Helloooooo! I’ve got a lot to show you today (and lots of ramblings about getting older). The best part is that each of these spreads will totally showcase why Get Messy is so awesome and why you should join if you’re on the fence about it all. First spread:
Recognize this? Those of you who are members of Get Messy may remember that I was working on a Marilyn Monroe stencil when I made the stencil tutorial on the private blog. Well, here is the result. I love it.

I added the original picture to my spread because I love seeing them side by side. Someone said that she looked older in my stencil. Getting older is totally a theme in this week’s pages. Probably because my birthday was yesterday and I turned 41.

Two other elements to notice in my spread are the papers in the backgrounds. They come from the Get Messy swap! I got the constellation papers from Trista Hertz and the printed butterfly page from Megan Carew. The words surrounding the stencilled image are a stream of consciousness in French. I’ve been questioning myself, my relationship to my daughter as we get older and move into pre-teenhood. I want to support her progress and help her deal with her anxiety but was feeling discouraged last week. The butterflies are, like in the Pearl Jam song, little thoughts that circle around me. And yes, Marilyn does look a little troubled.

The second spread I have to show you came out of another tutorial, this one on gold leafing by Torrie. I specifically asked for this one, because I think gold leaf adds such dimension and color and Torrie has been using it for a while and was a great ressource on how to go about it.

My image went from this:

To this:

The whole page is my takeaway from Everybody’s Free (to wear sunscreen), a poem / song by Baz Luhrmann that Julia introduced us to. That body on the left is from my namesake Vanessa Paradis. Whoa.
I wanted the writing to follow the curves. Here’s a trick for word placement: start from the end. For the top part of the writing, I started with the word ‘photos’ and wrote each word in going backward to the start. Another page about growing older, about feeling like some opportunities were missed or at least not considered. This exact thing happened to me when I found those portraits of myself from 20 years ago. I realised I had spent so much time worrying or comparing when I didn’t need to.

And a quick view of the gold leaf in the sunshine. It was hard to control, supper messy and didn’t always do what I wanted it to which means I love it totally and will revisit this technique again.

My final spread is for the emotions prompt. I’m not usually one to dwell on my age but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to grow older. My mother denies her age completely, getting people to lie so as to not reveal her age, dyeing her hair. I know I don’t want to be like that. I want to try letting my hair be grey. I want to be graceful. Not accepting but not fighting. It’s hard to explain because I’m still working around this idea. 

Anyway, this is my mood. Not wanting to deny that I’m 41, kind of nostalgic for my younger days, looking forward to fully becoming myself as I grow bolder and care less about what people think. A note about this page: I was trying out my new Liquitex marker for the first time. Not knowing if it would go through the paper, I covered the page with clear gesso. This enforces the paper and gives great tooth to the page. Food for thought if your pens/paints tend to bleed through. (I’m not an affiliate for Liquitex, I just happen to use those two products and love them).

I’ve been having some very nourishing conversations with friends on this subject, growing older. It’s something new in my universe. For some the passage is easy, good. For others, it’s really hard. For me, I’m still wondering. The hashtag for my 52 portraits class is so inspiring. Seeing some of the older women taking bold self-portraits and sharing them; I consider these such a gift! Going for it even when you feel ugly is very hard and so liberating at the same time. I am proud of each and every photo here.
I don’t mean to sound like ‘oh you’re 41 now so act your age’, whatever that means. I want it to be ok not to feel I have to dye my hair to look young. If I want to dye it I want it to be my choice because I like being blonde, not because society tells me I have to look younger. I want it to be an aesthetic choice to grow into myself. These are notions that I am happy to explore.

So just in this blog post, I’ve showcased two tutorials, featured some Get Messy swap goodies, gave you two tips on writing and using supplies, been introduced to a whole new way of seeing life and created wildly. If that isn’t enough to get you curious about Get Messy, I don’t know what will! Find out more by following the links below.

Get Messy Art Journal is an art journaling program/community. We are a group of like minded art journalers who have come together under this art form to learn, share, practice our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. Our community values consistent creating, encouragement and support and trying new things. We would love to have you join us as a member of Get Messy Art Journal. Join Get Messy now!