Sunday, February 24, 2013

Art Journals

Don't get me started!    It's my current passion.      Winter is such a good time to make art journals.    You don't need a lot of space, or a lot of art materials.     I'm using up scraps and images and old pages from books that were discarded long ago.     Photos, magazine cutouts, just about anything.    My art journals are more like little embellished scrapbooks.    I don't usually start with a background and work upwards as most art journalists do.    I start by gluing in images and scraps or quotes and then building a page around them.  

I started my first one with the Lodi Mixed Media group.   I didn't get the hang of writing in the journal and ended up pasting things over the words.     Then I gave up on the writing entirely and was much happier.   The first was in an old journal I collected in Sutter Creek years ago, maybe even a decade or more.   It was so darling I never wanted to change it, but then when the mixed media gals wanted to do journals, rather than go buy one, I went through  my stash and found this one.   

The second journal was given to my by pal Rosemary.    She had given one to me, one to Cat and one to Pam on a trip to the beach.    We were thinking beach journals but then got so busy visiting nurseries and stores, we never got around to journals.   LOL  

 The third one was given to me by my friend Bobbi a year or two ago.  She also gave one to Bev the same day, and Bev immediately set to work on hers, and I put mine aside.   After finishing my first joural, I wanted to start another as I missed the activity and had lots more stuff to use.  This one is larger so I could use images that would not fit into the small one.   

When I finished the third one, I went back to my stash and found a couple cheapo journals but i didn't like the paper in them.  While on the trip to Hobby Lobby with my grandson to get his photos framed, he spotted some little leathery bound journals for $2.98.   He likes to draw so I bought him a green one, and myself a red one.    I love the feel of this little journal.  I can carry it in my purse with a glue stick and I'm ready to make art anywhere!     LOL     I finished it off in January and then started another one that I finished this month.   I've been back to Hobby Lobby three times now for journals.     I'm not buying them ahead because I buy with a coupon LOL, and also I might lose interest and then have them laying around.    

Most of the time I work in the morning in the house, in a sunny window.   Then when it get's closer to noon the sunroom has warmed up and the dogs and I go there with my working materials on a tray.     NPR is always playing, in fact right now it's playing Wait Wait, don't Tell Me.     One of my fav shows.     Anyway I work until I feel like going down to work in the garden.     Then when I come back up, I work on the journal some more.       I can also carry them to the mixed media group and the senior art group to work on there.

It took awhile dabbling in books before I could work without a theme.  It is really quite liberating to do these little journals without a plan or expectations.     I find I almost always have a chicken somewhere in each journal, a self portrait, some old book pages, some images from Trader Joe's flier, and some of the washi tapes that are so popular right now.    They can really help hold down loose things, and also give their own touches of color and design.     I use a lot of polka dots in one way or another, so I guess you can say there is some consistent elements and my books are recognizable as "mine".    I like the mix of contemporary images with vintage.   Unusual text, unexpectedly humerous sayings, and incongruous mixes of images make thethe journals interesting and fun.   

Sally has a very distinctive style in her journals, as does Trina.    They use more of the same materials, yet they are totally recognizable as their own.      Roberta who inspired me, way back when, has her own style too.    I'm hoping she'll do another one soon.     

I hope this inspires you to want to grab up some of your stash and start gluing them into an old book, or a new jounal or make one from scratch.   Trina recently made some with scrapbook papers cut to fit the little purse size plastic calendar holders.  Such a good use of materials, and pretty quick and easy.   She used a book binding stitch to hold them together.        See what you can find, and join the fun.    Journals don't need to be written in.  They can be anything you want them to be.   

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