Tag: journal writing

A good pause.

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To say that it’s been a rough couple of weeks would be an understatement. The past few days were especially awful. It’s not even about work (work is awesome!). I wish it were about work because it’s easier to compartmentalize.

I am relieved that we have a long weekend today at the office, because I really needed to slow down and take a breather. As usual, this always does the trick for me. I’m pretty easy to please. If I have time to read, write furiously for hours, enjoy good coffee, with the cat cuddled beside me in a tight little ball of fur, and hearing my husband puttering around the house…it’s all I really need to wind down.

Save the Carrot!!!

There’s a part of me that’s always going to be silly, I suppose. So there will always be a part of me that will want to play Carrot Fantasy even when I’m incredibly busy. Especially when I’m incredibly busy, actually.

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That’s what my last journal entry is about. It’s about saving the carrot. I’m not sure why I love this tower defense game, but maybe it has something to do with how cute the little monsters are, and that the carrot wiggles and giggles when you tap on it. Haha. Anyway…back to my excel sheets and paperwork.

Journal Art Catch-Up

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve been so busy these past few days that I haven’t had time to update my blog. The little free time I have, I just spend with family , reading, writing, and the occasional update in IG or FB. For an introvert, I have a semi-bustling social media life, which sometimes I find strange, but other times I completely understand. While I’m very communicative (even quite chatty) in social media, I’m the exact opposite in person. Maybe it’s just a lot easier for me to communicate that way.

Anyway, even if it’s a seriously busy time at work, I find that it’s during these times when you really need to make a conscious effort to slow down. I find that doing this, breaking the monotony of work, in order to read the Bible, write my thoughts about it and a variety of other things, can spell the difference regarding how stressed out I will be during the day.

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I also realized that doing a little bit of artwork whether it’s as simple as scrawling something on a page with your brush pen or little watercolor paintings in your journal, or using stamps and washi tapes to decorate your page can be so relaxing. Of course, I know many people prefer to just write on their journal instead of decorating it or painting on it. It’s all good. I just personally prefer to have a visual of the little things that happen in my life. Like picking an espresso machine (and justifying it to myself through in an entire page’s worth of journal entry).

IMG_3944Documenting the simple joys has become an exercise in looking for the bright spots of life. I used to be so paranoid about putting only my best drawings in my journal when I was younger, but I realized that life isn’t made up of perfect moments. Sometimes pages get scrunched up, torn in some places, stained with a bit of coffee splashes…in the grand scheme of things, it shouldn’t matter. After all, you don’t live for the perfect moments. So fill up that journal with your drawings, no matter how imperfect you think they are, or how it isn’t at par with what you expect from yourself. I think it would also be pretty cool to see how your style evolves and improves through the years.

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The Velveteen Rabbit, one of my favorite books when I was a kid.

Back in my college years, there was never any color in my journals. I only used black ink and drew little creepy line art to match the perpetually sad poetry I used to write. Now my journals are filled with splashes of colors.

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That weekend I learned how to make Cafe Americano for my husband. 

These little watercolor paintings are so much fun to do. They’re a bit challenging because you need to include just the right amount of details with your brushwork to make it shine. I am also enjoying how great Tomoe River paper is for watercolor paintings (I use a Hobonichi for daily journals and planning, and made an insert for my traveler’s notebook as a supplement). The crinkling of the paper doesn’t bother me one bit.

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Ah. These past weeks, I also discovered the joy that is a Palomino Blackwing pencil. A friend of mine sent it to me as a gift, and I’m going to write a review about it soon. It’s amazing how pencils aren’t all the same.

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So there, these past few weeks have been pretty busy, but there are a lot of great moments too. I’m particularly excited with the range of paper, watercolor, brush pens, pencils, and other art stuff available locally. It’s an exciting time for art and stationery lovers in the Philippines. I can still remember when the options were very limited. Oh, how times are changing. 🙂

Write on!

The Castle

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It’s that time of the year, again. I’m going to try and read Franz Kafka’s The Castle and will give my best effort to finish it. This book and Golding’s Lord of the Flies are two books that really give me the jitters. It’s hard to explain why. Perhaps The Castle triggers my fear of being stuck in a place where people are unthinking and your appeals for reason are swallowed up by the thick cloud of bureaucracy. It’s like that season of American Horror Story about somebody stuck in an asylum. You went in with a perfect exit plan and then you get stuck and nobody listens to you. Then you get stuck for years when you really only intended to stay a few weeks. *shivers*

Anyway, I haven’t used watercolor on my hobo for a while so I thought I’d have a little fun before going to bed today. ^_^

Today’s Art Journal Entry

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I’ve been super busy these past few days with work, I hardly have time to really sit down and write. Today I was feeling under the weather, so I stayed home and rested. I wrote about this plan for a surf ‘n turf cookout with some friends. My friends and I try to go out and catch up regularly, and it’s something we really plan and look forward to. Sometimes we have themes, like Japanese, Pinoy, etc. It’s just something to look forward to. 🙂

 

DotDotDot–Discovering Stippling

It’s my first time to try the stippling technique, although I’ve always been fascinated by it. I was so completely intimidated by it that it took me this long to try it out. I’m glad I did, though. It only goes to show that you really will never know if you are going to enjoy something unless you try it. Of course my first attempt was a fish. I love drawing fish. It’s one of the most relaxing things to do, for me at least. For a first attempt, I’m pretty happy with it, and I’m surprised that I am able to draw different shade better with this technique. I don’t know how else to explain it but that it feels comfortable for me.

