Susie Stonefield Miller

Nurturing tender hearts.

Guiding shy inner artists out into the light.

Holding space for healing and transformation in creative, connected community.

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Lesson 5

UNFOLD 101

THE TOPIC IS: 

STIRRING EVERYTHING UP

 

THE TECHNIQUE IS: 

STENCILING

AND THE JOURNALING PROMPTS ARE: 

INVITATION & SAILING IN THE STORM

...and a new guided meditation!

1. STIRRING EVERYTHING UP

I like to think of art journaling (and creativity, in general) as a spoon in the pot of your life. There's your life...simmering along (or boiling, or cold, or...?) and you stick that spoon in and stir it all up! The good, the bad, and the ugly all have an opportunity to float up to the surface when you stick that spoon in. And so what are you going to do with it now, now that you see it?

Sure, you can go about your business and not face the discomfort, the sadness, and the rage. Even worse...you can ignore the beauty, the moments of grace, the compliments and love flowing your way. But, you're here in UNFOLD and there's a reason for that. Not facing the truth of our lives puts us in a constant state of struggle. You wanted to feel it...so now how to handle it?

The creative process gives us an opportunity to not only explore those dark corners of ourselves, but the tools for digging it up, exposing it, and releasing it! That's the very best part, of course. The release. The creative process is a cathartic process. And it's one reason my students come back and back and back to the studio with their art journals tucked under their arms. It's also a reason that it is so important that you don't put your journal away when you are feeling all stirred up. Your journal is your heart's doorway...to peace, love and understanding! I'm not kidding! Keep it open and active!

I invite you to connect with the emotions that have gotten stirred up in this course. I invite you to welcome them in and explore them. Dedicate your pages this week to the emotions that don't usually get enough air time, whether because you are uncomfortable facing them or they are drowned out by some of the other more noisy ones. 

Lesson 5 is an invitation...to stir up your pot, to walk through that doorway, to release some emotions through your powerful creativity!

2. TECHNIQUE: STENCILING

A layering technique I go back to over and over is stenciling. I love it because of the very cool patterns and visual textures I can achieve with it. Using stencils also creates depth in my pages, which I feel looks more interesting. Stenciling is another way of getting color and pattern on your page. It's not required at all for art journaling, but I'm sharing it here with you to give you another way to let go, have fun, and PLAY in your art journaling practice. Any opportunity to play is a good one, in my opinion. So have fun!

There are a million and one stencils on the market. It's easy to get overwhelmed with the choices. I suggest picking up a few (use your coupons, shop sales, etc.) that you love, in different sizes, and especially choosing ones that have patterns or textures vs images, because a specific image will be less useful overall than a pattern. You'll see what I mean in my videos.  But beware, sometimes the stenciled image is so beautiful that we don't want to go further with the page. Ah, the dreaded PRECIOUS page! When that happens, I suggest leaving it alone for a while and coming back to it when you feel less attached. You can get stencils in some of your local art supply stores, the big box art supply stores, and online at Scrapbooking-warehouse.comDickblick.comStencilgirlproducts.com, etc.

One more note about stencils: In the videos I mention stencils, templates and masks. From my perspective they're generally interchangeable labels. However, I think of a mask as something you put on the page to cover up an area (you might use its edge to create a pattern or image, you might use it to cover an area and keep it clean from whatever else you're doing on the page). I think of a stencil as a sheet with a design cut out of it that I can use to create that design with paint or ink on my page. I think of a template as a stencil without a border...but I've seen the word template used to describe both of the above...and I mix them all up, too! So go figure!

HERE ARE SOME OPTIONS:

STENCIL WITH PAINT

Stenciling with paint is a really fun way to add layers of depth and interest to your pages. My favorites stencils to use with paint are the ones that have a suggestion of texture, such as dots, or the weave of burlap fabric, or a subtle woodgrain. With most of the stencils I use, I try to use them sparingly or a little here and a little there, rather than covering the whole page. If I do cover the whole page, then I try to layer over it, to obscure it. Why? Well, because, to be honest, I don't feel a lot of ownership over the stencil imagery that I purchase and if I cover my whole journal page with a stencil then I don't feel like it's mine. Using that stencil in pieces, letting it come in and out of the visual, that feels more like my work. But that's just me. You may feel differently using the stencils. And as I always say, there are no rules!

CLEANING YOUR STENCILS AFTER USING WITH PAINT

Just some tips from me!

MAKE YOUR OWN STENCILS OR MASKS

Another kind of stencil is a "mask" or "template." I like to make my own masks/templates using simple shapes. Then I stamp around the edges to create an image. In the following video I show you how to make a simple wave mask. I've made others, but I don't want to intimidate you with complicated technique. I just want to suggest to you that with an old file folder and a pair of scissors you can create an element that adds interesting layers to your page! Enjoy!

HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF WAYS I'VE STENCILED WITH PAINT ON MY PAGES. CLICKING ON A PICTURE WILL ENLARGE IT. FEEL FREE TO ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT THEM IN OUR FACEBOOK GROUP.

3. JOURNALING PROMPTS 

A JOURNALING PROMPT IS LIKE A LITTLE SHOVEL...IT HELPS YOU DIG UP MATERIAL FOR YOUR PAGES!

Here are Lesson 5's journaling prompts. Remember, using a prompt is always optional. Coming from a place of "I don't know" is always the first goal of art journaling from the heart!

 

JOURNALING PROMPT #7:

SAILING in the STORM

JOURNALING PROMPT #6:

INVITATION

©Copyright 2014 - 2017 Susie Stonefield Miller. All rights reserved. 

 
 

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Cotati, CA  94931

 

Phone: 510-851-2790

email: unfoldart@gmail.com