Gel Press Post #1

       I have had the honor of writing blog posts for Gel Press on the topic of how art and your health are connected. Here is the link or you can read the post here. 


 I am happy to share some of my journal pages and the stories behind them. In 2014, I was extremely flattered to have my artwork featured on three magazine covers. The summer issue of Art Journaling (by Stampington & Co.) features a page I did with an image transfer pulled from a magazine of a woman with a red balloon.

At the time I was determined to learn how to do images transfers. I chose a journal and decided to try a transfer on every page. There are many techniques for images transfers and the results can be unpredictable. I like the method that used gel medium because I like the result of a distressed image with its imperfections. When the transfer is dry I can draw, paint, color or write on it. With a whole bunch of transfers I challenged myself to journal in a way that enhances the artsy look.
For the woman with the red balloon, I added some outlining. When it came to the writing, it had not been a good day. The day actually turned into a huge argument about whether it was appropriate to spend so much time pursuing art. It was a totally new phase in my life and my family was concerned because it was so not like me to put my time, resources and focus on creating art. I was defending my perspective that creating was not just about having a finished piece for others to appreciate. The pursuit of new skills, new projects and keeping a book with me to doodle in at all times was giving me motivation that I had lost. Don't expect everyone to “get” what you are doing because it fulfills your needs and they fulfill their needs in another way.
I can look back on it now with more experience and understand my family’s perspective at the time. However, I went to my journal with my frustrations and anger. I scribbled out my thoughts on the woman’s white dress. It was not important to make my thoughts legible; sometimes it is better that I can't go back and read what I wrote. I remember the argument had worn me out so I did not have a ton to say, but I had a few beliefs that I would not give up on no matter what others said. The red balloon summed it up, I wrote: passion, obsession, passion. Was I obsessed in a way that was unhealthy? Or had I finally found something to be passionate about that I could pursue even when I was sick?
I loved the end result of that journal page as did the magazine editors. While they appreciated the aesthetic, it represented a difficult time that I processed by through creating art and adding journaling.

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