Everyday Joy

Spring Mandala

I’ve been away from blogging since January.  I got a paid writing gig — ghosting writing stories for children for a toy company.  The themes of the stories are the values that aren’t taught in school.  It’s a wonderful project and I’ve been enjoying the work.  The great thing about it was that I got the job from a man who reads my blog — so I felt really good about the time and care I take for this blog.

At the same time, I got an opportunity to work with Dean Brantley Taylor of the band Mad July on paintings for a video, which will debut soon.  With the illustration work, the writing work, my work with children at Bridge Meadows, I just didn’t have the creative juice left to keep writing the blog.  It’s good to know when you have reached your limits — if you go too far, the quality of your work suffers and you drain the creative reservoir. 

In the midst of my break from blogging, I got a nasty flu which took almost 5 weeks to fully recover from.  I missed a few deadlines with my writing and illustrating projects, I had to cancel a storytelling gig, but  I’m working with very kind people, and I got back on track as soon as possible.

Flying Turtle — one of my symbols
Turtle in the style of Walter Anderson

I’ve missed blogging but have mostly kept up with reading my favorites.  I dearly love that we have this form of media populated with everyday people.  I’ve always believed that every person has a creative spirit, and I’ve spent a lot of my life trying to help people express themselves.  I believe we need a chorus of all voices in this world.  All these stories and art forms may not clear up the confusion, but they will add to the magic of life on earth — especially mine.

While I’ve been on blogging break, I did keep my journal.  I made a commitment at the beginning of the year to stop resisting and write every morning.  I’ve succeeded in writing every single day this year!  I keep the journal right by my bed and write first thing.  It’s not always coherent, but it sets a creative tone for the day. 

I did a lot of writing on God because I decided to join the Unitarian church

I’ve been illustrating the journal when I get a chance.  I draw in margins in spare moments during the day.  I’m drawing a lot more from imagination than drawing from life.  I sometimes start with drawing an object or person and then just wander off into my imagination.  Most of my journal drawings have been decorative.  I’m enamored of the artist Walter Anderson.  I hope to draw from life a little bit more and illustrate my days better.  Now that it’s Spring, I want to spend more time sketching nature.

But I’m a wanderer.  I’ve noticed in these past busy months I’ve used spiral symbols a lot.  I think I act in spirals — I get an idea, I start, I wander round and round, then wind up somewhere parallel but some distance away from where I started. This  may not make sense to anyone else, but it does to me.  The reward for journal writing is I get to know myself better.  I get to rewrite bad days, soothe scrapes and bruises, celebrate the daily comforts and kindness. 

Thanks so much for reading my posts.

 I’m linking this up to Paint Party Friday, where you can find a lot of everyday artists sharing their spirits.

60 thoughts on “Everyday Joy

  1. Hi Joy. Sounds like you are having lots of “Joy” in your work right now as well as in you artistic talents. Thanks for stopping by my PPF post, it's appreciated. Congrats on the writing gig, I'm sure it's the best. Love your journal work too. Best of luck in all you do.

  2. so exciting your career is, I'm so sorry you have been so ill, 5 weeks, thats a long time, your work is beautiful, the pages are wonderful, such a lovely peek in your world, thank you so much for sharing an I hope you are right as rain soon,

  3. Joy I am so glad you are back to blogging, you are such an inspiration to me. Your art is full of depth and life. the sun is shinning today after three days of fierce wind and rain. Glad you are better with your health.
    Your package for the kids was sent today.
    Have a happy weekend

  4. Your work is simply amazing. How wonderful that with all your successes and busyness you take the time to journal just for you.

  5. Thanks so much. I'm pretty much over that horrid flu and now only have seasonal allergies :), but I'm loving the spring. Thanks for your kind words and encouragement.

  6. You came by and visited me at dkatiepowellart, that is how I found you. I too was sick for five weeks with that nasty bugger! Love the blog, love art journaling and am an artist. Happy about your success!

