October 23, 2022

The Grid Journal - What I've learned so far

 Back in May I started the Get Messy May journaling challenge and didn't get very far but I did do Kellee Wynne's grid journal class. I was smitten! And I've been making them ever since. 

Initially, simple small ones. 

When I took Kellee's free course Grid Journal Crush, I decided to dedicate my brand new big sketchbook to grid journaling and it's kinda been a game changer.

So what have I learned after making a grid per day for almost a month now?

  1. Even if the individual cells/squares don't quite work, the whole page/spread often does.
  2. Limiting your palette allows more freedom.
  3. Mark making is ALWAYS a Good Thing.
  4. Colour mixing is a whole OTHER ball game.
  5. Sometimes you make mud. Mud can be okay though.
  6. Burnt Sienna is my kryptonite.
  7. White Gesso is your friend.
  8. It's a sketchbook. Make the mistake!
  9. Add your notes because you won't remember what that colour was.
  10. Diggin' the Grid!

August 19, 2022


 I've been thinking a lot lately about how being an artist requires constant bravery and courage. Not the 'ATTACK!!!' kind but  the 'reinvention of self' kind. We are constantly forging new paths, acquiring new skills, honing a critical eye to new-to-us genres, mediums, subject matter. It's a GRIND!

Case in point. I am gearing up to create a dozen new works for a show in late Fall. Pretty sure I'm done with 'the ladies' in encaustic and I haven't enough skills for abstract paintings. (yet? maybe ever? jury is still out on that one!) Collage is where my head and heart have been this summer. I think my skills are good enough to move down that path. (are they though??) I know assemblage shrines sell well but I haven't made any for almost a year. And frankly? Not really into it. (that should be enough to nix the idea but selling IS always a mitigating factor. *sigh*) 

As an aside, this image came across Google Photo memories and I became smitten all over again. It was SUCH a challenge and felt very satisfied with the end result.  

And yet? I'm pretty sure I'm done with assemblage. I know. I've said this before albeit 12ish years ago. The other day, I was looking... REALLY looking... at my studio shelves and there are (neatly labelled!) boxes I haven't opened since they were placed there after I moved in... FOUR YEARS AGO!

Back to courage...changing paths as an artist is so hard. Not even just the mental state of change but also in finding new inspiration, learning new skills with no, or few, tried and trues to rely on. We really are reinventing the wheel. And it's EXCITING, exhilarating even, but also scary AF. Also because our audience is interested in what we DID not necessarily what we are doing. I notice this whenever I post old work whether it be assemblage or wirework or jewelry or plaster and wax (so. many. paths.) and the folks who follow me for whichever path, comment 'OMG. I LOVE your [fill in the blank'].  And of course I LOVE to be loved but also know that those are now creative Cul de Sacs for me. Forging NEW paths means doing it alone. And even though I'm solidly comfortable as a singular unit, it still gets a bit lonely not having that positive nurturing feedback. 

 What's all this got to do with the price of bananas?

Collage is a new path. It excites me. I see many roads of exploration. It feels new and interesting. And yet? I'm not sure I'm good enough for it to be the basis of a new body of work. (only. isn't that the whole POINT of a new body of work?!?) Guess it's time to put on the big girl panties, pony up to the bar and just DO IT! 

There's no simple explanation
For anything important any of us do
Courage, my word, it didn't come, it doesn't matter

All Rights Reserved . JJ Worden . emerge