December Art Journal

I finally got around to making my art journal for December.  I’ve worked in the same journal for a few months now, sketching out ideas, not really doing work I show, so it hasn’t been a daily habit and one journal lasted through the fall.

I’ve been writing almost daily, processing the changes in my life — again nothing much to show.  I’m more using the arts to reframe changes in my life, changing language, changing images, dealing with change in the ways that have always seemed to elevate me.  Art can take the weight out of a lot of what seems too heavy to bear.

Not everything you create has to be for others, and a journal is a safe, secret place to grow and center yourself.  I think a lot of what artists and writers create remains un-shown.  A lot of creation is a psychological safety net, there to catch you when you fall.

But I have an opportunity to teach Visual Journaling to a group of kids through The Carpenter Art Garden in January, so I’ve gotten quite elevated by that.  I am going to use a smaller size journal than I usually use, teach more collage and share everything I love about having my own book in which I can create whatever I’d like.

I don’t always get this elaborate for my title page, but I’ve seen some glorious sunsets lately (my apartment faces west and the sun sets behind two old oaks, now leafless.


I’ve been saving ticket stubs, bus passes and other collage material, but I haven’t had time until this week to “finish” journal entries.  I’ve made a few sketches, some truly wretched, but I did this one of a friend listening to a lecture on genetics, biology and the way we are all interconnected.  I took some time today to finish it.  I’ve been experimenting using pencil sketches collaged into more colorful backgrounds, so that was what I tried working out with this sketch:

billy contemplates

If you recall, I used this technique in a finished painting earlier in the year and have since started, but not finished others:

St. Foster, Keeper of Stolen Wisdom, Mixed media, Joy Murray

You can read about the evolution of St. Foster here.

Anyway, it feels good to be playing around in my visual journal, making one with a mind to teaching children how to elevate their own lives, and realize that they have unique and important stories to tell, and their are many ways of telling them.

Also, after two months off (and a new psychiatrist), I’m back on facebook.  I was missing friends and sharing events and art.  So you can find me there, if you’re a facebooker.

Thanks for reading my blog.

Thanks for reading my post.  If you like it share it.  If you find a typo, please let me know and I’ll send you a thank-you postcard.  

You can now follow me on facebook here Instagram@joymurrayart and Twitter @joymurrayhere.

You can get prints and cards of some of my work on Redbubble.  They also print my work on lots of other items, including phone skins, tote bags, shirts and journals:

If you’d like to support my art and writing, please consider becoming a donor on Patreon.  If I get enough supporters, I can make this blog ad-free!  Here’s a link to my Patreon page:

If you prefer to make a one time donation, you can do so at  Please email me at if you’d like details.



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