Art journal

Paris- Travel Journaling Pt 2

Galia Alena  Parisian travel journal
Walking in the Silage of Stories Past
Whispering through the alleyways
Written in the stones carved soft with moss,
Across oceans, through centuries,
The echoes of lives
and the layering of stories.
I can almost hear them.
Just beyond a corner
a hint of movement
a scent familiar and strange;
Stories collapsed in time
I feel them brush up against me,
Unhinged shadows.

Sacre Coeur Paris, Galia Alena travel photography
Months later and I'm still sorting through the thoughts of the trip. I didn't take many photographs on this time, partly because I broke my arm just weeks before the trip and the cast came off a week early so that I could fly without it. To lighten the load I left my SLR and lenses at home and took only baby and my iphone. I took some photos, but the trip was not about the photography, but more about the sketching and the art. There are some photos to add in, impressions, but the journal is filled with sketches and paraphernalia that I barely feel the need to add photos (and apart from a few spaces, there is no room for them anyway so I am going to have to get creative on how to add them).

Galia Alena  Parisian travel journal
The plethora of galleries in Paris is overwhelming- so much to gorge on in such a short period and now, sitting amongst the clouds and trees, listening to birdsong instead of the harmonies of church bells and sirens, I can only dream of those details- the colours, the brush strokes, the risks, each of those artists teaching something different. These paintings come to life in a way you can only imagine when you stand if front of them and let their energy speak to you. Oh that I could wander the galleries with my morning coffee before I head to my own studio.

Eiffel Tower Paris, Galia Alena travel photographyMum likes to tell the story of the man who hated the Eiffel Tower but continued to eat lunch there everyday. When asked why he answered "it is the only place in Paris you can't see it from" -boom boom.

Next stop: London where I head off on my own to meet a dear dear friend for the first time.

Part 1 of my Parisian Travel Journal is here


Galia Alena  Parisian travel journal

Some thoughts on travel journaling and pilgrimage (from the new website):
A journey to a new place or a journey through a journal page will both take you on a pilgrimage to the center of your own heart, to an understanding of your own truths, to a knowing and comfort with yourself. Both will bring you closer to the peace of home and still that wyld spirit that wants to fly freely on the winds of desires, of greener grasses and the whispers of dreams.
Journaling and traveling can both be a journey on which, if you are receptive, you discover a deeper connection with yourself and the conversation with life. Both can act as a pilgrimage from which you are forever changed, giving you both new awareness and knowledge of yourself and the world, journeying simultaneously out into the outer world and deep within the inner world.
There are as many ways and reasons to travel and to journal as there are people. For me the two are similar in that they both are a way for me to embody the journey. The journey to align with my inner world as well as my outer, a journey in trust, a journey in which on the middle of the path one is expanded and changed forever, a journey in which you can meet yourself. A pilgrimage.
Both require me to stay open and curious, to watch and notice attentively, to respond with trust and wonder at unexpected opportunities. Both allow me to engage fully in  the conversation of life with wonder and amazement. Both gift me with myself.

Galia Alena  Parisian travel journal
"Sometimes it takes a great sky to find thatfirst, bright and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart.” David Whyte
There are many ways to travel but when a woman travels alone there is a certain amount of trust that is required, especially when details have been left open to chance, serendipity and faith. A window is left open for spirit to enter and the unique state of wonder and awareness that traveling puts you in enhances your awareness of these moments.
A pilgrimage can take many forms, some structured and religious, some based on tradition. Sometimes one is not even aware that they are on a pilgrimage yet the journey they take will change them forever as they find themselves touched by things they didn’t even realise they were seeking.

Galia Alena  Parisian travel journal
“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber
Traveling allows one to strip away the usual masks that daily life demands which can bury the true self, it becomes an opportunity to get to know yourself without all the usual baggage. When you travel the normal linear day to day time is suspended and you step into a time where routine has been suspended in favour of the fullness of the moment. When you art journal there too is a suspension of time. Your hands set to work busy moving paint about, making marks, selecting papers while your monkey brain watches and hopefully is quiet and distracted long enough for deeper thoughts and awareness to come forward- a moving meditation where the heart and hand is aligned.
“and turning the corner at what you thought was athe end
of the road, you found just a simple reflection,
and a clear revelation beneath the face looking back
and beneath it another invitation, all in one glimpse:”
  David Whyte

