Have you ever looked at a piece of art and you could tell that the person was completely engrossed and enjoying every single moment of the creative process?
That’s how I feel when I look at art journals. Art journaling is a way to combine words and images to express yourself in a place with no rules. To me this is the ultimate way to create, to play. When I watch my kids draw or paint they enjoy the process. They aren’t wondering if it’s going to turn out right or if that red should be used with that green. And even when I try to emulate them I find myself thinking too much about what I’m creating instead of just letting go.
When I look at art journals I can tell the artist just let go. That’s why they are so fascinating to me.
Then I began wondering if I could take that concept and transfer it to an embroidery hoop. I had a color palette I wanted to work with already picked out. I looked through my fabric scraps to see if anything matched and found a few pieces to work with plus a piece of twill ribbon. So now I had this random pile of stuff and decided to see if I could be completely free, break rules, and just stitch wherever and whatever I wanted.
It was fantastic! I loved being able to let go of patterns and stitch rules. To layer fabrics, experiment with old stitches, practice new stitches, and try out different thread counts in a completely free form area. I didn’t care about the end result, I just started to play. And here’s what happened.
Next time I’ll try to remember to take more photos of the process. There is so much wonderful texture in this piece. My favorite being the portuguese border stitch on the twill.
You can also spot chain stitch, back stitch, french knot, split stitch, stem stitch, straight stitch, cross stitch, satin stitch, and braid edging stitch.
I made up the term art journal embroidery. I really have no idea what to call it, but I feel that stitching this way allowed me to be free in the same way that art journaling releases people.
It feels meditative and calming and I can’t wait to try it again. Now I just have to decide how I’m going to display them.
Have you ever tried art journaling? I would love to hear about your experience with it.