I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Friday, 7 June 2019

Holding on, letting go

Hello all!  It's a pretty grim, grey June so far, and I seem to be a little under the weather too (post-show doldrums).

It probably shows in today's creation!

I took part in the free three day art-journalling challenge hosted by the lovely and brilliant Kasia of Everything Art a couple of weekends ago.

In just a few minutes of playtime a day, we created a whole little book of art journal pages, cover and all, and I'm sharing it here today.

I'm not going to give away everything we did, that wouldn't be fair to Kasia.  I'm mostly just going to turn the pages for you., with a couple of close ups of each of them. 

There were challenges along the way, not least having to make our own marks.

With each instruction, Kasia's urging was not to think but to do.

That's probably how we managed to get so much done!  This was the end of day one - a six minute video class, and probably fifteen minutes at the craft table.

I made colour choices which suited my mood and preferences.

And I went rogue with a couple of instructions in various ways... just to keep it feeling like me.

For instance, rather than marker pens, I used my much loved dip pen with some ink.

Rather than collaging from magazines (which are not something I ever have around), I went another way with my paper scraps.

And I ended up having to do rather more with my cover than was instructed or than I'd intended...

... partly because it ended up falling apart rather more than I wanted...

... but also because it was originally a bright red colour (not me, as you know).  And when I gesso'd it, it turned pink.

And despite sealing it with matte medium, the red kept on seeping through. 

So in the end, I had to take fairly drastic measures and cover it with some papers...

... before painting it the colour I actually wanted it to be (the lovely Smalt Blue acrylic paint by Golden).

On the inside pages are words drawn from our moods over those three days of creativity.

There are little pen sketches of faces and figures.

Sometimes they're almost hidden amongst everything else that's going on.

But I really like how they suddenly come into focus as you look at a page...

... even though you maybe haven't noticed them at first.

They are really rapid sketches, but I think that speed can sometimes capture something...

... which long planning and painstaking execution misses out on.

I couldn't resist adding some wildflower stamping.

And given I'd yielded to black ink for the sketches and the writing...

(the brown ink didn't really show up well enough against the backgrounds when I tried)

... I allowed myself my favourite brown inks for the stamping.

I would estimate the total time I spent on this as only just over an hour, maybe 70 - 75 minutes...

... and that's including the three six-minute video classes each day.

So that pretty much deals with the age-old complaint of not having enough time! 

But you do have to have a little bit of mojo around to get you going.

 (Or lots of prompts to follow - thank you Kasia!)

Otherwise, no matter how much time you have...

... the stuff which turns up in front of you isn't going to make you happy!

It's messier than lots of my usual work, but it's a messiness that I'm often trying to capture.

It has a freedom which I like to aim at, and only sometimes achieve.

It's probably more often achieved on things I've not even shared on the blog...

... because they feel more personal and more vulnerable somehow.

The forward momentum of doing rather than thinking means that, in a very healthy way, you're less in control.

I think these pages probably tap into something close to my centre, unmediated.

It's not as orderly inside as one might hope, clearly!  But then I knew that, because I live in here.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing some of my inner workings laid bare.  And I hope you can find just a few minutes this weekend to be creative.

Who knows, if you don't think too hard, all sorts of things might work their way up from the depths?!  Happy crafting all!

If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough.
Mario Andretti

With plenty of my own mark-making, some of it geometric, some of it not, I'd like to play along at Try It On Tuesday where they want us to Make a Mark 
And at Art Journal Journey, Halle's theme is Words To Live By - there's lots of handwritten text here, over multiple pages, from those individual words to the hidden scribbles expanding on some of those thoughts
I haven't had a chance to play along since lack of time forced me to step down from the design team at Mini Album Makers, so I'd love to join in with their June challenge this month


Helen said...

what gorgeous pages! I didn't get to follow along with this, it looks like I missed a lot of fun!

Amanda said...

What a super journal and I just love your scribbles
Amanda x

Valerie-Jael said...