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I used the sketchbook insert from Midori for these drawings. I like the texture and the thickness of the pages. For once, I’m not worried about wrinkling the paper when I erase the pencil drawing.

IMG_3607Here is a closer look at how the dots were drawn for the koi’s eye. I’m fascinated by how grouping more dots together makes for a darker shade, and scattering them makes lighter shades. It’s a little painful on the hand, but it’s alright. I guess it’s also good that it forces me to slow down and think about what I’m drawing. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s very relaxing. I did a few more after this one.

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A dragonfly.
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A very chubby, fluffy sparrow (need to work on my proportions, lol)

My second favorite so far (after the koi fish, of course), is this drawing of a Philippine Eagle which I did today, during my break time.

There’s a lot of textures in the beak, so I spent a lot of time on that. I dunno why but it’s so therapeutic just poke-poke-poking on the paper with a pen. Haha. Here’s a photo of the eagle before it was finished.

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Here it is towards the end of my lunch break. I added a few more details on the wings after I took this photo, but I didn’t change it much. I kinda like it the way it is already. 🙂

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Of course, a Superman drawing for my husband. 🙂

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Stippling is lotsa fun! I wish I tried it sooner. 🙂

Yummy, Yummy Paper

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I love these Tomoe River journals. It’s part of the reason why I’m so excited about using my Hobonichi Cousin this coming year. It will double as my planner and art journal.

What I love most about this paper is that it’s delicate looking (what with all that subtle show through) but it’s tougher than it looks. It actually looks like tracing paper, and you can slip in a lined pad underneath so that you can write straight lines on the blank pages. I like that even when I include simple watercolor paintings on it, the journal entry I wrote on the back of the page doesn’t get smudged. You can even make watercolor paintings on either side of the page and both paintings will hold up really well.

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Sometimes I put layers of washes on it and rub my brushes vigorously on the paper and it just takes it. It’s even better than some of the watercolor papers that I tried. It’s a great paper for including art in your journal entries. I also read somewhere that the properties of the paper will make sure that the colors of your paintings don’t change over the years. I’m really hoping that’s right.

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Note to self…my detail brushes need to be replaced. They’re already beginning to fan out. These tiny brushes are super cool to use on small paintings. 🙂

(Curnow A5 Tomoe River Journals are available at Pengrafik.com)

A Cabin in the Woods

Here’s my gratitude journal entry for today.

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Sometimes you live for the moments when the fog lifts and you find a cabin in the woods. A hot, welcoming meal, friendly faces, an invitation to stay for a while. If you persist long enough, you may just find that eventually, the fog descends a lot less often than it used to, and you can see farther ahead.

If you’re not there yet, just hold on to the hope of a few moments of clarity and respite. Keep walking, keep reaching out.

Year 6

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Yesterday’s journal entry was in memory of the victims of the Ampatuan Massacre. Year 6, 99 arrests made out of almost 200 suspects, 3 witnesses killed, zero convictions. 🙁

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I’ve been drawing things with the oblique holder I got from The Curious Artisan and I must say, it’s really enjoyable to use for line art. I’m still trying to get a hang of it, but I love how varied the line widths can be and I like using Sumi ink. It’s a vibrant kind of black. Not waterproof, though.

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Gratitude Journal

PB228746My brother bought me this cute Moleskine journal during his HK trip last week. Moleskines aren’t known for holding up well to wet writers, but I found that they take fine nibs, chalk-based stamp pads and (surprisingly) brush pens just fine. It’s also super-cute. I absolutely love The Little Prince! I find the color theme of this notebook (cover, bands, etc) as such a happy and vibrant color theme. Very fitting. 🙂

I decided that I would use it as my Gratitude Journal.

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Whether you are religious or not, being conscious of the things you are grateful for can add so much sweetness to your life. It neutralizes the negative thinking and helps you focus on the things that are going right. It helps you have a hopeful and positive attitude. As a Christian, having a grateful attitude is important for me because God has done so much in my life. Sometimes it’s so easy to take that for granted. The Bible tells us that we should always have a thankful attitude. It’s amazing how uplifting writing down your thanksgiving items in a journal is. Even if it’s for something as silly as…

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Of course you can include doodles, washi tapes, stamps, watercolor paintings (if your notebook can handle that), calligraphy, photographs and other things to make your gratitude journal as fun and possible.

Here is a nice article about how a grateful attitude and keeping a gratitude journal can help your overall well-being.