I used to *almost* have a six-pack. I lifted weights regularly at my second home, the local gym, for years. And then my husband and I decided to have a baby. When our first son was born I looked at my jelly-like stomach and asked the nurse, “When will my abs be back?” I guess I expected them to return quickly as part of the process: Sign the birth certificate, learn how to use a blanket to wrap my baby like a burrito, and have my former body return. The nurse just laughed.
Many parenting and life experiences later, I read a book that had a chapter titled, “Full as the Moon, Soft as a Pillow,” about the importance of being proud of the healthy body we have. I’ve carried those words with me since reading them, reminding myself that from this belly that’s now soft as a pillow, came two perfect-in-my-eyes children. And when I read Pam Carriker’s art journal prompt on finding words to include on a page, I knew right away what I would write in my own journal.
Pam’s book Art at the Speed of Life: Motivation and Inspiration for Making Mixed-Media Art Every Day is perfect to use as a reference when you want to work on an art journal project, but aren’t quite sure where to start.
“If you’re not sure what to write, look for prompts and inspiration all around you,” Pam says. “For example, crossword and word search puzzles make great additions to your journal page. Use rough drafts from articles or other things you’ve written. A to-do or grocery list is great journal fodder. The menu for a special or even everyday meal becomes ‘food for thought.’ Use snippets from children’s homework. Look around your house for newspapers, magazines, newsletters, anything with text. Use words from a song, poetry, quotations, something the kids said, a funny bumper sticker, or even that advertising jingle you can’t get out of your head.”
It’s such a simple exercise, and I had fun following along! I used a magazine from my nightstand and flipped through it, specifically looking for the words “full,” “as,” “the,” and “moon,” and/or the letters to make up the words for my art journal page. Once I had them, I set them aside and created a variety of “moons” with blue watercolor. I then added some tan swirls with a marker, and filled the remaining spaces with black ink circles. I used Mod Podge Matte to glue the letters to the art journal page, and filled in some of the circles with various shades of blue markers. This will be my reminder that I don’t need a six-pack these days, and I’m at peace with that.
If you love to have art journaling prompts on hand, then you’ll want to get your copy of Art at the Speed of Life today, as it’s part of the Interweave store’s “Back to School Sale,” with all books available at 50% off the original price.
Is there a phrase that speaks to you for this art journal project? Share it with us in the comments, and inspire another artist!
With a love for words,
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