You made some fabulous pages for your album, wow. Hope you soon feel better. Hugs, Valerie

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Another blog friend made tags from this class. I saw what she did, which didn't include the many layers of paper you created, and I emulated (close to copied) her style for my latest ICADs. Yours are SO different from hers, yet I was just as impressed, especially with the marks around the focal images. Unlike you, I can't draw, it's just not in my wheelhouse. I also am using magazine images because I have SO, so many of them. I love your more organic approach to this class and am thrilled to see the results of yet another class participant's results. Thank you for also sharing this with us at Art Journal Journey. This is absolutely INCREDIBLE.

Halle said...

Such beautiful pages with a limited color palette. Amazing texture!
Thanks for linking up for Words to live by for AJJ.

Meggymay said...

Wow, a really awesome journal . I was amazed when I read how quickly you had created all the pages, it sounds a super challenge to have completed.
Thank you so much for sharing your art with us at Try it on Tuesdays, this fits our theme so well.
Yvonne xx

Let's Art Journal said...

What an amazing journal! It must have been fun to make and I can't believe that you made it so quickly, there is so much amazing detail 😀. Thanks so much for sharing your creative adventure with us at Try it on Tuesday and wishing you a happy weekend! Jo x

Hazel Agnew said...

Wow Alison. You have spoken for me!
I too, did this class and went through most of the feelings that you express so well.
I would like to loosen up more and get rid of the constraints and standards that I burden myself with.
Your mark making nevertheless is beautiful.
You made me smile with your commentary. Especially covering up colour and it seeping through!
My booklet is a mishmash of colour, images, emotions and struggles, but it strangely makes me happy. It shows me how liberating creating without boundaries can be.
I signed up for Kasia’s new course and have just begun a new journey into free journaling.
Thankyou so much for sharing this. I hope that this takes to new explorations. Xx

Redanne said...

It is a wonder that you cannot hear the huge sigh that I just let out - I have the class ready to watch but just cannot muster up the energy to do it... but seeing what you have created in such a fluid and loose style makes me want to get on with it now! Your completed journal is gorgeous, the blues and browns and so beautiful (isn't it just like red to get everywhere!). Thank you so much for inspiring me Alison. Anne xxx

Cath Wilson said...

Beautiful journal, Alison, so organic and free.
Thank you for sharing with us at Try it on Tuesday.
Cath x

Jennie Atkinson said...

I just love love love your messy style Alison! what gorgeous colours, textures and general swirlyness on each page. Absolutely fabulous and your choice of colours really brightened my day here on what is another grey day. Thank you so much for sharing so much of your wonderful journal. Have a great weekend Jennie x

Lucy Edmondson said...

This is beautiful, Alison. I love the shade of blue you have used. In love with one of your stamp sets in particular at the moment x

Astrid Maclean said...

Interesting pages Alison, free and organic, looks as if you had fun!

Dortesjs said...

totally in love, soo so organic and deep in love with your colours

scrappergirl56 said...

Love it, love the free flowing carelessness of everything. I did not get to play along...sad, I missed a good time of being more mindless, less thinking. I am an over-thinker..."must let go"...

Cocofolies said...

It's just fabulous, Alison. I so much love your pages and the process... I was so sad to not been able to join in the challenge offered by Kasia, because of my exposure! And the last day after, because of my family.
So, once again, looks like I missed a great playtime, very creative and interesting.
Your pages and album are gorgeous!!!
Hugs, Coco xx

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Your art pages are lovely. I like your use of blues.

Annie said...

Well this looks like it has taken some time Alison with all those amazing/personal details on each page. They say that you should not think too much when creating but its getting started thats the problem for me, then I always go off in a different direction :-)
You clearly had a fun time and thats whats important xx

Huge hugs
Annie xx

Mrs.B said...

I'm in awe that this was created so quickly, and although messy, it's still got your stamp on it. A fabulous little journal with lots of interest - and marks, so Thanks for linking to Try it on Tuesday.
Avril xx

My name is Erika. said...

What a fabulous book Alison. I love that is seems to have a slightly vintage/retro look. Maybe 1950's. What a cool idea. And I love the idea of how you could make in a little bit of time each day. Thanks for sharing the final result. Hugs-Erika

Patty O'Malley said...

Beautiful journal. Love that it just seems to have a free expression going on.

Dorthe said...

