Hello friends!

I’m sorry I’m a day late with this post which is the last page of my Circles of Wisdom book, just circles and doodles.  Hmmm, must start a new journal soon 🙂

Things are changing in my life for the better and today I was thinking about some of the people who have influenced these changes.  It’s interesting that initially at least most of them I met either on-line or through correspondence.

My friend G has been my pen-friend for about 30 years, she lives in the Hollywood Hills above Los Angeles and we met really just by chance.  Something horrible happened to her in a foreign country and I happened to be friends with someone she met while she was undergoing this terrible ordeal.  G and I started corresponding with each other and became good friends.  We have since both lost touch with the person who introduced us but we have had a long and loving correspondence.  Her misfortune was my good fortune in that I met a true and dear friend. Over the years I have met G in person on several occasions, both in the UK and at her home in LA and she has had a profound and positive influence on my life and I love her.

Another person who I only ever knew as Pix I met on the Lomography website and I’ve never met in real life.   I didn’t even really know him that well, but apart from being an outstanding photographer he was always upbeat, positive, funny and friendly.  His attitude to life made a big impression on me and I decided that I wanted to be like that too.  I think that is when I first decided that I wanted to change and become a more positive, happy and contented person.

I also met a man called Tracy Moore on the Lomography website he is lovely, friendly and quirky and also a great and prolific photographer.  In 2007 I attended the Lomographic World Congress in London.  Attending that event, with hundreds of people from all over the world, was really scary for me.  I’m a country girl from a small town and I am really quite shy and insecure so it was a huge act of bravery for me to attend on my own.  I was really fortunate to meet up with Tracy and his daughter, Trista, at the Congress and we spent a lot of time together.  They were both so warm and kind to me.  The added bonus to this was that Tracy carried around with him several different cameras AND a huge hand made journal (which he encouraged everyone he met to draw or write in).  This was the first time I had ever heard about art journalling and I was intrigued.

As a result of meeting Tracy and Trista, I eventually discovered Teesha Moore (Tracy’s wife) and immediately fell in love with her art.  Then last year I was fortunate to be able to attend the Call of the Wild Soul Art Retreat in the UK where Teesha was one of the teachers.  That event had a big influence on my art and my life.  Not only is Teesha a great artist she is one of the most generous and big-hearted people I’ve ever met.

Tracy and Teesha are the perfect couple, just like me and T are 🙂

Through art journaling I also met, online, Gretchen Miller who is an art therapist.  Gretchen ran a workshop on 21 Secrets in 2011 and it was in this workshop I learnt about making Revo-lution books and how visualizing your intentions into your artwork can be so rewarding.

And recently I met another person online who is having a massive positive effect on my personal growth and well-being.  Some of my art work is featured on the Tiny Buddha website, the whole website is well worth checking out if you want to start feeling good about yourself.  As a result of being featured over there I’ve met Dr Amy Johnson.  I love her outlook on life, what she says really resonates with me and I am learning so much from her.

I am so grateful that all these people came into my life at the exact time I needed them.

Have a good rest of the week and I’ll see you soon.

Big love

AJ 🙂



© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Madness in LoveHello friends!

Woo! What a good weekend I am having.  I’ve done loads of art – I’ve have four journal pages in various stages of completion to use in my workshop to demonstrate the process AND I’ve started a new (Teesha inspired) journal and have completed the collage, shading and outlining on four pages.  I love doing the collage but I really love doing all the penwork and lettering.  So let the fun begin 🙂

Yesterday I went to a friend’s 80th birthday party and that was great fun.  An afternoon spent in good company with excellent food and a fun quiz thrown in too!

Today is Mother’s Day in the UK so Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mums out there.  T and I are taking my Mum and Dad out for lunch.  We were intending to go for a walk afterwards, but I’ve just been outside and it is very cold again, probably too cold for Mum to want to walk.  In fact they have forecast snow for tomorrow here!  What is happening?  It’s March for goodness sake, winter is supposed to be over by now!

The page above is the front cover of my second ‘Teesha inspired’ journal.  Thanks to my friend Jeanette House over at One Little House I also found another source of inspiration for this type of art journaling – Sandra van der Geest who does fabulous work.  Check this out : It makes me happy 🙂  Sandra also has a great blog here.

I hope you are keeping well and happy.

Big love

AJ 🙂


Mandala 1Hello friends

I hope your week is going well, mine is.  I couldn’t post yesterday because my computer was being so slow it took me over three hours to just get my emails and when I tried to get onto the blog is just ground to a halt!  Instead of getting annoyed and depressed I switched it off and did some art instead so it was a happy result in the end 🙂

The image above is from the Circles of Wisdom book I made for Dion Dior’s workshop on 21 Secrets last year.  The book is a child’s board book measuring about 5″ x 5″ and with the plastic stripped off the pages.  This is something I learnt from my friend Gretchen Miller’s workshop on 21 Secrets in 2011.  The book has 7 pages, not including the cover so there are 16 mandalas in total.  The board books make fantastic journals, they are cheap to buy in charity shops, have sturdy thick pages and the small ones like this one fit in your bag easily.  Sometimes it requires a bit of work to get the plastic off the page, but it’s worth the effort because when you’ve finished you have a complete blank book to work in.

