Archive for May, 2009
The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude. ~Friedrich Nietzsche
Writing in a journal allows us to stop and reflect. Use your journal as a place to reflect on the things you are grateful for. Often we are overwhelmed by all the obligations we have in our daily lives or what we lack that it is easy to forget what we have. Gratitude for what is in our lives allows us to be present and really savor the good things. Being able to reframe circumstances that we find ourselves in also opens us up to allowing even more positive possibilities. This is not about being unrealistically happy 24 hours a day, it is about fostering a more positive perspective on things.
+ Write a Gratitude List as an entry in your journal. From the big things like a recovery from an illness or getting a new job. To the smallest things such as a genuine smile from a stanger or the extra whip cream in your mocha. When we remember what we have, our lives become more abundant. If this is difficult, start small. You’ll be amazed by all that you have to be grateful for.
+Make writing a Gratitude List a habit. Every time you sit at your journal, begin an entry with a short list of 5 things you are grateful for for that day.
Pink Poppy print available
in the amanobooks art section
In honor of Mother’s Day this past Sunday, this journal tip is dedicated to journaling with kids. Not only is this an engaging activity to do with your child, but it will create a lasting memory for both of you. In an age where everyone is running around with hectic scheduling, take the time to stop and reflect with your child. You may be surprised by their observations!
My 9 year old niece, Bella, was gracious enough to share several of her journal entries with me for samples of journaling with kids. I love how her journal is already bulging on the side with things she collects and glues into her journal.
Here, my niece glued down an atc I created and wrote down what she felt the image meant.
+ Get a plain notebook or sketchbook and have the child decorate the cover with stickers, collage, or even their own drawing.
+ Encourage the use of pictures, drawings, and stamping in their journal. This is especially the case for children with pre-writing skills.
This spread was created by my 5 year old niece, Sophia. On the right side is a photo from a vacation. She continued the landscape according to her own vision!
+ Help them observe their world- don’t forget the wh questions, who, what, when, where, why, and how.
+Make it fun! Emphasize that there is no right or wrong way.
+When a child finishes a drawing, ask them to tell you about it-write their words down! Attach it to their drawing on the opposite facing page, or write it on the drawing. With their permission, of course.
When Bella was 4 years old, I got engaged and told her the story about the proposal. She later illustrated it and my sister wrote down her description of her illustration. This drawing hangs in my studio to this day.
+Children are so observant of their surroundings. Have them use a journal to record their sightings on a nature walk, or a city stroll. Tape or glue in the little things they collect on their walks- leaves, sticks, found objects, etc.
+Collect personal photographs or random images. Let your child pick one to glue into their journal and then write a story about it.
+Don’t forget to date the entries!
sounds like a poem to me…
+Journaling can also help children process their own feelings of emotional events in their lives. It provides a safe place for them to express themselves.
This week’s post is not a writing tip, but a tip to help add images and artwork to your journal pages. A very easy way to add imagery to your journal page is to get your hands on a box of transparencies that you can print on from your local office supply store. They are pricey, but if you will use them, it is worth it! Read the instructions for your printer, of course, and make sure you are able to print on transparencies before experimenting.
1. Print out your image on a transparency sheet and then trim down to size.
2. Write out your journal entry in your journal, then glue your transparent image on top of your writing.
from my personal journal, 2007-2008
Or you can collage various papers and add some paint before laying down your transparency. I did that in the example below and added a journal entry on top of the collage, and then attached my transparency.
from my personal journal, 2007-2008
In the spread below, the right hand side, I placed a picture of myself behind a transparency of a tree. The actual writing of this journal entry is behind my photo in a glassine envelope. The layering possibilities are endless with transparent materials!
a spread from a collaborative visual journal
+ There are onlines stores that sell images on transparencies such as art chix studio. They have fun images that could inspire an interesting journal entry!
+ Somerset Studio published a book called Transparent Art that showcases mixed media works using a variety of transparency materials and techniques. I have never read this book, so I can’t give a recommendation. But it looks like a good place to start if using transparencies is new to you or if you are just looking for some inspiration.
+ There are also ways to do transfer techniques with transparencies. If you do a quick search online, you should be able to find articles on this technique.
+ I highly recommend using your own images, if you can or are willing. Your journal entries will be much more personal if you use your own images.
+ You can even use older artwork as your starting transparency image for your journal entry. It is always fun and interesting to go back to a finished painting and rework it in your journal.