Wonderful Art Journaling Weekend Workshop!

It was one of those weekends I marvel at. Twelve people, plus myself, who mostly are strangers, spending 2 1/2 days together. The range of experience in the group was vast: a couple of people had never done anything like making an art journal before, and a couple others taught classes like art journaling and book binding. Most were experienced in between the two. Even with all that difference, the creativity and connections flowed smoothly, with freedom and laughter throughout. Here is a photo of our journals (and feet) at the end: We had a wonderful time creating together: And… Read More

The Mystery of Music and Memory

I am struck by the mysterious power of music and the way music moves the heart, gives hope, and recalls memories. When moved by a piece of music, I often found myself saying and praying, “How I long to paint like this sounds.” The right song at the right time can bring a deep sense of hope. This happened last week during my dear Aunt Ruth’s funeral. Music, especially hymns, were important to her. She strongly requested a specific vocalist sing two of her favorite hymns during her service. When the singer began the first song I began to weep. The song… Read More

My New Simplified Bullet Journal

Snow storm, cancelled classes, cleaning out and organizing studio spaces. For me it goes along with getting my everyday, calendar journal ready for the year. This simplified bullet journal gives me lots of freedom as I begin to live out my word of the year: FREE as in “be free.” By simplified I mean, not a lot of “to-do” lists or coding, unless I want to, but more of a loose design format to happily contain my thoughts, prayers, dreams, and activities of the year. Journal writing and research make up much of my everyday journal, but I want to jazz it… Read More

What Are You Doing Today?

What Are You Doing Today? “What are you doing today?” That is what the chiropractor asked me when I went in for an adjustment this morning. I heard myself say, “I’m working.” It sounded flat, true and not accurate at the same time. As he adjusted my spine, Dr. Rueben said, “Hmmm, is what I do work? It doesn’t seem like it. It’s more like fulfilling my purpose. And it gives provision for more purpose in other areas of my life.” I responded, “I like that. Sometimes I feel that, as an artist, people don’t think I work and I justify… Read More

1.Word-of-Year-Accordion-theme-Valerie-Sjodin

Word of the Year Art Journal Reflecting Life

Word of the Year Art Journal Reflecting Life If you’ve been reading my blog recently you may remember my quote of the year: “Plan to be surprised.” from the movie Dan in Real Life. Life hardly ever looks like I think it will. I like plans that follow through, events and deadlines nicely spaced out on my calendar, having something to look forward to, etc. In other words, I like to feel like my life is manageable and I have a reasonable measure of control. Nearly mid-year, I am trying to embrace the uncontrolled nature of my word of the year… Read More

Heart Flow Coloring and Art Journaling Page

Heart Flow Coloring and Art Journaling Page   After I finished the Flow pages shown in the last post, I moved on with the “Flow” theme found in John 7:37-39, using a coloring page I had made for the second coloring book: Colorful Blessings – Celebrating Everyday Wonders. I also added the definitions of “flow” on the left and my response on the right of the image used. Here are the steps I used to complete the page: 1. The coloring page image was too big for my journal so I reduced it and printed it out with a laser… Read More

Using Coloring Pages in My Art Journal

In the first Colorful Blessings coloring book, many of the drawings were drawn from my art journals. Now with the second book, Colorful Blessings – Celebrating Everyday Wonders, finished and being published by Taunton Press (released in June), I am beginning to use the coloring pages in my art journals. I thought you might like to see some of my process. I began by choosing images that resonated with the journal I’m working on: My Word of the Year Journal, and my word FLOW. The journal is made out of watercolor paper. Here I chose “Nurture Tranquility” from the first… Read More

Art Reflects Life in my Word for 2015 – Again…

It’s been awhile since I’ve art journaled in my 2015 journal. Looking back at this year, two necessities stand out as key for me in this current year: be focused, and be flexible. Challenging to be both at the same time. Sometimes I’ve done well, and sometimes I’ve muddled my way through, “dropping balls” as they say, along the way. Giving grace to myself and others has become necessary in order to thrive. Being vulnerable, which is so scary for me, continues to be my biggest challenge. No wonder my prayer for that came out on a journal page: A… Read More

Looking Back to Move Forward

I like to move on and not look back, but sometimes looking back can be helpful in moving forward. Recently, I have been given the opportunity to do just that, look back, look forward, and re-purpose the past in a new, meaningful way. It came as a surprise in an email from a publisher asking if I would like to create a coloring book for adults. The request was prompted by the book I wrote about my personal journey, Paintings, Prayers & Passages, and the art imagery found online, especially the A-Z of Me Moleskine journal. Even some of my paintings… Read More