Collage and Free Association
I have never been really big on collage, so I was pretty resistant to it when I began visual journaling. I don't enjoy the tedium of cutting out pictures from magazines, although I have seen amazing journal pages made this way. But then I was introduced to the process of just pasting down photo copies of my own photos or simple black and white words and images from newspapers and even old phone books and then drawing and painting right over them and I began to get hooked.
This image was just meant to be a little tutorial for the CI course and so I really didn't have time to think about it at all. I just grabbed the first things my eyes landed on. Yet I had already put out a query about if I needed to get back to the midwest to see my family. After I shot the video of making this page I sat down to do the written journal part and was totally blown away at what I saw. Every aspect of the image held deep meaning and guidance for me related to where I had been living (which was within the clay walls of my adobe apartment) and the fact that I was beginning to seriously miss the water of Minnesota, which is where I was raised.
So this is a perfect example of the hidden surprises, guidance and insight that can come through our Creative Inquiry Journal, whether we are consciously aware of it at the time or not. That's another reason why it is good to take one day a week to review your pages and underline key sentences of your writing to gain the insight that you may miss at the time you created it. A little distance from the process can clear our vision to receive deeper guidance.
Collage-Mixed Media Tutorial Video of Where's the Water?
Collage is a very easy way to add images, words and symbols that don't require you to be great at rendering realistic images. It can be helpful to keep a small box or folder and tear or cut out interesting images you run across in magazines, flyers, cards, old photographs etc. Then you can just let your unconscious mind select them when you are ready to create a page. Some people do collage alone and layer images and cover the whole page. I prefer to use then as elements and then I paint over, under and around them with craft acrylic paint. Then when it dries I go in with drawing media like charcoal or markers to add details and bring the image together. Some people also use clear acrylic gesso to cover the entire page when they are painting and drawing over collage because it is toothy and makes the whole surface more uniform and receptive to other media.