I brought this journal with me on vacation and I'm so glad that I did!! The journal is 5.5"x8" 140lb watercolor paper spiral from the Strathmore Visual Journal series and I LOVE it. It's the perfect size for travel... not too small, not to big. Just right!
I also brought along a few black Sakura Micron pens in various tip sizes (03 was the one I used the most), my 36-color watercolor paint set, and 2 Niji waterbrushes (small and medium). These waterpens are my absolute favorites to pack along and bring with my on-the-go!! You fill the chambers with water and then don't even need to dip your brush in any waer you just squeeze the pen a little to release the water to the tip of the brush and dip into your color and start painting. To clean your brush you gently squeeze the pen and wipe the brush tip a few times on a cloth/rag or napkin/paper towel until it comes clean and then you're ready for the next color.
I didn't paint everyday but if I found myself with some time while I was waiting for someone to finish up in the shower I'd grab and doodle for a little. Airports were another good place to turn a wait into some welcome creative time. I find that I don't mind waiting at all if I have something fun like this to do.
I drew and painted the right side of the page while on the plane flight home on Saturday and the flight attendent complimented me by saying he really liked my drawings and also added that I'd make a really good tattoo artist! I had to laugh a bit because if he only knew how much I really don't like needles! I get allergy shots every week and I can't bear to watch the process. Never have, never will. Ever since I was a child I knew I would never be a good nurse! A women sitting across the aisle from me struck up a conversation with me when she said she was admiring my work and then asked if I always travel with paints and how wonderful she thought it was that I brought my kit along. I told her it was a relatively new endeavor and we struck up a good conversation that I hope she feels as good about as I do. She said she always wanted to be an artist (and still does) but struggles with the same feeling that most of us have: that she's not good enough. And it's this feeling of not being good enough that stops us from even trying and coming into the great potential that is waiting for us.
Oh, how familiar I am with this I'm-not-good-enough sentiment. I haven't painted in over 2 years because I felt like I wasn't good enough (with a little does of I-don't-have-the-time - the ultimate excuse, right? Because everyone has time - it's how you choose to use it that matters!). I encouraged her to just DO IT and that eventually you will work through it and push through it and be what you want to become.
It was Van Gogh, afterall, that said:
If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint,"
then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
I couldn't agree MORE!
Keeping this in mind and intentionally surrounding myself with images and people that inspire and uplift I am at the beginning the journey to being an artist. I unsubscribed from many of the blogs I used to read that made feel not-enough and only kept the stuff that made me feel alive. I realized that the only way to become an artist is to actually create some art. Duh! But to know this and take the next step are really two different things, one more difficult than the other.
The only way I'm going to get better is to try and learn from what does and doesn't work. Not everyone is going to like my style or the way I do things and THAT'S OKAY. There's a whole lot of art out there that I don't like and wouldn't want to hang in my house. Some of it was actually IN my house - pieces that we bought to fill our home when Mike and I were younger. In my decluttering efforts over this past year I've eliminated a lot of it, even with the bare walls to prove it (which I'm TOTALLY okay with)!! At this point in my life I'd rather have BARE walls than stuff on it that I don't absolutely LOVE.
What's important going forward is that the art I create is stuff that *I* like it and that I would want to hang on the walls in my home and that something inside of me is ignited when I am in the act of working on the piece! As long as those things happen then I'm good with it.
And when things are not going well with a piece that I'm working on?
Well, then I'll just embrace the suck and push through it! LOL!