Plain, simple, sincere, no fuss art journaling! Free your creative spirit! No artistic talents needed!

Monday, December 31, 2012


My latest page to remind me to be silly, play and just have fun as well. And what better way to lift the spirit than to go for a walk and spend some time in nature! I need to do that more often. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Artword 2013

There are only two more days left for the year 2012 and for some of us we are already thinking of the coming year and what we want to achieve. We will right down our goals for the year, speak about New Year's Resolutions and most of the time we will get side-tracked as life happens and forget all about our good intentions. 

I was watching a movie the other night called "Speak" which gave me an 'aha' moment. For those of you who haven't seen it I will give a summary.  It stars a 13 year old Kristen Stewart as Melinda Sordino, who is starting  high school as a freshman. She practically stops talking after being raped by a senior student the previous year and this has the effect on her becoming silent and drawn into herself. 

As the year progresses, Melinda begins a painfully slow healing process with the help of her art teacher. The art teacher wrote different words on paper, cut them out, folded it and threw them into a bowl. Every student had the opportunity to dip into the bowl and without looking pick one. They had to use that one word through out the year in their art. 

Melinda's word was tree and it is absolutely wonderful to see how she explore her emotions and how she uses this tree in her art. Her healing process starts and the movie ends where she had the guts to face what happened and she started talking. She told her mother what happened to her. She had her art teacher in tears when he saw her tree-art. He could feel all the raw emotion that went into her art. 

What a wonderful thing art is! 

The movie really spoke to my heart and the next day I was thinking about the way she used that one word in her art which lead me to my new year resolution for the year of 2013. I will not make any resolutions this year! I am going to find one word that will be my word to explore. 

My first thought was to use 'heart'. I could use hearts in my art and really make that my symbol for the year. Yes, that is great but why don't I dig a bit deeper? What will heart mean to me? I thought well I want to open my heart to so many more things and doesn't everything come from the heart plus I want to loose some weight which will also be good for my heart. I pondered about this but then my word came to me!  I want to be open to receive all the things that are good for not only my heart but my entire being! I want to experience 2013 with an open everything. Open eyes, ears, arms, mind and heart. I want to look for doors to open wide. I want to read more so I need to open more books. I want to loose weight then I need to be open to a new way of lifestyle. This felt right! Yes my word will be open! 

How am I going to use my word?

I found this old sketchbook in my art stash which I will dedicate to my word for the year. I will let this word speak to me and by working with this word on every page it will be a constant reminder to me this coming year. I also decided that I will choose three colors only to use and I chose black, white and red which to me is a symbol of negative and positive. Open to get rid of the negative and open to the new positive energies I want to bring into my life. Red therefor symbolizes energy. 

And not only will I be open to receive all of these things but I will be open to share and give in return! 

Ansota is really happy with her artword and ready to start 2013! 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

How to organize your collage papers.

All my collage papers in one folder!
I mentioned in my post yesterday that I don't like chaos. I can not function properly when everything is a mess around me. I need order and serenity. Clutter not only blocks the energy in my space but it also has a blocking effect on my emotional energy. I do not have the luxury of having my own art room and work on a table which is visible when you enter my flatlet. 

I wanted to share with you how I organize my collage papers in such a way that it not only look attractive but it makes it easy for me to find collage images as I need them. 

Another thing I want to mention is that I have a daytime job which means I only have time in the evenings to do art journaling. The last thing I want to do when I get home from work is to unpack art mediums or to search for stuff. I want everything to be ready and waiting for me and I organized my space to accommodate my art journaling needs. 

 I have several see-through plastic envelopes with collage papers inside. You can buy these at  stationary shops or any shop that stock office supplies.They are made out of a soft plastic and fixed with a plastic press-stud for opening and closing and are also available in different colors. 

I marked my envelopes with a permanent black marker and when I need a specific image I know exactly where to find it. There is one filled with background images and this envelope holds only scrapbooking papers and another one with background images from magazines.

 Then there are three to keep focal images. One with faces and people,  another with flowers and another with all the other images that are not people or flowers. 
Scrap paper for glueing.
The next envelope holds borders. I usually make a day of it to do some preparation when my envelopes need to be filled with new images. On such a day I will cut borders, go through magazines cut everything to size and then file everything in my envelopes. Another envelope holds all my rubb-ons and stickers. I don't know about you but I always have lots of printing paper that go to waste and all of those papers go into a brown file which I use when I am glueing images. Before throwing away your magazines tear out any complete pages that you don't need and file them in this folder too. They are very handy to mess on. 

Sometimes there are smaller pieces of paper or things that you want to use in your journal that needs only a small bag and for those I make my own little envelopes. I buy soft plastic per meter and then sew little bags exactly in the size I need them. I decorate them with lace or rig-rag and the newest craze is sewing them together with blanket stitch and embroidery cotton or wool and decorate them with washi tape.  These little bags are fantastic to use in your handbag as well. I have one, my little mini travel journal bag. Inside is a pen, small journal, small glue stick and small collage elements, peerless watercolors (thanks to my friend, Caryl) and a watercolor brush. 

Box to keep words for collage and mixed media.
I decorated this old cardboard box with spray paint and stencils and look what I keep inside! All my words and quotes. 

All I need to keep me happy and it is organized, tidy and ready whenever I want to journal.! My file that holds all my envelopes and a box filled with words. Hope this will help those of you who are struggling to organize your collage papers. 
Have a wonderful day everyone and happy journaling!
Toodles! :D

Art Journal Page: Relax

Friday, December 28, 2012

What do I get out of this?

