Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How I'm "Uncomplicating" My Journal

I'm making some changes to the way I keep a journal, and it's been really fun. Over the last three years, I've kept sixteen-ish art journals, most of them finished, some not so finished. In the beginning, I was mostly drawing and gluing, staying away from paints. Once I bought my first watercolor journal, though, I was hooked. My love of painted pages grew until my journals were essentially bound books of small paintings. I love looking back at these books, but I also know that those pages were ones created when I had time to sit at my desk and create with full access to all my supplies. Most were created late at night, when a lot of feelings needed to be expressed into paint, but very, very few pages were created on the go.

I've really wanted to move back into keeping all of my life in one big book, rather than carrying an art journal, a notebook and a calendar. Moving towards that goal, though, meant un-complicating the way I was creating pages. You can see the start of that shift in this post on my 2013 Journal Intentions.

In January, I created a small, pieced-together art journal from scraps that I had around my studio. I quickly found, however, that I had created a very inconvenient size, and that the blank pages were a bit too intimidating for me. I moved on [I'll probably come back to that journal later this year] and started a new watercolor notebook, this time taking care to create lots of pages that could be modified on the go; meaning, not adding tons of layers of paint that I can't write over, creating spaces for notes and lists, keeping everything very slim and intentional.

Page One; marker, ink splatter, modeling paste, washi tape & graph paper

 I had a moment with this animal print at the craft store. Plus a whole lined page for lots of note-taking.

A space to write some meaningful words [watercolor background, acrylic and white ink pen for the writing.]

Magazine pages create perfect "hidey-holes" [my new favorite Betsy Garmon technique/verbiage]. Flip the page over to cover the more intimate details of your journal.

Created a painted border, with a giant open space for more note-taking.

And one good ol' painted page, for good measure [though to be technical, this is watercolor and spray-ink, a far cry from the thick pages of gesso and acrylic I'm used to!]


  1. uggggggh this is so much perfection!! i could just stare at these for hours. beautiful work.

  2. Hi! Can you tell me what font you use for your blog entries? I love it. Thanks!

  3. Your work is STUNNING. I want your handwriting... ;) keep up the hard work, sister!

  4. Wow, just found your blog! Love your work & Spirit. I think I found you by googling for art journalers who skype, living so far out in the country makes me crazy sometimes. I just want you to know that your work is very inspiring!!! ~ chris ~