Several years ago I read an article about an artist who created art journals throughout her career. When she passed away the Smithsonian American Art Museum bought them from her sons. That was the first time I’d seen the term art journal, but since then I’ve seen dozens of books about it and the internet has been inundated with images of art journal pages. Anyway, I loved the idea and immediately began to create my own.
Basically, an art journal is a sort of illustrated diary. The possibilities for creating them are endless. My own process is to fill a sketch book page with doodles, sketches, notes, quotes, ideas, inspirational quotes, and glued in daily ephemera. I also try to finish mine with some unifying element. For example the one above is unified with the color red. I achieved that with tissue paper, fabric netting, watercolor and various kinds of pens.
The page below is unified with the color yellow and also with curved lines.
I doubt the Smithsonian will be interested in my journals. Maybe they’ll wind up in my kids’ attics, a garage sale, or a trash bin. Whatever becomes of them, they have been an interesting and satisfying experience.