Art journalling weekend near Witney Oxfordshire

I had a fab weekend art journaling with my friend Debbie – she has a small conservatory set up to work in – I do like working in the light after my lower ground kitchen.

Debbie is a certified Brave Girl instructor and we worked with two of Melody Ross’s short courses. These are such fun to do – the workbooks are full of great ideas, images and text- check out http://bravegirlsclub.com/ for more info

I Worked in a journal that I had previously decorated with lots of watery mandalas. I am having some respite from drawing these with all my hand quilting. I found that if I add a layers of white acrylic with a credit card they make great backgrounds that I can add text and images to.

The first work book gets you to look at concepts around being true to yourself

I had fun layering up paint and collage (the tree was in a Psychologies magazine) and adding text using various stencils and found letters

We were quite prolific – having the backgrounds started already makes a big difference.

Saturday night we went out to Blenheim Palace and walked the Christmas light trail.

On the way home I thought I dropped my phone and left it on a park and ride bus. My calm thoughtful journal pages were disrupted by a bad nights sleep and the need to let out a lot of frustration.

However – after getting my daughter to hack into my iPhone account the phone was discovered in Debs car!

So my pages based on ‘flying free’ resumed at a calmer level

Lots of swallows, cages and let it go stuff for this one.

Truth-teller, Soul Restoration, digital collage

I am doing a course called Soul Restoration with Melody Ross. It is having a reboot at the moment and I am following along with the posts and videos on FB.

https://my.bravegirlsclub.com/

I enjoyed doing the art journalling physically last time but spurred on by doing intuitive collages with Shelley Klammer I am making digital images this time.

During the SR course you have to look at the lies that you tell your self. I have been ill with irritable bowel and tummy migraines for years and felt out of control around food so I made these journal pages using the free mix app

I love the loo rolls at the bottom of this image 😂😂😘

This time around I feel engaged with the ideas and the art process.

Yesterday I prepared food to take with me ( I can’t eat processed food and too many additives can upset the balance) sometimes this seems like too much effort. I need to print the images out and take them with me.

Whilst out I didn’t buy anything sweet or have a hot chocolate and I felt like I had the courage of my convictions. This may not seem huge, but I have have to take small steps !!!!

Watching a video on FB about what my truthteller is like ( someone or something that you can carry with you to help you ) sounds a bit fluffy but I feel like I could do this at the moment and it’s was important to me. I remembered a family constellation session that I attended run by Polly Pring last year during an art retreat in Glastonbury. ( Polly Pring on FB) I was a bit sceptical at the time, but Polly asked us to conjour up an image of all your family tree behind you giving you support.

I wondered if I could make an image digitally to represent this using found images on line

http://illusion.scene360.com/art/47926/enchanted-sky/

I liked the sky on this so I cropped the lady and rotated the clouds to give the impression of an ever increasing cloud of relatives steaming out behind me.

I wanted to add the feeling of the constellation session too , so I found this

http://familyconstellationwork.com/NewDevelopments.htm

I wanted a single figure for the truth- teller cloud to be feeding into.

https://www.123rf.com/photo_77128574_vague-figure-the-reflected-silhouette-on-textured-glass-studio-sketch-.html

I also found these figures by Vladimir Kush on a family constellation search

https://peacockseyes.com/2013/04/16/bardo-life-death-everything-in-between/

And I wanted a tree

http://miraclesworldwide.com/event/family-constellations-on-relationships/2018-06-21/

I started layering the images in the ImageBlender App

I cropped and resized the dancing figures several times to feel like they were in the clouds and added the constellation faces around the clouds

Then I added the tree and the single figure – it was tricky getting the right amount of light around the figure so that she looked like part of the tree

This was the image when I had finished layering in Image Blender. I wanted it to be more orange. So I edited it in my image editor on my photo app.

Then I cropped the image and added some text using Freemix

Reflecting on my Soul Restoration process

I have been working on the ‘SoulRestoration’ course by Melody Ross since the 12th of January. I am enjoying the process of art making regularly in my journal. The art seems to get looser and looser.

I have always been messy. It has been great using my stress protector mandalas as back grounds and finding a more natural ‘Tess’ process.

I am still drawn to blues and am working through the stack of gelatos that I acquired in Korea. I love them ,but won’t be replacing in-kind because of all the plastic.

Debbie Howard introduced me to them when I complained that I didn’t like working with oil pastels in my art journal. They are water soluble, highly pigmented and deliciously squidgy, the consistency’s almost like lipstick or face paint.

It’s been interesting progressing through the stages that Melody has designed . Debbie is a mentor and sounding board after training as a facilitator with The Brave Girl University last year. I think it is important to feel supported through this process. I feel held

There is a lot of industry – internal processing and sitting with how you feel. My stomach is tightening just at the thought of ‘it’.

I journal and write notes as I watch the videos, text Debbie and use Instagram and Face book to show and tell. I wanted to do this because of the regular journalling. There is less built in art journalling than I thought there would be. I need to process the ideas and feelings through art making.

My group of friends in Oxfordshire are meeting once a fortnight to do the course with Debbie whilst I am in Edinburgh.

There is an isolation from the group but I am enjoying the space to create my own ideas and images. I did go back to bed one day and hide because I didn’t want to work through some hard issues. I felt much better after I plucked up the courage to just get on with it

My pages over the last few weeks

I added a mandala sticker by Emily Lagore a long term friend on Instagram

Introduction to Counselling course – listening fail

I needed to do a basic counselling training course to continue teaching my art journalling for self- care. So I signed up for a 12 week course at Edinburgh college. I am enjoying the course very much. We are learning some theory alongside listening skills.

Part of my dyslexia presents its self as an listening/ ear / brain processing problem. So I have been a little bit apprehensive to see if I can succeed in this area.

Last week we worked in triads – we had a speaker/ listener and an observer. You took it in turns to take a role. The listener had to be in charge of the clock. The speaker talked for 5 mind about a topic. The listener had to stop and give a summary half way through and then summarise at the end.

When it came to my turn as listener I found it very hard to keep an eye on the time and listen, I fact I went completely blank at the half time summary. Then at the end I found that even though I couldn’t repeat a word of what had just been said to me – I did have a general impression of what had been said, it was more like an over view.

Being uncomfortable with public speaking didn’t help either!! My stomach was not happy and twisted itself – I felt humiliated and a failure. Interesting when we returned to the group disscussionlots of other people had had simillar problems. Rationally I could see that this was something to be improved upon. I struggled with my physical reaction and how much I was unable let the emotional response go – something similar has happened too many times before.

Journalling was required

It says ‘when I am fragile and humiliated, I have my Mandala webs and the beginnings of my soul restoration process to support me.

I am not sure how the habitual’ lies’ that I tell my self – I am not good enough , I always make mistakes , ‘how could you not remember what was said to you!?’, ‘Failure’ will be released by this process they feel too ingrained.

I am ready to do the work ……