Monday, February 26, 2018

An Art Journal

This is my story of An Art Journal.
Of how and why I started making one.

I love seeing the art journals of artists.  And I always wanted to make one.  BUT first, I never considered myself an artist.  Second, I kept thinking why would I want one?  What would I do with it?  Just leave it on a shelf with no purpose?  No, art journals are not for me.  And that’s how I’ve left it for many years.

However, now that I’ve been being brave and trying different products, supplies and techniques that have always frightened me, I found myself rethinking the art journal thing.  I could use it as a way to first “test” my ability with these foreign products and supplies.  AND a way to finish up using leftover paint because I squeezed out more than I actually needed.  (Hate just tossing it out!)

I bought this book.  8.5” length X 6” width.

I bravely began testing.  Knowing I could always rip out the page and make it disappear within seconds.

I always hate it when those tests come out looking better than the real piece.  (Not necessarily in this case that you see here).  This truly was a testing ground.   

Then after I was finished testing, I have kind of challenged myself to create an art journal page with what ended up on that test page.  I did struggle towards the end of this page to make it into a keeper rather than rip the page out and tear it up.

This kind of art stuff (anything that has to do with painting) does NOT come easily to me.  I really have to work at it and in the end I either get lucky or I rip it up for the trash bin.

And I mean it about getting lucky.  Nothing with paper ever turns out how it looks in my mind.  In my mind I’m a wonderful artist.  Everything turns out just as I imagine it will.  LOL. In real life, if it’s a keeper, I got lucky.  (Sheila, is that what you mean by the supplies did all the work?) (Renee, Gesso and I are still not friends.  But I’m determined to figure out how to become friends!)

But now I’ve gone back to thinking, what do I do with it?  I feel like art needs to be seen or shared.  Closing the book and leaving it on a shelf just doesn’t work for me.

I’ve come to the conclusion that at some point when I’m ready to let go of a page, I can cut it into a postcard or greeting card and send it out into the world of mail art.  Now it has a purpose!  Now I can sit it on a shelf knowing I can chop it up whenever I want to.  See how I worked that out for myself?  LOL 

That’s my Art Journal story and I’m stickin’ to it!


  1. I love your art Annie! You are an artist and artistic! The composition, colors and elements you used are all wonderful! I totally understand about what's in your head doesn't always translate onto paper, but that's when you need to just go with what is happening and meet the challenge. The more you play the easier it gets and the better you feelabout doin it too.

  2. Well I’m sorry but I’m looking at a naturally talented lady who frets for nothing!! You have a wonderful eye for colour and composition Annie and the more you experiment the more you’ll come to love certain products more and more. Gesso does vary quite a lot so you’ve probably not found one you like but a good quality white acrylic paint will do the same job without the grittiness.
    Donna xx

  3. Annie, You are an artist!!! I love seeing all your art and I am so happy to see anything you post whether it is paper or cloth. I think your art journal is a wonderful idea even if you keep it on a shelf. To be able to go back and see what you have done can be inspirational. Seeing something that didn't turn out as you initially planned with a fresh perspective can be affirmation that yes, you are an artist.

  4. What fun! I do have an art journal, but mostly use it to keep ideas and quotes in. I love the way you do your backgrounds, Annie--they are always so interesting. Really wish I had your eye for color and layers and lay out!

  5. Love your art journal story. Your colours are stunning and the result is so awesome! Well done!

  6. What an interesting Art Journalling story, a sudden surprise. First of all I think your first (?first?) page is terrific and looks just like a superior Art Journalling page (whatever that is). I like the flash of the yellow butterfly above the turquoise and the sketchy heart and the young ballerina giving a focal point and your birds on the wire and everything together making such a great page.
    I've often wondered myself about Art Journals and the sadness of a good page which is never seen, but then you have all of us to whom to show the page, so that's good for you and certainly good for us. I also read that Art Journals are for just playing in and I sometimes make a set of messy pages in advance, but then they can be too good to further use or too messy to do anything with, although sometimes the latter can end up as a better page with a lot of work. So I understand where you are at and love your solution, giving you the best of both worlds, although I am not sure that I would like to take a great page out of my book to send away for ever.
    I am really looking forward to seeing many more of your Art Journalling pages, it's so inspiring to see and read how you make your art.

  7. Annie I believe the verdict is unanimous and overwhelmingly correct...YOU are truly an ARTIST. Your Art Journal is a wonderful place for you to experiment and practice and enjoy the process of being creative. I totally relate to how you feel and I never even considered the use of my papers after I decided they weren’t “good enough”. Sharing them with others is a beautiful annd generous gift. I LOVE your kind mail you surprise me with and I am so very grateful to share your artistic journey and friendship. Creative Bliss Dear...xo

  8. A naturally talented lady this is you great art

  9. I agree with what everyone has said: You are an artist. I love your work. Stop being so hard on yourself. For what it's worth, we quilters go through the same thing. I just finished a piece and thought, that didn't turn out like I thought it would. I wonder if all who create think the same thing.

  10. I agree with all the comments about what a great artist you are already! Love this journal page. Keep playing nice nice with gesso and I’m sure the friendship will develop and then you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it! Hugs

  11. This is, love all the details and that are an artist.
    Keep up the great work and sharing it with us. love that you just went for it, sometimes we don't know what we are capable of creating until we try it.
    xx Karen

  12. Congratulations on making your 1st art journal page!! I look forward to seeing many more! I need to use my paper dolls more (I'm good at hoarding/collecting them)..... I like the idea of cutti g some down for postcards. I've never thought of that.. my preferred journals aren't far off from pc size anyway! I think around 5x7 or a tad bigger?(they are the small dylusions ones... the thick paper is nice when I get water/paint happy so the pages don t get all warped :) )

  13. I totally get that, dear Annie. So far art journaling wasn't for me either. I tried it two years ago and made four or five spreads. Actually they were more backgrounds than finished journal pages. I struggled with the focal points or finding a theme to finish the spreads. Currently I hav a new idea for an art journal but it will probably take a while until I'll try it.
    Your page is lovely! There is so much to discover and I like the colors. This is such a great start and I hope you'll create more pages in your journal.
    xo Julia


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