Saturday 26 January 2013

Being Brave - A journal page healing technique.


Hello my amigos. It's been a while! Let me summarise the past couple of weeks in short; We moved to an awesome house out in the country side. I hired a fantastic assistant to take some of the pressure off good old me. My little art business is esploding and making people's lives happier. And the babies continue to be a handful! Life Book 2013 is thriving, people are buzzing with creativity and I'm bursting with new ideas for courses, projects, paintings and psssst; retreats! :D Life is awesome and I've also been down, struggling with my usual demons which I won't go into right now as it will take some time. :) 

Anyhoo, let me share with you what happened today, I was brave! I received an unpleasant email and felt really triggered. As much as I know and have the tools to process feelings healthily and properly, my default response to unpleasant feelings is to grab a bag of cookies. It requires energy, awakeness and courage (in my case) to take a moment, stand still, feel my feelings and then process them, instead of just defaulting to cookies. So that is what I did today (feel them, not default them, ha!). It's a much healthier way to deal with stuff this way. I always endeavour to use this method more than the cookie one (but often fail dismally, ahem, but nevermind, today I didn't which is what I'm focusing on! ;))

This is how I do it, hope it's helpful for you too!

STEP 1. First, sit down, notice your body, start internally naming how you are feeling eg: 'anxious, worried, sad' and/or 'a heavy feeling in my stomach' etc.

STEP 2. Take any kind of pen and your art journal. Start writing down the same feelings. Don't worry about making it legible, in fact, scribble and write your feelings over the other scribbles/ writings too, this way the writing becomes an interesting texture layer later. I forgot to take a pic of this stage, but under the gelli plate print layer you can see the writing: 


STEP 3. If you have a gelli plate (which are awesome) do a few prints over your writing. Draw patterns onto your gelli plate after you've added the paint, then print. 


STEP 4. With an old credit card apply some more bright colours in desired areas. 


STEP 5. I wanted to include a face. Drawing is a bit easier over gesso and I wanted a bit more white on my page, so I added some gesso with the same card to the page. 


STEP 6. I sketched my portrait. 


STEP 7. I added more details and built up the shading. 

aj-10 aj-9 aj-8 aj-7 aj-6 aj-5

STEP 8. With a white posca pen, I wrote down the needs underneath the feelings I was feeling earlier (ask yourself: 'why am I feeling this way?' In my case: I needed acceptance, love, care, compassion and ease). I scribbled the writing down deliberately so that the writing wasn't very legible. I like for the writing to be part of the texture and art rather than it being something to read. 


STEP 9. I added a photo of myself that conveyed the feelings/ mood I was in and collaged some papers under and around it. I also added some washi tape on the page (loooooove washi tape). 

aj-3 aj-2

STEP 10. Lastly, I doodled on and around the photo and added the word "compassion" several times on the photo. 


And done! Here are some more shots taken with the more professional camera: 

AJ5-700 AJ4-700 AJ3-700 AJ2-700 AJ1-700

It was a a healing/ nurturing page to make. :) 

Hope you enjoyed this post! If you do something similar, leave a link to your blog post below! I'd love to see it! 

Mucho muffins. xox


  1. I still love watching the process and learning from you :)Blessings to you and yours

  2. Beautiful, smart, wildly creative. I love seeing your process and feeling this. I keep wanting to draw face/portraits in my art journal, but really haven't yet. You inspire me. ~ k

  3. fabulous, i really love the vibrant colours. x

  4. Love this, thanks for sharing your feelings and process, I will remember the next time I grab the bag of cookies! xox

  5. Brilliant! Thanks for sharing! xo

  6. so sorry you received a negative email, but so inspiring how you turned it around and look at the beautiful results. I'm sure it made you feel so much better as well - thanks for sharing!

  7. Tam, defaulting to cookies is quite cute and sweet. In my case, I'm likely to default to cursing the other person and many little things that annoy me.

  8. Hi Tam, I so enjoyed watching this page evolve. I so love seeing your creations (and children) ya gal!!

  9. What a beautiful way to deal with your feelings. Your page is gorgeous - so expressive! You inspire me!

  10. Hi again. You really did motivate me. I did draw a face, kind of a sketch self portrait, in my journal today. Thank you for giving me a little push! ~ kath

  11. such an empowering exercise Tam. Thank you for sharing! I am doing a 52wk art journal challenge- doing one page a week for the whole year. its great fun. You can see my pages on my blog.
    thank you for being an inspiration!
    much love
    be strong.

  12. Beautiful, thank you so much for sharing. Love, light and healing to you.

  13. Thanks for sharing. You lived in the moment!

  14. Love it, Tam. I think I am needing to do this right now for myself...

  15. Aww I'm sorry someone left you feeling crappy =( but you processed your feelings into something beautiful =) I think writing in your journal is the quickest way to help heal, as it forces you to deal with it then and there (rather than defaulting to the cookies) and so speeds up the time it takes to process & evaluate. I would add a link but it would be a loooooong list of blogpost and videos I do it A LOT lol hope you are feeling better now =)much love Jennibellie x

  16. did I understood well ? "and psssst; retreats! " retreats You would organize ??? oh Tam that would be great ! England is easy for me to go to ! that would be great!

  17. Wow!!!! To be able to create and draw like you would be a miracle - wonderful art work!

  18. Omg...beautiful work Tam. You are the number one positive person in my life. Thank you for sharing your skills. You make me sooo happy, and you help me dealing with my daily struggles.
    Love, Kristin

  19. As I was starting to eat a whole bag of cookies I remembered reading this post the other day and stopped and did what you did--thank you so much. Not only did I not eat the whole bag I had a wonderful time playing! Your page is beautiful!

  20. Absolutely gorgeous Tam! Love, love, love! xoxo

  21. I've just now found your blog and am really enjoying it and your wonderful art already. This piece is just fabulous. I think it's so wonderful you are sharing your journey about how you deal with life's challenges, issues and messy feelings. Though I had to stop working outside the home I was a psychotherapist for years, working mostly with children/adolescents and their families. This sharing about "what" to do to deal with our various uncomfortable-nesses inside ourselves and with others is so important in this day and time. Folks NEED to see and talk about positive examples to learn and grow and I'm grateful to you for your courage in sharing. Art therapy was one of my favorite interventions to use with clients (and myself...I have many art journals from years when I was doing a whole bunch of growing through difficult times). Art is such an expressive, non-threatening and helpful way to identify issues and work through them. You have given such a wonderful example of the process and benefits here. I look forward to following you on your journey. If you want to know a bit about me you can visit my blog at I'm very new to blogging so I'm learning as I go along. My main focus of my blog is the creating of my one of a kind jewelry that I sell at art fairs and on etsy.
    p.s. I so understand about the cookies!

  22. Hm. I think that should be on the pharma newsletter. Not as a bad thing, just a awesome thing to show and to express both creativity and happiness together.


Thank you for connecting with me. I appreciate you! <3


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