Now if I've filched the Blogger links and recoded them correctly, this post should show three pics from my summer art journal. I've gotten back into sketching, drawing, painting and collaging in a small way, mainly to refine my motor skills now that I've got more control over my alternate index finger (aka my middle finger -- arthritis has toasted the joints of my official index finger.)
I've also missed my journaling art. I love to sew, and quilting will likely be my primary art-for-fun forever, but sometimes I need a break from the needlework. Having an art journal allows me to play with color and ideas, and express my POV in interesting ways. Over the years I've also collected a massive amount of images, interesting papers, and recycled materials, and working them into art makes me happy while being green. I've also missed painting watercolors, terrible as mine always tend to turn out. It's not the final product that really matters anyway for me; it's the making of it.
As with my experience with adult coloring books keeping an art journal is very soothing. I do write in mine, but not much (and taking a little rest from words is likewise calming and relaxing.) Since it's usually a negative mood changer I have been working on a couple of pages almost every day while moving my youngest off to college. I find I prefer to end my day with art journaling because it works out all the snarls and worries from my thoughts, and allows me to sleep better once I do go to bed. Because I do it just for fun there's no pressure. I don't have to be profound or say things important or even think about it much. I let my ideas loose and see what happens.
Combining collage with doodling is my favorite form of art journaling. Here I put together a pretty little Victorian paper doll I've had sitting in a drawer for years on a recycled bit of black card stock, and used a silver gel pen to doodle around her. Since one of her feet had been torn off I added a clip of the word Paris from another paper remnant to cover the amputation. The end result (see next photo) might look a bit wonky, but I liked it -- and with journaling of any kind that's all that matters.
Incorporating an overall theme for an art journal can help you navigate through the pages with more direction. I have a couple of vintage Victorian scrapbooks filled with loose calling cards and advertising art that I might raid and make into a strictly Victorian scrap-art journal. I've also seen Halloween and Winter-themed art journals that are gorgeous.
Art journaling isn't just helping me cope with being an empty nester. One thing I noticed immediately when I came back from my spring/summer hiatus is that nothing has changed with the toxic levels of dark and evil out there in InternetLand. Honestly, I think it's gotten worse. The only way I know how to combat that kind of ugliness is to be part of the light. Writing may be my big hurricane lamp, but art is my crystal chandelier. If I can inspire just one of you to start an art journal, that's two chandeliers. Three if you get someone else to join us, and more if they do. Imagine if we could all do that, and spread the creation until we bring a little light to everyone we know.
Think about it: if you decided to make an art journal, what would you keep in yours? Tell us in comments.