Art Journal Reboot

For starters, I managed to draw and assemble a new section avatar. Yay! And rather than aim for a masterpiece, I settled on what I came up with on the first try. I was thinking of spraying it with ink. But then I was afraid the sign pen ink would end up bleeding. I could also take a snapshot of the black and white logo and color it digitally. (just like my Friday Five logo.). Somehow I didn’t feel quite okay with that. Then I remembered my flower collage– and that was that.

Before the weekend, I started working on my first multi-page layout. But first, I finally decided I will pull together these sheets of paper I had cut out of binder dividers, assembling them into a 9×15 inch spread. I will pull sections bit by bit so I can work on the layouts without carrying the entire book with me. At the end of the year, I will bind the final project into a solid book.

I am optimistic this one will get off the ground, unlike previous attempts after I did my altered book.

So back to my multi page layout. I used a lot of multi page layered layouts in my first art journal and I really liked how those gave my art journal a two dimensional feel.

I just really love the idea that I’m finally doing another book. There were many things that I failed to do in 2018. Continuing my art journaling was one of them.

I am not an artist by any means. I am creative and crafty, but I need to watch a dozen videos teaching me how to draw and practice many hours to come up with a passable sketch. But as personal as any journal is, it’s your own art that matters. It can be stick drawings, purely collage, or a hodgepodge of pre cut or preprinted kits. If you ask me, anything beyond simply writing down a journal entry can be an art journal.

I first heard of art journaling from Julie Fei Fan Balzer’s Art Journal Everyday project many years back. (Read more about here.). Then I got into journaling swaps as well which showed me how journal prompts could help you keep writing. For the most part, I preferred to journal day to day about what was going through my head or what I was feeling in my heart at any given point in time.

I did the backgrounds ahead and worked on each layout as my entries moved on. I like that pace and hope to do the same with this one. I’m hoping it will be as fulfilling an experience working with an altered book before and shifting to a “create as you go” journal as I assemble this one along the way.

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Art Journal Every Day: BELIEVE (Another Multi-page Layout)

Here is the second multi-page layout in my altered book which spells out BELIEVE through various pages. The totality of the pages looks like this:
Art Journal Every Day: BELIEVE (multi-page layout) -1
I wanted to be able to write about ‘believing in happiness’ again by reinforcing this through “happines” quotes throughout the layout. I used the MISERABLE Font and found the right size that would enable me to spread out the “e-l-i-e-v” in a two-page layout and then have “b” and the last “e” fold out from outside the two pages as you see above.

I tried to do the embellishments in the various spreads using the same theme, which were watercolor and pen layered flower doodles which I did individually then pasted onto the book. I also printed the Happiness quotes on kraft paper.

If you look at the alpha sizes, the ‘B’ is pronouncedly bigger than the rest as in a Title Case.
Art Journal Every Day: BELIEVE (multi-page layout) 2

The scribblings in ink around the watercolor flowers came at the same time as the journaling. I had to fill in the empty space and show a more cohesive background beyond the colors, so I did this for every layout.

Art Journal Every Day: BELIEVE (multi-page layout) 3

I didn’t let my journaling be confined by the pagination.  In face the entry for this day continues onto the next journaling box which had to be after the middle page layout of the ‘l-i” which I filled in instead with a sun doodle which is a favorite graphic of mine.  (Easy to do and literally shines with positivity.)
Art Journal Every Day: BELIEVE (multi-page layout) 4

 Here you’ll see the tiny journaling space which I wrote on anyway to finish the entry from the previous journaling box.

 

Art Journal Every Day: Believe
When I do my journal entries here, I don’t really care about breaking up the words in syllables or whether or not it comes out readable. I write very spontaneously, and I keep in mind that the only person who should understand what I wrote or tried to write is me.
Art Journal Every Day: BELIEVE (multi-page layout) 6
For this next layout, I had a lot of space and decided to be more playful with the whole layout, putting in a pen outline of my face which was a reproduction from a photo.

Although it isn’t anything like the watercolor photos decribed by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s blogpost/tutorial on Super Easy Watercolor Portraits.  It was easier, too, that I had used a ‘line drawing’ version of the photo I chose for this.
Art Journal Every Day: BELIEVE (multi-page layout) 7

Much of the right side was watercolor on a book page which would have made it difficult to write the entry, so I pasted one of my grid watercolor backgrounds onto the page and journaled there.  This whole layout made room for a total of 3 days’ journaling which was an added bonus.  I could’ve done a fourth on my face but I liked the way I traced the impression on the page and decided to keep it as it.

So can you believe all that evolved from this?