Meeting myself on the Page

Galia Alena Mixed Media Art journal
To celebrate putting my new website together, I thought I'd try to "define" Art Journaling in words- no easy feat. The new site is here: www.galiaalena.com
Art journaling is a sacred vessel, a container which willingly and lovingly holds all I wish to give it. It is a vessel for my brightest and darkest thoughts, for what I wish to shout and what I am barely able to whisper.
Art journaling is a gift I give myself, time to quietly be, to play, explore, make marks, move colour and shapes, collect words, to hide and reveal. Here process reigns. I am free from outcome, from the opinion of others, from the need to make it a certain way, to make it pretty, from the need to please anyone but myself. I can play and play and play and in doing so I give myself permission, I allow it to be enough.
Art journaling is a playground where I can play with new materials, new techniques and new ideas. It gently nurtures these young babies allowing them to grow and expand, to develop and to blossom.
Galia Alena Mixed Media Art journalArt journaling is a moving meditation connecting heart and hand in a joyous dance which allows one to breathe, witness, to silence monkey mind, to listen and to follow the threads.
Art journaling is a safe haven, a sanctuary from making mistakes- in the journal there are no mistakes, only lessons and layers of the journey to unfold. It is the freedom to fully express, in a tangible way, all that needs to be said. It is ever forgiving.
Art journaling is a bridge, connecting my inner world, heart, soul and spirit with my outer worlds, hands, body and cognitive processes. It is a bridge between my dreamstate and my awake time, a path through my shadows and a way into myself.
Galia Alena Mixed Media Art journal
Art journaling is a key to getting to know myself better, unlocking the stories inscribed on my bones.
Art journaling is contradiction, a place to empty out and to fill up, a place of light and shadow, a place of knowing and mystery.
Art journaling is a practice, and like any practice, the practice itself, the showing up, allows me to go deeper and becomes ever richer.


Galia Alena Mixed Media Art journal
The outcome is not found on the page but within- expansiveness, freedom, self knowledge, connection, discovery, release, completion, growth. It is the joy of expression, creativity and new wisdom.
You can scream and rage between the pages, it will take it all, or you can fall softly into its gentle and eager embrace. A way home to yourself.On the journal page I meet myself.

I would love love love to hear how you define art journaling or what it means to you- please share in the comments. Xx

Spectrum- the year's wrap up

 Last year I had the pleasure and honour of being asked to be one of the contributors for Hali's Spectrum, which in Hali's words is a:

Holistic Creative Circle celebrating your Mind~Body~Spirit~Nature
through the living expression of art and awareness.

Here's a peek into my Spectrum journal with work I did playing along with some of the other contributors. It is filled with so much goodness, I know my journal will continue to fill as I keep revisiting the rich and soulfilled lessons. At the bottom of this post are photos of the page I did in my module which was on "OPEN".

Spectrum 2015 is now being offered with a whole new set of contributors, but if you are feeling drawn to 2014's work, Hali is now offering it as an instant access e-book with so much to get your creative juices flowing.
 
Galia Alena mixed media art journal Spectrum

Galia Alena mixed media art journal SpectrumGalia Alena mixed media art journal Spectrum
Galia Alena mixed media art journal Spectrum

Galia Alena mixed media art journal SpectrumGalia Alena mixed media art journal Spectrum
Galia Alena mixed media art journal SpectrumGalia Alena mixed media art journal Spectrum

Galia Alena mixed media art journal Spectrum

Galia Alena mixed media art journal Spectrum

Galia Alena mixed media art journal SpectrumGalia Alena mixed media art journal Spectrum

Galia Alena mixed media art journal Spectrum
Galia Alena mixed media art journal Spectrum
Page from my lesson :)

Paris- Travel Journaling Pt 1

Travel Journal Paris- Galia Alena

Walking the streets worn smooth with stories
Leaves slipping to the earth
I feel a crack in my life open,
It's always this way with travel...
Something pulses through
wants more
I hear the stories dance with mine
"Where do you belong on this tiny blue planet"
Impossible seed
Soft and longing
Demanding more and less
Precious seed
When and how you'll bloom I couldn't say
Nor what kind of fruit you'll offer,
Only that you'll stir the stardust in my well
And whisper to my soul...

