Looking For Balance

I was filling out a questionnaire in preparation for a harp lesson with Deborah Henson-Conant (which will be an entirely different blog post) and was asked to answer a question about what I thought stood in the way of my creative life.

In yet another occurrence of “I don’t know what’s going on with me until I write about it,” my pen informed me that my creative life was very out of balance. I spend nearly all of my creative energy and time on music. It’s not that I don’t love every minute of my time with my harp and my recorders. But with all my time going to music, I’m not allowing time for writing, for photography, for playing with my art supplies.

Knitting keeps that part of me that needs to make things, that needs to bring something into the world with my own hands, happy and content. But the part of me that thrives on images is feeling ignored and abandoned. I spent all of 2011 creating a 21-page visual journal, yet since then I’ve finished only four more pages. It’s been over a year since I last made a Soul Collage® card.

In France I spent every day exploring with my camera. Every day I thrilled to the feeling in my body that happens when I am deeply looking at the world around me, when, as my mind quiets, I settle into my own skin, totally absorbed by seeing what is revealing itself in response to my attention.

Yet the first time my camera’s been out of its case since the end of my France trip was last weekend in Asheville.

Something had to change.

I was clueless about what I could and would do to bring image-making back into my life until receiving an e-mail from Lisa Sonora describing her on-line art workshops. The one that stood up waving a flag in my face while shouting “pick me, pick me” was Dreaming on Paper: The Creative Sketchbook or “How To Make & Keep A Visual Journal for Discovery, Insight, Healing, and . . .Pure Fun!” The class description promised four sessions of “visual journaling techniques that incorporate mixed media collage, photography, painting, and writing.” Here was a path of return to everything I love to do, and everything I miss.



I promptly trotted off to A.C. Moore for the recommended supplies: a new journal, fresh glue sticks, and new bottles of craft paint in my favorite colors. All that was left was the waiting for the class to begin.

The first session’s instructions arrived in my inbox last Wednesday. The creative task this week was to experiment with different techniques for putting the craft paint on journal pages, using non-traditional painting tools.

We haven’t yet explored the process of creating a finished journal page in Lisa’s class. But I’ve been thinking about my word for the year, “Vision”, and how I wanted my word and its acrostic to be in the new journal.

I liked the way the painting experiment turned out on this page, so with some rubber stamps, stencils, markers, and torn papers I gave my word a home.


Lisa’s next lesson will be in my inbox tomorrow morning. And last night’s ice storm will keep me house-bound another day – perfect timing!!!

(All images © Janet Hince, 2015)



16 thoughts on “Looking For Balance

  1. Thanks for sharing your post 🙂 I have a friend that plays harp so I have a deep appreciation of your skill.

    I am really enjoying the DOP workshop again. It feels so different the second time around but I am getting different takeaways.


    1. Thanks for visiting the blog, Michelle. This is my first time with Dreaming On Paper. All my discoveries seem to apply to music as well as to creating something on paper. I certainly feel much more balanced after these weeks of playing with paint and images! I am going to continue with her Creative Practice class, in hopes of keeping this way of creating going forward.


  2. Thank you for sharing this! It is very interesting how important it is to keep all creative outlets balanced. I just realized, upon reading this post, how indeed most of my time and energy goes into music while writing used to be very important to me to keep my thoughts organized. Thank you for the gift of this realization!


  3. So glad you felt a call and found an avenue for creative juices to flow. I too have been pulled towards creating something new. Love the book so far!


    1. It’s hard to describe the whole Creative Sketchbook impact so far…it’s most like opening a window to get fresh air into a very stuffy and stale room. I am very glad that I’m doing it!


  4. What a wonderful project! It is so important to stay in touch with creativity. Like everything else, it goes away if we don’t take the time to cultivate it and let it grow. I can’t wait to see more pages!


    1. I’d almost forgotten how delightful it is to take out the very non-precious art supplies and just play. Particularly without any plans or concern for the outcome. It’s so much FUN!


  5. Love that you are doing some art journaling, Janet! And that you have taken your camera out for a date. I’ve done the Dreaming on Paper workshop and loved it. And I love the page you’ve created. Can’t wait to see more of what you do!


    1. I heard your voice on the live call that Lisa made available for us to listen to. That made me feel much more confident about my decision to take her class. I remember taking your nature journal class after a too long time away from creating images, and how happy I was peeling glue off my fingers after our first session. Lisa’s first week makes me that kind of happy, again.


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