Friday, October 26, 2018

Art Journal: Rooted Strong by Cheetarah

Hi, it's Cheetarah here, and this month at StencilGirl® Talk we share what we feel grateful for. I've made an art journal spread about my hometown, Amsterdam. I'm feeling grateful for the roots I have there, the city I've spent the better part of my life in and in connection to my remaining family whom still live there. It's quite a personal spread, but it has so much meaning that I decided I wanted to share this with you here as it helped me worked through processing loss.

Earlier this year in April my father passed away and needless to say, it really uprooted a lot in my life. He was my last living parent and with his passing & not having my parental house to go to anymore and living in another city really made think about my connection to my family and my roots. How our parents aren't there to go to anymore and how we as siblings can stay rooted in connection towards each other, going forward. Journaling has been such a big part of my life to process all these feelings and art journaling also helps to get that visual representation out.

This art journal page just naturally came into being when I got my most recent StencilGirl® order with the inclusion of the Encaustics set of Stencils Club May 2013. The tree rings in the large stencil reminded me a lot of the canal rings in Amsterdam. As I placed it over a transit map, over the heart of the city it just clicked into place.


From the same set I used the roots & the female figure on top of it is the ATC size figure from Pam Carriker's ATC Mix Up large stencil. She stands so perfectly STRONG on the tree trunk, her roots digging in deep into the soil of her past, which grounds her in the present and supports her in her future. The word strong is from Carolyn Dube's Uplifting Words large stencil.

The Stencil Past Present  Future by Seth Apter was just a perfect addition to the whole sentiment of this art journal page and I used the smaller elements on the stencil for mark making throughout the whole page. Nathalie Kalbach's Amsterdam was an absolute must to this page to add a bit of flair and whimsy.

I have filmed the process of this art journal page which you can view here:

Off camera, I also added some more doodles with the sakura while gel pen and some stamping with VivaLasVegaStamps! texture stamps for a little bit more texture in the background.

To finish it off I added a quote "Roots are not in a landscape or a country or a people, they are inside you" from author Isabel Allende. I'm grateful to have grown up in such a dynamic city with my parents and to have build such strong roots that connects me to them in my past, present and future, as they live within me, always.

A few close up pictures:

You can see all the layers peeking through in the center and the female figure. 

I am absolutely grateful to have these strong roots supporting me in my life moving forward. 

Stencils I used are:

I hope you enjoyed watching the process of this art journal page. 
Thanks so much for stopping by! Have an awesome day & see you next time :) 


  1. A strong powerful journal entry rich in colour,texture, detail and most importantly meaning . A very evocative piece of art. Thank you for sharing a chapter of your story through your creativity and your written word. Wishing you all the best for the next stage of your journey in life . x

  2. I completely empathize with your feeling of loss and your strength in spite of it, and I adore the way you express it in this work. Love the video showing your process, too!


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