I am an avid art journal enthusiast. At first I carried a chunky half page journal with me everywhere I went. It housed my grocery list, idea sketches and art journal elaborate pages of mixed media. It was a jumble. Now i carry a thin journal with in my purse and my quick sketches, meditation notes and everyday notes live in there. Then at home I have a few art journal books that help me explore different topics.
Journals I started
Enough- my personal journal
Things my Son Says and Does
Word of the year
I am thinking about starting-
Sow – Garden journal
Love- a journal dedicated to the people who make all the difference
Do you keep a journal or diary? It is never too late to start.
My practice of journal keeping has changed my life. My journals are for sketching, keeping inspiration handy and playing with texture in an smaller format. This work has expanded my creativity in the larger projects of my life.
I also use journaling to create and refine my artistic vision. When I have a spark of an idea. I jot it down in a journal, then doodle it and research it and expand it. Sometimes that is enough. But those ideas that are worthy. They become in big paintings, creative endeavors and interesting happenings in my life.
December of 2013 – Heartbroken & numb – I sat in a councilors office and she asked me if I had done any creative projects around the grieving process, my first thought was – Duh?
Creativity is how I get to know myself.
She sent me off with instructions to start thinking about grieving as an art project.
Start a page in my journal.
Then to the research – for this project I started with the clothing of grief. I went to one of my favorite thrift store, costume magic & vintage frippery. I looked through racks, baskets, and piles of goodies. I was searching for beautiful sadness.
I felt my heart welling up as I found the black section of the frippery. I found a few pieces of lace and spoke with the passionate shop maven.
We talked about how the lace I chose was probably sewed into many dresses & reused by families of women who needed grieving clothing. I also found a beaded collar and she believe it was probably used by a women who lost her partner early and had years of black to wear.
I thought about my own story – one son born to me after three months of bed rest. Doctors offices bad news, miscarrage. And another, and three another’s…. let’s adopt – we leapt headlong into a crazy adventure… but the trade winds of faith were not blowing our way. We ended up with more loss, there is no word for adoption loss. But we had eight non-spoken pains. This all lead me to a journey of healing – journals, counseling, and inward exploration.
On September 27, I lost a piece of my heart. My big brother died suddenly in a motorcycle accident. In the weeks that followed, my tribe came around me and held me up. Cared for my son, washed my clothes and fulfilled commitments I could not.
I don’t know how I walked through these weeks, I hope with grace, patience and love on my lips. I felt him whispering to me “stay strong sis” & “have a good cry, Stumpy” – his voice is in my head at night.
When asked how I am, I can only say “upright.” My days are only marked by wet or dry days. My grief is written on every moment of the day, I know it will lesson as scar tissue forms but for now, I can still see my pulse in the wound.
It is strange how old wounds open, with a new pain. I have turned to my journals, my family, friends and inward as I work through these tough days.
I hope in the days and weeks to come to journal here about the journey of my season of grief.