Love Your Heart Journal Spread

Love Your Heart Journal Spread: Dance Your Heart Out

I’m working to improve my cardio health. This Love Your Heart journal spread expresses my joy that I’m able to dance my heart out once again.

Love Your Heart Journal Spread: Dance Your Heart Out

For this spread, I tried some techniques that Laly Mille shares in her videos. She starts with a fairly dark and busy collage background. She always includes words and images that “speak to her.” Laly lets them guide her to focus in on the ideas, wishes or dreams moving through her mind. By the time the page is done she has eliminated some of the words and images to express the essential that she found in her heart.

It’s a mystical way of approaching a journal page and that’s very new for me. So, I’m pleased to share this journal spread for Jo’s January Something New theme at Art Journal Journey (AJJ)

Love Your Heart Journal Spread: Exercise Detail

I’ve worked my way back from a debilitating illness in 2014. I started with gentle Tai Chi, moved on to more demanding Pilates and then last year, I progressed to very demanding intermediate yoga of all types. The torn out page from a note pad on this spread represents a typical week of dance and exercise for me. Should I mention that I’m 74? Oops, I guess I just did.

[This post may contain affiliate links, which won’t change your price if you buy the item(s); but I receive a small commission for helping you find what you want.]

How the Spread Evolved

Blank Spread in My Junk Journal

My intention was to create a quick background in my junk journal, à la Chris. I’ve prepared several backgrounds in my junk journal using her approach and just left them as backgrounds to come back to later.

Quick Background of Gouache

After throwing on a few dark swatches of gouache, I saw movement and thought dance. So I went looking through my collection of images and my Words to Live By box.

Tone Down Background with White Gesso

I decided to try Laly’s layers of light  approach. White gesso tones down the colors.

Stamp Random Text Over

Random stamping using the Bo Bunny “It is Written” stamp set and black archival ink pull the spread together.

Add Images and Words

These are the words and images from my collections that spoke to me. But it was too much.

Subtract Image

Since I used gel medium to glue the images down, it was pretty easy to peel and rub off the ones that didn’t fit my evolving thoughts.

See? The background is fine.

Love Your Heart: Dance it Out - The Message Becomes Clear

That gave me space for the phrase that popped into my head, “Dance it out!” Next I decided to remove the sanctuary and yoga dancer pose because it just didn’t fit. I decided I’d rather use that space to note how far I’ve come fitness-wise.

Love Your Heart: Focusing in on the Dancer Elements

I added more white gesso to isolate the poignant images of women moving their bodies beautifully and powerfully. Then I outlined them with graphite pencil to make them stand out.

India Ink Splatters

Finally, I used black Micron pen to create borders, then masked off the images and text to make black India ink splatters.

Love Your Heart Journal Spread: Dance Your Heart Out

Are you on a journey or quest for something in your life? If so, I wish you success, good health and art with a lot of heart!

Thank you for visiting and for your thoughtful comments.

Finally, here are more Mixed Media and Journaling articles.

The Artful Crafter — Helping Crafters to Be

About Eileen Bergen


  1. Very interesting how you created this wonderful page and to read about your thoughts! I am only 8 years younger than you 🙂
    It’s funny how you rubbed away the picture you did not like – easy because of the gel medium as glue (I did not know).
    The india ink splatters made a great finish!

  2. Fabulous journal pages Eileen, starting off with dark shades and adding the lighter ones has given a beautiful result. Thank you for adding this to Jo’s theme at Art Journal Journey.
    Yvonne xx

  3. beautiful fantasic page!!!great how you show the individual steps!
    Greetings elke

  4. Wow, such amazing pages! I love following along to see how you created it, that looks like a fun technique too, who would have thought the background started off so dark ?. The dance theme is perfect and a wonderful way to keep fit too! Thanks so much for joining us at Art Journal Journey, it’s always a pleasure to see you there! Wishing you wonderful new week! Hugs, Jo x

  5. Great spread Eileen! I love it!
    Alison x

  6. Debra Terry says:

    OOOOOooo do i see a bit of mermaid washi tape?? lol Love this spread Eileen! Hugs! deb

  7. Regine Karpel says:


Thank you for your visit and your lovely comments. Moderation is enabled, so your comment will take a little time to appear.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.