Friday, October 28, 2011

A Return to Art Journaling

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?!


donna!ee said...

beautiful, beautiful gorgeous & inspiring pages ANd thank you much for including tips & techniques to experiment with...excellent post! blest be :)

Joyfulploys said... won't be sorry that you returned to journaling.Your pages look fantastic!! Your practice tips are good ones!
I tried to par down my paper stash this week...but I can't.
Keep going, my friend, it looks like you are on your way!

lee said...

wow I love that journl, it makes me want to dive in and just thumb through it. keep going, you have made me want to art journal again.

Linda Jordan said...

What a gorgeous art journal!! I love your pages. I really like the idea of using the napkin as a background, the doodle border on that page looks amazing also. Thanks for all the amazing inspiration!!


laurie said...

great pages and tips. i have been absent from art journaling for awhile, as well, but am ready to start back up again.

Janet said...

You're such an inspiration. These pages are beautiful and I agree with Lee....I just want to sit down with this journal and leaf through it.

Andria said...

Thank you, thank you, everyone, for your kind comments!

scrapwordsmom said...

I do love what you are doing! I am a true believer in stepping away from something only to come back even more creative than before!

Lucky girl for winning that cool journal:)

Leslie said...

Wow these look fantastic!! :]
Super, great artwork... enjoyed looking at your journal pages. *hugs*
So much fun...

Carin Winkelman said...

Wonderful pages. Glad you got back to it and are enjoying it so much. Also much thanks for the heads up on my tutorial, I appreciate it. ;-)

Andria said...

Leslie, I do think it made a difference to take a little break. It made me appreciate getting back into it!

Thanks, April!

Your tutorial was SO comprehansive, Caatje; I wouldn't want anyone who is interested in art journaling to miss it!

Unknown said...

it's so neat that this comes so naturally to you. i'm such a perfectionist that i just know i would struggle with this type of art!

Andria said...

Patience: I've always struggled with perfectionism, and not being willing to share anything that isn't "perfect." Art journaling has been a very helpful tool in overcoming that. (Blogging helps too, since if I waited for perfection, I would never have anything to post!)

Bonita Rose said...

oh my oh my.. love your journal pages.. can't wait to see what u do in my trvling journal.. keep in mind cuz u are down on the list.. it will proly take months to get to you! I love natty too.. love her style! hugs xo

Andria said...

No problem, Bonita--it will be worth the wait! :-) I might have to start a traveling journal of my own, so I can have the beautiful gift at the end!

Parabolic Muse said...

Okay, I'm upset.
I know this isn't about me and I shouldn't be upset, but I am. Because I've been out of commission, and I haven't been able to catch up, and LOOK at all this groovy stuff!? And I missed Halloween with the girls. So I'm going to be commenting a lot, because just scrolling down to get to the first of my missed posts I can tell at a glance that I'm going to have something to say on every one.

Am I still talking?

Parabolic Muse said...

What a great post. I like your pages! But it's cool that you've shared these things. I forget sometimes, too, what a great difference a sturdy paper can make when you're making a journal page. Making pages in advance is a GREAT practice, and I finally made it my own. The paper tape always comes in handy.

Thanks for these links! I'm going to check them out.

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