Monthly Archives: January 2010

scribbling 101

this whole art journaling thing really took off my sophomore year of college. my roommates and i took an art class with T. Graves (that’s what we called her…) and were required to do a painting. i quickly decided that i didn’t like painting concrete things. it might have been because i attempted to paint an incredibly beautiful picture that my dad took in Italy and i just didn’t feel like i was doing it justice. but i think it had more to do with the structure of it all. my painting turned out alright, but i wasn’t overly impressed. it was a lot of work. and took perfection. and in the end, it still didn’t look as good as my dad’s photograph. when the class was over, i continued using the paints and started doing art the way i wanted to. it wasn’t a graded assignment and heck, i didn’t even know if anyone else would see it. but i went from painting a pristine picture to scribbling like a 3-year-old because it was liberating.

remember what it was like trying to stay inside the lines of coloring books? there was always a little part of me that wanted to run that crayon like crazy over the entire picture, but it had to be perfect. teachers used to yell at kids who scribbled outside the lines. “don’t scribble. color nicely,” they’d say. sometimes, i feel like i have to live life inside those lines. trying to be perfect and pristine. but guess what? i can’t live life that way. i’m gonna mess up and i won’t get it right every time. grace catches me when i fall and freedom is there to let me- be me. somehow, scribbling seems similar. it calls for imperfection. there are no requirements in scribbling. i hold my crayon or maker or paintbrush and without any hesitation at all, i put color on paper. and there is beauty created in the mess.

there is nothing perfect about this art.  i worry about even calling it art sometimes because it seems like such a disaster. but that’s all a part of it. there’s something unique about each piece. something beautiful that catches a person’s eye. i believe this is exactly what God sees in humans. sometimes we feel like a scribbled, messy pile of (fill-in-the-blank). and yet, i believe with all my heart that something in us catches the eye of God and fuels a desire in Him or Her to continue giving us grace and freedom. grace is a mystery to me, but i know it exists and that i need it daily. and while freedom waits for me to let go of all i carry, i know there are times i hold on with all i have because it seems comforting. thankfully, God gives us these things lovingly and without hesitation.

while i believe God is generous in giving, i also believe we have to choose to accept. this is one reason why i do art. it is a physical way of engaging my hands and my heart to the things i have been given. God is there waiting for me to take a hold of Him. and sometimes scribbling helps me to grab on to that grace and freedom and love. so don’t be intimidated by the word paint or create, thinking you have to paint these immaculate masterpieces. think: scribble and be free.


reflect and celebrate

well, now that you have a journal you love… it’s time to get started!!

let me explain a little: i am graduating from my undergraduate career in may. i have spent much of the last 5 months reflecting on the past 4 years. i moved to a new place and created a whole new life for myself. i’ve gone from comfortable and confident to uncomfortable and unsure and back again. i came to college knowing two people and over the course of a few years have made some lifelong friends (insert SAPPY moment here). all that to say, in a time of looking at the past- i can’t help but to look towards the future. graduate school seems to be in the books for me. while i always thought it would be “cool” to have master’s degree, i didn’t think i would actually pursue it. and here i am- applying, interviewing, and ready to move on to higher education. i’m excited for all that’s to come after graduation. and scared out of my mind, but i hear that’s pretty normal.

in a time of living between the past and the future, i had forgotten what it was like to live in the present. my mentor reminded me of the importance of living in the now and celebrating all that has been accomplished. with all this back and forth, i completely left out the celebration. i had a SOLID interview at the University of La Verne and my application is in process. it’s a program that gives my butterflies in my stomach because it is exactly what i’m looking for. and aside from that, i’m getting ready to graduate! i think i have reason to celebrate a little, don’t you?

i encourage you to find your own reason to celebrate. in times of stress and bills and to-do-lists, i pray that you discover something to celebrate. something that is worth writing, painting, and recognizing. maybe you made a delicious meal from scratch, did well on a test, went for a walk and got some exercise. or maybe you too are graduating, got a new job, maybe you’re getting married… whatever your reason, take a moment. inhale, exhale- you did it! celebrate and give yourself and your God some credit. we spend so much time worrying, overloading our planners with appointments, and watching our blood pressure soar because we just can’t take it anymore. take a deep breath and smile with everything within you. get those art supplies out, put on some party music, and celebrate!

getting started…

finding a journal that you love is an important starting place. i tried journals with lines, without lines, spiral bound, leather journals, etc. after experimenting with many different types of journals, i found my match.

my journal match came from my favorite art journalist- sabrina ward harrison. not only is the outside beautiful and a masterpiece of her own- but the inside is filled with thick, white pages, without lines. i love that i can paint, use sharpie markers, and watercolors without worrying about the ink bleeding through or about there being too much water on the page. the beauty of the white, line-less pages is that you have this perfectly blank space to work with. i found the lines hard to cover up and difficult to incorporate into my art. the lines were distracting to me and created more frustration than anything else. this of course, is all about preference. if you plan on doing a lot of writing- go for the lines! but if you plan on sketching or painting, i say keep it clean. you can find sabrina ward harrison journals here.

creating art journals does not mean that you have to go out and buy a whole bunch of new supplies. i started with a simple set of acrylic paints, but have learned to appreciate the even simpler things. i love using markers and watercolor paints (a set i got for less than $5 at a craft store). sharpies are also wonderful, allowing you to journal over different colors and textures. but one of my favorite purchases was a white jelly roll pen (can you say jr. high?!). this allows me to write on dark surfaces and the words stand out beautifully. check this out…

look around you and find ways to use your resources. i thrive off of magazines and catalogs (especially anthropologie). these things inspire me and give me new ideas. and also remind me of the important things in life. the picture above reminded me that i need to take time to rest. as much as i love people and being around others, i have found the importance of creating a space for myself to relax and be rejuvenated…

i pray that you find that this week. if art is something new and scary to you, experiment a little. try using a colored marker in your journal instead of the same ol’ black pen. buy a cheap set of watercolors and be reminded of what it was like to paint as a kid without any inhibitions. engage the inner Creator in you and allow Him or Her to be released. we are daughters and sons of the Creator King. look up to that sun that’s been hiding and find joy in creating something new…

hello world!

i decided i needed a place to share my art. it’s not fancy. it’s just me. my heart and soul are expressed through paints, pictures, words, and so on. i have found art as a way to process my thoughts and feelings, to practice good therapy, and to do something other than writing papers…

who am i? good question. i’m figuring it out slowly, but surely. i am a twenty-one year old woman that is ready to take on the world. i am unsure, unable, and plain unrealistic at times. but i am learning to actually live my life instead of sitting on the sidelines, watching it pass before me. i am learning what it’s like to give myself grace and the importance of a deep breath.

i hope this is a place where comfort is found. a place where ideas or inspirations might be gained. a place of encouragement. a place to inhale, exhale, and know that everything’s gonna be alright.