Showing posts with label art journal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art journal. Show all posts

Thursday, September 17, 2015

No Excuses Art Journal

A Pinterest posting led me down a blog path that ended with the mention of the book the No Excuses Art Journaling book by Gina Rossi Armfield. The method looked interesting and I could borrow it for free on our Kindle Unlimited, so I thought I'd give it a try. Basically, it gives structure to your art journaling - things to record/draw each month, as well as a few quick daily and weekly projects. It's still pretty loose, but I think that little bit of structure has given me more incentive to practice more regular journaling (so far, but I've just started so we'll see how this goes). She recommends using a weekly planner as your art journal, but since I'm just starting this in September, I chose a partially used Moleskine sketchbook.

The collage inspiration for the month

Color, word and image inspiration for the month

Weekly watercolor card (and the weekly art journal challenge #1 for my art classes)

Page in progress

So, what is the difference between an art journal and a sketchbook? For some, nothing. For me, I tend to add more personal writing, quotes and ephemera to my art journals, and explore with more mediums. My sketchbooks tend to be drawing focused, and I usually stick with ink or pencil. However, survey 100 different artists and you'll get 100 different answers. Whatever you call it, just do it. The important part is getting that pen (or pencil or brush) to paper!

Monday, August 8, 2011

An Art Gratitude Journal

Homeschool started today, and with it a new routine for all three of us - the art gratitude journal.  The plan is that each day we will journal to a quote from this book:
a wonderful collection, by season, of quotes relating to gratitude and peace. There are religious quotes from all world faiths, as well as secular quotes. I bought it last year after seeing it on my moment of Zen blog, SouleMama. I decided to have the quotes pre-written for the kids, so they could just glue them in and focus on the art. With Madeline's motor issues and Max's distaste for writing (unfortunately cultivated during first grade at public school, where benchmarks dictate paragraph writing for six and seven year old's, despite the developmental inappropriateness of it), I wanted them to see this as a joyful exploration, not an assignment. Here are their results:
Max bought a rainbow colored pencil at the HSC (Home School association of California) conference Saturday, and was busily experimenting with what it could do. Madeline produced her page and two more before we moved on. I was stumped at first, trying to decide what I would do with my page, when I saw Piggy on the table. If you know my son, then you know Piggy. Piggy has been his constant companion for the last six years. He has lost one ear and his tail, and the second ear is a tangle of threads. He was once a lovely peach color, but now is essentially gray. But he has provided so much comfort over the years, and so much love, that he really is a figure of grace.

Yes, we have found a new morning routine.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I played for a bit in the old art journal while watching Bravo's Work of Art last night. Are you watching the show? There are some very talented artists on it; my favorites are Miles and Abdi, although Jaclyn's been doing some great pieces lately. What I love even more about the show, I have to admit, is Miles' discussions about his OCD and sensory issues. I hope it makes people more aware of what it's like to live with sensory issues, how the environment assaults their senses in a way that is hard for most of us to understand. People with sensory issues respond to under/over-stimulation in a variety of ways. Miles likes to sleep when he reaches sensory overload. Kids usually get hyper, or, like mine when they were younger, have a total nuclear melt down. I don't think the other artists really understand it, and one is outright hostile about it, accusing him of "acting" because he's fine in the apartment. Well, the apartment is small, there are fewer people, less noise, and less stimuli. It's also a familiar place, which is key to people with sensory processing disorder (SPD). New environments offer the threat of unknown sensory experiences, which provokes anxiety. Miles usually becomes overwhelmed in the larger, noisier places like the work space, the warehouse they visited, or the large urban car showroom. He finds comfort in the little darkroom he built in the studio, just as my son loves the "secret hideout" he made in the space between his bed and the wall. The public may be quick to judge those who are different, and yet, in spite of it all, Miles is an amazingly talented artist. Being a mother of two kids with sensory processing disorder, I TOTALLY get it. Maybe this will shine a little light on the issue, and makes at least a few more people sympathetic to the struggles people with OCD and SPD go through.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Junk Mail Art Journal Tutorial

Junk mail. Even if you are on the blocker lists, you still receive it. What to do with it? Make art. of course! You'll need:
           *Two envelopes, one unused (the kind that come inside your credit card offers and such)
           *Letters (the size of your book depends on how many you use)
           *Cover Paper (I used scrapbooking cardstock, but you could use any heavier weight paper)
           *Scrapbook or other paper for end papers
           *Tape (masking, and I also used gaffer's tape for the spine)
           *Gesso (found in the art section, this semi-transparent white medium prepares your paper        for painting)
           *Paint, papers, and other art supplies to fill your journal with!

Step One:

Slip the flap of the unused envelope inside the other envelope.

Tape the intersection on both sides to create the spine.

The book is constructed pamphlet style, so keep those letters folded. Turn the letter horizontally, and glue one end to the inside of one envelope. Fold the rest of the letter over it (it should do this naturally, from the fold lines that already exist).
Continue to add pages by taking one end of a folded letter and gluing it to the end of the previous letter. You can add as many as you wish, but be aware that the pages are not bound to the spine, so too many pages will cause the pages to pop out a bit.

I used four letters for this book.

To reinforce the spine (and make it look pretty) I used gaffer tape along the outside. Gaffer tape is a flexible, cloth tape that can be found in scrapbook stores and where book binding supplies are sold.
Glue cardstock on the front and back of the envelopes, but not over the spine. Tie ribbons around the outside as a closure, then add a second piece of gaffer's tape over the first, encasing the ribbon and the edges of the cardstock.
Glue decorative papers over the inside covers to create end papers. I used clips while it was drying to ensure the edges stayed down.

Gesso the pages to prepare them for your fabulous artwork! Some junk mail is brightly colored, so you may need a few coats, or you could cover the page with tape, paper scraps, recycled paper bags... use your imagination! 

Above are a few pages from my book. You can see a simpler book using just envelopes on this post. That's all there is to it! If you make your own journal, be sure to post a link in the comments. I'd love to see it!