Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Week One Thoughts and Assignments

What a fun class last night. It was so great to see you all dive in and play. I think we all needed a chance to access that pesky inner child in a creative way.

Keep on Journaling

Your assignment for the next class is to have at least 4 pages completed (or mostly completed) by Feb. 18th. If you are comfortable, you can share with the group.

Things to think about and do:

  • Experiment,experiment, experiment! Dig through your drawers and desks and see what you have on hand. Try every pen, pencil, marker and look for fun paper finds.
  • Create several back drops. Cover pages with collage, paint, scribbles. Add another layer. Paste down something from your ephemera stash. 
  • Start gathering that ephemera. You know you want to keep those pieces of paper, envelopes, labels, tickets, etc.
  • Use a prompt or key word and write over one of your (completely dry) back drops. 
  • Fill a page with stream of consciousness writing. There is a reason why therapists have you do this kind of exercise, it loosens up the thought process. Then collage over the top, or tear up and use in a collage.
  • Go to the links page at the top of the blog and click on a few links. Treat yourself to a few a day.
  • Go to YouTube and search for Art Journal Pages or book binding. Get a cup of coffee or tea first, there is a lot to see.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Gathering the Bits and Pieces of Your Life

Collecting the ephemera of your daily existence consists of holding on to those interesting bits and pieces that come your way. Interesting labels, bottle caps, bags from a favorite store, receipts from a book purchase, tickets, fun post-it notes, box tops, brochures, pages torn from a magazine, fortunes from fortune cookies. This material is called ephemera.
“Ephemera (singular: ephemeron) is any transitory written or printed matter not meant to be retained or preserved. The word derives from the Greek, meaning things lasting no more than a day. Some collectible ephemera are advertising trade cards, airsickness bags, bookmarks, catalogues, greeting cards, letters, pamphlets, postcards, posters, prospectuses, defunct stock certificates or tickets, and zines.” Wikipedia
Keep an envelope with you to corral these interesting bits of life. Admit it, you usually keep these items in the bottom of your purse or pocket, or the floor of your car! Check that stack of papers on the kitchen counter or coffee know what I am talking about.

Incorporate them into a collaged journal page, tuck them into a small pocket on a page or attach with a small brad. Browsing through your journal these bits will bring back memories, make you smile, add texture to the page of life.

So, give yourself permission to keep the flotsam and jetsam of daily living and re-purpose it into art.

Friday, January 17, 2014

January Assignments

Start your Practice Journal
Coffee cup art journal page by CArol Marion

This is your sample journal, your junk journal, your "give it a try and let it fly" journal. Use a notebook, an old address book, an old day calendar.

Keep an envelope with you or in your car to gather ephemera, the throw away items that mark our life. Receipts, tickets, brochures, post it notes, fortune cookies, shopping bags, junk mail, greeting cards, anything can find its way into your journal.

Jot at least one thing in your journal every day. Complete a page each week. Pages in your practice journal can be transferred or used in a more permanent journal.

Exercises. Pick one or more a week to try:
  • Build a page with collage around a prompt.
  • Use only one color on your page. What mood or subject does it suggest.
  • Cover a page with any negative or critical thoughts that have popped up when journaling. Cover with positive images or words using collage, paint or markers.
  • Pick one object on your table to draw. Draw it again, use color to enhance. Draw it again. 
  • Trace an object...your hand, a spoon, a key. Make a pattern of the object. Add words.
  •  Use every type of pen you have on a page. Write big, print, write small, write with your left hand. Test out each pen. Find your favorite.
  • Doodle. Simply doodle. Start with a shape, repeat it. Go in another direction. Leave no space unused on your page.
  • Become a teenager again and write your name over and over. Try different signatures, draw your letters.
  • Artists choice.
Make no judgements. You are practicing and exploring. No one learns a craft in one day. 

Welcome Art Journalers

What is an Art Journal?

A journal, diary or smash book is a journal that has a strong visual element to it, an expression of your artistic creativity and imagination, not filled just with words. It's using your art to express your memories, dreams, and thoughts. There are no rules. You can paint or draw, use pen and ink, photos, collage, add lettering, doodle, stickers, found objects, crayons and colored pencils...anything and everything. 

One thing I have discovered is that an art journal must be what you need it to be. Search for art journals or art journal pages and the variety is astounding and a bit intimidating. A range from drawings only to mostly text, collages and found objects, paint, crayons and markers. Even fabric and sewing makes a statement. 

So let's start our journey into the world of art journaling. Find prompts, exercises, quotes and links here. Share your thoughts and experiences with us as well.