52-Week Art Journal

Week 36: Finding Rest in Creative Self-Care

Welcome to Week 36 of the 52-Week Art Journal Journey. I’m Melinda, and I’m here to encourage you to reclaim your creativity and establish a healthy habit of creative self-care though my simple form of art journaling. This week’s small art is going to take some of you out of your comfort zone with the way lines and colors maybe don’t line up in a way you would naturally draw. It’s another idea I found on Instagram.

Welcome to Week 36 of the 52-Week Art Journal Journey. I’m Melinda, and I’m here to encourage you to reclaim your creativity and establish a healthy habit of creative self-care though my simple form of art journaling.

I’m breaking out the colored Sharpies for the first time in quite a while, as well as a black one, which you’ve seen me use quite a few times. You’ll need a black Sharpie, or something smaller. I found out that something smaller may be preferable on something the size of our journal page. You’ll also need three markers with at least vaguely flower colors… or whatever makes you happy. We ARE making flowers, but probably not in a way you’d expect.

If you’d like to watch before you read, scroll on down to the video.

The first thing we need to do is draw some… blobs. Large, random, rounded shapes in each of our three colors.

Fill up your page as much as you’d like.

When you’re happy with your blobs, fill each with parallel diagonal lines. Yeah, sure, you can play with other designs, as I planned to as I did my first page this week this way, but going from curvy to straight… and on to what comes after, is good for our brains, and for letting go of what we expect to do when I say we’re drawing flowers.

If it starts to feel uncomfortable, just… relax. Focus on the simple repetition of each step in isolation without thinking about how it all fits together, so you can get lost in the flow…

Of course my lines got a little… out of whack. Don’t worry if yours do.

But don’t let it be because of the main reason mine were. I was feeling rushed, and didn’t relax into my line-making.

I know I usually tell you to just have fun with it, but we’re not going crazy with our lines. Don’t be too rigid about your perfection, but just steadily making lines.

Like I said we’re seeking flow here…

As well as shifting gears to stretch ourselves. And extend our relaxation.

The next step is widely spaced horizontal WAVY black lines from edge to edge of our page.

Followed by widely spaced vertical wavy black lines.

Then choose one of the wiggly boxes created by your lines, and a spot within it to be the center of your first flower. Draw a rounded line to an edge of the section, then round back up to your centered-ish spot.

Think flower-petal shape.

Repeat from the center until you have a whole funky “flower.”

Then move on to the next box. Until each contains a flower.

Again, SLOW DOWN here. We’re going for flow, not speed…

The final step is filling in all the area that isn’t flower. It’s similar to the line-softening we’ve done in our neurographic art.

And it’s what brings this small art together.

Choosing rest

This week’s prompt starts the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. A holiday established to honor the labor of American workers. and for said workers to take a rest from their work. As happens in our society, it has become a day for consumerism with stores shouting their sales. No rest for the retail worker. And there’s revelry that careens into excess.

There’s family time, too. And the healthy taking advantage of summer weather before it’s gone.

I wonder how many people actually feel rested after this long weekend meant to be a break from labor, a rest.

Taking rest from work is integral to historical Christian and Jewish faith. Sabbath rest requires faith, as it asks believers to regularly cease from striving to achieve, and trust God’s provision. It requires humility, an admission that each of us is finite, and can only do so much.

Do you too often feel too busy?

Do you expect your body and mind to do too much for your level of rest?

We can’t do it all.

And that’s one reason I encourage people to take time for creative self-care.

Healthy self-care isn’t hollow self-indulgence. It requires intentionality to enter into, followed by letting go to accomplish.

I’m asking you to take some time to breathe and find flow in this week’s art-making you may see as a hodpodge. To intentionally sit down with your art journal and some markers, and get lost in each step of this week’s small art.

As every week, I’m encouraging you to take time to be creative, without thinking about all the things that need to get done, and the things you think need to get done.

Lines can be so helpful for that.

As always, I ask you to not get caught up in how the end piece of art will look. Don’t expect perfection from your lines; relax into them.

Don’t rush.

And if the flow you find in this piece leads you into some other art-making… revel in it. In the sense of Merriam-Webster’s second definition: “to take great delight in something.”

Feel free to revisit past prompts or check out ones you missed.

And use the concept of rest to inspire your journal writing time.

Until next time

I’ll be back next week with another small-art and journaling prompt. Thanks for the opportunity to encourage you to reclaim your creativity and establish a healthy habit of creative self-care.

If you decide to share any of your art journal on social media to encourage others to reclaim their creativity, and take time for creative self-care, tag me. I’m @melindavanry on Instagram, @melindavanrydesign on Facebook. You can also use #artjournalwithmelinda. If you’d like to share in a smaller safe space, click here to join my email list to receive an invite to the private Art Journal Journey Facebook group. I’d love to see what you’re creating!

It’s vitally important to take a break from all the other stuff, and just create.

What are some other creative acts you find flow and rest in? Comment below…

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