Tuesday, 30 May 2017
"Think twice before you speak because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another." Napoleon Hill.
What words are you going to plant in someone today? Will you be building up or tearing down? Our words, whether measured or spilling out without thought, carry power. Words can linger in the mind and heart for years. They can cause us to believe lies about ourselves or they can encourage and equip.
So the question is: are you going to be a joy stealer or a dream grower?
Sunday, 28 May 2017
Never stop dreaming.
I have just completed another art journal. This one covers March to May 2017. It doesn't have all the journal pages I created during that time as I work in several at once, but this journal was the one I worked in the most. (If you'd like to walk through it with me, you can see it on my instagram account here.)
I can see that over time my art journalling has become more complex, with more layers and more marks than I used to do. I am also more ready to draw in it rather than look for magazine images to use. Here are a few pages from earlier in my art journalling journey:
Earlier this year.
Along the way I've worked out which sorts of paper I like to use (24 sheets of A4 300gsm watercolour paper, ring-bound with a Zutter Bind-it-all) and become happier with my handwriting and drawing skills. I still make pages that I don't like sometimes, but the daily practice is paying off.
Thursday, 25 May 2017
Even if you're a pot plant in less than suitable conditions, you can make sure the soil in the pot is good.
We are responsible for looking after our own well-being - making sure we have the things we need to stay energised and functioning well. Even if your situation is not optimal - maybe your job is not as fulfilling as you would like, it's stressful and draining - you can make time to do the things that will de-stress you, charge your batteries, and bring fulfilment. In fact, you must make time for those things, otherwise everything goes downhill.
The bigger environment you're in may be difficult, but you can have some control over the micro-environment immediately around you.
Make sure you know what energises you and what drains you. Make sure you know what brings fulfilment. And make sure to feed yourself those things that will make you grow.
Monday, 22 May 2017
Stay grounded, but don't forget to look at the sky.
This page was inspired by a photo I took of a piece of pavement where several different patterns of tessellating bricks came together. (You can see the photo on my instagram account.) It made me think about staying grounded. We need to keep our feet on the floor, but there's no reason we can't also look at the sky.
We need to be practical, but we also need to dream.
Without dreams we won't make progress. If you don't have the desire to improve, you'll never get down to doing the things that will hone your skill set. If you can't imagine the world being different, you'll never work out how to change it; you'll never take a risk.
So, feet on the ground, looking at the sky.
Sunday, 21 May 2017
How resilient are you?
This little plant is a succulent. It is well-adapted to a hot, dry environment. But through the year, it has to cope with temperatures from about 0 to 45℃. It needs strategies to stop water loss on those days when the wind is like a hairdryer. But it also needs to not become waterlogged on those days when the rain lashes down, and not to freeze when the temperature (occasionally) drops below freezing on a winter night.
We, too, need to be resilient, like this plant. We need to be able to cope with sudden changes in life without wilting or freezing. We need to be able to keep going even when the environment we're in is not optimal.
What do you do to become resilient?
For me, my faith is huge for this, as are my relationships. But also I need to make sure that I do something creative on a daily basis - art journalling, of course, but also cooking, knitting, writing, patchwork, drawing, making jewellery, and other things along that line. I find that if I don't do something creative, I have less patience, less energy, and so the smallest thing can easily be blown up to ridiculous proportions.
But when I have prayed, read the Bible, spent time with the people I love, and made something, I am much better placed to cope with the unexpected without falling apart.
This page was inspired by a photo I took for Nat Kalbach's challenge Artful Adventures - Stroll Through the Hood. The prompt was 'plant life'. I'm playing on instagram where you can find me @sojournertracy.
Thursday, 18 May 2017
Some days my head is just so full that I can't find any words.
This page has lots of bits and pieces that I love - the way the turquoise dots pop against the red; the black ink squiggles from my winkpen; all the little marks and colours.
And when I stood back, there were no words. But that's just how it is some days.
Tuesday, 16 May 2017
Yay! Now I can feel like a proper artist.
Yes, I know - I'm already an artist. But don't you have that feeling sometimes? As if you're a bit of a fraud. You call yourself an artist, but are you really? You don't make a living at it. You're just pottering around in your 'studio', splashing some paint around, just enjoying yourself.
So when I put an expression of interest in to SALA (South Australian Living Artists) which runs every August, I wasn't expecting to be successful. The City Library were looking for artists to exhibit. What better place for an art journaller to show art journals?
I sent off the email with photos and some blurb about my art and forgot about it.
Then last week I received an email - I'd been successful! There followed a flurry of registration paperwork which is now all complete. Now I'm catching my breath and waiting for it all to seem real.
Sunday, 14 May 2017
What cliffs are you scaling?
Scaling cliffs causes us to grow - whether it is something that has been thrust upon us or something we have decided to do. It makes us more resilient in life and better skilled at what we do.
How am I pushing myself to grow in different areas of my life? Where have I been a bit slack and just coasting?
What cliff can I start to climb to become stronger/better/more skilled?
I find that joining challenges can be a good way to grow. I've recently done Rae Missigman's art marks 30 day challenge. It helped me to see what my go-to marks are, to think about how I use them, and to broaden my repertoire.
Thursday, 11 May 2017
It's always an adventure to move out of the art journal and on to canvas. How will my favourite techniques work? Can I bring something to life that people will want to put on a wall? Or should my art just stay in a book?
This canvas had been hanging around for ages. First I did all the rectangle bits. It was all right, but needed something more. I was happy with the colours, but there was something missing. So I wrote on it.
And hated it.
I covered up the writing and added some circles, because who doesn't like circles? But there was still something missing, so it stood against the wall for months.
Then a couple of days ago I dragged it out, turning it this way and that, trying to work out what it needed. By turning it 90 degrees I found a space that just called out for a face.
Now it felt better.
I may add some words - just subtle ones - or I may not. Who can tell?
Joining in the fun at Paint Party Friday.
Tuesday, 9 May 2017
What holds you together when you feel like you're falling apart?
I didn't know where this page was going until I put the zigzag line between the two orange pieces. They reminded me of stitches; the kind that you use to pull two pieces together to abut one another.
There are some days when it feels like everything is out of control, falling apart. You have no idea what is going on, how you're going to continue, or where you are going. Those are the days I really have to lean in and believe. Believe that what God says about never leaving me is true and that He is with me through all of it.
He holds me together when I feel that I'm going to fly apart.