Nest of Comforts

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These art journal pages make up a three-page spread and are part of a project that I taught my art journaling class in the spring. We started out making the page extender by removing one page from our journals and than adhering it to the outside edge of the second page of a two page spread. Then you can fold the page in toward the center of your book between the first and second pages. Unfolded, it will make a three page spread inside as well as outside. These pages are the inside three page spread. 

In my class, we'd been talking about how to use the journal as a place to express ourselves and our personal mythologies. I had been a bit stressed from taking care of an ill family member as well as coping with fibromyalgia and pain spikes and migraine headaches that had started to increase as a result of my stress. I had decided to cope a bit and give myself a much needed break by taking my camera out on the trail and enjoy being out in nature. It has become quite therapeutic for me to do this and I thoroughly enjoy it! I had been so inspired by the birds that I had been seeing out on the trail and had been trying to get close up shots of them (not very successfully!). They inspired me with their chirps, the way they soar & fly and the way they would watch me as I would try my best to slowly approach them. Then one day I saw a bird gathering dried grass and small twigs on my patio to build a nest. I had been working on my own self care and was struck at how this bird was "taking care" of herself and her eggs. I decided to introduce the concept of a "Nest of Comforts" to my class and have them use their three page spread to draw, paint, illustrate, collage and journal about their own "nest of comforts". It became a theme that we came back to again and again. For myself, as I work on my journal right along with my class, it became a process in which I continued to add things to my nest of comforts. I worked on my pages for three months before I had layered and filled the pages and they seemed complete. I discovered that I could probably make an entire journal dedicated to my Nest of Comforts, as I found more and more things that comfort me, provide comfort, heal, soothe and encourage me along my journey in this life and particularly during times of stress. I found things that helped with my migraines, that helped me cope with pain, that helped me to cope with stress and that helped me take the breaks that I needed. In short, sharing this lesson with my class, enabled me to continue exploring my nest of comforts and come up with ways to rest and take comfort or change up things that no longer work. My journal itself has become a nest of comforts. I hope you might explore this theme of Nest of Comforts in your own journal and if you have never journaled before, give it try! I'd love to see your work either here in the comments, or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, just use #nestofcomforts. 

Art Journaling Class Begins in 1 Week!

Art Journaling class at the Petaluma Arts Center starts one week from today, on October 28 and I can hardly stand it! I'm sooo excited! Blank art journals, supplies, paints, inks, pens, adhesives, etc. are all gathered up and ready for a creative journey. There are just a few spots left in the class if you are still thinking about registering. If you're on the fence, come on over! You can register here, or call Hilary at 707-762-5600.

Art Journaling Class Starts October 28!

I am so excited about my upcoming Art Journaling class at the Petaluma Arts Center! For those of you who have already registered--we are going to have so much fun! For those of you who haven't registered yet and are on the fence--please join us! It will be so much fun to have you in class. There is still time to register and seats available but seating is limited, so act today! You can register here or call 707-762-5600 to register over the phone. 

As I've been preparing for class during the past month, I've been busily gathering supplies and materials, putting together cool projects for us to make in class and working in my own journal. While I've been doing all of this, I've been thinking about why people keep journals, in particular, art journals. I've come across lots of examples of art journals and the variety is astounding, from keeping sample books of colors, designs and fabrics to recording every day life events, thoughts & feelings to drawing/painting/collaging. Throughout history, artists like Frida Kahlo, Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Picasso and many, many others have kept art journals. So, what can keeping an art journal do for you?

  • Exercise your creativity and give you a place to experiment. Keeping an art journal that is just for you, can give you a safe place to experiment and practice different techniques. It's important to warm up before doing anything and your art journal can give you a place to do just that as well as a place to play.
  • Find and use your voice. If you're needing a place to be able to say something or if your unable to express yourself in just words, your art journal is the place to find and use your voice. For this reason, you can keep your art journal completely private or you can share what you feel comfortable with. It's up to you! 
  • Play! Sometimes is just sheer fun to play with paint, ink, collage or drawing in a journal. It doesn't really have to be any more important than that! 

As always, I welcome your comments and questions about the art journaling class coming up or art or art journaling in general. Feel free to use the contact form, email me or leave a comment below!

Art Journaling-Register Now

I'm so excited to teach Art Journaling at the Petaluma Arts Center this fall and registration is now open! If you're interested, you can register online here or call 707-762-5600. If you have questions about the class, you may contact me through the contact page.

One of the things we are going to be doing, of course, is mining for images. Our culture is filled to the brim with images. We are image-making creatures and images and symbols fill our history and our psyches. Thus, images can be found anywhere and everywhere. By using images in our art journals, we will be creating our own visual language. We'll be finding images that relate to our own personal experiences of life in magazines, photography (yours or someone else's), advertising and even drawing our own. I'll have lots of material to choose from in the class, but you can also go online, use your own photography, use old books or vintage photographs found at a flea market, graphic art or any number of other things. Ephemera is also part of images. Like the ticket in my art journal page above. Use maps, brochures from a trip you took, letters, postcards, etc. The possibilities are endless...and personal. So, I encourage you to look around and start gathering things that you might want to incorporate into your journal. Gather things that speak to your soul, things that get you excited or cause you to say, "I love that!". Place them all in a folder, box or accordion file and bring them to class.

Register now and as always, I'm happy to answer any questions! Either comment below or contact me through the contact page

Art Journaling Class

I'm so excited to announce that I will be teaching an art journaling class at Petaluma Arts Center this fall! This is going to be a really fun class and appropriate for all ages and skill levels. I'm busily writing a bunch of fun things for the class! 

The reason I am so excited to teach this class is that art journaling is for everyone! And each person creates a unique, personal art piece based only on themselves and their view of the world. I get juiced watching students experiment, discover and create these pieces. Art journaling can useful in so many ways, as a idea book, mood or vision board, as a way to record your feelings, as a way to experiment with art techniques and so much more. 

Please feel free to contact me with any questions about the class. Art Journaling starts in October and runs for six weeks. I'll send out another notice when sign ups are available.