One day when the weather was beautiful, I took myself, my dinner, and my sketchbook out the park out near my apartment
My mission: sketch my very favorite local beauty, the Mockingbird.
I have very little sketching experience, although I’ve been around sketching my entire life. My architect Daddy always had a sketchbook lying around, and he always provided one for me to dabble in with him. I’ve got sketches from when I was 4 years old!
All that to say– sketching is not my ultimate pasttime, talent, or skill. This is PRECISELY why I chose to sketch as part of my art journaling process.
Art journaling is all about using what you have. Use all the materials at your disposal. Play around with new techniques. Try something you’ve never tried before– or that you haven’t done since you were a child.
It doesn’t matter at all how “good” it looks. That is entirely beside the point.
I love trying something with the sure certainty that it will NOT be perfect. It’s strangely freeing.
As spring has begun in my region of the world, I have been enthralled with the wild details around me. I have been pressing wildflowers and leaves for weeks now.
I am that girl furtively looking over her shoulder, making sure nobody is watching her (illegally) pick bluebonnets.
Being out in nature is always a balm for my soul, no matter how low I may be feeling at the time.
When I’m outside, I can focus only on the beauty around me. I can focus on the sheer experience of being alive.
I love bringing little reminders of this healing presence into my art journal and into my every day life.
After my sketch was complete and I began to compose this collage, a couple of songs kept coming into my head.
I was constantly reminded of my very favorite moment from a sweet Disney original– “Sing Sweet Nightingale” from Cinderella, of course. I love laughing and mimicking the hilarity of the step sisters’ rendition, but I also love the beautiful moment where Cinderella makes joy out of her song and the beautiful bubbles.
I, of course, changed the words to fit my Mockingbird theme.
Another song popped into my head when composing this collage: the beautifully classic “Blue Skies” by the one and only Ella Fitzgerald. I once sang this tune in a jazz audition once upon a time, and why it came back to me now I’m not sure.
All I know is, it’s a beautiful thing to believe in the possibility of what you hope for. It’s beautiful to hope for blue skies, and for blue days ending.
If Ella can have that… maybe I can too.
Finally, I finished this page with a little envelope and a handwritten letter to myself. I wrote words of hope and encouragement as part of my endeavor to be kind to myself.
I want my head to be a nice place to live… and while I haven’t quite gotten there yet, it’s little moments like this that remind me that it’s possible.
Finally, I leave you all with this message of hope and determination:
“Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.”
― Langston Hughes