17.7.08

Creative Journaling and Visual Autobiography Workshops

I'm teaching a couple of Creative Journaling workshops this summer and fall; the first one is part of the "Artist's Bootcamp" in conjunction with the Arts Denman Celebrating Our Own Festival Aug. 16th & 17th, and the other is at Leapenhi Paper Arts on November 2. This is an exciting new adventure for me! I thought I would take the opportunity to share some pages from my own journals, to show you some of the techniques and ideas we'll be playing with in the workshops. I've been a journaler/diarist since I was a child, and always have one or three on the go.

Here are some pages from last spring's "Sketch a Day" journal. I challenged myself to work fast - no more than 5 or 10 minutes on each sketch - and to record simple details from daily life. These are done on watercolour paper with technical pen and gouache:

watercolour journal page by Bronwyn Simons, teacher of Artful life mixed media and creative journaling workshops for women , focusing on creativity and life balance
watercolour journal page by Bronwyn Simons, teacher of Artful life mixed media and creative journaling workshops for women , focusing on creativity and life balance
watercolour journal page by Bronwyn Simons, teacher of Artful life mixed media and creative journaling workshops for women , focusing on creativity and life balance
watercolour journal page by Bronwyn Simons, teacher of Artful life mixed media and creative journaling workshops for women , focusing on creativity and life balance
I've often kept a dream journal, and have found it really interesting, sometimes startling, and useful for my emotional growth to record these messages from my unconscious. A few years ago I got tired of writing them all down - dreams are so visual and irrational - so I put a basket of really simple collage materials (magazines, pen, glue stick, scissors) next to the bed, and began a visual dream journal. Here are some of the pages:



collage and mixed media dream journal page by Bronwyn Simons, teacher of Artful life mixed media and creative journaling workshops for women , focusing on creativity and life balance
collage and mixed media dream journal page by Bronwyn Simons, teacher of Artful life mixed media and creative journaling workshops for women , focusing on creativity and life balance
collage and mixed media dream journal page by Bronwyn Simons, teacher of Artful life mixed media and creative journaling workshops for women , focusing on creativity and life balance

Of course I keep travel journals -- but I enjoy recording the little details that bring the experience back to me, so my travel journals are quirky and personal. Here are some examples:


collage and mixed media travel journal page by Bronwyn Simons, teacher of Artful life mixed media and creative journaling workshops for women , focusing on creativity and life balance
collage and mixed media travel journal page by Bronwyn Simons, teacher of Artful life mixed media and creative journaling workshops for women , focusing on creativity and life balance
collage and mixed media travel journal page by Bronwyn Simons, teacher of Artful life mixed media and creative journaling workshops for women , focusing on creativity and life balance
collage and mixed media travel journal page by Bronwyn Simons, teacher of Artful life mixed media and creative journaling workshops for women , focusing on creativity and life balance
collage and mixed media travel journal page by Bronwyn Simons, teacher of Artful life mixed media and creative journaling workshops for women , focusing on creativity and life balance

Sometimes I use journals as a way to record what I'm learning or as a repository for information about my widely varied personal interests. Here are a couple of pages from an altered book I made about Afro Caribbean spiritual practices:


collage and mixed media altered book page by Bronwyn Simons, teacher of Artful life mixed media and creative journaling workshops for women , focusing on creativity and life balance
collage and mixed media altered book page by Bronwyn Simons, teacher of Artful life mixed media and creative journaling workshops for women , focusing on creativity and life balance

One final way I've used journals is as a medium for reflection and healing. These pages are from a "Fairy Tale" I created when I was dealing with the tragic onset of mental illness in a family member. These highly personal pages were created very spontaneously within the framework of a story. The process of creating this journal was immensely healing for me, and also created a quiet and non-threatening way for me to share my experience with others:


collage and mixed media altered book page by Bronwyn Simons, teacher of Artful life mixed media and creative journaling workshops for women , focusing on creativity and life balance
collage and mixed media altered book page by Bronwyn Simons, teacher of Artful life mixed media and creative journaling workshops for women , focusing on creativity and life balance
collage and mixed media altered book page by Bronwyn Simons, teacher of Artful life mixed media and creative journaling workshops for women , focusing on creativity and life balance
collage and mixed media altered book page by Bronwyn Simons, teacher of Artful life mixed media and creative journaling workshops for women , focusing on creativity and life balance

So these are some ways that my journals have been important tools in my life. I hope this inspires you to try some new and creative ways of recording your own experiences. Feel free to share your journaling experiences with me! Post your pages to your blog, then put the link in the comment section of this post!

2 comments:

newwaytowrite said...

Your work is outstanding. I am hoping to sign up for the Nov. workshop at Leapenhi.


I have bookmarked you blog so I can come back and gaze at your work.

Bronwyn said...

Thank you so much for visiting my pages! I hope to see you at the workshop - it will be very fun, and hopefully empowering as well.

Bronwyn

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