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 gelpress.com/red-balloon/ 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.