Journal Inspiration: Three Ideas to Explore

If you've been following the blog posts so far this year, you probably know that I've been sick for the last 2 months or so.  It was very unexpected.  I didn't think it would be so hard to keep up with the blog posts, but I really needed that time to recuperate.  Thank you so much for your understanding.

Today, I have three projects to share that you can use in your journal to document your spiritual life.  These aren't tutorials.  Unfortunately, I was still not feeling 100% when I created these pages, but I had to document the moment.  I thought I'd share some suggestions for things you can do in your journal in between the tutorials I post.

»»»Page One: Expressive Trees:

The page above was actually meant to be a tutorial for Imbolc that never happened.  It was inspired by a YouTube video about expressive watercolor trees.  I figured that if a water brush can be used for this technique, then the brush tip of a Copic marker would work too.  I seem to associate Imbolc with dryads, so I looked up pictures of oak trees until I found one that "spoke" to me.  I don't have a lot of Copic markers, so I layered some of the colors to create the tree above.  I used some of my other markers to letter Imbolc at the top of the page.  I did the lettering under the tree with a Prismacolor illustration brush marker in sepia.  I have a small obsession with washi tape.  The black washi was actually on a package I received in the mail.  I used gel medium to adhere it to the page.  The green washi tape is from Japan, and I bought it from MechaKucha808 in Hawaii.

The page opposite the tree got ruined, so I tore it out.  I decided to use it to display my word of the year, Serendipity, which I lettered with various markers and pens.  It's not meant to be particularly legible.  I know what it says, and that's all that matters to me.  I also wrote the Oxford dictionary definition of serendipity on the back of that tab of paper.  Serendipity is defined as, "the occurrence and development of events by chance or in a beneficial way."

I was a little late in discovering my word of the year this year.  This is only my third year of setting my intent for the year ahead by choosing a word for that year.  Usually the word chooses me, not the other way around.  In 2014, my word was free, and in 2015, it was mindful.  I was a little surprised at first by serendipity, but when I thought about it, it does tie in with a lot of discoveries I've made lately.  I realized that the key to happiness and to being more fulfilled in life is to embrace all of the "beautiful moments" that come to you, and also to allow yourself the time to do something you love even if it's only for 5-15 minutes per day.  Beautiful moments are everywhere, even in the midst of sad or difficult situations.  You just need to be open to experience the gift in each moment.

»»»Page Two: Song Lyrics That Click:

I'm sure you can relate to this one.  It happens to me a lot.  I'm relaxing and listening to music.  The song that's playing is probably one I've heard several times before, but all of a sudden, the lyrics jump out at me and they click with what I'm feeling or with the experience I'm having in that moment.  That's exactly what happened with the song, Burning Bones, by Kyrstyn Pixton.  I've probably heard this song at least 20 or more times, but suddenly these lyrics consumed my thoughts: "I want the freedom to devour every precious hour like it is the only reason for everything I'm feeling."  I got out my matte gel medium, a bunch of collage fodder, washi tape, a black Uni posca paint marker, a white Sakura gelly roll pen, a black Stabilo Marks All pencil, fluorescent red acrylic ink, and some paintbrushes.  There's no rhyme or reason to this collage.  I just glued down whatever made me happy in the moment.  I usually plan my collages, but this time, I went with what felt right.  I used the gel pen and paint marker to accentuate certain areas, and once the collage had dried, I used a paintbrush and acrylic ink to letter the lyrics on the spread.  Once the letters had dried completely, I added shading with a Stabilo Marks All pencil.  It was a fairly quick and easy spread, and I was able to capture the feeling of the moment.

»»»Page Three: When the Spirit Realms Intersect Your Daydreams:

I don't know if this ever happens to you, but sometimes when I'm daydreaming or doing deep breathing exercises, it's almost like another being's awareness intersects mine, and I get a full blown vision of something.  Whether it's real or my imagination is usually a mystery, but in this case, I couldn't resist painting the koi undine I saw.  She was very beautiful and otherworldly.  I painted her on a separate piece of watercolor paper.  Even though I've seen videos of other artists painting in a Moleskine sketchbook, mine just isn't cooperating, so I added some fun water themed washi tape to the page and glued the painting on the page.

First, I drew the basic outlines and inked them in place with a grey Copic multiliner.  Next, I used Copic markers to do the first layer of shading on her face and upper body.  Then, I worked wet in wet with watercolors over the entire painting.  Finally, I deepened the shading and added accents here and there with colored pencils and Derwent Inktense blocks.

I hope you enjoy exploring these ideas.  If you do try out any of these suggestions, please share a link to your creations in the comments below.

I'm currently working on another journaling tutorial and visualization that I hope to post within the next week or two.

© Wendy M. Juhl


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