you feel and making it something you want to do.
- Another way to explore those depths of the soul is to free write your thoughts and feelings. How does the background color make you feel? Why did you choose the color, or word you did? What would you like to see happen this year as you stretch those creative wings of yours? Fill up the page. Be authentic. This is your year to move into who you were created to be, and to discover the art you were born to create.
Expanding on the thoughts behind our intentions; our words, will help us to explore deeper what is in our hearts. This is one more step in figuring out who we are or want to be, and when it comes to creativity, the greatest and most impactful art comes from that deep place of emotion and intention.
Explore the depths of who you are, and take that next step toward your goal.
Make marks that make you happy
Simple random acts– mark making can be a great expression for inexpressible things. Keeping it simple will help you to work intuitively, not overthinking the process or forcing yourself to be something you aren’t. I remember a time in school when the teacher was droning on. Head resting on palm, I did everything I could to look interested and like I was busily taking notes.
But I wasn’t
Doodles filled the margins of my pages. Not complete works of art mind you. I would exactly frame those doodles. They were random and simple. Circles, scrollwork, lines….whatever came out. Like color, shapes and your affinity for them can give a bit of insight into your personality.
Sit for a bit and do some mindless doodling. What shape did you scribble most often? Use that shape to create a pattern on your page. Use just one….or 50! Your choice.
What could this mark possibly say about you?
I took a quiz to see what shape best describes my personality, and this is what I discovered about myself:
There is no other shape that represents you as well as the triangle! This mystical, magical shape is present in artwork, spirituality and nature and is a culmination of the divine! You are in touch with yourself and have the ability to find beauty in the mundane! Like the seasons, you are an ever changing being with the potential to create harmony and understanding among those closest to you!
[Want to discover your own personality shape? Check the quiz out here]
While this is a bit backward from what we ultimately want to do (after all, the intuitive doodle should come first) discovering this about my personality gave me permission to use this shape more in my art…after all, it is a part of me 😉
Doodling scribbles– try holding your pencil between the first finger and your thumb, and ¾ of the way down its shaft. You are looking for less control here. You want the pencil to wobble a bit. Letting go of this control will help to let the unexpected come to light. Only when we push aside our expectations can we really discover what is in us. The need to control is directly liked to fear.
- Fear of the unknown
- Fear of failure
- Fear to see who we really are
You will be amazed at the YOU, you never expected to see.
What feels good? – Sometimes our fingers just want to be in motion. And for no other reason than it just feels good. I find that circles are the easiest mindless activity. In a world that wants you to be constantly mindful of everything (you job, your words, you home, your clothes…you get the idea) sometimes you just need to be mindless. …in a low impact setting for sure. And what has less impact in your life than your art journal? In fact it is the perfect place to explore your thoughts, desires and intentions without subjecting them to others….until you are ready to that is J
Have fun exploring this side of who you are. Pay attention to what feels right through the simple act of mark making and move one step closer to your creative self.
Add contrast to your original color
Giving your artwork a pop of color, especially when you have initially limited your palette, will draw the eye and can even give attention to a particular point you want to get across to the viewer. When something stands out against a background of consistent color, the eye is drawn to that place giving the artist an opportunity to make a statement. What do you want them to see? Is it an intention of heart? A proclamation for life? What is your message within the art you create? Using pops of color will grab their attention giving you an opportunity to tell them who you are…or tell yourself even.
My husband and I are nothing alike. O, we agree on many things now after 22 years of marriage, but when we were in a fledgling relationship we had nothing in common. He liked to ride bikes, I was more of a hiker. He enjoyed spicy foods and I did not. He liked headbanger music and I was a punkrocker. How we ever managed to fall in love is beyond me.
But maybe it was contrast in our personalities that brought out things in ourselves we never expected. Maybe it was just what we needed to balance an otherwise one-sided life.
Color can be like that.
Contrast adds salt to an otherwise dull story:
lf you fill your canvas/paper with all of the same color family, it may look initially nice primarily because you like that color. But as the piece moves forward you will find that color that you liked in the beginning has lost some of it zip. For instance, I love robin’s egg blue. But if I fill a page with it, even adding slight variations of that color, I may still love the color, and it might even look very pretty ….but something will be missing. The color will be flat and maybe even a bit mundane.
Now this could totally be my opinion, I have seen fabulous works of art done with a very limited palette. But even a picture created entirely of paynes grey will have some white in it to add contrast. Otherwise it would just be varying hues of grey. Like salting meat before you cook it, the flavors rise to the surface revealing something you would not have otherwise experienced.
Be complimentary, not garish:
Choosing from the opposite side of the color wheel of your primary color choice will almost guarantee that, even though they are completely different, they will complement each other. If your piece is primarily blue and green, for instance, choose a red or magenta in the same general tone. Adding this will excite the viewer, let them know that there is something unexpected there.
