Archive for June, 2012
People keep asking me “What is Art Journaling?”
I finally looked up the definitions of Art and the definitions of Journal or Diary and then I came up with my own definition here it is:
Art Journaling v. The act of making an ongoing (daily) record of the artist’s experiences, feelings, lessons and expressions.
Art Journal n. A book for keeping a daily record of the artist’s experiences, feelings, lessons and expressions.
In general why would anyone do art journaling?
- Art Journaling is versatile – Art Journaling can be anything from a daily sketchbook, to an idea book to a book that is art in and of itself.
- Art Journaling is highly adaptable – You can use the skills you already have or prefer as well as the supplies you already have which makes it
- Highly affordable and accessible – anyone can do it anywhere.
5 reasons why I, Lori, Art Journal
- Overall I do it to chronicle my life and the period I live in – to leave an account – to be a witness of my times. I live my life in color so my journaling is also in color. If you looked at my journals in the order they were put together, you would know what I was thinking about in that time period and how my thinking evolved. In terms of art, you would see what I was figuring out in terms of color and composition with art and you could see the evolution of that as well. You would know who I was spending time with and how I was related to them. You would be able to see my economics as I bought better paints and spent more on tools. You would be able to see when I got a good sewing machine.
- Personal history – I wish my family predecessors had made journals or left an accounting of their lives. I wish I knew how life was from the point of view of those that went before me. I can look back at photos or news stories and know the where, what and who of almost any event in history. But I would like to know what the personal impact of those events were on my dad or my uncle Herbert. I wish I knew what had my ancestors move from Holland to Michigan and then from Michigan to Washington. For example I can see the personal impact for my family of the cold war, which was the major political background of my growing up years. When I was 9 years old, my Dad uprooted our family and moved us all to California because there were good paying jobs on a missile base. I was there for the move to California, but how was it for my mother to leave her every relative and church behind – and every doctor, grocery store, kid’s school and library when we made that move? I wish she had left a diary.
- Being known - My personal definition of Self Expression is “a willingness to be known and to know others.” Art Journaling is a way to help me know others by knowing myself – okay this is a little therapy-ish.
- Healthy body and mind – Just like a teapot builds up steam – so do I. All the little mundane interruptions, incompletions, irritations and expectations of life have a way of building up. My art journaling gives me a place to be expressed on a regular basis and allows me to continually let off steam. When a teapot lets rip with excess steam a whistle sounds. When a human lets it rip – it might look like a shopping spree or a temper tantrum or worse a heart attack or an aneurism
5. I love making art - combining colors and images, drawing, painting, collaging, doodling making something that wasn’t there before. And I love writing. By having art journals, I have continuity to see how my work and my life have evolved and I have it in living color!
Again Why Art Journaling?
When I try something out on a page-sized paper and it doesn’t do what I think it should, I can just turn the page and try again. Art Journaling fits my life like a glove and I love it. I have book after book of pages. Pages that are the art itself and pages that have spaces left just for writing in at some other date. Maybe the journals will be around for future generations of my family and friends to see what life was like at the turn of the 21st century.
I believe the following quote sums up one of the guiding principals I live by which gives rise to my commitment to my art journal.
“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it…It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is only your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.”
Martha Graham, innovator,dancer & choreographer 1894-1991
Big thanks to everyone who made suggestions on the last post about my Art Journaling Dilemma. I decided just to start and go from there. The book is so huge that I am sure I will change directions more than once before it is full, but I won’t get anywhere until I just start.
My plan is to decorate a few spreads ahead and then do my Art Journaling Every Day on the prepared pages.
The above spread was from a technique I learned from Carol Sloan at Art Camp for Women. She had us stencil and stamp with gesso, let dry, rub over with Distress Ink Pads and then burnish with a handy wipe. At least that is what I remember and I love – love – love the effect it gave on this page spread.
Turns out that starting is WAY fun! This spread was stenciled with gesso and let dry, then sprayed over with Dylusions Ink Sprays from ArtistCellar. The Dylusions Ink Sprays are delicious colors and even have delicious names, such as Melted Chocolate, Lemon Zest, Bubblegum, Squeezed Orange just to name a few.
I first gesso stamped and sprayed this page. I was not satisfied with the pale markings so I re-stamped the chevrons and the leaf with white acrylic paint. I expect I will add many more layers but so far the first three page spreads have been fun, satisfying and I can’t wait for them to get dry!
Carol (Sloan) also suggested removing some pages and she is absolutely correct. Not only will it give me great ephemera for other mixed-media art, it will keep the binding from cracking. My altered ledger is already beginning to swell.
You may have noticed that this blog has been languishing for the last couple of months. Not only has it been WAY busy for Art Camp for Women, the outdoor weather is delicious – just made for playing, and I am working through some things with my Art Journaling.
Here is my Dilemma.
I want to make this ledger book into my next art journal. I want to tape and gesso the center seam ala Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and work on a double spread over the course of a week or so. The ledger is late 1800s and early 1900s and has the smoothest, most scrumptious writing tooth imaginable. It has absolutely no value as it is and no one has any historical interest in the entries. The book could conceivably last a couple of years worth of entries. So it is just perfect.
Lately I have had a goal, more like an intention, to write everyday. I am often away from home so need to have a journal that is easy to pack along with me. I usually get the time and place to doodle and decorate my small pages as I travel along. Can you see me lugging the ledger along on a trip? Even a car trip has it’s limits! And I suspect the ledger would get as battered as the little Moleskines that ride in my purse.
What Would You Do?
Just in the in the process of writing this post I have come up with a few ideas.
- I could make a sturdy envelope pocket to put a Moleskine in when completed.
- I could pull the pages made while traveling and tape them between the appropriate pages in the ledger.
- I could haul along the ledger – not gonna happen.
Do you have any other ideas? Have you had this dilemma? What’s a girl to do? What would you do?
Linked to Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s Art Journaling Every Day.