The equation of patience

Mixed media in composition notebook

“The map is not the terrain” is a quote I return to when I feel my patience is getting threadbare. It gives me space to breathe, to acknowledge where I am at, and the chance to reorient myself. I made this spread before heading to work when I already feeling a sense of general annoyance, that irritation with every minor thing sort of mood. Beneath all the layers is a bunch of loose scribble writing as I vented a bit. Even if it were visible, it would be illegible. It is a great way to start a page when you aren’t sure how to start: scribbles. Words or just lines, either one helps loosen you up and begin. Where it goes from there is an unknown, one of those “enjoy the journey” ideas. Approaching creativity that way helps increase you patience with whatever is going on at the moment.

The constant search

Mixed media with face and “finding inner piece”.

Trying to quiet the monkey mind, to stop fretting, is no easy task. Even our dreams can be fraught with the concerns and worries we face in our everyday lives. There are various possible solutions; getting out in nature, meditation, vigorous exercise and activity. Each of them can take your attention from your worries, giving your mind some space to find a solution or way to calm yourself. I like to try all three as each will work best at certain times. If it is good for you and soothes your mind, I say go for it and work it into your daily life as best you can.

Just try

Composition notebook journal spread of scraps and stampings.

It seems the more I sort through things the more supplies I find. I am making progress, I think, or at least continuing to try. Using an old composition notebook automatically helps me relax and just play without feeling like the page has to be appealing or perfect. I can try different techniques and supplies in a more carefree manner which helps me work on my skills. Sometimes having the beautiful sketchbook or journal can actually block creative efforts as the item is just “too nice” for feeble attempts or first tries. A composition notebook can help overcome that due to its very approachability and simplicity. If you are looking to start a journal, give the humble composition notebook a try.


Mini art journal spread in purple, blue and beige

It is good to really look at things, all sorts of things. Patterns, art, clouds, maps, text, you name it. All of it can provide information for future creativity. Fodder, source, files, snippets. Even the spaces between words on a page create a visual you can enjoy. The possibilities are endless when you start to look.


Mixed media journal page with orange bird stamped image

When my studio calls I am never sure what I will decide to pull out and create with. My paper stash is extensive from big sheets down to paper punch size scraps. Sometimes I reach for paints and stencils, sometimes stamps and pads, occasionally all of them. I like to dabble in the whimsy of creating. It is a rare day I don’t make something in one form or another. This is where having my studio in the house is perfect instead of one like I had years ago in a local mill. That was right for then, this is right for now.

Face anything

Mixed media journal page with face

This page came together unexpectedly as I dug through items while cleaning up my worktable. The right scraps just seemed to be at hand as I worked. I often start with one loose idea in mind only to end up with something very different. Sometimes it results in a piece I like, and sometimes not so much. That is the beauty of an art journal, it is the perfect place to just let things roll and see where they end up. This is the final page in my medium size journal. I flipped back through it to see the variety of designs on the pages from mid December on. Now it will get shelved and I will complete the larger one, continuing the process and seeing what I create.