Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s Art Journal Every Day challenge. I’ve been reading about art journaling for ages, but am fairly new to exploring what it means to create one myself. I had to prove to myself with my February/March journal that I could create an art journal, and then I was ready to commit in a public forum.
So far, so good!
I have worked in my art journal every day since the first of the month, and I am planning to share updates each Friday on how it is going.
I created a calendar page in my February/March journal, but didn’t find it particularly useful or meaningful. But I really wanted to try a calendar with a particular shadow stamp I’ve owned for a long time, so I went ahead and created an April calendar at the beginning of my new journal. I am recording in the squares what arty/crafty things I do each day of the month.
My big breakthrough here is how I structured the page. It was a major concession in my brain to stamp as many squares as could go across the page (five), since I didn’t have space to structure it like a traditional calendar, with seven squares across for seven days in a week. Telling you that should demonstrate how much I need to work on “out of the box” thinking!
I am still not thinking in terms of “journal spreads”; I think in terms of a page at a time. The book I’m using is 8-1/2”x11”, which gives me a nice big page to work on. It’s put out by Art Alternatives, and is clearly not intended for wet media. As soon as I started using marker on the paper, and it went through to the other side, I tried gluing multiple pages together, because I knew I wanted to use watercolor on the pages directly, as well.
So, more out of the box thinking for me: I am “living with” thick, wrinkled pages, and I am daring to apply watercolor directly to the page instead of painting a separate page and gluing it in. (Pretty sure the binding on this book wouldn’t put up with too much of THAT!)
This photo represents work in my journal on April 3-4. I did the right side first.
I had been cutting silhouettes using figures in clothing catalogs, and had used them before as collage elements, but when I saw Julie’s page, I wanted to try them as a stencil, and I really like the result. I also watched an art journaling video where the artist used painters’ tape to create a kind of stencil to make the road effect like I did in the corner of my page with artist’s tape. Unfortunately, I can’t remember who made the video, so if you ran across it yourself, let me know so I can give credit where it’s due. I thought it made a nice visual for expressing the stepping out I’ve been doing through my blog, my first art journal, my first art swap, and my first online challenge. (“Every day may surprise you!”)
The page on the left expresses the fact that I don’t want art journaling to replace every other kid-free moment I have during the day; I’d love to read a novel again, for example! But even though I went directly to my bookshelf and chose one to read, I haven’t gotten to it yet. I’ve been bitten by this art journaling bug, and right now it is holding fast to my time!
This photo shows the journal work I did on April 5 and 6.
On this page, I drew some garden bells I saw in a catalog, and a Kelly Rae Roberts-inspired girl, as I’ve been reading her book Taking Flight lately. Instead of looking for words to use on her dress, I just wrote the words and put a square around them to sort of look like I had cut them out. That was quick and easy! I wrote “Art making brought her peace…except when it made her crazy.” I find that working on a project can just as easily make me feel tense and anxious as Zen-peaceful and relaxed!
This page, for my birthday, is not intended to sound arrogant! I drew my new age—38—on the girl’s dress, and then thought what a great greeting card that would be: Put the person’s age on a dress or shirt, and the card would read, “You wear it well.” So that is what I wrote here, in a Violette-inspired page.
Other than that, I have one more spread painted (blue!) and some doodling started on another page. I’ll check in next Friday with more progress, and am looking forward to checking out some of the other participants’ sites from Julie’s “challenge.” Thanks for checking in with me!