I am trying to develop a new habit. I read Julia Cameron’s excellent book “The Artist’s Way” a few years back. In it she challenges us to do morning pages, writing a few flow of thought pages each morning. I have long done some form of that, but I am developing my own modification of morning pages using art journals as the tool. For about 15 minutes, I do a little art, or a little doodling…maybe a background, in my art journal. While I am doing the intuitive art in my journals is the perfect time of prayer for me. It focuses me, and seems to be a conduit for my prayers to flow. While I am creating I feel especially close to our Creator. Concerns and joys can flow together onto the page where they stand as a tribute to a time of communion with God. No one else can “read” the specific prayers and meditations that are expressed in the paint. Even I promptly forget what the marks and brush strokes were saying, because they have been released onto the page, and into God’s hands.
These painted prayers and meditations serve as the perfect backdrop for the next phase of my morning pages…the written word. I usually paint on one page, then journal on a different page that was painted on another day. My morning writing is not the “careful” writing that I do other places in the journal. It is written without much concern to style, or neatness, or even what I am saying. It is just a free flow of words as they emerge. I learn things about myself that I didn’t know. It is freedom of expression where I dream and rant, or meander through many musings.
This particular page was done in three sittings. First I did the background on the pages of a book turned art journal. I cover many pages with gesso in a go to be ready and waiting for me. Then I painted a few backgrounds as I have leftover paint or stencils to clean off. So, my 15 minutes on this face was started on a prepared page. The face is entirely done with assorted paint markers, a 2B pencil, and the same favorite Scarlet Lime pen that I use for journaling. The hair is a mass of meditative pen doodling, started when I did the face, and continued when I sat down to do my writing.
Here are a few other examples of pages with this kind of free writing…