I've discovered that an art journal page, once you might pronounce it finished, still has life left to it, and may appear in ways or means you never thought it might, weeks or months later.
In one session pre-Covid, when we could share space with strangers, I discussed with my class, why they signed up for art journaling. I received 6 different answers, of course! That's the wonder of journaling through pictures and select words: it's such a personal process. I'd like to share one story that has really stuck with me, something I learned from one of my workshop attendees. As always, it's how I've learned what I know about art journaling - from others :)
At the beginning of this four week session, one particular attendee indicated she just wanted to try something new, and was getting ideas from Pinterest to make a pretty book, for the simple goal of creating a pretty book. And she did. It was truly gorgeous. At the end of the four week session, she showed us her completed journal (yes, every single page was filled with wonderful art and reflections) and said she'd changed her mind regarding her motivation. Upon further reflection, it made her HAPPY when she flipped back through the journal, and not because it was pretty, but because it reminded her of the love she had in her heart when she created the pages.
Recalling LOVE. Hmm. Of all the emotions we experience as humans on this earth, and with all the talk of experiencing the HERE and NOW, recalling an emotion interests me. Especially one as powerful as love, and especially when perhaps we're dealing with loss. A lost relationship. A lost loved one. A lost wedding ring. Whatever. Do we block that lost love, because if we go back to that love, perhaps we fear it will remind us of how we felt when it slipped away, and how that hurt? Is that what burying our feelings means? Why would we bury something so positive as love?
So. Perhaps recalling the love and spilling it back onto a page can be helpful: to take the paper and the glue, the bits and bobs, to cover the blank space in our emotional life that maybe that loss created, and fill it again with the colours and images that make us happy, and that we love. Could it be that powerful? While our internal spiritual life can be complicated, and sometimes messy, could this be a kick start to a process of healing and remembering the lost love itself, not the blank space it left behind? I hope I'm right.
Reminder: if you are really struggling with your mental wellness, please seek help through professionals fully trained to assist your with your challenges. I'm just a girl who messes with paper and paint and glue.