Friday, August 24, 2012

In the Journal

A few months ago when I began art journaling, a dear long-time reader asked when I'd upload images of same.  At that point I was very hesitant to share my journal pages, largely because I didn't feel confident that my pages were good enough to share.  Now that I've kind of developed my own style, I'm okay with showing them.  I'm also doing this to encourage those of you who may feel as I did, that anything goes in an art journal.  Whatever floats your boat.

I'm currently working in two journals -- a spiralbound sketchbook, and an altered book.  Before working on pages in the sketchbook, I gesso the pages to make them heavier and so they'll accept wet media (the original paper is text-weight).  With the altered book, I tore out every 3rd or 4th page, then glued two pages together with matte medium throughout the entire book.  Makes the pages heavier, and removing pages allows room for the remaining pages to expand, which they will when you've added paint or collaged on them.

Mostly, I like creating pages with patterns on them, either with stencils, stamps, collaged papers, acrylic paint, etc., and it isn't important to me whether I subsequently write on the page.  It amounts to creating small art page by page in a book format, so disregard the fact that it's a journal, especially if you're thrown to thinking that journals need to be written in.  This was a hard one for me to get over, primarily because a lot of well-known art journalers do a lot of writing on every page.  But it's not necessary if you don't want to do it.

I love experimenting with acrylic paints in the journals.  I love creating backgrounds with whatever colors speak to me in the moment, then digging through my box of collage fodder (different box than the one I use for my other collages) to find elements that will work on the painted page.

I also love using scrap or blotting papers by themselves, glued into the book and worked over.  Actually, I love the whole thing!

I have a loose intention to create at least one journal spread a day, but I rarely do.  Sometimes I'll do two spreads, occasionally four, and often days will go by when I haven't even done one.  That's okay.  There are so many options of things to do that it's often overwhelming ~ should I paint? stamp? stencil? collage? what colors? etc.

Another thing that stopped me from starting at first is that I "can't" draw -- which really means I don't want to take the time to draw.  Many art journalers are terrific at drawing and I felt daunted by what seemed like the need for me to draw and watercolor paint in a journal.

The bottom line is, you can do whatever you want to do.  You don't have to do what anyone else is doing.  Make it your own in every which way.  Whatever turns YOU on.  That's what it's all about (and you thought it was the hokey pokey, right?)!   

11 comments:

Maggi said...

Thank you for sharing both your journal pages and your thoughts Connie.

latestartstudio said...

I rarely share my pages so I know how you felt, good on you! I'll hook into your courage and see what I can share as well. Wendy

Judy said...

Great post and I like your journal pages

Jeannie said...

Great pages, Connie! I love the freedom of thought and art in this post. (She who has no blog shuddered at the thought of sharing her drawings.) There is something so calming and settling about painting a page and letting it emerge. Beautiful!

tiedyejudy said...

I'm really loving what you are doing here! It seems very free, unencumbered by rules or 'musts', and you sound like you are getting a great deal of enjoyment out of the journals... which I think is the most important part of any creative endeavor! So glad you decided to share these pages with us!

Sandy said...

Love your pages. I'm not a word person, so my pages rarely have much writing, but it's a great place to experiment and not lose the paper in some pile somewhere.

jenclair said...

A good way to explore creative options (and have fun while doing it)!

Jan said...

I was confused about art "journals" for quite awhile, then realized that I was imposing my definition of a journal as a place to write, and just couldn't see where to write on those pages!

I do like the idea of experimenting with techniques et al. I will be so happy when I'm in my studio again. That time seems so far off right now.

I love your work, as you well know. I'm working hard not to go to a place of envy...

love,
Jan

Meg in Nelson said...

I did! Precisely because sample art journals I have seen have such beautiful drawings, and so many of them! AND because I love the pages with those beautiful drawings.

And I, too, don't want to invest the time to draw. "creating small art page by page in a book format" - oh, wise words. I might try this again in a month. You sure make me want to do it. Mine might be like a mood board of the day on every page.

I did, though, got used to the idea while working on Carla Sonheim junk book that I don't have to start with Page 1 and work my way, but I can jump or skip or revisit. Boy, the hurdles we have to get over...

Thank you for showing us your pages, Connie!

Dotti said...

Well Connie, I think you finally unleashed the Journal Junkie hiding within me! You are so right...just because it's a journal doesn't mean it has to have words. BTW weren't we all taught that a picture is worth a thousand words!!!

MulticoloredPieces said...

Hi, Connie. Excellent post. You've obviously worked hard at developing your own style and the pages are beautiful. I remain at the sketchbook level--line drawings is about all I can manage although lately I've been gluing fabric onto certain pages as well.
best, nadia