Mixed Media Morning Pages

*Guest post by Amanda Judd.

This is the first of a three part series in which I will write about ways to encourage your daily art journaling practice. To begin we’ll talk about showing up for yourself as an artist. Next month I’ll address establishing a goal for your daily practice and finally, in the third month, we will go over how to keep our goals.

One of the hardest parts of establishing a solid daily art journaling practice is showing up. I find it very helpful to pull from contemplative practices to create a strong foundation for my art journaling. Clearing your mind aka letting go and noticing what comes will help you find and stay true to your unique artistic expression.

A great way to incorporate clearing your mind and noticing what comes into your art journaling is to work with what I call Mixed Media Morning Pages. Mrs Lefferts, my 9th grade English teacher, first introduced me to free-writes, a writing exercise meant to get you writing. It doesn’t matter what you write, just that you write without lifting your pen (or crossing anything out) for three minutes. This, as Julia Cameron wrote about in The Artist’s Way, is a wonderful way to clear your mind and activate your creativity. Combining free writing with art making allows you to develop your daily art making practice and creativity.

30 minutes-2 hours.

Materials list:
paper ideally 90b weight (suitable for applying gesso, paint, collage, etc.)
acrylic paint,
paint markers,
photo of yourself printed out,

Your first step is to choose a writing implement, one that inspires you and will be fun to write with for three minutes. Grab heavier stock paper, preferably at least 90lb (I use a mixed media journal from Canson or Strathmore), set your timer and begin writing. Don’t think. Just write! When your three minutes are up, read what you wrote and pull out anything that catches your attention. This step is good for harnessing our creative intuition.

mixed media

Next, to encourage letting go and noticing what happens, cover up what you have written. There are so many ways you can do this. Choose one that feels good to you. For this page, I used a paint marker to make repetitive marks followed by spraying a stencil with watercolor. I worked fast which helps me to quickly enter the zone of art making, not thinking, more sinking into my process and noticing my pages transform.

mixed media

Next, I transferred a selfie I printed out on paper onto my page. I covered the backside of the image with black pastel, positioned it on my page, then using a fine tip ballpoint pen I drew my outlines and shadow. I drew a circle to frame what was coming up for me as I reflected on daily practice and art making.

mixed media

I added paint and stamped in the word “faith” to remind me that daily art journaling requires a leap of faith in ourselves and our artistic process.

mixed media

Mixed Media Morning Pages are a great way to work with letting go and noticing what happens which is sure to enrich your daily art journaling practice immensely. Remember, show up, let go and notice what happens.


xo. a

Amanda Judd

For more art journaling ideas, check out some of these titles:
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One Response to Mixed Media Morning Pages

  1. archangela says:

    Hi there, “Morning Pages” is the concept coined by Julia Cameron in her first bestselling book The Artist’s Way. There is an entire explication in her book about how to do her concept of “Morning Pages.”

    “Free writing” that is writing without stopping, without lifting one’s pen from the page, was a concept coined by Natalie Goldberg who has taught the concept for the last 25 years across the world. She is a Buddhist and a Roshi herself, and she conceived it as a contemplative practice. It is detailed in her book Writing Down the Bones and also in her book Wild Mind. Before Natalie brought it back into consciousness as her signature teaching method, this form of writing was associated with ‘automatic writing’ which was understood as communication from ‘the other side’ that was captured by writing without stopping, and without raising one’s pen from the page.