Google+ House Revivals: How to Keep an Art Journal

Thursday, November 29, 2018

How to Keep an Art Journal

I have several journals. I have prayer journals, planner journals, idea journals, and paste books, but my favorite journals are art journals.

You will usually see me talking about altered book journals, which I make from discarded books -- these are great for mixed media projects.

I love creating altered book journals -- I've used them for favorite sayings, practicing art techniques, drawing, and for photo albums.

An altered book page is not nearly as intimidating as a clean sheet of paper in an expensive mixed media art journal, which is probably why I like them so much!

That said, sometimes you need those clean flat pages that you find in a purchased art journal. Still, it's intimidating. I've gotten past the intimidation by keeping an art journal in the kid's art supply cupboard. We do a lot of weekend entertaining at our beach house, and the art supply cupboard is a great way to keep kids entertained. Turns out, it's great for grown ups, too!

On rainy beach house weekends, when I want to be creative, but don't want the commitment of walking upstairs to my studio attic. I grab the fat book of drawing paper, and the bin of crayola markers, pencils, water colors, and washi tape, that I keep for kids to use.

Scattered among children's drawings, you will find my crayola water colors of birds, and incomplete doodles, like the one above. Maybe I'll finish it one day -- or maybe someone else will. Or maybe it will never be finished. That's fine, too.

Inspired by a vintage postcard I'd found in an antique store, I sketched out the envelope, shown above (hint: rectangles are easy to draw, using a folded up piece of paper as a straight edge).

The "envelope" started off life as just a lonely envelope, and, on some later visit, the page was doodled on some more, and at some point, washi tape was added. This isn't precious stuff -- it's just a way to relax, while enjoying the sound of rain on the roof. When I finish creating, the book and supplies are put away for some future guest use.

Since we're using inexpensive kid's art supplies, we're not worried about "wasting." We can just dive in and play. Nothing done in this book is serious -- it's just a lot of doodles. I don't kid myself that my doodles are any more special than my granddaughter's stick figures (in fact, I treasure a child's drawing much more than I do anything I've created).

I hope this post encouraged you to try your hand at keeping an art journal. Inexpensive journals can be found for as little as five dollars. Keep it around for the kids, but use it yourself, when you're feeling creative. Knowing it's not precious will help you loosen up and enjoy the process.

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