“On Top of the World”

This page is entitled, “On Top of the World,” and features a portion of one of the images from Journal Starters Sampler Volume I.


I like Ferris wheels–but as an individual suffering from a fierce fear of heights, I far prefer the way they look from the ground! Even so, when I spotted the top section of a Ferris wheel in one of the pictures in the book, I knew I’d use it as the focal image on my page, which celebrates the joyful, life-affirming feelings that art has given me the last six years.

In my written journaling on this page, I talk about what a truly awesome experience it is to be “the zone” while creating in my studio. For me, “the zone” is a state of mind in which I’m so completely absorbed in what I’m making that I lose track of time and have no awareness whatsoever of what’s going on around me; in this state, 110% of my brain is focused on the task at hand, whether it be laying down layers of collage, moving paint around on a substrate, playing around with ink, or doodling. When I’m in “the zone,” someone could ask me a question, and I won’t even hear them. The TV could be on, but the noise coming from it fades away. I could be stressed and worried about a hundred different things, but for that magical stretch of time, all of those concerns are pushed out of my consciousness.


Although I’ve only been creating mixed-media art for six years, I am no stranger to “the zone.” For almost 20 years, I played competitive tennis and was as serious about it as one could be. Between the ages of 12 and 30, tennis was everything to me. I ate, slept, and breathed tennis, and in between the hundreds of matches I played, trained hard on the track and in the gym. I hoped that by working every spare moment on my game, I could enter “the zone” during my next match–that place of total ecstasy in your mind where the tennis ball coming over the net looks like it’s the size of a beach ball, where your racquet strikes it just perfectly, where all of your shots land exactly where you want them to, and where every distraction outside the court disappears. Unfortunately, after I turned 30, it became harder and harder for me to get in “the zone” on a tennis court. A myriad of physical injuries and other medical issues got in the way, and I had to step back from the sport I loved so much. I never believed I’d ever find something else I loved nearly as much as tennis–but when I began exploring mixed-media, it hit me in exactly the same way. The part of my brain that dialed into the swinging and striking of a tennis ball was now also hooked up to the acts of cutting, pasting, collaging, and painting–and it was a perfect fit. And each time I step through the door of my studio and sit down to work, it doesn’t take long before I’m in “the zone” again–and I feel as though I’m on top of the world! It’s truly a gift, and one for which I’m endlessly thankful.

This page was created with acrylic paint, gesso, spray inks, vintage book pages, a paint texture sample from the decorating store, Washi tape, stencils, stamped bubble wrap, rub-ons, stickers, pens, and the image from the book.

This week, let’s do whatever it is that puts us in “the zone.” Let’s allow ourselves a moment to be on top of our world. We deserve to receive this precious gift!








About Jenny Petricek

I am a mixed-media artist who loves collage, bookmaking, journaling, and memory art.
This entry was posted in Art Journaling, Mixed-Media and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to “On Top of the World”

  1. Jade Sutton says:

    I love the way you layer your collages. When I grow up I want to collage just like you! Im much older than 30 now. 🙂 I love tennis. I took lessons while in college and played on a city park team. It is wonderful that you were able to have tennis in your life. I had one match where I got to experience the zone. It is a feeling like no other. Thanks for sharing such an important part of your life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Jade! I think the layering is my favorite part of the process. You never know what you’re gonna get! And hooray to you for being a fellow tennis player! We are indeed a special tribe! So glad you were able to partake in the experience of “the zone!” 🙂


  2. Another wonderful piece! Thank you for your honesty and I love hearing about your journey too. When something stresses you in the outside world……I wonder if imagining being in your studio would be helpful? Almost like a little mini-meditation in the middle of a busy day? Love your work!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful. I loved the colors

    Liked by 1 person

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