Sunday, April 30, 2023

A Decade with Arthur Art Journal Spread

 Happy Sunday, hope all is well in your world.
Thought I'd get one more spread done in my 2009-2012 composition book art journal today.
One of the topics I had written down to journal about was about remembering in 2012 how far I'd come in dealing mentally and emotionally with my 2002 arthritis diagnosis. It was at times a long, rocky and winding road for me in those 10 years. But I did make progress and wanted to document it, if for no other reason that they told me I'd probably be in a wheelchair in 10 years. lol. I'm knocking wood, as a second 10 years has passed without one but I will admit in the last few years a wheelchair or scooter has sounded heavenly. So I might be close! But I was not in 2012.
I used the Stages of Grief for Chronic Illness as a journaling guide because it's basically what I went through, even though I went through the first stages without even knowing it was a "thing", not discovering these stages until around 2010 (thanks so much, clueless former doctors!). I will also add I fell back to Depression more than once, although these days it's rare. It took a long time for me and wasn't cut and dry or black and white. Thank goodness for retrospection. These kind of pages are like place markers for my memory. I find it very comforting and uplifting to know that I am adjusting to something so life-altering that I cannot control.
This is the beginning background I chose. It was already gesso'd, acrylic painted in yellows and oranges, then stamped on with brown ink using assorted collage stamps and also stenciled with the ink with a harlequin stencil.
I reused a few sheets of this report we received in the mail and some brown packaging wrap.
I used my Posca Paint Pens to hand write the title and my diagnosis section. The 'story so far' element is a rub-on rubbed on some of the brown packaging. The face on left side is Stampers Anonymous TH stamped in Versafine Clair ink on the report paper and clear heat-embossed. Then I tried painting vertical stripes on the face with my metallic watercolors, but it only left hints of the color. So I grabbed a few Distress Crayons and added a bit more color. I found some ancient Chatterbox cardstock scrapbooking stickers with some words that fit as well. The right side has my journaling typed in PSE, printed out, ink-stippled with Dried Marigold TH Distress ink and adhered to brown packaging. The two striped faces were made with a Funky Fossil stencil and Versafine Clair inks. The bottom one has some brown Distress Crayon damp-rubbed in between the stenciled stripes. I added detail to the bottom face with the Poscas. I love how it's like he's Arthur and I'm at bottom eyeing him fiercely. Ha! Take that, Arthur! 😁
Close-up of the left side.
Close-up of the right side.
Detail showing the heat-embossing of the face.
This angle shows the gold watercolor applied to the report paper before stencil. It makes it look like a ghost because this stencil is meant to apply light paint on a dark paper for best contrast. I did another and then decided to use them both to illustrate progress.
This angle shows the metallic Poscas I colored her eyes and lips with.
And final view.
Tare care and thanks for the visit, XOX

Art journal spread about how I've handled my chronic illness
Celebrating my success dealing with my chronic illness
Art journal spread about how I've handled my chronic illness


My name is Erika. said...

Autoimmune disease is frustrating, horrible and so hard to get on top of, isn't it? Who ever thought back in our youth that our bodies could get something that took such control. And I'm not sure all the meds they come up with to help do help as much as the doctors hope they do. Your spread came out great, and it is also a wonderful example of recycling. I'm glad you could join us again at AJJ. Thank you. hugs-Erika

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

When I say I can feel your pain, it is not a euphemism. I was born with a rare birth defect that mimics arthritis. I have no calcium around my joints. It developed fully when I was 19. I got to the point where I could not even walk down stairs except backward. I had been so active in school and this was truly painful. I had been told I might have to take morphine the rest of my life, and like you, relegated to a wheel chair for the rest of my life.

One day I got mad and said I wasn't going to put up with this anymore. Don't ask me how, but mind over matter seemed to help. Within a month, I was going up and down stairs in a "relatively" normal fashion and doing things I hadn't done in months. I still have deformed fingers, toes, and knees that look like grapefruits. I have no pinch grip, but I can live with these inconveniences. It never occurred to me to go through the five stages of grief, but now you mention it, I probably did, too. I know I stayed in denial for far too long.

I am incredibly impressed with not just your amazing spread, but your willingness to share the story of your chronic illness. Thank you beyond belief for sharing this awesome spread at Art Journal Journey. It is a super final entry for Bleubeard's and my theme.

Beth Norman-Roberts said...

What a lovely spread. Your background is gorgeous with all that orange. I'm in need of something bright after a dark winter. You have a nac for how pieces of euphemia/art should be displayed. Koodos to you.

I'm so sorry for the hard times you have gone through, and still are going through. I'm proud of you for taking the bull by it's horns and how you're so determined no wheelchair for you.

Andree said...

A wonderfully graphic journal spread with lovely warm, bright colours of positivity to illustrate your personal journey.
Thank you for joining in with our April challenge "Anything Mixed Media Goes" at Creative Artiste Mixed Media. Good luck x

Valerie-Jael said...

Well done for making this spread to document how you have coped with your illness, well done! I know many of us have illneses which we would rather not have, but we need to be proud that we get on so well. I have Sarcoidosis, an auto immune illness which causes many symptoms and pains, and meantime I have to walk with a rollator or stick, but it's okay, I can still walk and move and thats good! Hugs, Valerie

ScrappyHorses said...

Wow, who knew.... as Bleubeard and Elizabeth said about sharing your experience, I'm impressed! Many of us deal with these autoimmune issues, fight with our rheumies and the the many meds we take, and try to carry on as if nothing was happening in our bodies or souls! Thanks for being so open and sharing these incredible pages! The color, textures, words, it all works to express just how you were feeling at that time. The depression, anger, fatigue, it's all there. And finally the hope, the look with bright eyes staring 'Arthur' down! Yes! I'm so proud of your determination! Hang in there and keep your positive strength. Thanks for sharing your journey through this layout with us at Path of Positivity! ~Katrina

Carole J said...

Such an inspirational story and page, Amy! I love your positive attitude and sheer determination to get on with life, despite the setbacks your illness throws at you. Your story is full of courage and strength and I'm sure that it will inspire and encourage others in a similar situation. Well done on coping with your grief and working through the stages.
Thank you so much for sharing your journal page and story at The Path of Positivity. I love your recycled items and the SA stamp is perfect for 'Arthur'.
Hope we'll see you again next month!

Faith A at Daffodil Cards said...

I am impressed with your gorgeous pages, and the strength you have to battle on with so much pain. You cheer me up, when I don't have the same strength you have. You make the most stunning work, with so many wonderful details. All I can add is Thank You for being YOU through thick and thin. God keep giving you Blessings and strength to carry on giving us all joy.

Ellibelle said...

I'm so sorry you were diagnosed with these deseases! I can imagine it is helpful to make a journal about them. This page spread is absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing at my Crafty Wednesday challenge!

Riet Harikini said...

Great art journal, thanks for joining our challenge at Lost Coast Designs