Image of my hand getting ready to outline black crumpled paper print on an art journal page. To relax.
52-Week Art Journal

Week 13: RELAX

Welcome to Week 13 of the 52-Week Art Journal Journey! How’s it going?

This week you’re going to need some scrap paper, just a bit smaller than your journal page. Scissors, if you need to trim it to size. Black acrylic paint. A paintbrush. And a black gel pen or fine marker or other black-inked writing/drawing implement.

You’ll want two or three other colors of paint, and some other pieces of paper if you’d like have a little more fun than today’s journal page.

Remember to start your art on the page opposite your writing hand. Right-handed: art on left page. Left-handed: art on right page.So you can more easily journal while your small art dries a bit between steps.

It would be a good idea to protect your work surface.

If you’re new here

Click here to find out more about the 52-Week Art Journal Journey.

Start by making your journal, and this journey, uniquely your own.

This week’s small art

If you’d like to watch the video prompt first, scroll on down.

The first step is to crumple up your piece of paper.

Then open it back up and lay it down to cover with a not-super-thick layer of black paint.

There are two ways to you can use your painted paper to make the print on your journal page.

You can press the painted paper on your page, and smooth it, but not too hard, with your hands.

Or open up your journal and lay the page on the painted surface.

I found I preferred the first, but both work. Do what works best for you.

Some more fun

After you make your utterly unique print on your journal page, it’s time for some journaling—and some fun playing with this simple printing technique.

Get out some more paper and see what interesting things you can create.

Try crumpling up your original print paper again. And maybe again and again. Try adding different colors each time. You can try skipping spreading new paint with the paintbrush. And re-crumpling the paper after you dripped or spattered on some paint.

You can never know exactly what each print will look like.

Some results you may like better than others.

And that’s okay.

Our journaling prompt

After you’ve had some more fun with this simple print-making technique, or before if you’d like to do your journaling first, look at the print on your journal page.

Does it remind you of anything? Do any parts of it look like something?

It’s like looking for objects in the clouds. Maybe it reminds you of a Rorschach test.

Don’t worry, whatever you see, you’re not crazy. This would be an ideal spot for a winky emoji.

We often notice different things about something when we stop and really look.

The same can be true when we give ourselves a little distance, and maybe even let the edges blur a bit in our vision.

And that’s sort of what our art journaling is about this week.

Write about a memory or a situation on which you gained a different perspective with passing time.

Memory is a tricky thing.

So much of its formation is modulated by emotion. And we see what’s happening around us from our perspective.

For me, there were situations and experiences I had to admit were traumatic. So I could understand how they had twisted up how I reacted to certain things and behaved in certain situations. But along with admitting the trauma, I also gained greater compassion for others involved, in both how they were affected, as well as for the one who hurt me acting from their own place of pain. I’m still learning to be more aware of my own trauma-based behavior, and how to change it for my own sake, and for those around me.

We live in an imperfect world in various levels of relationship with imperfect people.

After your journaling

Part 2 of this week’s small art is all about relaxing.

Pick up your chosen writing implement and use it to slowly trace just outside the edges of your print.

All the little jigs and jags. The indentations and stray dots.

The object is to outline in one continuous line.

If you just focus on making your line, and NOT on making it perfect, it’s a very relaxing process. And grounding.

We’ve talked about grounding before.

Let your line-making get you focused on this moment. Not on what’s next after your art journaling, and what it may require of you. Not on anything that was bothering you when you came into this week’s creative self-care time. Not on your perspective on whatever memory you wrote about.

Though you may find that in taking your mind off all of those things, you may end up with some greater clarity in some area.

Again, don’t stress over “perfection.” Something else we’ve arted and written about, with a small-art project I used to dislike but now enjoy. I admit, cramps in my shoulder did cause me to lift my pen from the paper to deal with that annoying arthritic catch.

After I finished my circuitous outline, I extended the relaxation by adding lines, often concentric, in the black spaces from which the outer edges blocked my first line.

Take your time. Breathe. Focus on the line to let go of the stress.

Thank you

Thanks for joining me for another week of the 52-Week Art Journal Journey, and for giving me the opportunity to encourage you to reclaim your creativity and establish a healthy habit of creative self-care through art journaling.

I hope you find a blessing in this week’s small art and journaling prompts.

If you haven’t yet, be sure to sign up for your opportunity to be gifted a $50 Blick Art Materials gift certificate for my birthday. The drawing will be held Tuesday, April 11, 2023. It’s 5o for my 50th.


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