Drawing mandalas is a very centering and calming thing to do.  You just start in the middle of the page and work your way out and around, the possibilities are endless.

Have a go it’s great fun!

21 Secrets is a great place to learn techniques from some fabulous teachers and I think it is really good value for money.  I have really enjoyed being involved with it for the past two years.  This year though I’m not doing any online workshops that require payment because I’m saving my money to go on another art retreat (hopefully) later in the year.

See you soon

Big love

AJ 🙂

Circles of Wisdom

Crcles of WisdomHello friends!

I hope your week is going well, I am doing fine and I have been feeling a bit better about work this week.  I am having problems with my computer at home though, it just seems to be getting slower and slower so everything I do takes double or treble the time I think it should.  I am grateful that it is still working though as I don’t know what I’d do without it.

The image above is made up of 4 pages from my 6×6 journal.  Last year on 21 Secrets I did a workshop with Dion Dior called Circles of Wisdom and I learnt to draw mandalas.  It was a good opportunity for me to practice my doodles and there is definitely something meditative about creating mandalas.  The pages in my journal already had gesso and paint on them and were not ideal backgrounds for the images.  So after I drew these 4 I decided to make a whole book dedicated to Circles of Wisdom.  I recycled a child’s board book which is 5.5″ x 5.5″ and I filled it up with 16 different mandalas, it’s a lovely little book and I will probably share it with you at some point in the future.

***** One of the gorgeous women I met at the Call of the Wild Soul Art Retreat last year, Jeanette House, has set up a new ning site called One Little House  for art and craft e-learning.   I think you should probably check it out, we are bound to have fun and Jeanette is both lovely and talented 🙂 *****

OK that’s all for tonight, I’ve got to print out a batch of cemetery maps for my friend.

See you soon

Big love

AJ 🙂


Strange Creature

Imagination is a Strange CreatureHello Friends!

Sorry I missed my mid-week post again this week.  On Wednesday I took the day off work and did my Christmas shopping.  I left home at 10am and didn’t get back until 6pm.  My husband said “What have you been doing all this time?”.  He does all his shopping online or just buys vouchers for people!  Anyway I can’t say I was full of festive spirit, but I bought a lot of stuff and spent a lot of money and now it’s all wrapped up it looks OK.

I am disappointed that this year I haven’t had time to make presents for my friends, but I just didn’t feel up to is in November and then ran out of time to even start in December.

My mood has improved this month and I will be glad once Christmas is out of the way, it’s not really my favourite time of year but at least I am having a long break from work so I’m bound to have time for some art.  I am hoping too that T picked up on those massive hints I dropped for new art supplies.

We have some family coming to stay just after Christmas so yesterday I decided to do some housework, and managed to put my back out within about an hour, I was only bending over to pick something up too and it wasn’t even heavy.  Fortunately it’s not too bad and the painkillers are helping to relieve it so I can carry on with my tasks.  Today’s task is to clean the grout between the tiles in the bathroom.  It has to be done because recently I’ve been standing in the shower looking up at the tiles and thinking ‘Yuk, that looks horrible’!  The truth is I’m not really cut out for domesticity, if I did it more often it wouldn’t have got into such a state, but unfortunately I can always find more interesting things to do than clean and tidy 😦

However I promise you that by the time I finish today it will SPARKLE!

So this page is the last page in my A4 journal which I started in October 2011 and is a page I did for Traci Hanson’s Journal Quest on 21 Secrets.  I found a Big Bird and a Polar Bear cub in my painting.  Strange eh!

Have a great week everyone

Big love

AJ 🙂


“What a long strange trip it’s been”

Strange TripHello friends

This is another of those odd pages from my A4 Journal, produced in Tracie Hanson’s Journal Quest workshop over at 21 Secrets.  As you can see I’m really NOT a painter!  When I excavated my painted page all I found was these two odd and weird characters 😐

Do you recognise the quote?  Well you’d probably have to be of my generation and background if you did, it’s a lyric from the song Truckin’ by the Grateful Dead, from their album American Beauty.   It played a significant part in the soundtrack of my life when I was in my late teens and early 20s – and that was waaaaay back in the 1970s!

