Monday 25 July 2016

Art journaling

I've looked at art journaling done by different artists. It's a way of decorating pages to write upon, creating a foil of colour and texture for your thoughts. Some methods of decoration are complicated, others simplistic. When I came across MyLifeMits's 'Journaling by 5's With A Twist / Hobinichi Techno' video I felt she'd found a good happy medium. She in turn had watched Shannon Green's video of a similar title (linked below). Although Shannon's video contains a lot of more detailed information I find MyLifeMits's a good straightforward video to watch.

Journaling by 5s is a simple step by step process to create an art journal. In Shannon Greens info she lays out basic choices of application and decoration:
Step 1:
Step 2: collage...recycle
Step 3: stamps...stencils
Step 4: words...images
Step 5: pen...pencil (journaling)
MyLifeMits works on a number of pages at once within her Hobonicho Techno journal, separating each by using baking paper sheets to prevent smudging.

I worked on 7 double pages on my existing Paperchase journal to create an art journal over the period of a week. Each day had a different colour theme. Monday - pinks, Tuesday - oranges & yellow, Wednesday - reds, Thursday - greens, Friday - blue and turquoise, Saturday - purple & lilac, Sunday - browns. 

My choice of inks and paints were alcohol markers and gouache paint. I preferred to dry each page with a hair drier before moving to the next page rather than separate each page with protective paper. Step 2 included pieces of magazine pages from Daphne's Diary, Indian papers, vellum (normally used for Pergamano or Parchment Craft) and tissue paper glued and applied crumpled. I had a collection of stamps and stencils for Step 3 but if you don't have any then potato stamps could be easily made and stencils created from scrap card with cutout shapes. I used ink pads designed for stamps and alcohol markers with the stencils. Paint with a roller could used for homemade stamps and with a brush for homemade stencils. 

Using gel and ballpoint pens for Step 4 I drew images onto each double page and then with brushpen wrote words and phrases that jumped to mind. I had no specific plan as to what I would write or journal on the final step.

I like to write with a black fineliner and found the variety of surfaces interesting. The original journal page was smooth, the Indian paper soft, soaking up and slightly blurring the sentences I wrote. Magazine paper was slightly shiny and the vellum made the pen ink difficult to dry. It was enjoyable to write not only on decorated pages but on the various surface textures.

When journaling I followed the shapes of the images I'd drawn making the written words into an artistic image on top of the decorated pages. Some writing followed curved lines, others were written sideways. Things I wrote about varied. Some pages contained a rant about the world whereas others had reflections about my own life and what path I hoped that would follow. The individual brush-penned words and phrases acted as triggers.

I think I'm going to try this again using a slightly thicker paper, perhaps watercolour or multi media paper, which will take more working. Perhaps decorating pages and then binding them into a book to prevent the 'hard to close' effect that decorating an existing book creates. I feel that this process reflects the journaling of an artist better than simply writing on plain pages. It takes more preparation but that in itself is an enjoyable creative process. 

I doubt if I would take the time to journal like this every week or month as it is labour intensive and would take away time from my other art and writing. But it would be a pleasurable method to follow during the beginning of a season, a special occasion or as a supporting piece of work to an exhibition.


Copyright © 2016 by Roisin O'Hagan/bloowabbit
All rights reserved. The artworks/illustrations or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the artist except for specific permission granted with a free downloadable.

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