Several months ago I was at Michael’s looking for inexpensive writing journals for my sometimes daily stream of consciousness. I found a few, one of which was clearly oriented around sketching and painting rather than writing.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, but at $2.00 the price was right and I figured the inspiration would find it’s way to me when the time was right. The unlined pages of the journal intimidated me for months.
My only experience with drawing outside of a classroom setting was after I learned how to make handmade paper. The pieces of handmade paper turned into tiny canvases and the imperfections in the paper were the foundation of many beautiful abstract pieces.
I started using only black ink and sketching things that were familiar and felt comfortable to draw. For whatever reason I drew trees, trees, and more trees.
I don’t know what prompted me, but I was inspired to add color to the drawings and the trees took on the colors of fall through the use of watercolor pencils.
Even the most “perfect” pieces of paper were full of wrinkles, creases, and uneven textures. The veins and arteries that ran through each page were the foundation for the shapes that emerged from my pens.
The drawings quickly became more about the process then the outcome. The world and my worries disappeared for a few hours each night while I put pen to paper. The colors, shapes, and possibilities mesmerized and comforted me. It was a sad day when I ran out of handmade paper. (one of these days I’m going to make more)
For a variety of reasons my creative self went into hiding after I completed my last ink drawing on handmade paper in March. Then one night in September an image came to my imagination so strongly I had no choice but to try and release it onto paper.
I was so thrilled with how my flower turned out that I stopped drawing again. I know that makes no sense, but it’s what happens to me sometimes. When I create something beautiful it makes me wonder if it was just a fluke and I talk myself out of trying to create something new just in case it was.
The funny thing about my ink journal is that there are no dates and the entries are completed in anything but a chronological order. I’ve even given myself permission to do the unthinkable and use an abandoned entry as the beginning of a new piece.
The backside of each drawing is almost if not equally as beautiful as the front; an unexpected and delightful bonus.
The recurring theme throughout the journal is sunflowers. I’m not entirely certain if I continue to draw sunflowers because I know how, or because they were the subject of my first drawing, or because they are a symbol of happiness. Maybe it’s a combination of all three.
I don’t suppose it really matters.
My ink journal is not a place where I create masterpieces or finished works of art. It’s a place where I let my mind wander and rest at the same time. It’s where I express myself without words with my medium of choice – ink. It is how I meditate through art.
I can’t wait to see how my latest meditation piece turns out.