Friday, January 8, 2016

Get up. Get dressed. Paint.: Next painting journey

I greet the quiet early morning hours with anticipation; today begins a new painting journey.  A new art journal, much larger than what I am accustomed to working in, and the book Paint Mojo: A Mixed Media Workshop are waiting for me.

Lesson 1:  making marks, making meaning

This exercise involves painting symbols that have personal meaning.  I never thought about this until I read this exercise back in November.  Since then I have been paying attention, looking for them, looking through my journal pages for ones that I always seem to use. Keys, trees, leaves, doors, spiderwebs, sun rays, birds, compass, and moon.
Step 1 was to create a dark color by mixes two colors.  I did not have the colors she suggested so I mixed turquoise and blackberry violet, not dark enough,  So I cheated and added a small quirt of black to get it dark enough.

Step 2 was painting the symbols using various tools and techniques. 
Using a bamboo skewer to create the spider web and the end of a paint brush to scratch through a swatch of color for random energy. 

A stipple brush
 Using white oil pastel for resistance.
Painting the meanings of the symbols

I realized at this point I simply wasn't "feeling" this exercise. I was to overlap my images and paint loosely and freely; just not happening. My left brain was occupied with thoughts of returning to school, the lesson plans that still needed to be written, and the Christmas decorations waiting to be put away.

Admittedly I got sidetracked here looking up the meaning of the symbols.  This search took me to websites offering various meanings and suggesting further research by offering book titles which lead me to Amazon which eventually landed me on our library website ordering books. When I caught myself, I got back on track.  *Sigh...

Step 3 was to use the two colors I used to create the dark color, mix them with water, then fill in the white areas. I noticed the white oil pastel was not resisting the paint like it should so I went over the sun rays again.

Step 4  was adding stamps.

Am I happy with it? No.  But I gave myself permission to leave it for now and come back later to add to it. 

What I learned

  • I do not have the patience to paint with a bamboo skewer.  Very little paint ever made it on the page.
  • To notice what speaks to me, what draws my attention and gets me thinking.  Because I am aware of these symbols, I am noticing them pop up throughout my day.  I allow myself to stop for a minute, to pay attention to them, asking myself what message are they bringing.
  • These symbols have actual meanings that rooted deep in religion and cultures that go back thousands of years. The universe speaks to us through them but we must pay attention and notice them.
What symbols are the Universe sending you?  Are you paying attention to them as you go through your busy day?  What messages are they trying to convey?  As you go through your week, start paying attention and taking note of what speaks to you.  

Joining Paint Party Friday where having paint under the fingernails is the norm.  What colors are under yours?


  1. Wonderful journaling again, glad you finding your way, even when it is not always easy. Happy PPF, hugs, Valerie

  2. Fantastic journaling! Wow!
    Happy PPF!

  3. very nice, quite interesting, applying meaning

    Happy PPF

    much love...

  4. I think your page came together nicely, and it is important to remember that this is for practice and developing meaning and content . It is not meant to be a masterpiece, so please let go of that pressure. I promise it will make things SO much easier. I have always been fascinated with symbolism and do tend to go look things up if it's something more unusual to me:) Happy PPF!

  5. That's a very interesting exercice, and I like what you did. It came together really well in the end. Painting with a bamboo skewer .... nah! But they're very useful for drawing into wet paint :-)

  6. What a nice neat office/studio you have. I am a neatness failure. And hang in there--the right stuff is never easy. I'm new around the blog world. Happy to say that I am a new follower. Dea

  7. I still think it was an interesting exercise -- could definitely inspire future projects! Thank you for sharing the process -- your art journal pages are lovely!

  8. I love how you found your symbols and you have inspired me to look for mine!! Hearts are one for sure!! I always listen to the universe but never thought to have this week your blog is my message!!

    Hugs Giggles

  9. what a great prompt. I will have to pay attention to the things that come up this week!

  10. Interesting and thought provoking post Diane...I've never thought about the symbols that I use, but I will now. I know that tree's would definitely be featured for me.
    I also know that I'd never have the patience to paint with a bamboo skewer either! Life's too short.
    Happy PPF to you

  11. This is actually a very good exercise. Knowing your totems (symbols) is just a part of life but as you mentioned you have to pay attention. I really do like the pages you created

  12. very interesting post. Great to see what´s in your mind :)


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