The Art of Art Journaling | New
CIT CASEY Artist Julie Rhea Lewis appreciates the freedom of creativity in her home studio. She also enjoys sharing this freedom with the students in her Curly Bird studio on her property.
The 52-year-old artist experiments in a variety of media – painting, drawing, acrylic, mixed media and mono-print – but she has a particular love for artistic journaling.
“When you think of the art you put on a wall – other people see it – that means it has to be judged,” she said. “I think people ‘get’ art in different ways. They see it and it invokes a feeling. Some people look at art and see if it looks realistic and judge it against an ability to reproduce perfectly. Journaling art is in a book that doesn’t have to be shown to the world unless you want to, so it’s delicious art just for your own eyes and soul. I always think children learn the most by working in their journals.
That doesn’t mean you can’t share your journal. Lewis said newspapers help children keep track of their creations.
She said that in middle school, kids responded well to prompts – suggestions on what to work on, like making a blue or circular element.
“As an adult the prompts still work, and it’s a place to work on techniques and make messes and mistakes that sometimes turn into nice pieces of work,” she said. “Maybe you didn’t know you wanted to use peach and green until you wiped your brush in your newspaper and saw the two side by side. I think adults learn the most about themselves when they work in their journals.
Lewis doesn’t think of herself as much as an art teacher as she does as a participant.
“Before COVID, I offered one-hour classes to children and teens five times a week after my full-time job. Some of our classes focus on artists, sometimes on techniques, sometimes I let them work in journals, which they feel is free time for art. Every two months I organized a web party that let them go through the process step by step, ”she said, adding that she hopes to return to class soon.
Classes for children are important, she said.
“My lessons are also non-judgmental. I don’t create the best artists. Every artist has to do this by exercising their skills. I’m just trying to help them express themselves and add some art basics at the same time, ”Lewis said. “Some of these kids are more skilled artists than I am. I just provided a place to play with some cool art supplies.
Lewis enjoys a variety of media, including journaling. She has deep roots in art.
“My paternal grandmother was an excellent artist. My maternal grandmother was a seamstress who designed and made clothes. I have a son who does photography, one who makes costumes for professional ballets, a daughter who does digital art, a stepson who does carpentry and my husband can build everything from buildings to cars, ”she said. “I’m just trying to ‘take the course’. “
An only child, Lewis spent a lot of time drawing and painting.
“I love it when I see friends who tell me they remember coming to our apartment and seeing my walls filled with works of art I had made,” she said. declared.
Her works of art took a back seat after high school, when she started a family; although she did some needlework, she said she didn’t have time to paint.
Later, while working for Grayson RECC, she graduated from the Art Institute in Graphic Design. Working in mixed media rekindled her interest.
“I loved every assignment, from art history to color theory. I just needed more in my life, ”she said.
“I started posting things I had painted online and a local mom asked if I would paint with her young daughter,” Lewis said. Her painting evenings multiplied by word of mouth until her husband renovated a place for artistic encounters, now known as Curly Bird Studio.
“I wanted to have a group of people to talk to about the simple joys of color and creating art,” Lewis said. “So I prayed for a while that God would give me friends that I could share with. And he did – and they were about 6 years old.
Lewis sells originals, prints, and greeting cards to her husband’s store, JF Lewis & Co. furniture store, and to Horton Bros. and Brown Compounding Pharmacy in Grayson. She also takes commissions, exhibits and sells her art at the Grayson Gallery and Art Center. She also designed posters for the gallery. She said she hopes to take an adult journaling class.
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For more information, visit the Facebook Curly Bird Studio. Watch Julie Rhea Lewis’ work on julieart.studio.