I think we all have to come to a point where we have to stop and ask the following:
  • What are my intentions? 
  • Why do I keep an art journal?
  •  What do I get out of this?
  •  Is keeping an Art Journal something I do for myself or am I doing it for the world? 
I think before we can get to the real answer we need to take a look at what we have been doing so far. What does your art journal say about you? Is it a reflection of your own expression of  life or do you fill your pages by copying other people's work? To reveal your intentions you need to explore and think about the following:

  • Do I want to improve my artistic side?
  • Do I want to improve my writing skills?
  • Do I want to work through issues in my life?
  • Do I want to find the deeper meaning of life's questions?
  • Do I want to document my life?
  • Do I see art journaling as a hobby, business or way of life?
After working through all of these questions you can also answer the following questions truthfully:
  • Which art mediums do I love to work with the most?
  • Do I enjoy drawing and what type of drawings do I enjoy. Doodles, Illustrations, Abstract or real life, Realistic or anything else?
  • Do I like to collage only or do I want to work in mixed media?
  • How much time do I have to do it?
  • How much money can I spend on supplies?
  • How big is my space and do I need extra space or will a travel bag be efficient for my needs?
  • Be honest, what comes naturally to you? Writing, painting, doodling, collage, drawing?
  • What do you love most about art journaling? 
I realized after working through all my questions that some things will happen automatically. Yes my writing skills will improve, yes my drawings will become better and yes most certainly have I been working through issues in my life. I also came to the conclusion that to me it is a way of life. I am not doing it to enable me to become a professional artist so I am not doing it for the money. I am doing it to help myself. To me this is very important. I am doing it for one person and that person is me. You may ask why do I blog about it. The answer is simple really. Sharing what I know is important to me. I love to give another person the tools to enable them to grow and find their own purpose. I am most certain that my purpose in life is to inspire people. 

I found that I don't need a lot of supplies. I don't like thick layered pages that is tacky and filled with all kinds of bought embellishments. I have done those type of journals when I first started and to tell you the truth they are the ones I don't like that much. My journals with little daily drawings, doodles and expressive work or just simply collages from pictures I found in magazines are the ones I love most.

Isn't art journaling supposed to be a place to explore yourself and not about creating perfect show pieces of art? Don't get me wrong please! There are artists out there who do the most amazing work in their journals and I admire their skills. What I am trying to say is that a journal filled with perfect drawings or paintings does not tell me a lot about the person except that this person has been blessed with an amazing talent. But when I see a journal filled with expressive images and writing I feel the need to look deeper and there is something of the person's soul within those pages. Do I make sense? I hope so! I don't want to offend anyone by saying this in the wrong way. 

I found that I love watercolors and watercolor pencils to add a bit of color to my drawings and I am not really good at painting beautiful pictures. I am much better with a pen or pencil. I love my drawings but the moment I try to paint them I mess it up. I should stick to drawings. Ink drawings with a touch of watercolor is my thing. I do however love to do messy background papers which I can use in my collages or handmade journals. I love the fact that I can use watercolor paper and bind my own journals. 

I have learned that I need to listen to my own inner voice. It is a waste of time trying to be as good as the next person. I am what I am. My expression is unique and to me it is valuable. I don't have to compare my own expression with those of anyone else. 

I have learned that when I do what I call deep soul art journaling I like to work intuitively.  Working intuitively with collage elements has taught me things about myself. There is a reason why we feel drawn to certain images which I have learned from doing Soul Collage. 

So what are my intentions and what am I getting out of this?
  • To work spontaneous and expressive with collage elements.
  • To learn how to read the imagery I use and what it is telling me about my life's journey.
  • To listen to my intuition and trust the voice of my soul
  • To allow my heart to express from deep inside, from the unconscious into the knowing of who I am and what I stand for.
  • To allow myself to make expressive marks, doodles and drawings without the need for perfection.
  • To live my life creatively and most of all to be amazed when the mysteries and the answers to my questions are unfolding in front of me page after page!
What do you get out of this? I would love to know. :)

~Ansota is slowly but surely discovering herself in her pages.~

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Art Journal pages: 26 December 2012

Two pages from today's journaling. For some reason that is unknown to me my scanner decided it is not going to work with me today and I had to take these pictures with my Blackberry. 

I really enjoyed working on these two pages. It gave me the opportunity to really think about what I have learned this past year. Did I learn anything and how am I going to take what I have learned into the new year. 

Until next time take care everyone!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Feeling Happy

I am officially on leave and for the next two weeks I can focus on the things I love to do. It is a wonderful feeling to focus on the things that matter to me and not having to worry about going to work first. These pages are a celebration of pure bliss and happiness.

 Hope you all have a wonderful blissful Christmas filled with happiness, peace and joy!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I love Gouache!

In between the ordinary day to day journaling I love to experiment with paints as well. My favorite paints to use for these kind of art journaling paintings are either Gouache or Watercolors. These two are from a journal with 300 gsm watercolor paper and it is such a pleasure to work on a paper that can take all the water and not buckle up. I am really in love with Gouache paints and can't understand why there aren't more people using it in their journals. The dog was an experiment with color. I wanted to create something totally different and played with unusual colors. I can not decide if I like it or not. lol... well it is my colorful creation for the day and an experiment which was a lot of fun and that is what art journaling is all about isn't it. It is about the process and not the outcome. If I look at it that way  it was a huge success! :)

Cultivating my Soul

I did these two pages this afternoon. They are both reflections about the importance of cultivating the soil of my soul.. Soil is needed for a seed to grow. It will grow from the darkness of the soil and break through into the light.

Take care
Ansota :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Journal Pages

A few of the pages I did this week. I didn't spend a lot of time on these pages but they convey the different emotions and things I experienced on specific days. Sometimes I don't need to say much when I art journal. At times all I need is to release some creativity and it doesn't matter if my pages look pretty as long as I enjoyed the process I am content and happy. 

Take care
Ansota :o)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

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