The art journal pages I’ve posted so far have been mostly about collage/mixed media. Sometimes that’s impractical, like during faculty meetings. The one above was done during a week of in-service training and includes notes from the various speakers. The top left speech bubble was obviously made during a meeting with the school’s security staff.
Below is another work related page. It probably grew organically but the caption idea came after a budget cut announcement. No need to have worried though. I made it to retirement.
According to glued in label on Page 16 above, 2015 was the year we got the coffee grinder and started buying whole beans. This has led to a serious caffeine habit that involves keeping about a dozen flavors on hand, including B-52 and Winter Wonderland.
Page 17 commemorates going to see The Nativity Story. Great movie!
Page 27 was done on paper cut to fit an 8.5 x 5.5 ring binder. I discovered that this was a convenient thing to do because I could keep pages in my organizer and work on them when away from the desk. Later I used the idea to create a class journal. Students would get the papers, do the art and add it to a binder that we kept in the classroom. They filled two of them before I retired. Now I have some excellent art work to remember them by.
In a recent post on art journaling I wrote about the satisfaction of using an art journal to preserve memorabilia from special occasions. Here are two more pages that feature birthdays. They include party napkins, decorations, and wrapping paper as well as some random stuff that I put in either for symbolic purposes or just because I felt like it. Art journaling is basically an intuitive thing. For me that is. If I put too much planning into it, it becomes work and not so much fun.
In a previous post about art journaling, I mentioned using the journal as a way to organize and display ephemera from special occasions. It can also be used to collect random visual bits that punctuate our days such as mail, stickers, photos, clippings, quotes, labels, ticket stubs, found lettering and, as seen in the page above, interesting trivia.
The brown clipping at the bottom is from Coffee News®. In case your screen is too small to read it, it’s about a man who has a hobby of collecting “wild and wacky” news from around the world. He puts them into recycled logbooks. I loved this particular story, because I collect that type of thing as well. Instead of logbooks, I fill art journals and altered books with interesting stories and anecdotes from all kinds of articles and news letters, etc.
As you can see in the page below, Coffee News® is one of my favorites sources for this kind of material.
I tried to integrate the clippings into the overall composition by overlapping them with the circular shapes. This was done with colored pencils. The cat on the bottom one was drawn in as well. Drawing into a random composition like this helps to unify it.
Special occasions have a way of generating ephemera that either gets thrown in the trash or stashed away in boxes never again to see daylight. Art journaling is good for people who like to keep things like that. If it’s in a journal, it’s organized into a display that will more likely be seen than if it were packed up in a box or a file folder. The page above is about my recent birthday. It contains scraps of wrapping paper, cards and envelopes, etc., all collaged together and decorated with colored markers.
The one below has some leftovers from Valentine’s Day mixed in with gift labels and decorations from a couple of other occasions. Someone apparently celebrated with breakfast at McDonald’s on at least one of them.
In the previous posts on art journaling, I used some of my first pages. However, my process has evolved over the years, so for this post I decided to jump ahead and show some more current ones. The top one is not the first one for 2017 but it is about the event that set the tone. It illustrates a tornado that tore through our neighborhood and changed many people’s lives forever. My house is the one with the big tree at the bottom. I cut the title words out of a newspaper and made the tornado and stormy sky with crayon and watercolor resist.
The page below is built around a failed drawing. After gluing and writing things around the face, I unified the whole by filling in with colors that repeat the colors in the collaged elements. It’s all random which makes it a totally laid back way to make some art, record some thoughts, and preserve some memorabilia.
Art journal pages can be created using the same techniques that are used in the creation of altered books. The pages on this post are an example. The above, for instance, contains a window that gives a partial view of the image on the following page. I even put cellophane over the opening to give an illusion of glass. Turn the page and you see the complete image as shown below. That image was made by gluing in a photo of a frog and then drawing the imaginary tree roots it’s sitting on. If you look closely you can see the borders of the photo.
These pages are about six years old, so I don’t remember why I chose to put the frog behind bars. I probably just wanted to create a page with a window in it and then added the frog later, centering it to fit. Anyway, I like the willow tree with its roots on the mossy knoll.
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.