Self-Portrait as Book Worm

This week’s Art Journal Adventure offered a prompt that simultaneously served as a suggestion for overcoming the intimidation of a blank page and that was to use text pages as a starting point, a first layer.  Fear of the blank page is not something I find to be a struggle; my challenge is always finding the time for art and adequate time to develop something to completion, even in my art journal.  I have, therefore, been trying to follow the advice of Sue Clancy and her method of working in short bursts.  I usually try to find a block of 15-20 minutes minimum in which to have a short burst of art time but some weeks I have to work in even shorter gobbets of time.  What I am finding is that even micro bursts are effective in keeping creativity flowing and stopping the art muscles seizing up from rust.

This art journal page, therefore, was built up over three very short bursts.  In the first, I quickly adhered some dictionary pages to the page in my journal.  That took somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes – however long it took for a pot of pasta to boil.  The second burst was under 5 minutes and that was drawing myself as a Book Worm.  The final burst was probably ten minutes in which I added the colour using a variety of media.  The resulting page is simple but I think it is fun.  Had I decided that I needed 25 minutes to create this journal page, I never would have found the time last week; however, by finding small pockets of free time here and there throughout the week, I was able to gradually build the page up so long as I kept it simple.

As indicated, this is a self-portrait of myself as a book worm.  I have always loved books.  Some of my happiest childhood memories are of poring through books in the library and making my selections.  I once ended up in hospital with a concussion because of reading: I was walking in Edinburgh with my nose in a book when I walked at full speed into a concrete lamppost.  I was always a voracious reader who could gobble up a several books in a week.  Even when I was teaching High School and was incredibly busy with little free time, I could read a book a week.  In the past decade, however, the rate at which I can consume books has tapered off.  I still read daily but not for the duration I was once able to.  Nevertheless, since reading remains one of my favourite pastimes, I still think I qualify as a Book Worm.

15 Book Worm - Book Pages

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15 thoughts on “Self-Portrait as Book Worm

  1. Definitely a fun result–I too consider myself to be a book worm, though my my social skills are much more developed now than when I was younger and would bury myself in a book.

    • Thank you, fellow book worm. I’m probably more sociable now too but sometimes I still feel compelled to shut everyone and everything out and escape into a book. During the summer, my kids and I all read at the same time during the day and we each find our own space in the house to read in. I think the solitude might be part of the pleasure when life is busy and filled with people.

      • As another fellow book worm, I keep trying to introduce this idea of reading hour – or five. I have little reading spaces set up around the house and my husband and eldest s-daughter have each claimed their favorite.

      • Funnily enough, when we all read at the same time (over summer break) we all retreat to our favourite spots in the house. It must be a natural instinct to curl up in our own territorial spaces with a good book. On regular school and work days, however, we are so busy with life that reading time is done at bed time when we are all automatically in our own spaces anyway. Our family rule, incidentally, is that the kids have to read for at least half an hour per day (we parents don’t need a rule) at bedtime. During the summer break, I also build in some time for day time reading. That is not just because I want them to read books but also because, by getting four kid reading at the same time, it gives me a chunk of quiet, calm time too. That’s a survival strategy given how long American summer breaks last.

        Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  2. Nice! I’m always amazed at the way you squeeze art time into your busy days. I’m​ also a lifelong bookworm, but like you I’m finding I don’t get to read as much as I used to. So I keep Sunday mornings as my dedicated book-reading time… I really look forward to it every week!

    • Thank you. I sometimes wonder how it was that I used to be able to read so much more than I do now and then I remember that I have four kids. That’ll do it. Life just got busy. But I still read every single day so that’s something at least.

      • Definitely – it’s such a great way to check out of real life for a short while each day. And I don’t know about you, but to me it feels almost luxurious to spend time reading off a page rather than a screen!

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