 Art Journal Every Day-BELIEVE original

On my way home

Manhattan Sunset viewed from Queens

I took the local route tonight because I had to send off my invites. And now as I’m writing this, I just realized I failed to take photographs or scans of my owl, so I will have to create one for my craft blog, Gotham Chick. It was another busy, busy day.

Our days are shorter now. Where it used to be that the sun didn’t set until after 8pm, now the sun is lazier to crawl up in the morning and quicker to retire at the end of the day. It’s still warm but no longer scorching hot — and the evenings are getting chillier. It isn’t even surprising anymore to find dried, yellowing leaves strewn on the ground. Precursors of fall.

On the 7 Train on my way home

I stole a shot in the normally “photography-not-allowed” subway car. Two other people on their way home. Between them and myself, three different races on one ride. That’s one thing I love about New York — we are all so different and yet so alike.

With my invites on their way to Manila, I have some swaps to take care of. I’m going to slow down because I want to concentrate on the shop over at Etsy. The “ber” months are here. Time to think about my Christmas card, too. Every year for the last 5 years at least, I’ve handmade my holiday cards. With my Grand Calibur on my shelf now, I am even more excited to design my card. I’m wishing out loud for the yet to be released Brother Scan ‘n Cut which Julie Fei-fan Balzer had already talked about in her blog. How lucky to be able to get the manufacturer to send her one in advance so she could try it out! As a novice crafter and an expert crafter-of-all-trades, my only prayer of getting one free is if there were a random giveaway or raffle draw and I won it. (Dear Brother (USA)— the company, not Abril or Nikki, please send me one of your gorgeous Scan n’ Cut machines and I promise to post about it EVERYDAY!!). You never know who is listening or reading or scanning meta tags, etc…

Almost home and it’s dark. Dusk has fallen. I’m getting off a few blocks early to grab some bars for my boy.. And to exercise a little, too. I’m trying to be good.

We never stop learning

Minutes to midnight and I’m back.  I thought the steak fajita would help, along with some Magnum afterwards, but nope, I didn’t quite get any help with the pain and discomfort beyond this feeling of happiness that filled my stomach.  Well, one part happy and feeling okay is better than all the parts of Dinna feeling all crappy. =)

And I got a very nice surprise from the boys after they left me at Michael’s to troll the aisles and get my pick for the week while they played at Dave & Buster’s.  I actually finished quicker than usual knowing what product I would get for my 40% off coupon for the week along with the acrylic paint colors I wanted to add to my supplies.  The lines were not inordinately longer than the usual “long”, and while I tried to sit and wait by the park bench inside the store (presumably there for the other waiting husbands or kids while Mom does her craft shopping) —  they were taking forever.  I ended up standing up again and grabbing  something else (using the smart coupon on my blackberry instead of the printed coupon I used the first time around), plus additional acrylic paints which were 40% off this week (you can’t beat that!), and still there was no sign of them.   Finally they pulled up by the entrance and I got in the car, and Angelo excitedly handed me a surprise present (and there was no occasion) — a new Michael Kors leather wallet… Speechless.

After that, it was Target.  I had no more energy to go anywhere else, and I would have even skipped Target, but I needed to get Angelo’s supplies for the coming week.  The growing boy eats a boatload of cereal and the current snack of choice: Rice Krispies.  Of course by the time we got home I realized I forgot to buy one important grocery item for the coming week: burger patties.  (The carnivore my son is has forsaken bacon for all beef burgers.)  The truth of the matter is that he prefers the ones from Pat LaFrieda of FreshDirect so I am not totally without recourse.

I tried to do some newspaper collage postcards to add to my Flickr album as I put Angelo to sleep, but all I managed to do was to finish one and I couldn’t quite get moving with the next.  I just wasn’t into it.  I gave it up and opted instead to browse the internet for images and videos about Artist Trading Cards and Mixed Media Art.  (No more postcards for me at least until Monday, I promised myself.)  When I went to pick up my album URL and I visited my Flickr Photostream, I was so amazed that the link I had submitted to the Art Journal Every Day linky list on Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s blog had brought so many views to the graphic of my latest Art journal entry I wrote about below.  But what totally bowled me over where the words of artists — real artists — who hopped into my Flickr set based on that link and left a comment.  It totally made my day.  These are the people who teach me and inspire me to continue to aspire to create.

I always try to find something new that I learn from day to day.  The moment we stop trying to learn is the day we wilt away and die.  Even in the little things that don’t seem to matter, we learn.

