The value of art time

Some weekends, aside from cooking meals & basic things like washing etc, I spend both days at my art desk. This is one of those weekends. Tony is in more pain and sleepy so he’s sitting in the lazyboy, napping, while I play with my art supplies. Art is good for me – the movement of my hands, the meditative sense of slowed-down time when fussy cutting out images, and the chance to get my thoughts & feelings out of my head and into my art journals.

I’ve been working in my large Dina Wakley journal, and the large Dylusions journals. I’ve really enjoyed playing with Steampunk images for a change.

Progress

I saw one of the registrars who works with Mr Pennington on Tuesday. They’re pleased with the wound, which no longer needs dressing, and the range of movement I’ve got. I asked if I should exercise just until it gets uncomfortable, or push through? Push through, but not to the point of tears. Ok then – onto it.

Speaking of tears, since a few days post-surgery I’ve had excruciating pain in my hip. I’ve cried a lot – very unusual for me – and am only sleeping a couple of hours at a time. The Dr said it’s bursitis in my hip, brought on by the change in how I’m walking. Normally they’d consider a steroid injection but it would slow down my knee’s healing. If it’s still really bad when I go back in 4 weeks, they’ll relook at it.

If I’m still progressing well at my 6 week appointment they assess me for the waiting list to get my left knee done. By May next year I could be the grateful owner of 2 two knees ❤

I must be starting to feel a little bit better; I’ve been finishing off some art journal pages I’ve had lying around. When I can’t be bothered with any art, you know I’m feeling pretty bad! This journal is now so thick it’s hard to get straight scans – they’re not as wonky & unevenly spaced as they appear…

A little art time

I’ve been finished a few pages in my Dina Wakley journal. This one is almost complete, except for odd pages here and there. I want to get the original one next time, not the blue one, just for a change. This started with insects, then I added the person, then added the insects back over the top again. Not my favourite ever, but doing it was good for me!

A little oops!

Last night I was prepping pages while talking to my sister on the phone for an hour – just idly painting and spraying. I turned the book round so the gloss spray drips were running across the page, and love how the colours work together. Then I painted a cross on the opposite (denim) page; it’s a shape I use a lot as a starting point – followed by white gloss spray.

This morning I was showing Tony the way the gloss spray works over the paints (love it) and had a sudden realisation. I’ve turned the book the wrong way after spraying the drips. The cross is at the top right of the page and I *always* have it at the bottom left. I tried to create a page with it that way round but it just didn’t work for me. I turned the book round and completed the page, which I like, upside down in the book. Oops!

This is the Dina Wakley blue journal, acrylics & gloss sprays and Tim Holtz idea-ology quote chips. The chips are thick, great for assemblage, but I peel most of the back off so they sit flatter in my journal.

Making windows in my journal

I’ve been inspired by Niamh Baly on YouTube lately and she’d been making windows in her Dina Wakley art journal. Ok then!! I’ve just got some new Dina Wakley MEdia paints and stencils – okay okay – and collage tissue and glass sprays – from Fiona at Create in Auckland so was all set for some playtime. It was fun linking the three pages together by making sure the window on the burlap page worked with the layouts on either side. It’s something I can see me doing more of, especially with the burlap pages.

New art journal

I’ve been waiting (im)patiently for some new art supplies and they arrived this week, but playtime had to wait until the weekend because I’m working from home. I was super excited to get a Dina Wakley Media blue edition journal and I love it! I had one of the original mixed media journals Dina put out and enjoyed it, so was interested to see her using denim. I also got some of her collage tissue, a few paint colours and some of her new gloss acrylic sprays.

The thing about new supplies is there is always a learning curve. Not all acrylic paints work the same way, tissue papers are different weights and so on. With a mixed media journal you need to learn what the various substrates do. Often there’s some completed pages you love early on, and a few you’re pretty ho hum about.

The only way to get really comfortable with new supplies is to play, play some more, and then play even more. Test, retest, and start to understand how they work. Today I’ve done 3 pages in the new journal. Two I’m super happy with  and one is in the ‘ho hum basket’ but that’s ok. As I say to people when I teach a class, in the end it’s only paint and paper…

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Don’t assume

This is one of my “pouring out the feelings” pages, done in my Dina Wakley mixed media journal. I can get very frustrated when people make assumptions about me, my life, my abilities etc. Don’t assume…

I used a Tim Holtz diecut, Ranger Distress Collage medium, DecoArt paints, Distress Oxides, Tim Holtz stencils and various pens.

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Hiding the details

When I journal, it really is the good, the bad, and the ugly. Currently I’m using a Dina Wakley mixed media journal, which I love, to “download my head”. If you’ve been foll wing me a while, you know I’ve had weight loss surgery and as part of that journey have faced up to my food addiction, abusive first marriage, miscarriages etc.

All my feelings get poured out into my journals, and I share all my pages, but some of that I don’t want others reading – and don’t even want to re-read myself because the psychologist think that creates a ‘loop’ in your head.

How do I write down the hard stuff, then share it safely?  There’s a number of things I do:

  • Cover the writing with a light coat of gesso or Tim Holtz Distress Paint
  • Put it in a sealed pocket or enveloped attached to the page
  • Cover it with printed tissue paper, such as the Tim Holtz range
  • Use scribble writing – this is my go-to

I did the background with Tim Holtz Distress paints and StencilGirl stencils, and the tag with Andy Skinner stamps using Stampin’ Up ink and a red Tombow, then wrapped some red cotton round it. I used a thick black Pilot pen for the journaling and added some messy burgundy and red cotton under the tag with Tombow glue to ground it a bit.

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This page talks about some hard stuff we’re facing at the moment, and how I feel about it. It’s personal and involves other people – it’s not just my story – so I needed to think about their privacy too.

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Inner thoughts

When I’m getting ‘stuff’ out of my head I often use this Dina Wakley journal – it has 4 different types of media in it and I really like it. The writing on this is about my weight loss, the ongoing struggle to be in the right head space, and the reasons I eat as an addict.

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