After faithful art journaling from February through August, I set the practice aside for the past couple of months to pursue some other projects.
Winning a custom journal from Natalie Malik, housed in a Gift from the Sea book cover has brought me back!
As I was sifting through my files of papers, photos, and ephemera, I found a couple of images of the book's author, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, to include at the front of my new art journal. How fortuitous!
I followed Caatje's strategy for completing art journal spreads: I prepared my backgrounds, added my collage elements, then finished with my journal writing.
If you didn't catch her comprehensive art journaling tutorial, be sure to visit her blog posts. (The link above directs you to the third and final installment, so you can work your way backward!)
On this page, I discovered a very pretty effect of my own: Try using gel medium to glue a decorative napkin over the top of a page of text, and enjoy the beautiful result!
I am having the most fun adding doodled details around the borders of my pages and pictures. As everyone knows when they start to doodle, you can find inspiration where you least expect it. The little loopy doodle above can be seen on the bandana worn by Izzy on "Jake and the Neverland Pirates," a cartoon my girls sometimes watch on the Disney Channel!
Some more favorite things, aside from the doodles: simple watercolor paint backgrounds, letter stamps, white gel pen over colored marker, paper tape borders, and elements that lift to reveal additional layers to the journal spread.
I feel like I finally have internalized some practices that I have read over and over again in art journaling books and on blogs, but have never really done in my own journals.
Practice #1: Use paper actually intended for wet media. Natty included nice thick mixed-media paper in my journal, and it is clearly superior to working on the drawing paper I usually get by with.
Practice #2: Paint lots of backgrounds at once so you can work on several pages in the journal at one time. You have the benefit of cleaning up fewer paint messes and wasting less paint, too.
Practice #3 (directly related to #2): Use your embossing tool to dry your pages! Why did it take me so long to finally do this? No more waiting overnight for a single spread to dry; I can crank out as many as I want at one time without any worries!
Practice #4: Use paper tape as borders. I've been reading about washi tape for months now, and finally indulged in many (many, many) rolls of paper tape (the stuff of another blog post). It is such a simple and striking border for journal pages.
Practice #5: Work in a book with fewer pages. For me, working in this Gift from the Sea book feels like a project with a foreseeable end, rather than a day-after-day-after-day journal that I am more likely to abandon. For me and my psyche, the fewer number of pages keeps me motivated.
It feels great to be back into an art journal again, playing around with art supplies, actually using the fabulous goodies I have been receiving in art swaps lately, and keeping a record of what has been going on in my head and in my life lately.
Ain't it grand when something that is good for you is something that you love and enjoy, too?!