Travel Journal Paris- Galia Alena

Paris first appears as both quaint and familiar, a cliche on every corner but soon I am walking in step with the rhythms of her stories. I feel the stones beneath my feet and glimpse the flicker of a past disappear around the corner ahead.
Our apartment is on Île de Saint Louis, right next to Île de la Cité, where Notre Dame sits regally, and a short walk to a fabulous food market where the quiches and pastries call me back. Through the night I am kept awake by the christmas lights that flicker outside my bedroom window as the Boulangerie directly across the way prepares croissants for my morning coffee. 

Every day we walk. Miles and miles through the streets where there is ever the sensation that not only do I walk through the city but also through the centuries. Lives past whisper to me between the constant sirens. Ghosts surround me with their tales of revolution, of poetry, of commerce, of art, of wars, of occupation, of liberty, fraternity, equality. I feel as if I could slip through a portal to another time (Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris feels totally plausible). The stories tease me, perhaps because they are in French, perhaps because I am not here long enough to grasp their fleeting breathe, perhaps because they are meant only to taunt as is often the way with ghosts- a reminder of the speck of sand that is our time, our lives. Raven is ever present, in case I should ever forget, reminding me of magic and voice, of story and song- you never know what you'll find when you travel, an element of lost which opens doors to finding, seeing, hearing. "Are you listening? Are you ready to sing" she caws.

Travel Journal Paris- Galia Alena

I've been back for less than a week now, shaking the mist of surrealism that travel can bring from living outside normal reality, settling back into routine, snuggling with my babies (one of whom managed to get herself sick so she could have a whole day of snuggling on the couch with me and movies) and marking the end of year portfolios for my photography students.                  Grateful to have the cast removed from my arm days before flying out, it healed enough that I was able to journal while I traveled. How magical to slip into a rhythm of walking, eating, browsing, shooting, looking, absorbing, listening and journaling. The days filled with sights, inspiring galleries, stone stories, weary feet and then collapsing by night to good food, company, wine and the blank page only to rest up long enough to do it all again the next day. And the company I kept- Gogh, Picasso, Nin, Rodin, Monet, Cezanne, too many to list, too many to even begin to absorb, I just have to trust that somewhere my subconscious is holding tight to what they shared with me. Only time will tell.
Travel Journal Paris- Galia Alena






I still have photos to download (having only looked at the ones I took with my phone so far) and more journal pages to share over the coming weeks as well as my time in London. Until then I will sit with the memories as they wish to unfold. 

Travel Journal Paris- Galia Alena

Homage to Picasso & Field Notes

Galia Alena mixed media artist Picasso homage
Time for a quick check in with what's been going on here in this luscious corner of the world. I was happily working at my  One Watercolor a Day which you can see here when, having the watercolours out, I got sidetracked by my homage to Klee mini journal (here). Before I knew it I was back playing in my Picasso homage mini journal, my watercolour a day abandoned as I explored Picasso further. It worked in rather well with the four weeks of solid rain we had overlapping the beginning of spring. 
Galia Alena mixed media artist Picasso homageSuch a rich and varied body of work to sink into and I was lucky to be given this fabulous book: Je Suis Le Cahier: The Sketchbooks of Picasso to explore his work.


Galia Alena mixed media artist Picasso homage

Galia Alena mixed media artist Picasso homage

I had planned to start my fieldnotes journal with the beginning of spring. Of course the beginning of spring was covered with clouds and sprinkled with constant rain for a few weeks and sitting in the garden sketching was impossible. However I delighted in quick and magical strolls between showers. Then when spring finally burst to life through the clouds it was heart breakingly beautiful, overwhelming and intense. For a least two weeks I walked around in a melancholic daze of amazement and wonder. 

Galia Alena mixed media artist field notes

Every time I walked into the garden it was like walking through a thick haze of hum and buzz as the bees busily demolished whatever blossoms they could find, as if they knew of the temporary and fleeting beauty that visited with sweet nectar, they devoured and made drunk on the delicate blooms. There is not a single time that I go into the garden and don't discover some new bloom I've never seen before to the sound track of birdsong. Each visit is miraculous and full of wonder.

