Finding Balance through Journaling Practice

Romantic Geometry, an art journaling mini-course by Peony and Parakeet, teaching the basics of abstract art.

Here’s an art journaling spread that I created for December’s mini-course at Imagine Monthly Fall. The mini-course is called Romantic Geometry, and it’s about creating abstract art and traveling through the history of art and design. It’s a perfect example of what journaling has brought to my life: a sense of freedom and limitlessness. When you paint, draw or write, you are limited only by your imagination.

Everybody is an Introvert

I want to dedicate this blog post to introvert in us. They say that most people have some introvert characteristics in them. To me, very little needs to happen and I get a lot of ideas, associations, and thoughts to go through. It feels like a curse sometimes. If I don’t get enough time to be alone, I become unhappy and everything feels overwhelming. We in Finland, have the most forests in Europe. For many Finnish introverts, forests are the places to go to process the thoughts. I do like to spend time in nature with my dogs, but it’s not the same as spending time with my journals. I need to get out what’s inside me and even more: use my imagination to create something playful, no matter how childish or stupid that might feel first.

Abstract art journal spread by Peony and Parakeet.

My art journals contain a lot of painting and drawing, but I also like to write down my thoughts, especially after I have created the image. I also like the practice where I write a question, then answer it, and then find a new question related to my answer. These kinds of internal conversations fill me with positive energy. I also like to analyze what I did wrong but have found a positive way to do that. I look back, pick things where I succeeded and then make notes how I can still improve.

Everybody Needs “Me-Time”

Paivi from Peony and Parakeet browsing her art journal.

When I browse my journals, it’s easy to feel grateful and forgiving because the pages complement my life’s story. I fill them randomly, and in many sessions but try to do that as regularly as I can. When I start to journal, I often don’t feel particularly inspired, but after a while, I am fully enjoying the creative challenge. I have never been an introvert in the sense of being a quiet person. But when they say that introverts live in a world of their own, I recognize the habit through my journaling practices. My journals are like mini-worlds with limitless possibilities.

Paivi's art journals. She loves art journaling.

Everybody Needs a Place to Experiment

Behind every bigger art piece that I create, there are plenty of art journal pages where I have experimented with the ideas. This possibility of experimentation also happens with my writing. I don’t always write about myself but empathize with a fantasy character. This fall I wrote a haiku poem with the help of my husband, also an introvert.

I think that many who haven’t fell in love with their journal yet, forget to experiment. They drool over beautiful notebooks at bookshops or pin colorful art journal pages at Pinterest. But when they begin a journal, they feel they need to make decisions and stick with those. They pick the supplies they should use, or the style they should follow, and then get bored or disappointed with how the pages look. But you can change the direction as many times as you want, explore what excites you today, and cherish all that diversity. The more I have journaled, the more I feel the calling to show how paper books can balance your life. Life is less mess when you save some time for journaling.

Classes for Art Journaling

Paivi from Peony and Parakeet with an art journal and a canvas painting.

Romantic Geometry guides you to create dynamic abstract art from simple shapes. It’s the last mini-course of Imagine Monthly for now.

I will be running a new class “Inspirational Drawing 2.0” in spring 2017. Like Imagine Monthly, it will also have a monthly format. Inspirational Drawing 2.0 is about drawing from imagination and inspiration. It’s a skill-oriented, excellent class when you want to free up your expression and add more abstract ideas to your journal. This class will be all new content. If you have attended Inspirational Drawing previously, you will still want to sign up!

Tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Finding Balance through Journaling Practice

  1. Cynthia Zutavern says:

    Paivi, you are so right! When you spend time with your art journal, you are connecting and reconnecting with yourself over and over again. The journal pages become friend and confidante. The perfect thing for an introverted moment.
    And amazingly, I was just reviewing the course outline for upcoming Inspirational drawing 2.0 as your post came through. I am so excited and looking forward to January.
    Thanks, your friend CZ of Jada kay-nine

    • Päivi says:

      Thanks so much, Cynthia! I think that the world would be a better place if everybody would spend more time journaling! I am so looking forward to spring and meeting you + other students at Inspirational Drawing 2.0!

  2. Mary W says:

    When you said many Finnish people use forests to process thoughts but you find yourself using your journal more than forests, it made me think – you do use the forests but in a slightly different way. You use them once the trees have been turned into paper LOL. I didn’t realize that Finland has so much forest lands. It must truly be beautiful and especially in winter.

    • Päivi says:

      Thanks, Mary! Yes, in a way I do use the forests … If there’s snow, Finland is really beautiful in winter. I live in the south and we usually do get snow but it often melts down and then it’s not so nice. Days are short and it’s so dark without snow. Currently, there is only some snow but hopefully more for Christmas. Here are some interesting statistics from Finland: http://www.stat.fi/ajk/satavuotiassuomi/suomimaailmankarjessa_en.html

      • Mary W says:

        The statistics are VERY interesting – so much forest! I’m intrigued about Finnish love of coffee. In what ways do people drink it or add things to it? USA is mainly black, cream or sugar or iced with flavoring and whipped cream added. My favorite is drizzled hot on top of vanilla ice cream.

        • Päivi says:

          Mary, Finnish people drink coffee all the time, but I prefer tea, so I am not an expert. I think Finns drink coffee in all forms, but the most common way is to drink plain black coffee or put some milk and sugar into it.

  3. June Walker says:

    I love that you encourage changing styles and experimenting in your art journal. Looking forward to seeing what your journalling and drawing class offers next year. I was unable to take any classes this year. I like your Romantic geometry idea and painting!!

    • Päivi says:

      Thank you, June! I highly recommend Inspirational Drawing 2.0, which begins in January and lasts till May. It’s divided in monthly lessons so it won’t be overwhelming but you will have the support of the community and time for building friendships for all those 5 months.