Season of Kindness (part 2)

Of all the seasons I have experienced so far at Get Messy, the Season of Kindness seems to be having the biggest impact on the state of my heart. So many of the prompts and tutorials have had a healing or meditative focus. As a result, the time spent in my art journal has felt even more nourishing than usual.

The page above was created in response to a prompt on the subject of forgiving ourselves as an act of kindness. There’s something so powerful about making art as a vehicle that can move you from one way of feeling about a situation to another. I had intended the two faces to be me looking at the people I feel I have wronged in the past and who I now wish well. By the time I finished the page, I also felt I was looking at myself, wishing myself well too.

I was inspired by fellow Mess Maker Clare Davis Etherdige to play around with sumi ink. This in turn reminded me of my favourite quote from the Tao te Ching:

The simplest pattern is the clearest.
Content with an ordinary life,
you can show all people
the way back to their own true nature.

Simplicity and ordinariness seem to me to be qualities related to kindness. I set out intending this page to be very simple but simple isn’t my strong suit! Plus, I’m sort of obsessed by all these marks I learned in the Spirits class with Roxanne Coble.

Clare’s mandala tutorial was balm for my soul. I combined this mandala with a prompt about receiving kind words. Sometimes it’s hard to really receive kind words and take them to heart. The meditative process of making the mandala gave me the space to let the words sink in.

I painted a background as part of Clare’s instagram challenge, where we were taking one step each day towards creating a page. The trouble was, I liked this background so much, I didn’t want to cover it with anything. So I’ve left it as it is (for now!)

The page below is the one I ended up with at the end of the challenge. It’s called “Life’s adventure”. It was so much fun diving into each day’s task without knowing where it was all going.

A message from The Grandmothers:

This past week, it was my turn to take over the Get Messy Instagram account. I posted some quick and easy tutorials such as the kindness equation page below. Remember math equations on the blackboard at school? A + B = C ? I was wondering: what if we could write our own kindness equations? For example, I know that when I add some yummy cake and some warm tea and share it amongst friends, the result is love and kindness.

I also googled for inspiration around the theme of kindness. You know how when you start to type a phrase or question into Google and it completes it with a variety of suggested endings? I googled Kindness is like and Kindness is the new and some wonderful suggestions emerged. Each one was a great starting point for a page. The phrase “kindness is the best medicine” became the perfect prompt for this page in my daily art project:

I also made a kindness poem from newspapers and magazines.

Out of the blue
Your kindness feels
Like the worlds most sweet aromatic magic.
It is rock and roll
For my soul.

If you head over to the Get Messy Instagram account, you can still find these quick and easy tutorials in the story highlights at the top of the page. Check them out for some kindness inspiration!

“Is it time to let go?” — It felt very healing, making this spread from Tiffany Julia’s ‘s beautiful tutorial. I realised there are things I am ready to let go of and there are some things I am not yet ready to forgive and accept. Thank you, Tiffany, for leading us through such a wonderful process!

I mentioned in my first post on the Season of Kindness that this is the first time I have ever created a journal especially for a particular season. I am loving the way this little book is turning into a beautiful meditation on the theme of kindness with its own gentle and heartful energy. I’m not sure this would happen in the same way if I was including all sorts of other themes within the same book.

Thanks for joining me on this adventure. To borrow the words of The Grandmothers: Be kind to yourself!

Until next time,

Divyam xxx

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4 thoughts on “Season of Kindness (part 2)

  1. These pages are amazing – so diverse & varied…yet still distinctly “you”! I read (maybe on Instagram?) that you had never done much “mark making” before…It’s really fun seeing which marks you are trying out and how they fit into the page. Seems like people who do a lot of “mark making” are drawn to certain types of marks/shapes which tend to show up in their work repeatedly. Like you, I need a lot of variety, so I’m not sure yet if I’ve settled on any “signature” marks or if they will keep changing. And I wonder the same of you.

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    • Thanks so much, Laura! And I’m glad you can still see “me” in them. I am not used to working so small and I have noticed myself making stuff that feels a bit unfamiliar! So that’s good to hear. You are right about the needing variety. I am definitely like that too. At the moment I don’t know a very wide variety of marks. I have borrowed the ones you see here from the class I recently took with Roxanne Coble. So I have been repeating them a lot but only because I haven’t yet broadened my language! It’s fun though, isn’t it? Where do you go for mark-making inspiration? xxx

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      • I tried Amy Maricle’s tiny circles and hated them. I like doing dots with a tool that looks similar to a stylus (it’s actually used for manicures, to make dots with nail polish) – I dip the round tip into the paint, then touch it to the page to make a dot. And sometimes I do little dashed lines. I’m still trying to figure out which marks I like best. I haven’t actively sought out mark-making inspiration specifically. I just notice different things on other peoples’ art journal pages, and try them if they seem interesting.

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      • The dots sound like fun! Must be quite meditative too? And noticing what marks other people are making and trying them out, that’s a great idea. I’m going to start paying closer attention!

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