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Art Journaling on Canvas

Dina Wakley’s Out of the Journal challenge has been making my head hurt. It’s not her fault.  It’s me.  Is this a canvas or an art journal page (just not in a journal)?  I’ve pondered (which lead to the head hurting) how I would define art journaling and the answer that is best for me is art where I journal my emotions.  With that definition I would consider this canvas  art journaling.  Granted, it’s art journaling that hangs well on a wall.

Do I use words to journal my feelings. Sure.  But not always.  I was feeling a bit stressed so I wanted paint on my hands.  I had the most wonderful green & blue paints stuck under my fingernails from the background.  My feelings were vital in why I chose that color – I wanted a happy ocean color that would lead me to a better mood.  Oceans and beaches are my happy place.








I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the girl in the middle so I just went “near” her carefully with my fingers full of paint.  I didn’t trust myself not to get paint on her in most places so I left a bit of white.  I was sure I’d come back with a brush and touch that up.  Never did go back.  I liked the white around her.  She wasn’t turning out the way I expected but it was turning out better than I envisioned.  Life lesson- make a plan and then stay flexible as it unfolds.  A reminder that most of the stress I needed to release with the finger painting was my own creation because I was not staying flexible.

No matter what I am working on- art journal, canvas, or something else – I am happy when my hands are covered in paint.  Be sure to stop by Dina’s and see what everyone’s doing for their Out of the Journal Challenge! Want to see more paint? Check out all the goodness at Paint Party Friday!  Want to see more art journaling? Check out Art Journal Every Day!

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  • Cynthia August 9, 2012, 10:42 pm

    Gorgeous! LOVE the colors…and the white!

  • Jessica August 9, 2012, 10:56 pm

    just lovely and moody. I really like how the fabric stops – as if she is inside and outside all at once. I love her form too. She reminds me of that great form you used for the two women facing each other, which is one of my faves. xo

    • Carolyn August 10, 2012, 8:19 am

      I must confess- she was drawn once and then traced over and over. She is actually on quite a bit lately- just haven’t had time to post it all.

  • Teri August 9, 2012, 11:19 pm

    Ohhhh… I like her with the white around her. It’s like she is wrapped in contentment.

  • Sue W. August 10, 2012, 6:55 am

    The white space around your girl gives her an etherial, almost floating effect to my eyes. Stunning piece of Art. Journaling. Canvas.

  • NatashaMay August 10, 2012, 7:49 am

    Gorgeous pose and my absolute favorite colors. 🙂

  • Annette G August 10, 2012, 7:49 am

    Loving your beautiful girl, so full of dance. Happy PPF, Annette x

  • denthe August 10, 2012, 7:53 am

    These sure are happy, summer-y colors! I love the way her dress floats on the wind, and the white space around her really makes her stand out. Beautiful journalcanvas.

  • LisaDV August 10, 2012, 8:01 am

    Lovely lady. She looks so dreamy to me. Beautiful.

  • Nancy August 10, 2012, 8:30 am

    I like your flexible approach and movement in the picture. I am too detail oriented and it is stifling; maybe it is like my personality….hmmm. Anyway, love her freedom and the colors you used!

  • Carol August 10, 2012, 8:41 am

    She is lovely and could actually be a ‘stand alone’ painting ~ very ethereal ~ (A Creative Harbor) artmusedog

    thanks for ‘visiting’ and commenting ~ enjoy ^_^

  • Christine August 10, 2012, 8:49 am

    I love the movement and colour in this piece!

  • Diana Evans August 10, 2012, 9:57 am

    this is amazing work!!!! I love the lady you created and the colours!!! fantastic work….

  • Kay Wallace August 10, 2012, 10:34 am

    Carolyn, this is just magical! While “digesting” your work before reading anything, I marveled at the aura you created by the white space around your image. I love that, at first, it was unintentional!

    While 99-44/100% of the time, I am moved most by the artwork and not the narrative in blog posts, I have to say that this post is one of those exceptions. I have copied down (and herewith ask your permission to quote you in my own art journaling blog): “She wasn’t turning out the way I expected, but [she] was turning out better than I envisioned. Life lesson–make a plan and then stay flexible as it unfolds.” This is just such remarkable advice!

  • Corrine August 10, 2012, 10:57 am

    Oh I was having that edgy day yesterday too and painting really helped. I like your discussion in your head about emotion and getting color to bring you back to a happy place. Lovely canvas, youthful girl wistfully gazing off into who knows what? I love it. xox

  • Debbie August 10, 2012, 11:14 am

    Very nicely done. I like the addition of the words. I wouldn’t stress too much about whether it’s a journal page or a painting. It is what it is and it’s beautiful!

