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Art Journals?

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Do any of you do any kind of art journaling? What do you use it for? Do you write in yours?

I have a thing that I tend to call an art journal for lack of a better word. I rarely write in mine, but I don't really have a better way to describe it. When I do write in it, I tend to bury the writing under layers of other stuff.  I primarily use mine to play around in, to think things over on paper, and to try things out that feel awkward about. I usually start with a background of either a solid color of paint or a gel print and then kind of mess around with bits of mark-making and color, sometimes stencils/stamps. Sometimes I draw in it, but it's usually not the focus of the thing.

When I first started doing this, I was interested in the idea of mixed-media art but felt absurd about trying it. Working in book form felt way less intimidating. And as an ongoing thing, it's much easier to squeeze in a little time here and there in this format than with an Actual Project.  I sometimes feel like I default to working in the journal a little too much, though, inasmuch as I hardly ever get any actual finished pieces done 😄 and I could use to break out of my comfort zone so often. 

But it's nice to have that comfort zone, too. I recently kind of didn't do much of anything creative for the better part of a month, and I was able to crack the journal open and start messing around in it without dithering hugely over what I wanted to do, which is a nice feeling.

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I don't have an art journal, though I used to thousands of years ago. I love looking at them, and never think that mine are good enough but now that I type that out loud, I realize how ridiculous that sounds! 

This part of what you said: 

On 6/4/2019 at 6:08 PM, daisywreath said:

 I was able to crack the journal open and start messing around in it without dithering hugely over what I wanted to do, which is a nice feeling.

I would love to get there. I tell myself that I can/should also use my bullet journal for some artsyier things, but when I sit down to do it I'm like "Markers? Or Crayon? Or maybe watercolor? Or collage? AUUUGH!" and then fall in a heap. 😉

How long have you been doing it? (would you share photos?) 

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I've been doing it since (I think) late 2014. At that point, I hadn't been able to draw much at all for over a year, after a scaphoid fracture and 6 weeks in a cast that resulted in some muscle loss. I found a copy of Creating Art at the Speed of Life and decided I should try this. I found the idea of mixed media art really intriguing but didn't actually try it until I started reading that book.

I tend to start with gel prints -- I make a ton of them every so often, which gives me a starting place so I don't (as often) freeze up and not know where to start. If I have a totally blank page it's hard, but once I've started out by gluing something to the page or by slopping a bunch of paint on as a background it's easier for me to keep going.

Here are a few photos of stuff in my journals. These are all pages I liked -- I don't have as many photos of the stuff I hated 😄  I want to do a finished piece along the lines of those birds - it's been a couple years since I did that and I still love the idea of it.








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