Popular Posts

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Art Journaling, a New Adventure

 As if I needed yet ANOTHER interest, I purchased a book on making art journals in July, on our way  (mine and Karla's) to Puyallup (that's a native placename, for those of you that don't recognize it; it's pronounced Pew AL up) for doll club. Traci Bunkers' book is called: The Art Journal Workshop: Break Through, Explore, and Make it Your Own. And I can truthfully say I have done that.
     Although most art journal blogs are written by younger women in search of self-discovery, I believe that older women like myself can also "get into it," with an emphasis on our lives and times.
     I had  recently read the book Leaving a Trace: on Keeping a Journal, by Alexandra Johnson, and so I had journaling on my mind when I laid eyes on Traci's book. I think that is why I was so attracted to it; I was "primed." I picked it up once, leafed through it, put it back (deciding I shouldn't spend that much), and walked off to another part of the store.
      But I couldn't leave without it! It was in a Joann's store, the nearest one to my town (50 miles away) and they'd recently reorganized the store--moved  EVERYTHING around. I had real difficulty finding my way back to the aisle where I had seen Traci's book. (WHY do stores DO that to us?!?!?!? I may as well have been in a strange store I'd never put foot in before!!!)
   I finally located the aisle with Traci's book, and  even put back a magazine I'd planned to buy, so I wouldn't feel guilty about buying it. Since then I have been on the proverbial roll, buying old books that I won't feel TOO bad about destroying--think of it as giving them a new life, as these books were within days of going to the dump. Going through gesso like a house afire, and dragging my barely begun art journals around for all my friends and acquaintances to see. I have even set up a workshop day at our co-op gallery, so I can introduce them to the art of art journaling; that will happen a month from today--I thought October first would be easy for everyone to remember, including me.
    I guess the best way to describe an art journal is that it combines classical journaling (writing about your life, etc) with art and or/ scrapbooking. Some scrapbookers also journal on some of their pages. I guess the difference would be that scrapbooks are mostly photos, with a few words added, and art journals tend to be more words and art, and fewer photos. The thing is, your art journal will not be like anyone else's; if it is, then you aren't being original. I would say that if you are nervous about "doing your own thing" at first, using another person's page (IF it fits you, as well) as a guide is probably permissable, but ONLY at first and ONLY if you credit the originator of the page on YOUR page. Giving credit where credit is due is important and only fair.
     As for me, the days are long gone when I felt nervous about "doing MY own thing." (My friends and family will attest to this fact.) I have started one art journal titled "My Dolls and Other Things I've Made," another called, " Welcome to My World," about me and what types of things I enjoy doing (I'm "leaving a trace," as Alexandra said in her book.)
      Speaking of giving credit, I was intially introduced to art journals by a doll maker, elinor peace bailey, in around 2004. Our son Kevin had died shortly before I took a class from elinor at Doll U that year, and the pages I began then were about him. I used an old ledger book I'd gotten at a garage sale, as that is what elinor used. I'd only done a couple pages in that book before I put it away. I'm hoping to keep working on that one, too.
     I have two more art journals started: one called "Art Rocks" that I think I will just use to play around it and see what I come up with, art-wise, and another one called, "Gratitude," in which I feature things that I am thankful for in my life. Will these four journals overlap occasionally? Sure, but that's OK. Elinor was hoping to have a journal to leave with each grandchild who wanted one, and I'm thinking along those same lines; I have three granddaughters now, but I'm hoping to have more grandchildren in the future, so I'll definitely make more than three. If some of my progency are not interested in having one, I can always leave them for our local museum, which is what we did with my grandmother's diaries and journals. They will be safe there and if any of her extended family down the line are interested, they will be able to find them there.
      Here is the cover and first two pages of "Welcome to My World:"

    Here are the covers of two of the other art journals I've begun:

     I really enjoyed playing with paint to make these covers, as I'm a doll maker, not a painter and so this is a different and new art form for me and I'm having a lot of fun trying out painting methods and seeing how they come out. It seem it's always a surprise.
     Here I am gessoing pages in the hardbacked books I'm preparing for the workshop. It's a warm day and the pages are drying very quickly outside. It will be different in the winter, but I'll still be able to get them dry near the fireplace. (just not TOO near it!)

     And here is my "studio:"  Too bad I don't have one!!

     Well, that's more than enough for today. The next thing I'm going to do it to make a list of topics I want to include in "Welcome to My World." And, of course, I'm making sheets to hand out to the participants of the Workshop at the Gallery, too. I never run out of things to do, but I ALWAYS run out of hours, every single day!!! Stay tuned.
     Have a good September, everyone. Stop in at Traci Bunkers' blog: it's https://www.tracibunkers.com/blog and is called "Welcome to My World." I didn't realize that's what it was called!! Sorry, Traci!! Remember, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!!!"
PS. Yes, for my ever-watchful cousin and some of the rest of you who are wondering, I am still working on organizing my home; I have moved such things as picture frames out to the garage, and am doing some organizing out there, too; I have given many items to our Starving Artists' Yard Sale and just yesterday, took some items to a PAWS yard sale, so yes, I AM making progress. Is it fast enough to please me? NO!! But I keep on anyway. Today I am trying to hook up my wireless router and our new TIVO machine. My doctor recommended it so I'd get to sleep at a decent hour; I should have had him fill out a prescription for it! LOL.