Friday, 15 February 2008

Finding Faith!!!

Over the last couple of weeks I have been a frequent visitor to the GPP Street Team blog run by Michelle Ward She is one awesome lady! I truly love her stuff and her enthusiasm! She first came to my notice as one of the contributors in 'True Colors', the book I raved about below and her crusades are designed to bring together artists in a little community of their own and to encourage them to make and share stuff!

I knew right from day one that I was going to brave it and take part in her crusades but you have no idea how brave a thing this is for me because I simply have no faith whatsover in my creative/artistic ability. I know I have gone on about this a couple of times in various places but I grew up being the 'academic'. I was never encouraged to be artistic or creative and in fact have been told all my life (mostly by family) that I am not artistic... and the more people said that, the more I believed them and from quite a young age I put myself in this little box which was all black and white, logical, full of straight lines, order and rationality...

it dawned on me about 18 months ago that I had been brushing on the outskirts of creativity all my life. I had played with stenciling when that had been the rage...putting little works of art all over my walls and furniture. I had painted little cottages for pin money and had done lots of sewing when making furnishings and decorations, made tapestries into cushions and had spent a good deal of my childrens youth using my 'non creative ability' to dream up and make fancy dress outfits and games and novelties for school. So with this enlightenment came a new enthusiasm for art and I began googling!

Soon, I came across new terms...'altered books', 'art journalling', 'mixed media', 'scrapbooking' and very soon a whole new world opened up for me! I started scrapbooking, all the time finding myself fascinated with the art world and always wanting to 'have a go' but never really knowing where to start.

So having done a bit of scrapbooking my confidence is growing and now I am ready to take on the elusive 'art journal'. This is such a biggy for me!!!

Having joined crusade 17 I got together my 'take out' journalling kit which includes a little tin of cuttings and papers, pens, pencils, stencils, inks, stamps, glue, and just for Michelle, the little stapler and coloured staples! I am going to add a little sewing kit too when I get round to it and I am determined to get some of my thoughts and ideas onto paper. I can only get better...right???

Anyway, having got the little kit together, I felt inspired to do my first couple of pages (with just about everything I could lay my hands on!)and already I feel braver...even doing a page to represent my feelings about finding some faith...its gotta be out there somewhere hasn't it?
So, I painted with acrylics, water pencils, water crayons. I stamped and gessoed and sanded down. I collaged and inked and attached stuff. I have no idea what my style is but I guess that unless I try everything I will never know. So thank-you Michelle, you have definately taken me outside of my know the one...its black and white and is filled with straight lines, logic, and reason!

Edited to add that I am sorry about the photos, I can't seem to make them any bigger or clearer but thanks for looking anyway!


michelle ward said...

Julie - first let me say YAY! glad to have you join in the crusade! Second, I was just going to scold you about the pictures being so small then I saw you EDIT note and smiled. Third - all this time you have been leaving me kind comments on my other blog and you never left a link to your site, so you were holding out girl, never knew you blogged. Ok, back to the subject - thanks for sharing your story, and your kit WITH COLORED STAPLES!, and your pages, with the team. Stepping outside that box is a GOOD THING, and you have all kinds of new friends who are there with ya.

Chris said...

Wow, Julie. I honestly have to tell you that I'm going to be coming back to your page to see how the journaling and everything else in your art travels is progressing. I'm fairly new myself, and I was also inspired by the mixed media artists and writers I have been reading about and viewing, but none inspired me more than Michelle. She is an open and giving person, and great for giving inspiration and the courage to achieve what is in you. I loved looking at your kit and your pages. I struggle with my photos, too, but they are always great to share with people.
Take care, and thank YOU for sharing!

Julie said...

I LOVE your pages!! Isn't it funny how we all feel tihs way some of the time? I just started my journal too and I totally agree...Michelle is a GREAT inspiration!

audrey h. said... seeing your little kit and your journal pages turned out fabulous. I am really drawn to the second one......beautiful!

Maj said...

Julie - looks like you are already well on your artistic way. I guess I'll never quite get rid of my own inhibitions, but I find they diminish, if you just do it anyway! :)

PLO said...

Thank you so much for joining us! Let me tell you, I LOVED your journal pages...I especially like the one with the bird. Don't EVER let anyone tell you that you are not creative...or an artist, you are!!!

Megan Warren said...

These are fantastic pages, you are right Michelle is such an inspiration. Look forward to seeing more of your work and getting to know you.

Flo said...

hi Julie

thank you for your comment, I am glad you left it as it led me here to your blog and to those fab journal pages.

Reading your story is like reading mine :)

I was also always told I wasn't creative, my mum made me give up art in favour of Latin when there was a timetable clash at 'o' level time and I had to choose because...."what's the point??? you can't draw"

Like you I eased myself into creativity via scrapbooking relatively "late in life" (don't you just hate that phrase?? lol), my boss had a magazine on it, about 3 years ago now, and I thought it might be a way to present holiday snaps nicely, and importantly, it didn't look like art so I didn't immediately think it was out of my league.

Like you, I bought True Colors, and it blew my mind :) That book was definitely the turning point for me.

Now there is no stopping me, I moved on from scrapbooking and now am getting close to evolving a style of my own, kinda. I'm not quite brave enough yet to call what I do "art", but whatever it is, I love it :)

I am in Soton all the time as that's where my o/h lives, please drop me a PM over at UKS, we seem to have a lot in common

take care


Stephanie said...

Looks like you found it here! Great pile of goodies to create with!

Jo Anne O. said...

Hi Julie! Glad you joined in the fun! I think your journal pages look great, so please have more confidence in yourself and remember, there is no wrong or right way to do this..follow your muse and most of all, have FUN!!!

tina's space said...

see you took the first step. you did it. awesome pages and awesome you. glad you put your kit together and actually used it.

Belinda said...

bravo! how cool you made a kid and journal and even used it! lots of fab supplies. love your journal!! look forward to seeing more of it.

iHanna said...

What a lovely and heartfelt post, thank you for sharing not only your kit but your thoughs and fears. I have been keeping an art journal for a couple of years now and let me tell you, it's the BEST way to develope your creative side and play. SO go girl, you go!!!!

thethinkingwoman said...

I'm also a relative newbie, inspired by Michelle and her generosity as well as the other brilliant artists in the art blog community. I was really moved by your description of your creative journey and finding your inner artist. You will be amazed at how your journaling evolves, but it looks to me as though you are off to a great start. Happy journaling!

-- JeriAnn

tipo said...

Your kit is very good for going out.
Very portable!
Your journaling is very beautifful.
You are artful!
Is it a Japanese doll?
Very Cute! I love it!

Ursula Clamer said...

Your journal pages look great, I hope that you enjoy your new freedom to create. Ux

Fiona said...

Love your pages! I don't think you need worry about developeing a style - it's great already.

carin.c said...

Amazing how we let other people dictate whe we are instead of the other way around, right? Glad you realized you were creative all along and you seem to be well on your way to developing a new phase in your artistic life. I hope to be as well! Thanks for visiting my blog - looking forward to seeing your future creations!