Monday, June 25, 2012

Conquering the Fear of the Journal

I love the idea of journals and all the wonderful journal pages I see, but the idea of creating one is frightening - all those blank pages, what to write on them, how to decorate the pages - all of which make me verklempt!  I've accululated several potential books to use, but not the motivation.

I took Diana Trout's book, Journal Spilling, out of the library last week and have been enjoying it with my morning coffee.  She approaches what I think of as "free-form" journaling - playing with color, collage and words without any preconceived idea about where it's all going.  OK, now I'm REALLY nervous, but her enthusiasm and techniques are pretty compelling.

She keeps encouraging us NOT to think about what we're doing on the page - no dawdling or analyzing, just keep going.  This is easier than it sounds and I'm pretty sure it takes some practice .  I'm afraid that this approach might work for people who instinctively know "what works" so they don't really need to think about it.  The rest of us mere mortals might need more structure!  I'm going to work on being more spontaneous - an oxymoronic statement, for sure!

Her enthusiasm is contagious and inspiring, so  I took the plunge.  Page number 1:

I started by gluing on a piece of paper I used to try out some spray mists and ink a canvas moth .I love using cast-off papers!   I dabbed on the dots using sequin waste and Distress Inks and then colored the edges with the same inks.  A piece of swirly- mulberry paper and a strip of printed fabric added some more color.  I added a stamped art quote.

  This quote seems appropriate for my project!

Then tackled the double-page spread.  I rubbed the pages with chalk, then scribbled on some Post-it glue and rubbed a block of chalk right into the glue.  The glue's not very sticky, so a hefty coating of chalk and the stickiness is gone.  I stamped on some text with white gesso to add some texture.  I like to use just parts of the word stamp, so I paint on the gesso in a random pattern, trying not to cover the whole stamp.  Added a die-cut set of binoculars, an eyeglass stamp and some strips of marbled paper, toned down with white acrylic paint. 

Then a go at a technique from Diana's book - textile paper.  This is way outside my comfort zone!!  Started by doing a crayon rubbing using an embossed pottery plate, a piece of that foam non-slip stuff and a circle and square clear stamp.  Then a wash of watercolor - the wax acts as a resist, making nice texture and watercolor puddles.  I like the yellow crayon best with the light watercolor.  This is the point  while making a background that makes me  think , "arggh, where on earth am I goingwith this"??!!  But, taking Diana's advice, I just charged on.

Next step, stamped leaves and stenciled dots.  I used metallic peridot acrylic paint for the dots - love the metallic shimmer! 

I'm getting into it ! 

Added a little vellum envelope with a little piece of stamped paper inside for some more texture and interest. 

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this journal - maybe some writing, maybe using it to jot down ideas for projects, maybe just for art play.   I'm trying to leave  room on some of the pages in case I do want to write in it.

Stay tuned for more pages - this is so much fun!


  1. This looks like so much fun....I want to play too!

    1. Yippee! Glad you figured out the comment thing. We'll do some serious art play when you're here!


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