Friday, October 23, 2009

Art Journaling

With Lindsey's "Be Crafty" post in mind, I would like to share something that I've just discovered with you. Mike and I are at Barnes and Noble using our laptops and the free wi-fi connection. Our usual tables in the cafe were taken when we got here, so we picked a spot in the back corner of the store, which happened to be in the middle of the crafts section. There I found the book that I would like to tell you about.

It's called Journal Spilling: Mixed-Media Techniques for Free Expression, by Diana Trout, and it is essentially a book on how to unlock your artistic side and be able to create things even if you don't know how. I think the blurb on the back explains it pretty well: "Go ahead--make a mess! There are no lines to stay inside of here. You're free to quiet your inner critic and spill color (as well as your thoughts) all over the page." In this book Diana Trout explains techniques and walks you through new experiments with paints, stamps, crayons, sewing paper, collages, carbon paper, gesso (whatever that is!) and all kinds of other things. She calls it art journaling, and there are beautiful pictures on every page of journal pages that she has done, including detailed descriptions of all the steps. She also has a blog where you can see a lot of the stuff she's done.

It first caught my attention because of the pretty cover, and then I picked it up because it actually looks very similar to something called giant

journaling that Megan, Lindsey, and I have all been doing for several years now. Giant journaling is called that because it is done in--three guesses--a giant journal. These are just 11x14 hardbound sketchbooks that you can get at Michael's. Anyway, the reason giant journaling is great is that you don't have to have any artistic talent to do it. (Aside from stick figures, the only thing I can draw is the rear end of an elephant. Don't ask where it came
from--I have no idea.) You can just put whatever you want on the page--photos, construction paper, scrapbook paper, magazine clippings, concert tickets, ribbon, yarn, paint, fabric, whatever. You can write like it's a journal, and you can decorate like it's a scrapbook, but without worrying

that you'll mess up the page. (I used to scrapbook, but it turns out total lack of artistic ability + almost OCD perfectionism = not conducive to working in a pretty scrapbook where everything just looks so permanent.) Anyway. We got the idea of giant journaling from a former roommate, whose family has done giant journaling for a while. They also have a blog where you can get lots of ideas, or you could always ask one of us. :)

So the moral of the story is, once again, get out there and create something. There are lots of different ways to do it; no matter what your strengths or weaknesses are, there is something you can do. You just have to find it.


Nathalie Shorten said...

Rick used to put gesso on his canvas before he painted in art school. I think it's like a white primer but I'm not positive on that.

sarah said...

oh excellent! i've really enjoyed browsing her blog - thanks for sharing; it's full of inspirational ideas!

Lis said...

I love giant journaling- it's a fun way to be creative that's really personal and free.