Galia Alena mixed media artist field notes


Galia Alena mixed media artist field notesEventually I picked up a little watercolour book and started to make some sketch notes. Of course it's turned out to look nothing like I had imagined and planned but that's okay, it just is. More special is the wonder and the cracks that Spring creates in my heart for this place I now call home. So for now I am just soaking it in. On Saturday, chasing shiny butterflies, and collecting blossom, I fell on a sleeper that gave way and broke my wrist. Sketching has been halted as the fates conspire to have me slow down and just absorb. Perhaps next year, when the garden and I have gotten to know each other better, I will begin the Field Guide, nature study I had planned :)
Galia Alena mixed media artist field notes

Travel Journal- US13

Mixed Media Travel Journal, Galia Alena
Sometimes it takes
a great sky
to find that

first, bright
and indescribable
wedge of freedom
in your own heart. David Whyte
 
A journey to a new place or a journey through a blank journal page can both take you on a pilgrimage to the centre of your own heart, to an understanding of your own truths and to a knowing and comfort within yourself. Both will bring you closer to the peace of home within and still that wyld spirit that wants to fly freely on the winds of desires, of greener grasses and the whispers of dreams.
Mixed Media Travel Journal, Galia Alena

There are as many ways and reasons to travel and to journal as there are people. For me the two are similar in that they both are a way for me to embody the journey. The journey to align with my inner world as well as my outer, a journey in trust, a journey where on the path one is expanded and changed forever, a journey on which you can meet yourself. A pilgrimage.

Mixed Media Travel Journal, Galia Alena
Journaling and traveling can both be a journey on which, if you are receptive, you discover a deeper connection with yourself and the conversation with life. Both can act as a pilgrimage from which you are forever changed, giving you both new awareness and knowledge of yourself and the world, journeying simultaneously out into the outer world and deep within the inner world.
Mixed Media Travel Journal, Galia Alena
  Traveling allows one to strip away the usual masks that daily life demands which can 
bury the true self, it becomes an opportunity to get to know yourself without all the usual baggage. When you travel the normal linear day to day time is suspended and you step into a time where routine has been suspended in favour of the fullness of the moment. When you art journal there is also a suspension of time. Your hands set to work busy moving paint about, making marks, selecting papers while your monkey brain watches and hopefully is quiet and distracted long enough for deeper thoughts and awareness to come forward- a moving meditation where the heart and hand are aligned.
Both require me to stay open and curious, to watch and notice attentively, to respond with trust and wonder at unexpected opportunities. Both allow me to engage fully in  the conversation with life, with wonder and amazement. Both can be a home coming. Both gift me with myself.

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.

Henry Miller

rnalrMixed Media Travel Journal, Galia Alena
To see more from this travel journal visit here
or more travel journals here 
and please pop yourself on my love letters list at the side there for some exciting news coming soon :)

A World of Artist Journal Pages

A World of Artist Journals Pages, Dawn DeVries Sokol

Years back when I first started Art Journaling I was hugely inspired by  1,000 Artist Journal Pages by Dawn DeVries Sokol and I referred to it again and again for inspiration and permission. It was in this book that I first meet artists I now call friends like Katie Kendricks. Now it feels full circle to be included in the next edition which is coming out early next year. I am so excited and honoured to be included in this delicious collection which I know will inspire me again and introduce me to new artists. Thank you Dawn. The book is now available on pre-order at Amazon here A World of Artist Journal Pages: 1000+ Artworks | 230 Artists | 30 Countries but in the mean time dive into the first one. I can't wait.

In Print and life

Galia Alena Artful Blogging

I'm delighted to have a copy of Artful Blogging in my hands, in which there is an article featuring my work and words. We don't get the Stampington range here unless you order it and have it shipped so it is brilliant to hold one in my hands old skool style. I was also featured in the last issue of Memories but my artist's copy never made it across the oceans sadly- I am scrounging for a copy headed for the recycle bins since the issue sold out (if this is you it is the copy in the sidebar and I would be ever so grateful). It is a beautiful issue and I am honoured to be featured with all the other wonderful artists. It is strange holding it though, even though I wrote the words I didn't think anyone would be reading them. Sure I write words here too, but they disappear into the cyber world and who knows if anyone reads them. In print though, it feels so much more tangible.

Galia Alena water colouring in the gardenWhat else is going on over here: I've been trying to keep up the water colour a day challenge but a sick child (including a trip to ER) has thrown a curve ball at that as things tend to go with children- c'est la vie. All in the right time. I did get a few more in but while the water  colour palette has been out I decided to start working in my Klee homage book (a peek into my Matisse one here). Love his work.