But use it sparingly!
If you add too much, you will negate that pop, and make it more of an explosion. Sometimes explosions are good, but they accomplish something very different within a painting. Think about what you want to say, the point you are trying to make on your page. Would a very small amount of a contrast color accomplish your goal?
Play with it.
That is what creating in an art journal is all about. Give yourself permission to go too far, after all it is only paint – you can always cover it up!
Finding consistencies – look for them through your viewfinder
When my studio gets out-of-hand messy, I have a hard time being creative. I am directly inspired by my surroundings. The colors, the supplies, trinkets I’ve collected along the way, they all play an important role in taking me to that creative place. But if everything is out, splatted hari-kari across the tables, floors and shelving, my brain gets muddy.
Sometimes even when it is all put away I have difficulties. There is just so much of it, and choosing can be hard. Limiting your palette is one of those things that will help this problem. Another is looking through a viewfinder.
A viewfinder is like a window into the soul of your art.
You can use just about anything to accomplish this.
- A small frame
- A small mat board
- Your hands with finger forming a square
I especially like using two pieces of mat board cut into an L shape. They can be moved independently to increase or decrease the size of your square, allowing you to change the size of the area that you want to observe. This is especially helpful if you are crafting on a particularly large surface….or an unusually small one.
What you like
Move the viewfinder around your canvas, paper, or whatever piece you are working on. Are there areas that make you say – “oooo, I love that!” Maybe it is the texture or the way two colors have combined.
Look for the patterns that you love and make a mental note. These are the place that you might want to isolate as you wrap up your creative piece.
What you don’t like
As you look for the areas you love, you will also find others that you do not. These are the places that you would cut completely out if you could. We all have those! Don’t fret over them, it is just part of the process, and as you seek for closure in this week’s mixed media project, those places will be expendable.
You need those places
They will be the areas of calming. When there is a lot going on within your creative “space”, a cleaning needs to take place. This is where the spirit of the painting emerges: as you bring the things you love to the forefront, and help the ones you don’t to recede.
What do you “see”
Quite often when I begin to paint, I do it with abandon – meaning I have no plan, just a free flowing process that brings out the joy of color, flow, marks, and just plain creating.
But then I need to rail it all in.
A certain chaos takes place in that creative abandon that can appear just plain busy. And sometimes busy is good. But what would happen if you chose just one area of focus? This is where that “seeing” comes in.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when trying to “see” the spirit of the project:
- Is there an emerging pattern?
Squint your eyes and look around your piece. Do you see any flowers, animals, birds, butterflies, houses, people, etc…
- What 1 color could bring a calming effect to this chaos?
Choose maybe one that you used already. Using something that is already there will help you avoid more chaos. You will use this color to block out those areas that you didn’t like.
- How can I bring focus to this piece?
Some artwork just wants to be chaotic. If this is the case, you will need some sort of focus so that the viewer (even if it is just you) will know where to look. Be intuitive. If your piece depicts the chaos in your life – maybe you could add in a solid image (either painted or collaged) of something that you believe will bring you peace.
Here is where you put all of the answers to those questions into practice. If there is an image that you perceived within your colors and markings, use that 1 calming color to refine that suggestion. Paint (or draw) an outline around the image you saw and block out the rest (or at least some around the immediate area) of the painting with that one color. You can blend in some variations of that color so that it doesn’t look flat, especially if it is a large area.
Implementing the ideas that we talked about this week will help you to discover more about yourself:
- About the creative you are
- How you like to work
- The personality of your art
- And ultimately the voice that you choose to express through your chosen creative medium.
Practice is vital
No one is going to be able to answer every question they have about themselves and their purpose without putting into practice the things they’ve learned. The techniques, processes and the exploration that comes from walking that path every day. Don’t expect immediate answers. It is a life time of discovery and an ever changing canvas that will shine the brightest light on your purpose.
It is a day by day treading through the difficult, the expressive, the inspired and wonder-filled, and sadly yes, also the mundane. These are all of the things that make up our colorful lives and create the canvas of who we are.
I pray that you choose to walk this creative path and discover something today about your creative-self, about your spirit-life, and about the things that make you who you are.
God bless and have a marvelous weekend! ~l
Next week we resume our daily creative prompts. They will continue to come out on Monday for the whole week. Do them all at once, or just a little bit of the process each day. Post them using #52project, #creativefaith, and #CP4aCL
OOH I liked the card idea but can’t figure out how to make that book from your description.
I get how to make cover – of cardboard, front and back but then how do the cards stay in the book? Confused. Janis
Hi Janis! Thanks so much for taking on this challenge. Did you watch the video? ON THE POST: One word wonder, there is a link for a video. In the video I show how to put th inside of the book together. The video stopped taping just short of creating the cover which is why I put that tutorial at the eN there. Check it out and let me know if you have any other questions. I’m happy to help!!