Two nice surprises for the day — how can you beat that?  I know I should be so lucky.. sometimes I wonder why they keep coming when I am not deserving.  Then I remind myself to just take it as it comes — enjoy the moment before it passes — and move on.

Desiderata in my Art Journal

I knew I had written about this poem before and you can click here for the original post written in 2006 where the full text of the poem appears.

Sometimes, one of the problems that stump art journalers (is there even such a word?) is what to write on something you had drawn or done.  I’ve been into trees lately (again, thanks to the folks at IUOMA) and although I’ve only done two postcards so far (and not feeling confident enough to trade away as it is), I decided I’d do a tree on one of my existing watercolor backgrounds.  But what to write?

I don’t know why after days and days of trying to decide on an apt quote to use, I finally decided I would do Desiderata on the piece.  I’ll write about that separately when it’s all done, but I rendered the poem in plain block print with certain phrases/sentences in bolder, bigger letters.  I feel like I did accomplish something in finally getting that done.  Now I’m trying to decide if I will do the journaling on the side or within the leaves of the tree.  (Decisions, decisions.)  So it isn’t quite done just yet.

ALTERED BOOK MULTI PAGE Meanwhile, I did something different with my altered book which was an idea that came to me after I painted another tw0-page layout.  I executed it last night and can’t wait to do what I intend to do with the cut up pages, but I’ve decided to lay the groundwork for the backgrounds first and then work on individual entries and prompts from there.  I wanted to create a multi-page layout which ends up with four sections on the right side of the page.  It would contain a four-section or four-letter word which would be spelled out on each “quarter” of the right side.  (I’ve started a new page on MY ALTERED BOOK where I will talk more about what I’ve been doing with the book in detail.) I’m quite happy with how things turned out and have moved on to my next experiment which is painting watercolor on book paper.    It just feels like I’m making strides..  You would have thought I was some crazy woman caressing the acrylic painted leaves of the altered book this morning on the bus.  The pages that have been painted or coated with acrylic paint on both sides have an almost fabric/thin tarp feel.  I almost don’t want to write on it for fear of ruining it! HA!

Scribblings and Cling stampWell, almost.  I did start on the page behind the cover and started to just scribble things after using a cling stamp.  No pressure in filling the blank squares up.  I’m just writing this way and that, scribbling the first thing that comes to mind about this altered book.

The day started rather gloomily with rain, but it did a complete turnaround by noon.  It became scorching hot outside so I opted to stay indoors.  I did come wearing my rain boots this morning and I’m thinking I’m better off going home with regular shoes.  (I hope I am not speaking too soon!)  It looks like the skies have cleared.

Can you believe August officially ends by Friday?  Where did the year go?  Before you know it, autumn will be here.  That didn’t quite hit me until I visited one of the blogs I bumped into because of Art Journal Every Day links on Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s page.  Go visit gingerblue and get to know the art of Chel.  I don’t usually blog hop these days, and when I do, I have a set of younger bloggers I go and visit, but I am continually awed by the talent that oozes from the inspiring art journal entries that submit links to Julie’s page.  So once in a while I’ll leave a comment, and sometimes I get a note back.  (I totally don’t mind if I don’t.  I know how busy life gets.)  So Chel wrote back and I wrote another comment.  (This is going to be an ongoing thing, I am sure.)  But it is always good to acknowledge inspiration from those who give it to you.

I won’t be able to do it today but she’s definitely landing in my BLOG TRAILS.

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.)

ART MATERIALS USED FOR THIS ENTRY:

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

Americana Acrylic Paint Ultramarine Blue

Art Journal Every Day: "As You are Mine, I am Yours"

With the first week of February ending, here’s my first post for 2012 for my Art Journal Every Day project.  Some 17 years ago, I watched Shakespeare’s  “Much Ado About Nothing” on the big screen where I came across one of my most favorite movie quotes of all time: “As you are mine, I am yours.”

The background for this particular journal entry had been painted some time in the third quarter of 2011, but I recently found it and started working on it again.  What to put in as journaling?  Dyaran!  The phrase suddenly came to mind as Fe reminded me about the quote, trying to figure out if it was “As I am yours, you are mine.. ” or if it was the other way around.  The solution, of course, was to google it.  I remember at the time, a dearfriend had gifted me with a native mat with this inscribed.  Funny how during this last trip to Manila, I actually found the mat as I was going through some old things in storage in my old home.  Someone would say things have come full circle — and I guess it’s my way of starting this year’s art journal where it all began.

A perfect way to start the year’s Art Journaling and keep in step with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s inspirational posts on continuing to chronicle one’s feelings, or days in a journal of self expression.

More to come.