Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Art Journaling Circles: January Meet-Up

Last night, I attended my first meet-up with the Journaling Circles group that meets in my area, led by the author and artist Rosemary Augustine.  The group meets once a month at a local Panera to work in our art journals:

Our facilitator Rosemary leads the group, providing the exercises and theme for the night:
I found out about Journaling Circles on MeetUp.com, while looking for art-related groups in my area.  I was so excited to discover that these like-minded women are pursuing their creativity and artistic expression just a half-hour from my home!
We all came with our own stash of markers, paints, water-brushes, washi tape, and other basic supplies, not knowing exactly how Rosemary would direct our evening.  We started out with a moment of deep-breathing to center ourselves, so we could breathe in our creativity and breathe out criticism, judgment, and expectations.  I often underestimate how valuable such moments are before launching into my art.  I can feel a real shift when I take a moment to relax, switch gears, and focus.

Then we did some loosening-up exercises in our journals, just to get our arms stretched and our hands moving--both dominant and non-dominant hands!
Then we set to work on our evening's prompt.  We were thinking about "DIRECTION," and creating some sort of map for our new year.  For awhile, we worked independently and quietly, but soon we began to talk and share about ourselves as we worked.
Lisa couldn't resist a smile for my "candid" shot of the table!
I worked in an art journal that I've used on-again/off-again for a few years now.  It is a 1964 calendar with a Venetian theme.  I created my flow-chart style spread over top of a reproduced painting of one of the grand waterways of Venice.  I made twelve boxes to represent the twelve months of the year, but my goals are not restricted to any particular month; they will be present to carry me throughout a creative and healthy 2015.
My finished art journal spread:  Direction, 2015.
A couple of the women allowed me to photograph them with their completed pages.  Here is Megan, who is a software consultant by day, and a talented artist and blogger all the time.  I am very excited to check out her blog further, as what I've seen so far is a great read.
Here is Lisa, a career teacher now pursuing her degree to become a college English professor--a girl after my own heart!
We were a diverse group in our 30s, 40s, and 50s, including an art therapist, a children and youth director, a stay-at-home mom (that's me!), a project manager, an author and artist, and others I look forward to learning more about at future gatherings.  I came home feeling energized and inspired...and, after all, isn't that what it's all about?


Jewels said...

Lucky you - nothing like that in my little town - hope you are staying warm with this Alberta Clipper.....

Megan P. Ernst said...

Hi, Andria! Great post on this week's meetup. Thanks for taking my picture and sharing with your readers. I also blogged about the meetup and included a link to your post as well. :)

Parabolic Muse said...

Okay, WHAT a great opportunity. It's hard to find local people to create with! And I love looking at these pictures. Makes me feel like I was there!

Carin Winkelman said...

That seems like a lot of fun. Lucky you found this group! This is why I sometimes join a sketchcrawl, just to see other people who like to carry around sketchbooks and who get what I do. ;-)