Art Journal Prompts and Inspirations

It came up in the comments in my last post – I think I may have ‘An Issue’ …….  I may be addicted to reorganising my organising.  I may be fine tweaking so to speak an inordinate, some may even say an unnecessary, amount.  For instance, this past week I spent several hours trying to decide where best to re-house my sock hanger full of stencils.  Just so I could glance up and see the time without further movement.  You may possibly recall – but I don’t blame you if you don’t – that I lost view of my wall clock when I hung my stencil hanger off the ceiling, bang in front of it ……  It’s all here if you need a reminder,

When I realised I was contemplating relocating an entire wall of cubbies – without there being an alternative entire wall to make use of – I thought it might be time for an intervention.  So Siddy and I headed out to see his second favourite person where I captured this photo of an exhausted puppy enjoying a cuddle and trying to keep his eyes open and failing miserably

Sleeping 14 6 17

And this


It’s my first completed piece of crochet work this year –  a miracle as I wasn’t going to do any yarn work this year, none at all.  Nothing.  Zilch.  Nada.  But I saw it and couldn’t help myself.  ‘It’ is is a Moogly pattern available on Ravelry for free.  A shawl/scarf made with a medley of gelato coloured bamboo/cotton yarn using five different stitches – I’m not sure that I’ll ever wear it, but it sure is pretty!

Coming back to the organising issue, it occurred to me that I was, once more busy prevaricating getting down to work – you may recall I am the happy owner of some huge sheets of much admired heavy duty art papers, plus a request for a particular inky doodle of gigantic proportions which I haven’t mentioned here at all, not to mention my daily dose of art journalling just to keep improving my range of skills ………  this last one seemed to have stalled quite badly in the face of all the reorganising.  Therefore, I wondered, might  the  reorganising of the organising be seen as an excuse not to get on with the tasks to hand ……..

With this wonderful insight ringing in my ears I set to with another new project that we won’t in any way refer to as further prevarication  ……  I made myself a collection of art journal prompts – an idea adapted from the myriad of ideas floating around on You Tube, but bearing special thanks to Claudia Rossi of Krazy Island Studios for her take on using tongue depressors.  She calls her idea ‘Inspiration Sticks’ and I should too.  Here’s the video that tells you how she made them and more importantly gives you a list of starter prompts, sorry, inspirations, if you are interested


I went to my local $2 Shop – it’s called ‘Happy Coins’ and run by a very nice couple who often give me a further discount on my basket filled with great artsy bargains.  I purchased 150 tongue depressors or extra wide lollipop sticks and several packets of sticky backed fun foam flowers, butterflies and hearts.  I spent a happy afternoon writing out all kinds of instructions both practical and slightly off-the-wall on the wooden sticks, stuck a couple of matching fun foam shapes back to back over the top of the sticks and voila, I ended up with two containers of journal prompts to keep me on my toes and out of stodgy town.

Just so you can see the virtue of this side journey,  here’s a couple of pages that were created prior to the arrival of the prompts


I made the  female figure mask myself – I’ve been making my own stencils, masks and stamps for a while now with varying success – this is one of the ‘varying’ successes!  (The leafy stems are a stamp I made)  I really didn’t have a purpose for this page other than to try out the mask, play with some new stamps and fulfill the resolve to paint every day. And at some point I got fed up and went off to play fetch with the dog.

This next one saw me playing with the idea of circles overlapping, intersecting and the vague intention of achieving a translucent bubble type effect……


Nothing pleased me, I didn’t know where I was going nor why I’d had the bright idea of making each leaf of the double page look so different.  It all looked like a big mess so Siddy and I played a rousing game of fetch and then went and had dinner.

Enter the journal prompts!  The idea is you pull a random stick and do what it tells you to do.  You do this at least seven times and it does not preclude you from doing anything else you feel compelled  inspired to do either.  This first one is easy to follow, I wrote the prompts onto the hearts at the end.  I can’t tell you how much my heart sank when I pulled the instruction to add red over my delicate background of blues and yellows and greens ……



But I was pleased with the result which, it seemed to me went somewhere entirely unexpected and fun.

But it’s this next one I’m really pleased with – the prompts produced a few heart stopping moments, but ended up taking me somewhere I really like.  I didn’t keep a record of the instructions this time and I’ve already forgotten the steps that carried me to the finished page – but for the first time I felt I had a page that was happily completed and which complements the painting I showed in the last post with the quote  ‘Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you feel buried, when you’ve actually been planted.’

On this one I want to write ‘Grow, flourish, bloom where you find you’ve been planted’


It may even progress onto a canvas.  You never know.

I hope, especially if you are working in a journal, you can see the potential of working with prompts or inspirations.  I certainly can.  What do you think?