Oh you created a wonderful book from Kasias challenge .
I was there too, but have not found time to create along .
Your pages are fantastic, and love your scribbled faces, and marks. Also your use of cut out images, looks great and different from the others I have seen .
A wonderful book. dear Alison, maybe I should sit down and do this challenge .... Hugs, Dorthe

Nan G said...

So many interesting and free flowing pages. Love the dip pen work. Hugs

froebelsternchen said...

That's n INCREDIBLE Journal dear Alison! WOW! WOW WOW and once again WOW! That's AMAZING! Great to meet you at AJJ again ! Thank you for joining us!
Happy weekend my friend!
Susi xxx

Craftyfield said...

I did this too, and yet the results are so different! Let's just say I prefer yours... xx

froebelsternchen said...

And I didn't tell you how much we appreciated your project linked to Try It On Tuesday!

THANK YOU Alison for supporting us!!!

Sue said...

What amazing pages, and they look like you spent far more time on them than you did. I'm so glad that your cover ended up blue rather than pink lol. Have a very happy weekend, Sue x

Margaret said...

Oh, let me catch my breath! Never have I wanted the ability to reach through a screen and actually touch something as much as I do now! The various textures, blending bits and pieces together, and all of that beautiful blue come together so well. Your skill, intuition, and modesty are on full display in these fantastic creations!

Margaret Mifsud said...

My, oh my! This is gorgeous Alison!! I love the fluid style and the gorgeous colours! It looks like you spent way more time on it than you actually did and there is such a wonderful feel to each page! Like you just let yourself go and allowed your creativity to take over! Absolutely gorgeous!! hugs xx

Sharon Fritchman said...

WOW, Alison! What a beautiful, creative, and absolutely wonderful journal you created from this class. I love, LOVE the colors and your unique and gorgeous style! Thanks so much for sharing your talents with all of us at Art Journal Journey! Hugs!!! Sharon

Baroque duJour said...

Seriously awesome, that is so beautiful. I got as far as getting the pages together - ie as a substrate!! It was an exciting course, way out of my comfort zone. You totally embraced it and I love what you created.

pearshapedcrafting said...

How absolutely wonderful! You shine through this even though you have been following along with Kasia! Definitely words to live by too! Thank you so much for joining us at Try It On Tuesday! Chrisx

Mac Mable said...

You sure look like you had fun Alison. Love the spontaneity of the pages and the blues and browns you've used. All so unique and ultimately all you....Great save with the red page cover too x.

My name is Erika. said...

I forgot to say thanks for joining us at try It On Tuesday!

Roosterhead Designs said...

Hello Alison, I have so enjoyed 'musing' over these journal pages!
The 'blue print blue' with black and white is a gorgeous palate; and then adding your bits of brown as well. Beautiful. I like messy layers on a page - and your free-style here is brilliant! Your pages speak to us. .
I do like some of the rough, confused thought displayed, and of course the 'hopeful', silent wishing and 'achievement' too~ and you certainly achieved a beautiful piece of textured mixed art in this journal! Love your work~ karen o

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

What a great play Alison, you've obviously enjoyed every minute of that mini course. It's amazing how our mind can control the things that we should just left flow free. I too am guilty of thinking way to much about creativity. You've produced a beautiful thing which will hold the memory of when you just let creativity take the lead. So happy to see you sharing this over at Mini Album Makers.
Hugs Tracey xx
P.S Hope you are feeling better and sorry if I have missed any recent posts, I've been away on holiday so been out of office for a couple of weeks. Need to get some free flow creativity started up before my brain explodes :) x

Neet said...

It's hard to understand the short length of time spent on this journal when you look at it. It is absolutely beautiful something I so admire. Each time I scroll down the blog pages I find something else within a picture, so much to see and such beautiful work.
I love the way you have worked so freely with your pen, the drawings are superb, the stamping perfect and the whole journal is a magical journey. I could go on and on but will leave it there before I get boring. Only wish I had seen this earlier but due to more health issues I have been blogging and creating to a minimum. Thanks for making my day in seeing this.
Love, Neet xx

Fliss said...

I'm astounded how much you managed to pack into your little journal with the time spent Alison and the end results are really gorgeous. So love those beautiful blue hues which actually struck a chord with me too at the moment.
Fliss xx

sally said...

Wow, loads here and not an instant colour connection to you either!!!

Sally xx