Colorful Art Journaling: An Escape to a Happy, Magical Place
This is the story of how I pursued positivity until I found a creative outlet with Colorful Art Journaling. Enjoy the story, have a chuckle, and try out the vegan glue recipe too!
It’s been a gas crack of a year—the beginning of the new norm. All aboard the Corona Coaster! Warning: Before boarding, drench yourself in Purell, tighten your masks, and prepare for a loop-di-loop of a ride.
I’m not a roller coaster fan…but, I think I’d rather ride Japan’s Takabisha and hurl a few cookies as I pray for the 121° drop to end rather than go through the world’s current challenges. And I’m guessing many of you are feeling the same way…funky, longing for happier times, and in need of an uplifting release.
It was during one of my recent funks, I remembered a book reading I attended at the beloved Bodie Tree in The City of Angels, Los Angeles, California. The author, Julia Cameron read from her amazing book The Artist Way. It was the early 90’s—life was a bit more carefree then, or it seemed so at the time. After her book reading, I immediately purchased the book and rushed home to commence a new adventure a perfect complement to my artwork. I perused the substantial-sized treatise until my brain benumbed. The commitment of time was overwhelming. I closed the visionary book and placed it on the bookshelf where it remained for years and years. Wherever I moved, it moved with me. It gave me a sense of satisfaction to give Julia’s iconic work pride-of-place next to other books I admired.
After my trip down memory lane, I was intuitively guided to give The Artist’s Way another try—once again preparing to embark on an enlightened path. However, once again my brain took a siesta. How was I going to release the doldrums? It was obvious by my lack of enthusiasm, traditional journaling wasn’t going to satisfy my thirst.
I gazed out the window and observed nature—a wonderful pass time. Then by divine providence, a Red Cardinal perched on a red Firecracker plant. Both the plant and the Cardinal’s vibrant color made a pretty picture as my feathered friend delighted in his afternoon insect snack. Hallelujah! I was inspired to return to my art journaling.
I was on an artistic high while I searched for a variety of items: Pens, pencils, paper, watercolors, pieces of recycled wrapping paper, and newspapers full of print and intriguing images,—anything appealing that would contribute to my new creation. And all the while I’d accepted the realization that for me, journaling needed to be easy, colorful, and fun!
After the eclectic supplies were arranged on my desk, I closed my eyes and invited my inner-kid to join the fun. I love my inner-kid. She laughs and loves to be silly. No criticism allowed, only light-hearted pleasure.
I began a new piece of art by cutting out inspirational words and images from magazines. Next, I drew a heart on a white piece of paper. I painted the heart using yellow watercolor. Yellow is an uplifting color and I was on a mission to say goodbye to gloom and hello to joy. I played with the position of the words and images within the heart before they were permanently glued. Then I wrote, drew (doodled) whatever came to mind. The work of art would never hang in the Getty Museum, but I didn’t care, it gave me joy.
These days I take time, just about every day, even if it’s for fifteen minutes to play with my art journal. And now, I’m excited to share with you the process I’ve found to be the magic formula.
The Magic Formula for Colorful Art Journaling
Firstly, go on a treasure hunt for materials (use whatever medium inspires you):
- Paper (white and if available, patterned paper).
- Varied fabrics (old and new).
- Scraps of wrapping paper
- Pens and pencils (if possible include different shades of pens and pencils).
- Crayons, chalk, and paint (watercolors works nicely).
- Cut out images and print from magazines and newspapers.
- Vegan glue (recipe below)
Sit at your desk, in a garden, under a tree—any quiet place. Perhaps listen to your favorite music, audiobook, or my favorite sound…nature. And when ready, immerse yourself in wonderment and creative exploration.
Once you have selected your materials ask yourself questions such as…
How do I feel?
Do I feel free to express myself?
Do I feel free to express myself through art?
Have I created a safe space with no judgment?
Do I feel fearless?
And the most important question…
Am I ready to have fun!?
And keep in mind it’s not necessary to show your work to anyone, but if you feel the need, please do not give a hoot to their opinion. Allow no judgment from others or yourself just relax and enjoy. Make your art journal a gift from you, for you.
The world’s current challenges can be stressful and that’s why it’s important to take a break whenever possible and get into the groove of colorful journaling. Connect to your soul—invite your inner-kid to play and escape to a happy, magical place.
In Peace, Love & Happy Art Journaling
© Beach T. Weston 2021
Vegan (Earth friendly) glue recipe:
- 1/4 cup vegan flour.
- 1/4 cup organic sugar. (Standard white sugar is not vegan. It’s made from bone char) — Vegan sugars: Sugar in the Raw, Imperial Sugar, Natural Sugar (Florida Crystals), Bob’s Red Mill (Date sugar), Simply Balanced, GW.
- 1/2 tsp. alum (found at grocery store in condiment section)
- 1 3/4 cups warm water.
- 5 drops lavender essential oil (optional, used for preservation)