So anyway I hope life is good for all of you, I am really fine.  I am doing my new job now  and I’m still waiting to find out who to hand over my old job to.  At the moment nothing relating to my old job is getting done, but I’ve decided not to concern myself with that.  There are some good things about the new job – at the moment because I am learning I am very busy, the day passes quickly and I don’t get bored.  My new manager is very supportive and he has spoken to me more times in the last week than my previous manager spoke to me in the past 18 months.  Some people like being left alone, but I prefer to have communication with my manager.  I am happy that he is showing an interest in what I do and how I do it and I know that if I have any problems I can phone him up and ask for advice.   He and all the other people in my team all work in the same location (miles from where I am) and I thought I would feel isolated, but I have spoken to a few of them on the phone and they have all been really nice and helpful.  So I think things could work out fine.  Once I have mastered the data inputting part of the job there is another chunk of work coming my way which hopefully will be rewarding.  So I am pretty happy with things now.

That’s all for now folks see you soon

Big love

AJ 🙂




Off into the Wild!

Weird & Wild

Hello friends

Well I am pretty much packed now and ready to leave in the morning for the Call of the Wild Soul Art Retreat.  I am sure I will think of some last minute things I’ve forgotten, but at this stage I don’t think it matters.  The important thing is to go and have a great time with lots of lovely creative people.

This is a spread from my A4 journal and I did it back in May for Traci Hanson’s Journal Quest workshop on 21 Secrets.  It’s a really fun workshop and it made me look at and do things in a completely different way.  I won’t give away Traci’s secret but it’s all about looking at a painted page and excavating what is inside.  Other people found really beautiful things inside their paintings but what I found was just weird stuff.  It did make me smile though.

Have a great rest of the week and weekend everyone and I’ll see you next week when I get back.

Big love

AJ 🙂

Sunshine light your day

Sunshine Light Your Day

Hello friends

I hope your week is going well.  Mine is very strange, there is quite a lot of tension and concern at work, it’s becoming a slight struggle but I’m still being positive.  I am just having to give myself more and more pep talks.

I’m a day late with this post!  How did that happen?  I think it’s because  I went to an Osteopath for some treatment yesterday so my routine was not as usual.  I guess that’s where I got mixed up.

This spread is another painting I did for Connie Hozvicka’s Flow workshop on 21 Secrets.  It’s a great workshop where you just paint by intuition, from the heart and not from the head, quite liberating 🙂  I started by just enjoying the combination of the colours for the background, it began to feel like sunrise so I painted the funny flowers at the bottom in the foreground and then I added the quote.  Well it makes me smile 🙂

Be inspired be creative.

I’ll be back soon

Big love

AJ 🙂

The Power of One

The Power of One

Hello friends

I can’t believe how fast this weekend has gone and that tomorrow I will be back at work again!

Yesterday I did some transcribing in the cemetery then I went into town (just down the road) and did some shopping.   After that I spent the rest of the day producing information sheets about the ten year history of Ryde Social Heritage Group.

Today I did housework and washing, checked and printed out the information sheets, went to see Mum and Dad, and just about managed to squeeze in a short time for some art.  And now the weekend is over!

There is still a lot of uncertainty at work but I am staying optimistic, it just feels like a change could be good.

The textured canvas above is something I did on 21 Secrets.  The ‘canvas’ was made from a workshop by Alma Stoller and the texture effect from a workshop by Christy Tomlinson.  When I did my presentation on Employee Engagement recently I was told that I needed to take a prop with me.  I had no idea what to take and I ended up making this piece of art and I was very pleased with it.  As it turned out though the prop was not required and no-one saw it.  Now the ‘canvas’ is sitting on my window shelf at work.

Have a great week everyone, I’m just going to help round up and feed a couple of naughty cats before it gets dark.

Big love

AJ 🙂





Hello friends

It’s a sunny Sunday and we are just off out for an afternoon in the sunshine at the V-Dub Island, a small festival a few miles from where we live.  T is DJing there this afternoon at 4pm.  We went along last night to have a look and really nice, only a few thousand people there on a tiny site with three main areas for entertainment – the main marquee where bands play, a similar sized one which is a cafe and where smaller bands play, and  smaller marquee where my husband will be playing his tunes for an hour.  It had a really good and friendly atmosphere there last night, very friendly.

Yesterday I laid the laminate flooring in our new (tiny) extension, so gradually things are coming together in there, just a bit of painting to do, a few tiles to replace on the floor where the kitchen joins the new bit, the builders have to come back and put in the skirting board and then, finally, we will be able to use our new dining room.

The spread above is in my A4 journal and was an exercise I did for Connie Hozvicka’s Flow workshop on 21 Secrets.  It’s a really great workshop.

When I first did the painting it looked like this, and was done with guache paints, I loved the colours:

Flow before

But after I had lived with it for a while I knew it needed something else so I added the more organic shapes with acrylic paint and the cool quote about going with the flow.

Sorry!  I’ve got to go, T’s says we will be late if we don’t leave now!  I haven’t checked for Typos so forgive me if there are any.

21 Secrets is still running to the end of the year and is on sale now.  If you are interested check it our here, there are some fantastic teachers and workshops there.