The Water Lily

Today I felt inspired to create another page in my repurposed art journal. I am using a second copy of the book, Captivating, to journal in a fresh way, writing and sketching and coloring on the pages. I realized recently that I had not used the book for several months. I was ready to create a new entry.

As I completed my day and was driving home, my thoughts turned toward the journal. I was considering what image or design to draw on the page. Suddenly a water lily came to mind. Intrigued, I looked up the symbolism of the water lily when I arrived home.

I was immediately enchanted by what I read.

Water lilies are associated with rebirth and optimism, as they return to the water, even if they dried up the year before. They symbolize fertility, sexuality and creation, as well as purity and spiritual enlightenment. The scientific name, Nymphaeaceae, brings to mind the nymphs of mythology, maidens who inhabited waterways, ponds and wells.

The flowers possess the unique characteristic of having their roots anchored in the mud below while the blooms float on the water above. Because of that, the water lily has inspired quotes about rising above the muddiness, or messiness, of life and resting in beauty and tranquility.

Inspiration had once again tapped into my soul and guided me. I now had the opportunity to express my thoughts through art journaling.

I opened my book to a fresh page and circled the words that stood out to me. They spoke of the heart being the source of creativity, courage and convictions, along with faith, hope and love. I also circled the quote at the bottom of the page, from The Last of the Mohicans. "I will find you. No matter how long it takes, no matter how far I go…I will find you."

I then sketched a single water lily floating among lily pads. I wanted to show the perspective of the long stems beneath the water, that are attached to the roots that anchor this beautiful flower. So I drew that view as well.

I inked in my pencil sketch. It makes it easier to see what I need to color and creates a nice finished effect. I was ready for my favorite part of art journaling…coloring!

I enjoy coloring, even when it's my own sketch. Coloring is a meditative act for me. As my hand moves the colored pencil, my mind is free to open to the thoughts that rise. If a troublesome thought pops up, I let it pass on through. I choose to dwell on good thoughts, beneficial thoughts, and inspiring ideas.

I considered the water lily and the information I had read. It is a very feminine flower, with its symbolism of creation and sexuality. I liked the rebirth aspect as well, and the spiritual enlightenment symbolism. The water lily closes its petals at night and opens to the sun the next morning.

The water lily reminds me to rejoice in my feminine heart, appreciating my creativity that is rich and fertile, and gives birth to new ideas. The water lily encourages me to be courageous, to stand on my convictions and to embrace who I am as I journey continually toward greater enlightenment. The water lily inspires me to live in peace and tranquility, no matter how turbulent the water of life gets, knowing I am solidly anchored and grounded.

I wrote the symbolic words along the water lily's stems, so that I will remember.

And the quote at the bottom, Nathaniel's words of hope to Cora? They are a promise I've made to myself. I will keep searching, keep discovering new things about myself, keep growing, no matter how long the journey or how far I go.

Every time I finish a page in my art journal, I declare it my favorite! I did so tonight as I completed my water lily page. I appreciate the way the Divine guides me and inspiration flows. I am grateful for a curious, questing mind that searches for the deeper truths. My appreciation and gratitude are captured in tonight's art journal page.

It's my favorite page…until I create another one.

Art Journaling

At the bookstore recently, Greg found and bought a publication that intrigued me. Titled Art Journaling, the gorgeous oversized magazine has pages and pages of artwork and techniques for creating art journals, which are books where heart and creativity combine.

I spent time late this afternoon, slowly turning the pages, savoring the beautiful and meaningful artistic journaling examples. I was especially captivated today by the work of Ana Campos. Her journals, using altered books, inspired me to try this art form myself.

Art Journaling
Book altering involves repurposing an existing book, turning it into a sketchbook/journal. I love books, and I have always been extremely careful with them. I don’t typically write in my books, unless I am deeply inspired by the words within, and I don’t bookmark my place by turning down a corner of the page. I was both alarmed and excited about the prospect of drawing, coloring, painting and creating collages in a book.

I recently decluttered bookshelves, releasing many books to new owners. Duplicate copies of favorite books were the first to go. As I stood in my creative studio, pondering which book to turn into an art journal, I saw The Phantom of the Opera. A possibility, I mused, yet it was the only copy of that classic that I own. I felt drawn to the closet, even though I knew I had removed and sold or given away the books inside.

Art Journaling
I opened the drawer of a storage bin in the closet, seemingly at random. Wedged within was the book Captivating, written exclusively for women. This was perfect on several levels. The word captivated kept coming into my mind. And this was a duplicate copy. I checked to make sure that I had the book resting on a shelf in my bedroom. I had my art journal.

To move beyond the slight hesitation I had in marking up a book, I began by creating a Cindy’s Art Journal page and then enjoyed adding to the title page, by gluing on cut outs. This was going to be a fun project!

Art Journaling
Over my nervousness, I moved on to the first page of the book. As I read, certain phrases stood out to me. I outlined those phrases, allowing images to arise that fit with the words. Grabbing my colored pencils and a black gel pen, I journaled. More specifically, I practiced art journaling.

This was such a beautiful experience. Creating something fresh and new was rewarding and freeing. And focusing on the phrases that stood out to me allowed me to take those words deep within, to contemplate them.

Art Journaling
Coloring is a meditative activity for me. I discovered that the book paper took the color well. Using the Tom Petty quote for inspiration, I sketched flowers, a tiny heart, and a sailboat call FREE. On future pages I may employ collage making, painting, and covering portions of the page, in addition to cut outs, drawing and coloring.

Art journaling is fun! I enjoyed creating my first page so much that I am keenly anticipating spending a few minutes each evening, adding to my journal in this way.

I also have something new to look for at flea markets and junk stores…interesting and inspiring old books to create with. This is an open door that I am eager to enter through, to explore the unique territory beyond.

Art Journaling

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