This Art Journaling Thing

So for a while now I thought I might have a go at this art journaling thing, inspired by artists like Teesha Moore and Roz Stendahl. Teesha’s multi-layered style reminds me of Dave McKean‘s art, but more colourful and contemplative (and obviously less ghoulish). Roz’s journals are more sketchbooky – full of drawings and text. When I found I had one more concertina of watercolour paper than covers for the sketchbooks (due to those measuring errors) I decided to use it to try out some art journaling myself. Instead of hard cardboard covers, I glued on some heavy watercolour paper.

I pondered what approach to take for some days. While I like Roz’s spare approach, it’s not different enough from how I use my sketchbooks already. It would be more challenging to me to do something outside my experience – like Teesha’s multi-layered build up of elements. Though I didn’t do it in quite the same order as she suggests in her video tutorials.

First I stuck down a whole lot of ‘background’ material: maps, pages of books, labels, offcuts of marbled paper, stamps, scraps of security envelopes, handwritten lists, pages from notebooks printed to look like money, etc. with watered down PVA glue.

Then I painted over the top with gouache. Watercolour may have been better, but I have heaps of gouache that I bought at a garage sale, and I wanted to be sure the background matter would be covered enough to not show up too strongly.

Next I went around the edges of the pages with black gouache to create a vignette effect, and dripped and spattered a little black on here and there. Here are the back and front covers:

And some internal pages:

The back of the watercolour paper is smoother and probably not meant to be painted. I filled it in with more black gouache.

Now I’m waiting for inspiration to lead me in the next direction. I’m thinking of going around the edges in gold paint to cover where the white underneath the paint is showing. After that I’ll be ready to start working on individual pages. This is the part I was least certain about. I love the idea of making the book, but I’m not sure what to fill it with. Should I stick more material down to make up pictures, like Teesha does? I rather like the idea of drawing over each page instead. Should I add text? I like the look of text in art journals, but I’m not sure what to write about. I’ve not been much of a diary keeper since my teens (though I do like blogging), which is ironic, since ‘art journaling’ does contain the word ‘journal’.

The weird thing is, most of the stuff that I stuck into the book wound up relating, so it kind of has a theme going. That theme is money and work. I’m wondering if I should go with that, but it seems like a rather dry and serious subject for an art journal.

One thought on “This Art Journaling Thing

  1. Good luck. The only time I have been able to keep an art journal for more than a couple of weeks was when I was doing one for an assessment. I love the idea, it’s just the doing it regularly that I have problems with!

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