My Art Journals and why!

The tantalising handmade page!


As a practicing artist and art teacher, this is what I know: within all of us there is a silent language that reveals the truth of our thoughts, feelings and emotions far more fluently than words can alone. An art journal ( or visual journal) can be a wonderful place to play, experiment and articulate those thoughts and our daily experiences, without words and without it taking the shape of a  conventional diary. The journal can play a key role in enabling thoughts and feelings to be processed, setting up an arena for self dialogue and chatter.  It can grow into a place to source new ideas, grow inspirations, and play with the dreams that flow in and out of our conscious or even sub conscious mind.
Our captivation with Facebook is testament to the fact that we are quite driven to want to document our daily lives, thoughts and hobbies, an art journal can become a place where we do just that:  document our inner world and yet we dialogue with our selves rather than an outer audience.
The great thing about any kind of Art Journaling is that I can dabble and experiment ! And I can Art journal anywhere....in fact I do!  Art Journaling is portable! Art-on-the-Go, Art in-Small-Spaces and Art for absolutely anyone at all who fancies a dabble and a play. 

I have filled sketchbooks and made art journals of all shapes and sizes my whole life! Something about working inside a book captivates me. In fact I love looking at all my journals lined up on their very own shelf!

My art journals are so many things...... keepers of memories, of dreams, ideas and schemes. A collection of experiments, try outs, plans and musings.....I use Art Journalling as reflection, as gratitude practice as a way to process my life, my day and a way to treasure and savour some of the truly mundane moments in a day which are are actually rather magical.

Sketchbook Journal pages


Handmade Journals

Lovingly stencilled, stained and stitched together, these books are my garden of artful, playful and mindful moments.



You can learn how to make Journal pages such as these with Claire and I on the April 1st Joyous Journalling Day.  You will learn how to transform a sketchbook and how to build a weekly habit of creative journaling as you learn to play on the page, without judgment, just through a little creative fun !


Art Journaling and Reflective writing

So much positive and negative emotional processing comes through dialoguing with yourself through art journalling. For those who are diving deeper into Joyous Journalling we offer therapeutic art and writing exercises to support you on your creative and expressive journey. The role of writing in an art journal is very much as process. You may seek to process thoughts through automatic or reflective writing, or the words may be discovered through intuitive means such as found magazine poetry.


Sometimes you might be pondering questions or seeking inspirations, finding that main idea or hidden answers can take place by using process writing with water colour pencil, covered in a wash of water to blur most words, then key words highlighted afterwards. This can distill the meaning from an automatic writing page.

In response to a question, or intention you are setting, process writing is created on the page and then concealed with paint, gesso and doodles. The intention and energy remain imbued within the page even though the words are concealed from view. The key statement of the idea is  created as a headline as the last layer.


Deep Soul Pages

Much of the time my art making is my self-care regime /routine; it is a habit that occurs in response to a deep primal drive that abides within. It evolves and changes course and shape over time, but it is my mirror. It is the knowing of how my art has enabled me to explore and express, which led me to become an art educator. It is the witnessing of how my art enables me to reflect, process, imagine and dialogue with myself, of how it makes visible something I had long buried or newly invented, that bring forth the deepest images of my active imagination that has led me now to the field of art therapy
There is extraordinary value in artmaking when attempting to express ideas that are not linear, or not sequenced, or that may not have been formulated until the marks start to be made. Our images transcend the need for words and come from a deeper felt sense or artistic knowing place.
My own artistic knowing tells me, that making art for me is beyond words, which may not have been accessed or formed when I begin art making,surrendering to that process is very much akin to play as I watch what happens emerge.......

Its not a new mysterious artform, artists and scientists have long practiced visual journaling before us,  including Leonardo DaVinci and Stephen Hawkins,  and according to art therapist Elizabeth Warson, the regular practice of creating via an art journal can reduce your heart rate, increase serotonin flow and immune cells, and decrease stress responses.

You only need a book, your mini art kit and some commitment o yourself to start........


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