In change there is power

    It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.
    /Alan Cohen

Acrylic clouds on grid

The 40th Art Journal Crusade (in May) was about branching out of your normal size and going big or small. I covered a big surface with paint, going XL on brown paper and totally loved it, and then tore that paper into small signatures and made a XS journal too, and loved it, though I forgot to take a photo of the XS journal together with my normal sized altered book Art Journal. But now that is taken care of too:

Art Journal & XS journal (Photo by iHanna - Hanna Andersson)

I think #40 was one of my favorite crusades. Changing surface, size and placement is the best thing for boosting your creative life. Experts say that if you want to become “more creative” you should change your habits every now and then, like walking a different rout to work, going into shops you never visit, do something backwards, pick up and read through a magazine that you wouldn’t buy, sit in another chair when you write and so on and so on. We just love being comfy and safe, so it is a real challenge to sometimes mix it up and remember to do things differently. I love my comfortable habits, so I do need challenges to not become stale. That’s one reason I love the crusades so much, because it asks me to do something I didn’t think of myself, plus I get to do it in my art journal and learn something new. Bliss!

Grid detail

For June the crusade is an easy one, just create a grid in your Art Journal. You join the crusade by going to the blog post and commenting with a link to your post. Easy! And if you read my blog you know I love love love grids! See previous post with monthly inspirational mosaic and posts on my photo book here, and here! So for this crusade I re-visited a spread created this winter, with one grid page:

Experimenting with grids (Photo by iHanna - Hanna Andersson)

It is inspired by an article in Cloth Paper Scissors mag by Juju Vail. She altered a board book and filled it with grids, that then became backgrounds for her pencil sketches. I loved how they looked so I tried to create my own grid, but then forgot about it and moved on to the next spread…

Grid detail

Lately I’ve seen grids everywhere – my eyes open to grid compositions everywhere. I re-visited the grid page this week and finished it with a sketch of a brown little bird, coloured with water colours:

Transparent bird (Photo by iHanna - Hanna Andersson)
I like how it came out.

And some clouds, and a favorite quote on the opposite page:

A favorite quote

Tiny frog
And a tiny frog… sooo tiny! I love frogs, did you know? It started somewhere when I was a kid, so long before my owl obsession started really. To me they are the symbol of hope, maybe because the word “hope” and “jump” are the same in Swedish – my mind does that sometimes. Hopp! I have been thinking lately about the personal symbols that come up in my own art, like frogs, owls, roses and such. You will find all of them in the XS journal – and I didn’t even notice about it when I made those collages. Unconsciously I am drawn to symbolic images, and not until I think about it I will know what they are and what they mean to me. What are your symbols? Do you notice?

Join in

Are you making grids too? You should, and then join the Crusade Grid Lock – go read the post and if you are not inspired already you will be after reading Michelle’s post. They are a lot of fun to put together, and make great backgrounds!

28 Responses

  1. I love your grid and these pages. As a matter of fact I like all grids and use them a lot, even unconsciously. Grids just seem to pull things together and give colors a way to relate.

  2. Thanks for your comment Jo! I noticed that a lot of your collages are squares and rectangles, and I really like them – and I adore your blog and the way you write about each piece. Mine (the collages) are a bit more random messes, hehe, maybe my blog too. ;-)

  3. I really like the cover of your journal. It’s YUMMY!

    Funnily enough, I met Alan Cohen when I was 18. He was presenting at a retreat I was at in the States. I have “The Dragon Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” in the bookcase by my bed.

  4. I like grids a lot and my newest sewing project will include grids although it’s so ‘typical’ for patchwork. None the less, it will be mine.
    I really like your journal page. For my taste it is my fav of yours so far.
    Ah, and for frogs, yes, last year I thought pretty much about them. Considered them as a symbol for me, but that is not true. More in the sense of ‘kissing ……’.
    On flickr there is a group of frog lovers. They invited me once to share my frog picture from Bali. On that island there are many, many frogs. Alive and in stone. Holy beings there.

    Stockholm is a lot in TV this week, you know why. Bet ya I watch sometimes just to see this city :-)

  5. Lelainia: Thanks! The cover is stencils and spray paint – oh what fun it was to make it! :-)

    Tally, glad you like at least one of my spreads, hehe. And I agree, it’s not my usual mess, it’s more orderly and maybe therefor more you? Did you see decor8’s great huge guide to Stockholm? Check it out, and then come by again! I’d personally love to go to Bali and kiss frogs there!

    Katilady, thanks for your comment! Octopus – how cool! Do you know why you’re drawn to them?

  6. Hanna – terrific post! LOVE hearing you enjoyed the last crusade, and very cool to see XL and XS next to each other. I agree it’s good to shakes things up a bit. Whatever new thing you try you always end up with a slightly altered perspective when you go back to your default mode of operation. LOVE your grids. Cool that you already had made them, and just revisited for a little vamping up. I am also a lover of symbolic images. I will think of you when I see tiny frogs :)

    Thanks for always being such an enthusiastic team player. xo

  7. THANK YOU! Hanna! I have stopped doing Michelle’s Crusades…and I have been thinking about jumping back in. This is just the push I need. I also love grids :)

  8. Cool Grid Hanna!! Love that little birdie too! I think you are so right about changing things up a bit to get us out of our comfy cozy at times stale box!! It works for me! Love all the pictures you posted here :)

  9. I love using grids in my journal too. I tried Juju’s technique on some journal pages last year and absolutely loved that process (they are on my flickr somewhere).

    I’ve never played in a street team challenge before but definitely will this time!


  10. I love the lesson that you posted here, thank you. And what is art if not to teach us about life :)

  11. Thanks for sharing about the crusade and the grid format is something I do as well… maybe it’s something about structure in the background :)

  12. Your grids are beautiful! I love the idea of using them for the background when drawing. Thank you for the inspiration!

  13. Your grid is so pretty. And how clever to paint and write over it. Love it a lot!

    You spoke of symbols, so I hope I may tell you here that I have a 4 week class on discovering your personal symbols that will begin June 22, if you’re interested.

  14. Wow Hanna your groovy grid rocks! I will have to go check out the latest Crusade. I’ve been gone a week and it’s fun to come back and see what I’ve been missing… juuuuu huuuuuu!!! tj

  15. What great pages, and your journal looks so enticing. I want to get my hand on all those tabs and see what is hiding in there. Lovely :-)

  16. great grid page! love the colors and seeing how you took the next step with sketch/journaling over the grid!

  17. Hi hanna i have been following your blog for awhile and been trying to find the courage to try my own art journalling. After seeing the link to the grid challenge, it was just what I needed to take the plunge! Many thanks

  18. I too, love a grid, love the patchwork. Great look with the pages. I’m always tell my students (and doing it myself) to cut it up and reassemble it.

  19. I can’t believe I didn’t comment on this when I first saw it!

    I love your grid page. The little bird is darling. And I love that you showed a before and after photo of this spread. So fun.


  20. I would never have thought of journalling or drawing over the grid – using the grid as a background. Clever, clever. I would never think of half these things:)


  21. So cool. I love that you share so many of your thoughts.
    I also love the crusades because they push my creativity. Some of my favorite paintings were inspired by techniques I learned from Michelle and fellow crusaders.

  22. I love grids too. Maybe its a virgo thing – or a first born thing – all the structure and uniformity. I’d been looking for a challenge group to follow – thanks for the push I needed Hanna.

  23. Beautiful pages, and a beautiful blogpost. And yes, I am so glad I found the Crusades, do other things, learn new techniques, I agree, it’s a lot of fun !

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