  • Leovi August 10, 2012, 1:10 pm

    Beautiful composition with excellent colors and shapes, yes, excellent lady, I like it.

  • gloria August 10, 2012, 1:17 pm

    Hi Carolyn. Love your floating girl and the colors you used are awesome. Well done!

  • Rhonda August 10, 2012, 1:25 pm

    Loving your work today Carolyn. The blues especially, so soothing! Happy PPF!

  • Laura Spano August 10, 2012, 1:32 pm

    I love your piece! The colors and the mood are both calming and invigorating at the same time. This is the first time visiting your blog, and I have to say that not only do I love the artwork, but your prose as well. I’m struggling right now with this challenge….when I make a page in my journal, it doesn’t matter, because I’m just playing, you know? But a CANVAS? Gah- that just adds pressure to make it a displayable piece! So, I think I’m just going to pretend that my canvas is just another page- I can always gesso over the whole thing and start over! Thank you for sharing your work! Lovely!

  • Pointypix August 10, 2012, 2:27 pm

    I can totally see why the ocean and beach is your happy place – it is mine too – I love to be by the shore and those turquoise shades are just beautiful. I like the idea of journalling on canvas and you’re so right about making a plan and then allowing yourself to be flexible!

  • Terrie -Creative Explorer August 10, 2012, 2:31 pm

    I really like the way she is surrounded by white, by light! Love her windswept, casual feeling. I keep intending to join Dina’s prompt and even have a canvas started…..maybe I’ll just share the start, the WIP.

  • Faye August 10, 2012, 2:39 pm

    Beautiful colors, Carolyn. I love the ocean hues. And like the others I think the white enhances the lady and makes her stand out more.

  • Carol Samsel August 10, 2012, 2:49 pm

    I love her!!! The colors are all fantastic and the white is a glow surrounding her.

  • JKW August 10, 2012, 4:36 pm

    I like Debbie’s comment, ‘Don’t stress too much it is what it is.’ because it is, in all it’s beauty and sensibilities, You. I appreciate you sharing your feelings. You are so personable in your art and the outcome makes all the difference. Awesome work. Blessings, Janet PPF

  • Marji August 10, 2012, 4:48 pm

    Beautiful colors. I really like that sea blue background. You are so right about getting paint on your hands when feeling a little stressed. It really does calm the soul. Happy PPF

  • Victoria August 10, 2012, 4:49 pm

    Wow..she is exquisite..she speaks to my soul..and the colors are deeply stirring and magnificent!! Shine on..wonderful piece!

  • Valerie-Jael August 10, 2012, 4:52 pm

    Great piece. The white around the girl gives her a glow, and the colour of the sea is most inviting. I don’t think it’s possible to separate canvas from journaling or anything else; what we create reflects what and how we are, whatever it is. Valerie

  • Karen Smithey August 10, 2012, 6:02 pm

    Nothing ever seems to turn out the way I planned at the beginning! That’s okay, it’s what makes life so fun!

  • Cris, Artist in Oregon August 10, 2012, 7:09 pm

    Staying flexible is a good idea..if only I would follow it. 🙂 Lovely work. HPPF.

  • Melisa August 10, 2012, 7:16 pm

    It would never have occured to me to leave the white around her, but seeing it, I think it is just perfect. Much more interesting than if you had gone back and filled in, which is what I would have done.

  • Nora MacPhail August 10, 2012, 7:28 pm

    Very vibrant and fluid.
    Happy PPF.

  • Molly August 10, 2012, 7:34 pm

    your happiness in paint definitely comes through. and i like the white around here… it gives her a kind of ethereal quality. very nice!

  • Rita McGregor August 10, 2012, 9:33 pm

    Quite the image. Love that touch of lace that matches her gown. 🙂

  • Ginny August 10, 2012, 10:52 pm

    Carolyn, your work is beautiful. I love the colors you used today and the way she seems to float. The ocean is my happy place as well.

  • Rinda August 10, 2012, 11:10 pm

    I love the shape of the girl and the placement of the words. I’ve only gotten as far as taking the wrapping off a canvas this month – LOL! But I do have a plan.

  • lynn cohen August 10, 2012, 11:43 pm

    that little bit of lace…a perfect added touch!

  • Scarlett August 11, 2012, 1:37 am

    Love this, it’s a simple design but imparts so much emotion! Love your work!

  • Anne August 11, 2012, 1:45 am

    Beautiful! I love the colors and the white space keeps it flowing and loose! I love the ocean, too. 🙂

  • Elisa Choi August 11, 2012, 2:47 am

    A wonderful work Carolyn! I didn’t know that we can journal on canvas. I love your process and the way you just have fun.:) I hope you feel better!

