Sunday, October 30, 2011

Art journals..

 Over the last couple of years I've dabbled in a bit of art journalling. Mostly, the inky, painty type. I struggled to keep it up though. I'd get the urge to do some of my art journal, get out the paints, slap some paint on, maybe some stencilling-you know the kind of thing. But the problem was, I was impatient. I found it hard to wait for one layer to dry, before adding the next, or before writing. Even using a heat gun to speed up the drying process, I've lost count of the number of pens I've ruined writing on surfaces that weren't quite dry, or pages that have turned into muddy messes as one colour merged into another.
And, because I work in my kitchen, getting out paints and inks was /is a bit of a pain, because I can't leave anything out. Everything has to be tidied away in order for the family to eat!

But recently, I've come across two people who have inspired me to try a different way of journalling.
One is Julie Kirk, who has written about her journalling process on her blog here.
Well I haven't recently come across Julie-I have admired her quirky style for a long time, but the post about her process is recent.

The other is Sarah Ahearn Bellmare. I saw her book on Amazon recently and decided it looked interesting enough to take a punt and buy it. And I'm so glad I did!!

The book is all about the process she uses to create paintings, and part of that process are her sketchbooks. or journals. Sarah's process is not unlike Julie's process. Both have helped me think differently about keeping a journal.

So I though I would give it a go. I bought a couple of small Daler Rowney journals. These are A6 size I think, much smaller than any of my previous journals, and I really like the size. Small enough to tote around in a handbag if you are that way inclined, but more importantly, the size of the page is not intimidating. The space is manageable, and if you're like me, not much of a writer, then you know you won't have to come up with long stories to fill the page.

So, the thing about the process, is that you don't really need to set aside time for art journalling, although you can if you work better that way. What I do, is have the journal handy as I'm working on other projects, like scrapbooking, or stamping. I just grab my scraps, or stamps, whatever, and add them to the journal, usually as part of the tidying up process. It's done quickly and freely without much thought given to what I use or where I place it.
Then I have pages all ready when I want to write something. I might see a quote I like-or even have a thought of my own I want to record,(yes, I do think now and then!),  and I can go straight to a ready prepared page and get the words down. Then I can add other bits if I think the page needs it.
So let me show you what I mean.
Here is a page ready to be journalled on.
This background was made as I cleaned up after doing some stamping. I dipped into my box of scraps and glued on some patterned paper, book page and cut up some of the stamping. Usually when I stamp, I ink up the stamp, and stamp first onto scrap paper before I stamp onto my project. The scrap paper usually ends up in the bin, but instead of binning it, this time I stuck it into my journal. I have no idea how this page will turn out, but it's all ready for when inspiration strikes-with no wet paint to wait on!

So here are a couple more pages that evolved the same way-random sticking on of scraps, offcuts, whatever, then journalling added when I was ready.
I came across these lines from a poem, which resonated with me, so added them to the frame on this page. To complete the page I shaded around the frame, and added the bird stamp, and the stars.

I might even add something else to this page in time-who knows?

While I had the star stamp out I added some to this next page too-and some other stamps-which I also stamped on other pages in the journal.
This page used a book page and what was left over from punching circles from scrapbook papers.

So now, within my journal are pages with bits stuck on, and images stamped on, that will gradually be worked upon, added to and journalled on.

I'm really comfortable with this process, and can see myself working on this journal as this process  makes it easy and accessible. I think it's a process that will work much better for me, than the inky, painty journals-although I still enjoy getting messy, and wouldn't rule out having a painty journal too!


Heather said...

Some great ideas there Pam thankyou for sharing them! I tried art journalling but I too got fed up of the waiting for stuff to dry and not finding the right pen. But I think I have been too concerned with a trying to get a work of art rather than an interesting page to journal on IYKWIM! I might just give it another go xx

Julie Kirk said...

Oh Pam - that's just so good to know that my messiness was useful to you! Thank you for letting me know [but then you already know about my messiness though, from my yellow paint incident at the Harrogate show ... oh my!].

Your pages are great and it's good to hear from another of the world's creative-impatients!

Julie :-)

Glen said...

Lovely pages Pam. I keep seeing Art Journals but haven't gotten around to making one - yet. TFS. ~Glen~

Sarah said...

hi Pam - these pages look fantastic! it's a nice feeling when you find a way of doing things that works for you.

Thank you for your comment on my halloween page, by the way, and in answer to your question, it was normal spray paints (the big cans graffiti artists use) that I used on that page. Although I do have an airbrush machine too. I like anything that sprays :)

sixofone said...

It's lovely Pam. I tried art journalling, but the innacuracy of it wasn't for me. I'm not good at splodging paint and spritzing water and stuff like that. I need method

vixen said...

Glad to see you have found a journal process to suite you, your pages so far are looking great. thank you for sharing :)

Jules said...

What a great idea! I always end up with paper scraps that I throw away - but not any more! Thanks for the inspiration :D

Jayne said...

Thanks for your post on art journaling, I'm the same as you, looks lovely but takes sooooo long. Have just hopped over to Julie Kirks blog and love her take on things, now going to have a go at your idea of making a journal and see where it takes me. Thanks again for sharing xx

Allycat x said...

Pam, thank you so much for the idea of having my journal handy for the scraps and excess - fantastic idea!!! Liking your pages too :)