Thursday, August 30, 2012

Joy Journal Project - Assignment 3

For the last several months, I have been participating in The Joy Journal Project. August has been a hard month for me -- physically, emotionally, spiritually . . . so I wasn't sure I would get this entry done. However, after a good chat with my husband about why I need to create art (with him giving me the reasons, me questioning the value at this point in my life!), I used a free afternoon to do this spread, which was to include the use of a silhouette. I started the spread without any clear direction because the assignment was to reflect on myself as a child and myself now, and I just didn't know where to go with that. As I was creating random layers (starting with maps of places I have lived over the years), I heard a lyric in a song, "the girl with the dream in her eyes." That reminded me of something one of my teachers had inscribed in a book he'd given me at the end of the school year: "To Paula, with the sunshine of hope in her eyes." (I found the book on my shelf just to make sure I remembered correctly!)  The recollection actually made me cry in light of how desperately I've been hanging onto Hope this past year, and how people have commented on how my hopeful spirit has blessed them. It was humbling and encouraging and altogether uplifting to know that the Sonshine of Hope can still be seen in my eyes. 

So my teacher's words directed the rest of my spread. The profile picture was taken just after my cancer diagnosis last fall, and the picture from which I cropped my eyes was taken the same day. A wee bit of photo editing gave me the variations in the eye images. I think they're kinda cool. The unedited ones in the top left corner remind me of my eyes as a child when I see them without my face. (Funny that ;)

The gold-glittered silhouette, I decided, represents my spirit. I didn't plan it that way -- but that's how it turned out in my mind. (The word in the black box that I squared off from the text papers I used says "resurrection"! ;)

I chose to also include the profile from which the silhouette was made (I just traced around it), but I wanted to use a mix of the plain photograph (back of my head, earring, left shoulder) with a painted picture (below), so I just painted the rest of the photo with acrylics. (Doing that makes me feel like a skilled artist cuz that's pretty much what I looked like when the photo was taken ;) 

Butterflies make me think of new life and hope, so they seemed like appropriate embellishments to finish the spread (along with some black splatter to tie everything together ;)

I think this is one of my favourite journal spreads so far. I was slow getting started with it because I wasn't sure what to do, but once I got started, things began to fall together and I really enjoyed the process, though it really did tucker me out! LOL (I like to work start to finish in one sitting as much as possible.) 

Now for next month's challenge, which will be posted on Sunday. If you think you'd like to join in, don't hesitate to jump in! (At my rate, I likely won't have it done until it's almost October! But it doesn't matter, does it?!)


  1. Oh my, there are layers and layers of story on that spread. The words flow across the page like a river. Absolutely stunning!

  2. Thank you, Amanda! I hadn't thought of the river imagery -- I like that! It goes with the maps underneath :)

  3. Wonderful page! Love the strength that God has gifted you with during this time of battle against the cancer. Be blessed in your journey and may God continue to strengthen you in all areas!

  4. Amazing journal pages! Thanks for sharing how you have kept your eyes on our Lord during these challenging days! ~ Blessings, Tracey

  5. Lots of healing hugs to you ~ this is a wonderful piece of art work and the creation will be very healing for you ~ so glad you remember quote from your teacher ~ Shine on ~ (A Creative Harbor)

  6. This is really nice--I love the silhouette, and especially like how the words curve and connect it with the picture--

    And I love the quote from your teacher! If they only knew how much kind words mean!

  7. Hi Paula,

    Though you are not here this #44 week of WAW, I wanted to stop by and say hello and yes, you're missed. May God be blessing you wherever you are when you get this comment.

    ♥ Barb

  8. Paula-this is a great piece! I love the eyes of hope scattered all over the pages. Don't ever give up hope!
    Your art will be here representing who you are & encouraging others that are left behind.
    When we reunite in heaven-whether I go before you or vice-versa, our art will unite us!

  9. We will miss you. Thank you for your courage~God bless.

  10. I know you through the blog world xinme, but I want to let your family know how much your thoughtful comments on my blog mean to me. It is rare to find an articulate, smart, artistic and compassionate person to support and challenge your ideas in a way that makes you a better person. I had no idea everything you've been through but your strength is always evident. God Bless and thank you for making everybody you interact with a little bit better.

    1. Thanks project girl.

      I have been amazed by how far-reaching Paula's (xinme) blogsphere is. Since her death, I have received messages from around the globe (literally) filled with encouragement and support for our family. For an introverted, stay-at-home, home-educating, art-loving mom, Paula's life has had tremendous impact on the spiritual growth and development of many world-wide!

      Sincerely, her husband, Blair


Sincere responses . . .

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