My Art, My Altered Book

My Altered Book: Multi-page layout - Flower spread up close

My screensaver these days here at home is a simple black and white square graphic of some inspiring words from Kurt Vonnegut:

“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow.  So do it.”

Indeed.  So I keep trying.  I am actually setting to put this quote on a mini-canvass and put it up on my desk.  Coming soon.

I’ve been working on my altered book which has been on a semi-break most of the previous week.  I was busy trying to catch up with the Artist Trading Card (ATC)  swaps and work has totally exhausted me at the end of the day.  I even left the book at home most days knowing I wouldn’t have the energy nor the time to do any work on it.

I’ve made up the last two nights, creating this multi-page doodled flower.  It’s been tricky cutting the pages but I figured I can always trim it smoother.  The layout is not quite finished but I’ve worked down to the final two-spread background page.  I just need to finish the doodled petals.  I’ve also switched to using Sharpie Ultra Fine Point Permanent Markers instead of my usual V5 signpens.  I’ve noticed that the signpen ink doesn’t dry completely when written over acrylic paint, and so far, the sharpie permanent marker has not stained the other page it closes against.

I have been making progress and I know I’ve been saying that I will start journaling and writing my happy stories, but I haven’t had the chance just yet.  That’s one reason the section devoted to my altered book here in the blog has lain dormant.


Art Journal Every Day: Talking to myself

I so titled this entry because the journaling is very personal and I executed it in such a way that it was only visible to me.

Acrylic paint backgroundI started with this background which was pink and blue acrylic over a grey watercolor background.  I am just starting to work with acrylic paint, so I wanted to see how it was to use it.  The idea was just to create a background and test these two shades of liquid acrylic paint I had gotten from Michael’s.

Then one day, after reading up on Jordan Hill’s guest post in Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s blog where Jordan showed his process step-by-step, I saw that journaling doesn’t have to be always on top of the work.  Journaling can be done under the artwork .

As Jordan shared:

“The first step for me, in any of my art journal pages is a very basic layer of journaling. The best way to do this is to go to any search engine, type in “journal writing prompts”, and choose one out of the hundreds of thousands of prompts that pop up. My current favorite is something known as the 5000 Question Survey. Most people, when filling this out, will simply use words in a notebook. Others will use a blog. However, I find it extremely enjoyable to use them as art journal prompts. It becomes a lot more enjoyable for me personally. x x x

I used a sharpie marker to write all over my background in response to this prompt. This is not meant to be read, and we will be covering this layer up with lots of paint. This is meant for you alone, to explore the topic at hand, and to reveal your true feelings about them. You can do as much or as little journaling as you wish. I normally do a single page of journaling, but you can go to a second page for a spread, or you may even stack one layer of journaling on top of each other, turning your journal, and writing in different directions.”

Then Jordan proceeded to paint over the journaling.

Art Journal Every Day - Work in Progress:Journaling over BackgroundI did it the same and a little differently by beginning with what was top of mind to me and writing it in using a Sharpie pen in black.  I just wrote spontaneously, and I actually would have been proud of what I had written but it is too personal to share for now.  It’s a very humble me talking to me.  To paraphrase Jordan, this is meant for (me) alone, to explore the topic at hand, and to reveal (my) true feelings about them.

The art journal entry actual sat this way for a couple of days until tonight when I finally decided I would look for a quote from one of my favorite authors who has taught me a lot, the late Leo Buscaglia.  A very prolific writer with a library of books to his name, it wasn’t difficult to find something that was very apt to what I felt in my heart.

I exist, I am, I am here, I am becoming, I make my own life and no one else makes it for me. I must face my own shortcomings, mistakes, transgressions. No one can suffer my non-being as I do, but tomorrow is another day, and I must decide to leave my bed and live again. And if I fail, I don’t have the comfort of blaming you or life or God. ” 
― Leo BuscagliaLiving Loving and Learning  

At first I thought I’d just draw and paint pink flowers over the journaling, covering it with graphics like Jordan did, but I thought instead of just writing the quote from Leo’s book  on top of the journal entry using a metallic marker.  I picked up my Elmer’s Painter’s Pearlescent markers and of course picked up pink as it would blend easily with the pink acrylic background, and blend it did.

Keeping it simple.  After all, it’s just me talking to me.

Art Journal Every Day: Talking to myself

If you want to see more of my Art Journal, please click here, or you can always choose my Art Journal Every Day page from the list on the top left of the blog page.

I invite you to view the Flickr Group dedicated to this endeavor byclicking here, and be inspired to create your own art journal. (Artistic talent optional.)


Elmers Painters Pearlescent Markers
Sharpie Permanent Marker Chisel Tip in Black
Americana Acrylic Paint Royal Fuchsia

Americana Acrylic Paint Ultramarine Blue