In the Journal Jungle

Embossed Jungle

This morning I started out with a fantastic idea for including embossing in my art journaling class tonight and by the time I got to my studio to create a sample, I forgot where it was all leading to. That’s not new, of course. My mind has been playing hide and seek with me for the past several months. What is new is that I really have stopped seeking it.

Since having the time to do some intuitive painting, it is so hard for me to focus on an end piece of art. I have always been “all about the journey” and intuitive art in any medium is an opportunity to explore more than composition. I feel free to let my soul come out and dance, create, express…to be seen!

So as I am trying to get back to the embossing idea, which I have now nixed for a completely different art journaling experience tonight, I am drawn more to the jungle animal images I embossed; cute and fun, yet simplistic in style. “Jungle” naturally has great alliteration with “journal” and I feel like there is something to that phrase. As I reflect over my past journal pages, I see such an eclectic collection and I am realizing that I am different from the way many other professional artists that facilitate journaling projects begin.

Journaling to me will always mean writing and art combined. My first journal was a requirement of my fourth grade teacher. I goofed around a little with it, stapled pages together to represent private thoughts as the teacher advised so she would know not to read that section. Although, often I think most of those stapled pages were blank, not having gotten the assignment done at the time. Once I engaged in the opportunity to allow myself to release emotions onto the page, I was hooked. As I grew, fabulous friendships were chronicled, boyfriend heartbreaks were cried over, life in college and graduate school were detailed, and then family life came and journaling is a valued part of our homeschooling adventure.

My art journal pages usually begin with the words, the feeling of expressions that are dying to escape. The art brings that expression to life. It brings colors to the written word. I once asked a tech guy I worked with if he dreamed in black and white because he was on our case for how much color ink we were using. Art to words is like color to dreams…vivid, enraptured, strong.

Jungle Journaling is a great term for what I do. Creating a journal page so often begins when I am lost in the proverbial jungle – stress, exhaustion, chaos all around. I find my way out, or escape, through writing and art. Finishing the page is like coming into the clearing- encouraging me to take deep breaths and engage the world again. I just wish I could find my mind in that clearing somewhere!

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