I started an art journal. I had heard about art journaling and seen plenty of examples, but I could not see myself do that. Somehow something changed last week and the idea of starting an art journal all of a sudden became very attractive. So I went to the thrift store, bought an old stitched hardbound book and got going. I did not buy a very pretty, very new art journal, because I figured that would most likely activate my fear of failure and my need for perfection. An art journal is a visual exploration, and, whatever way you use it, it is not about perfection, but all about messing about and intricately messing up as well.
When I paint on canvas, I design the lay-out, determine the technique and then fill the canvas. I am in control. There is nothing wrong with that, but … In the art journal, I start with an empty page and have either a vague or no idea what I am going to create. And then through a process of sensing preferences, I allow the page(s) to fill. What colors to use, what media, what forms and eventual words. I let them come to me. And when something doesn’t work out as I intended, I don’t panic, I just see it as a way to get to something new and unexpected, or I let it be.
This art journal is not only teaching me a different way of working, it is helping me grasp a different way of life, a life in which I relinquish control, in which I trust Life to lead me. It allows me to feel the difference between forcing and allowing, to sense the subtle differences between my way and the Universe’s way. To me, this journal is a means to mastering the art of allowing, a way to bypass the mind, to relax and simply enjoy the process of co-creation. It is amazing what an old book and some paint can amount to.