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Friday, 2 June 2017

Art Journaling: Getting Closure Through Journaling

I recently had to come to terms with the fact that a very close and dear friendship had run its course in my life. This was a difficult thing to accept and I kept wondering if there was something I could do to recover this lost relationship. It was only when I finally drew a picture and wrote a poem about it, that I realized it was all over. This act of creating from the ashes of a ruined friendship also gave me the closure I was lacking. I show you how to go about this in today's blog.

The end of this friendship has been a few years in the making if I think back on it, but I have been refusing to accept facts for what they were. It was after yet another verbal altercation that I went to bed one night. As usual, I spent some time in prayer over the events of the day, and a large portion of this particular evening's prayer was devoted to this friend. Finally I turned in and fell asleep. I awoke with the image of a witch in my head. The friendly kinds that are used to illustrate children's story books. I was puzzled by this image and wanted to shirk it off to go back to sleep. Yet, the image persisted so that I finally got up to draw it very quickly and roughly, hoping this would put an end to it and get me back to sleep. While I was drawing the little witch, a poem started to loosen itself from my insides and jotted it down in the same pencil that I was drawing with. With this done, I returned to blissful sleep. It was only a few days later, when I returned to this poem that I realized that this was my subconscious' way of making sense of the friendship that had ended.

The image was drawn on the paper I had at hand.

Realizing the significance of the drawing and poem, I decided to include this in my art journal. I decided to use Derwent Aquatone pencils to paint the figure in.

First, I would have to crop the image to fit in my journal.

I then redrew the very sloppily made midnight drawing. I used a Sharpie fiber tipped pen to do this.

This left the pencil lines to be erased.

I started shading the clothes.

Light reflections would also have to be included in the shading.

The broom was coloured.

The shoes, skin and hair was coloured.

I then used a brush dipped in water to paint the coloured areas.

I decided to mount the drawing on a pink background and cropped the matting paper to size.

Both the picture as well as the matting received double-sided tape pieces at the back to stick them down with.

I matted the picture onto the backing paper.

This was then stuck inside the journal.

The journal is one I received from another friend when I was visiting her the year before.

I then rewrote the poem into the journal.

The final step was to fill the empty spaces with some stickers with flower motifs. I loved the idea of doing this. The ending of a friendship always leaves similar empty spaces in our lives. It is important that we fill these with beautiful things or the rot of bad memories may stink up our lives. Avoid this at all cost!

Melette Els (Clinical Social Work) can be contacted via the webpage, or by email at, or by phone at 082 776 1536.
Melette Els B.A. (SocSc) M. (Th) 
BHF Pr Nr.: 089 000 00 28754 SACSSP Reg.Nr.: 10-17310

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