  7. I am so pleased for you that your writing and drawing talent is being recognised. What a lovely and satisfying project it must be to know that your writing may influence and nurture a child's values and imagination. Your drawings are fabulous. I admire your stamina to continue journaling everyday and being a watercolourist I understand the need to keep in practice. Keep enjoying your wonderful creativity.

  8. Hello Joy, lovely to catch up with your creative journey, I just love those little tortoise… like laura I too admire your ability to journal each day, your pages are beautiful.

  9. You've done a lot of wonderful work in the past months. Congrats on the writing gig, and so sorry to hear about that nasty flu. Glad you are recovered enough to take up blogging again. Your journal looks awesome, and so good of you to do it every day!

  10. Loved your sketches, Joy. What a bummer to have been sick with flu a long time as you were! It sounds as if your time off from blogging was very productive, however.

  11. Welcome back Joy…so sorry about the flu but I'm so happy about the work you've been involved with! Good for you! So happy you are keeping busy with your creativity and for a good cause too! Love love love the turtles!! You've accomplished so much in a short time! Wonderful!! Wishing you more great things…Love the Unitarian church too!

    Hugs Giggles

  12. Glad you've now recovered – there's been some nasty bugs going around! But you certainly kept busy 🙂
    Thanks for stopping by and welcoming me to PPF 🙂

  13. All the illustrations in your journal are so attractive and interesting, if I absolutely had to choose favourites they would have to be the second and the fourth. Love your colourful turtles and your dramatic header.

  14. I feel I have found a kindred spirit! I am a wanderer too and I know exactly what you wrote about in your post. I also use my journals the same way. I am glad you could find the perfect words and journal pages to describe the way you spiral 🙂 I never know how a finished project will turn out, no matter how I originally plan. Have a wonderful weekend and I am so glad I got to pop in and visit! Hugs

  15. Lots of lovely illustrations and sketches! Really cool things to see. Sounds like the work you've been doing is very interesting, especially the writing. Glad to hear you've finally recovered! 🙂

  16. I think the daily practice itself increases stamina. I've found putting the journal where I can access it at all time helps otherwise I'm too lazy to start the process. Thanks for your kind words. Your work inspires me daily.

  17. The first two weeks were the worst, the rest of the time was congestion and recovery, but I could get work done. Love being back in the blogging loop. Thanks for stopping by.

  18. I've always felt creativity and spirituality go hand in hand. Keeping creative helps me be healthier and happier. I think I'll do a big painting of a turtle soon. Thanks for your kind words and for your great blog!

  19. Thanks so much for your kind/kindred words. It's been a wondrous journey learning to express myself and find out new things and ways to describe what I see. Thanks for the visit and hugs back!

  20. Welcome back Joy. Your art journal is wonderful. I totally understand about the spiral, I do the same only not as prolific as you : ) Congrats on the writing work, enjoy it.

    Take care,

  21. I am so proud of you keeping to the journal, you will enjoy looking back on it. Your artwork is wondrously unique and different. I love it. Thanks for visiting. Blessings, Janet PPF

  22. It's good to hear from you again, and congratulations on your writing and illustration gigs. I love your fantasy world journal illustrations, which remind me of the illuminated texts from the Renaissance period. Blessings!

  23. It is wonderful that your blog has led to new opportunities! Your pages are a delight to see and read! I really like patterns and colours of your turtles! They have such personalities!

    Thanks for sharing,


  24. Hello Joy, Congratulations on all of your writing opportunities. I agree that is good to know your limits. I find an ebb and flow with most of my endeavors in life. Your flying tortoise brought a big smile to my face and does seeing your journal pages. Journal is such an grounding practice for me. I appreciate it more as the years go by. Have a lovely week.

  25. Congratulations Joy!!!!Great to hear that you working on multiple projects, it keeps you busy and creative all along! Great! Super glad for you 🙂 Your journal pages are beautiful too 🙂
    Best wishes dear!

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