This week’s Art Journal Exploits topic is Portraits. Since I mainly do portraits in my journal, I thought this would be a cinch for me. Instead I kind of struggled with it. Actually, it seems like I’ve been struggling with a lot of things lately.

I’ve been having health problems that’s made it difficult to do day to day things. That’s put me in a bit of  a funk. It’s not a feeling I like to sit with, so I had to have a hard talk with myself about all the blessings I have in my life despite the hard times I’m going through.

This page reflects the gratitude I have for all the little things in my life. It also serves as a reminder that I wouldn’t have them if I were anyone else, health problems included.  The quote reminds me to envy no one and to treasure what I have.

When I first sketched out the girl, a friend said she looked like me. I didn’t paint her like me but I like to think she reflects the part of me that is at peace with the world and with what she has which is why I painted her in cool calm blues.

I’m particularly in love with adding modeling paste with stencils lately. I just love the added texture it gives.

I don’t just use stencils with modeling paste. I also use stencils in the layers below with paint. You can still see the designs peeking out through the top. You can also see the Tim Holtz tissue paper I used for the background making an appearance.

Even though the start of this page was bumpy, it came together smoothly and was quite cathartic. As always art is something that soothes me in times of need.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend. :)


  1. Hattie Says:

    Oooh love the color scheme, and the modeling paste is so awesome.

  2. Voni Kinderknecht Says:

    I can relate so much. I really love your thought process about treasuring what you have. The color is rich and lovely. I am really intrigued by your use of stencils and paste. Really love this!

  3. opal Says:

    Thank you! It’s good to know I’m not alone. :)

  4. opal Says:

    Thanks Hattie!

  5. Ambika Sudhakaran Says:

    Lovely work Opal! Creating art is truly a stress buster right. Love the use of stencils in the different layers.. and your story behind this page makes the effort so meaningful. Thanks for linking up!

  6. MARIA SOTO Says:

    beautiful work, and I can relate to how you feel, I’m dealing with health issues and feeling depression because of all those things you find yourself not able to do any more, art helps me get out of those moments and yes it helps me to recognize the things and people I need to be grateful for. love the colors.

  7. opal Says:

    Thanks Maria. Im sorry to hear you’re going through health issues too though. At least we can both see the silver lining.

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