What do I mean by “Art for the Soul”? Grab a drink and get comfy. This is gonna take a few minutes.
if you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you know that I found art – more specifically art journaling – quite late in my life. My family didn’t do any sort of crafting and the few required classes at school (back in the day when art classes were actually part of the school cirriculum – as important as any of the purely academic classes) held little, interest for me. i took an “art appreciation” class in in college, and found it only mildly worthwhile.
In my various former business lives, I was manager at a Dairy Queen; a bank teller; a medical records abstractor in a kidney transplant unit (don’t ask); a legal secretary and a paralegal. I wrote software user guides; conducted intranet usability studies; installed the first PC network in the company I worked for (waaay before I appreciated the elegance and simplicity of Apple – once you’re Mac you’ll never go back). I managed large teams of technical customer support people and implemented enterprise-wide software solutions (don’t ask). I completely re-structured the member services division of a local county bar (as in attorney, not as in alcohol) association. And then I retired.
What does all that have to do with “art for the soul”? Not a darned thing. That’s my point – all those years of working the gray cells in the left side of my brain had me convinced I had no artistic abilities at all. None. With a capital zippo. But guess what? I was wrong. As my family will tell you, I don’t admit that very often.
Once I got interested in art journaling and started taking classes, I discovered that I can play with (and spend money on) art products right up there with the best of them. I can splash ink on a page and smear gesso around with my hands. I can collage and layer acrylics and stamps. And all those years I spent claiming I couldn’t “draw a stick” – convinced I just “couldn’t do it”. Wrong again. I’m not saying that I’m a “fine” artist, but I know now that I can create a page I love looking at. And I can even draw and then paint “a girl’ – now that was a real shocker!
But the biggest shocker is how “arting” makes me feel. If i’m having a bad day, I hole up in my little studio (ok, it’s really the guest bedroom) and start laying down paint. it’s not long before I’m totally involved and humming. If there’s something on my mind and I scribble those thoughts in my journal and gesso over them, I somehow feel better. It’s not that I’ve resolved the problems – or the things that are on my mind have magically disappeared. It’s more like once I’ve given them a “voice” those things don’t seem to be quite so heavy. Some days I just feel like playing and I can spend hours just experimenting – and still feel very accomplished. When I am the lucky recipient of “happy mail” it’s thrilling to open the package. When I’m making happy mail, I’m get all warm and fuzzy thinking about what the recipient will like and creating something pretty for them. That’s “art for the soul” – part therapy, true, but mostly it’s just fun and it satisfies something in me I can’t quite define.
When my friend and fellow artist and digi designer, Courtney (of Courtney’s Designs) and I were discussing a collaboration project, she gave me her list of possible themes. One of them – “Art for the Soul” immediately resonated with me. We set out to create something that really represented the art we love to make and I think we succeeded. I’m am totally in love with this kit – Courtney and I both hand-made/painted almost everything in this ginormous product. We both used our gelli plates to create the backgrounds and textures in the kit and we both sketched and doodled the same kinds of elements we would use on our own journal pages.
I hope you love “Art for the Soul” as much as we do! Thanks for reading – and I’d love to hear your thoughts on what art journaling means to you.