The March theme for the Journey Within Art Journaling class I’m participating in (and teaching in later) this year was nature and natural living. For the spread I created above I took inspiration from Cindy Gilstrap of Junque Art’s lesson about taking cues from nature around you.
Of course this is not too hard for me – because I live in the Rocky Mountains surrounded by natural beauty. But in March the mountains are still covered in snow and there is not much color popping up from the ground yet, or budding from the trees.
I was thinking about Cindy’s lesson as I was taking one of my daily mid-day pedals along the river…I thought “I want to take inspiration from the water that flows through the valley.”
I stopped to stand by the playhole to soak in the sounds and the site of the river flowing through town. And I snapped this photo to the left.
I didn’t immediately do anything with this, and a little later in the month my hubby and I were hiking up Cottonwood Canyon and I was in awe of the water still flowing there (until late last spring this canyon had always been, for the most part, dry).
The patterns in ice crystals that had formed along the now small creek caught my eye. I became intrigued by the thought of playing with the these patterns, and so I took a photo with that in mind.
Some days later I began to play with paint & pencils & stencils & stamps.
As I was doing this I was thinking about how important water is in our lives – and how precious it is.
This reminded me of a poem I had written and calligraphed many years ago – after returning from travels where potable water was not readily available and there was a severe drought (and wildfires) beginning to take hold in Colorado.
I wrote the poem, in white, in the top left corner of the spread, but did not like how it looked.
Especially after watching Cindy’s lesson videos, I knew this was OK – she had encouraged us to use my intuition and that nothing is a mistake because with mixed media it can always be covered over with more layers.
This is exactly what I did – knowing that it was still part of the spread! I did add the first line of the poem back onto the spread, too.
I’ve written out the text of my short poem below.
water is a precious resource.
drink it to hydrate, or perish.
appreciate it, for everywhere it is not so easily accessible.
bathe in it, warm water soothes your muscles and your soul.
conserve it, otherwise soon you will not have it.
I love living so close to the beautiful Arkansas River. I really do try to visit the river’s edge each day – if only to pedal along the path through town and back home again.
I feel truly fortunate to live where drinking water is good coming from my kitchen sink, and that without much thought I can stand under warm, soothing water in my shower.
I know I am not perfect about conserving water, but I always try to keep in mind that my easy access to water is a luxury really and I am fortunate to have such ready access to this life sustaining resource. I hope this musing will inspire you to feel the same.
Thank you dear Cindy for providing the inspiration for my journal spread, and this reminder about water – that flowed through me as I created.
P.S. If The Journey Within – A Year of Handmade Journals sounds intriguing, it’s not too late to join in the fun!! Click here to learn more. (full disclosure — this is an affiliate link:)
Here’s a little sneak peak about my new offering – coming later this spring.