Galia Alena- Klee inspired journal
Klee homage journal
We've also loved getting out and exploring some of the amazing bush walks in our local area- so many gorgeous ones and we've only just scratched the tip of what is on our doorstep.

Galia Alena Leura Falls
Leura Falls

A Watercolour a Day

I've been so busy marking other people's photos (work) that I barely get time to make it into the studio these days, especially with the cold days and the sun fading early. So to keep my hand at creative play I am following along with One Watercolor a Day: A 6-Week Course Exploring Creativity Using Watercolor, Pattern, and Design (One A Day). This keeps me doing a little creative painting everyday.
Day 1 through to 6
So how does it work?
  • Firstly- no rules (so if I miss a day or stop altogether the art police wont come and cart me away and better still, I wont guilt myself).
  • Quick and loose- no attachments, no trying to make "art"
  • Exploration of the medium
  • Keep it fun and playful- no mistakes possible
  • Follow the books prompts but with my own twist as it unfolds :)
Day 7 through to 12
How does that look for me- well since we have recently acquired a fabulous eggshell blue dining table made of old Balmain wharf sleepers (I love it can you tell) I don't feel so guilty taking over the kitchen table (despite the fact I also take over the dining table- which is right now covered in beautiful sea glass waiting to be strung up and hung in the windows to dance with the light). I sit on one side of the table, mark a few photos, then pop over to the over side and lay down some more colour. While that dries I flit back to the other side and mark a few more photos. The effect is that at the end I feel like I've painted rather than worked and, since my patience for allowing watercolours to dry between layers is short, the work helps that. Its a win win (unless you want to use a table in our house to say eat at ;) ).
View from here (that's my studio through the window that I wish I was in)
The book and its prompts will take me through until Spring (or close enough, I think Spring will be early this year) when I plan to start a Field Guide or Nature Study to explore my new backyard and all the delights which I keep discovering out my backdoor. The daily watercolours are like a warm up for the Field Guide (with the added bonus that I will fill my current Fabriano Venezia Art Book and have an excuse to buy a new one fresh for my Field Guide, I love these books). The Field Guide will also be a lovely little break in my working day, wandering slowly through my garden, soak up some sun, bathing in fresh air and really noticing. The Field Guide will also be both research and a warm up for a couple of other projects in the dream/create stage (more on that later).


If you want to play along, here is the book along with two other inspiring watercolour books I love (click on the images for a look inside).

BEAUTIFUL MESSES & PERFECT IMPERFECTIONS


CREATIVE PLAY * SELF EXPLORATION * EXPERIMENTATION
PERMISSION TO REVEL IN THE CREATIVE PROCESS
BEAUTIFUL MESSES & PERFECT IMPERFECTIONS
DIGGING DEEP * FULLY EXPRESSED

Finally I'm all settled into the beautiful Blue Mountains where a rainbow of winged ones visit my studio daily, the skinks scurry as I walk through the garden and the lorikeets spit gumnuts down from the top of the tees. Here in this beautiful setting, I'm excited to be able to begin my live art journaling classes and workshops, and surround myself with kindred spirits and creative souls. Are you called to express yourself between the pages.

Classes:
These are weekly, “how to” classes, covering a range of topics such as Overcoming the Blank Page, Backgrounds, Collage, the use of Text, Exploring mediums, mark making and so on. A great way to get started if you are new to art journaling or a wonderful way to pick up some new techniques if you are seasoned.

Circle:
This will be a group of women committed to coming together once a week to explore and support each other’s practice in a safe and sacred container. Together we will use our journals to explore such things as our chakras, moving around the medicine wheel and through the seasons and elements, exploring our personal symbology and other rich and delicious tools.

Workshops:
The workshops are day long intensives where we explore a particular themes, such as Nature Journal, Mapping the Interior, Collage Jumpstart, Fire & Water, Beneath my Feet.
Perfect if you are coming up to the Blue Mountains for a weekend or day trip. 

For more information on either the live workshops or online classes please subscribe to my newsletter in the sidebar (selecting which you are interested in) or email me.
There are more examples of art journaling on the Journal Page in the menu bar.

 Art Journaling in the beautiful Blue Mountains

Galia Alena Blue Mountains