  • Natasha August 11, 2012, 5:02 am

    Love those colours and she is beautiful. Very reflective looking. 🙂 I like the white around her as well.

  • Clare August 11, 2012, 10:07 am

    such a serene mood you have created and love the colours, hopped over from dina’s blog to see what everyone else has created. x

  • Jo (fiddlesnips) August 11, 2012, 11:28 am

    Beautiful, I really like the white around her. The blue/green background is gorgeous!

  • Kristin van Valkenburgh August 12, 2012, 1:55 am

    I love the way you express yourself – both in your art and the ways you either video or write your process – you have a gift my friend! Thanks for sharing this beautiful piece, xo

  • Pauline Leger August 12, 2012, 8:31 am

    Carolyn, this is great. I love your definition of an art journal – “where i journal my emotions”… that’s pretty much it for me. I can almost always tell, by looking at one of my journal pages, how i was feeling at the time. i think the reason we’re not as comfortable with canvas journaling is that canvas paintings are often more visible than a journal is. The journal you can keep closed – away from prying eyes. But the canvas is meant to be seen – on a wall. Some of our journal emotions are not meant to be on a wall, or are not done as a “work of art”. They’re done as a release more than anything. At least for me. Btw, your kayak eyes are GORGEOUS!! i love the beautiful balance of color in there. omg, you did a class with Flora?!? Dreamy…. xox

  • Piarom August 12, 2012, 8:36 am

    This is quite wonderful and the white light around her is the best 🙂

  • Currie Silver August 12, 2012, 8:49 am

    Carolyn… this is magnificent. At first, I didn’t see the woman, just the shape, the whiteness. I realise that sounds silly, since the woman is clearly NOT white in your finished piece, but somehow that first view didn’t register for me…

    The way that you explain your process and self-questioning is very interesting. So often I go into a painting without really having a subject or outcome in mind. However, in the last year or so, here and there, I have stuck with more realistic objectives. Well, some of the time anyway. MayBE it is from 366 Daze and how I am digital fiddling with Gracie’s photos, or mayBE it is just my process and present-time progress.

    I enJOY so much when other artists share their inner dialogue and I think it has allowed me to listen more closely to my own!

    Really stunning work. Brava!!!

  • Mary C. Nasser August 12, 2012, 10:41 am

    Gorgeous blues, Carolyn!
    I am happiest when I am painting, too! 🙂
    Happy PPF!!
    Mixed-Media Map Art

  • Jen August 13, 2012, 12:05 am

    I love the movement of her dress! I need to go visit Dina’s challenge right now and check it out. There are several things in my “art journal” that I wish I had done on canvas. I also see SO many Gor-geous pages from journals of others and think, “Wow! that would look wonderful on the wall.” 🙂

  • gio August 13, 2012, 5:57 am

    Such a beautiful piece. So inspiring!

  • giggles August 13, 2012, 7:31 am

    Stunning and so true, Make a plan and stay flexible!! You need a journal page with those words!! Love it!!

    Hugs Giggles

  • Michelle Mathey - POMI August 13, 2012, 1:20 pm

    Your girl is lovely – I really like the movement and the white space around her.

  • Dina August 13, 2012, 1:28 pm

    She’s lovely!!

  • Susan August 13, 2012, 2:02 pm

    Beautiful art on canvas. I am also on my way to experiment on canvas.
    Thank you for your comment on Ariel

  • Paula - Buenos Aires August 14, 2012, 1:37 pm

    Beautiful! Ethereal and determined at the same time.
    My dilemma is between languages. Do I art journal in English? Most of the coolest quotes don´t look good translated but then … it is not my native language. Do I journal in Spanish? But then … cool things are left out. I´m coming to terms with bilinguism but haven´t been able to use both on the same notebook yet.

  • donna louise rodgres August 16, 2012, 6:34 pm

    the white around her works for me

    she is dancing,

    this is a lovely canvas,

    it would be a shame if she was hidden in a journal, she looks to me like she needs to be out in the world…


  • Jenny Petricek August 16, 2012, 6:39 pm

    The lady on your canvas is beautiful, as is the scrap of magenta lace! Perfect frame for the focal imagery!

  • Amy* August 26, 2012, 8:15 am

    It’s absolutely lovely and I’m so glad you were able to pour some emotion onto a canvas to be displayed proudly for all to see. I must say I just love reading about your process. Your words are like brush strokes and I feel like I’m right there in the studio with you staring at a blank canvas and trying to decide which color I want to be!

    You’re amazing!

  • annie! August 26, 2012, 6:40 pm

    I love your definition of art journaling and think this painting is a dream! I’m with you in that the beach just makes me feel so centered. May you have many ocean filled days.