I am just finishing up
my March Art Journal pages
and decided I would share some
art journaling thoughts
it's been years since I have facilitated
a journal group and I have learned a lot since those days..
consistent practice will create knowledge...
so here are a few thoughts..
since I have so many new followers lately..
and my journal posts are some of my most popular posts..
|ingredients: cardboard, sketch paper and original pencil drawing, background is gesso, fine pumice gel, acrylic paint, walnut ink, alcohol inks..|
1. Dirty the Page...
My process is simple, I create 2 pages each month, in a vintage record book.
Find a substrate in a size that appeals to you. Large or small..
I know artists that journal everyday.. find what works for you.. and stick to it..
Everyone has at one time or another been intimidated by a blank page..
and if not a blank page, then surely by a beautiful journal..
I overcame that issue by beginning with journals that were falling apart..
or were fairly inexpensive..
now a page in any book is just a page...
each month I am faced with this:
|The blank pages of my vintage record book..|
I generally begin..
by writing about what is going on in my life, using pen, pencil, art stick, whatever is closest to my hand.. and because I have a whole month to work, the writing often covers both pages..
but often I will just begin by slapping some gesso or paint directly onto the page and then I begin to journal... with text and image.
It is only paper, and it is for you... so you cannot make a mistake..
2. Obscuring Text
One of the things I love about art journaling is that you are in control of exactly how much writing, IF ANY that people will see, that is, if you intend to show other people your pages...
Sometimes I leave some writing visible...
usually it is something innocuous..
or universal in subject matter..
|May 2010, ingredients: gesso, paper, transfers on paper, transfer on fabric, paper ephemera, acrylic paint, pencil, colored pencil, upholstery thread|
but very often, there are things too painful to share...
or things that are simply private...
and so I obscure almost all of the text as in the
April 2013 post below
|April 2013 Caterina Giglio, art journal pages. ingredients: gesso, acrylic paint, H2O'S. pencil, colored pens, antique ephemera, thread.|
3. Use Images that Speak to You
I often use butterflies and dragonflies in my pages, they are symbols that represent transformation and they convey a sense of beauty and grace..
Hands represent creativity and in the spread below, from 2007, I used them to show that I was taking my health into my own hands..
changed my diet and changed my life...
the heart pops up when you open the book...
|Art Journal pages, 2007, Caterina Giglio. ingredients: acrylic paint, paper ephemera, papers, pen and ink, pencil.|
One of the great things about art journaling is that you don't need anything fancy to art journal, you can de-stash to your heart's content.. I always use scraps of paper, thread and my own photos to convey what is going on in my world...
often the paper bits on my desk are just the things that I need
However, I have also been known to use pricey paints, wrapping papers and to cut my own rubber stamps for use in my journals..
my journals are really art books that I create
I am never concerned when my pages don't make sense..
it isn't about sense..
it is about feeling..
and energy that is transforming
onto the page...
|Art Journal pages, Caterina Giglio, November 2010. |
ingredients: black gesso, china marker, khadi papers, transfers on paper, thread.
5. Tell your Dreams and Stories
The spread below, is a dream that I had in May of 2012. It concerned my brother who died in May of 2009. When I woke, I went right to my journal and documented the dream and how I felt about it. Then I covered my journaling with the images.
In my dream the dragonfly was dead, but the story I told was about the dragonfly rising in flight....
my belief about life after death and a reconciliation with my brother...
I did not realize until later that I had rewritten the dream, until I finished my pages..
To me, art journaling is about writing your own stories and creating your own endings..
|Art Journal pages, Caterina Giglio, 2010.|
ingredients: gesso, acrylic paint, paper ephemera, pencil, pen, watercolor, fabric wings, walnut ink, thread.
My journal is a safe haven for trying out new techniques, and products and styles.
I consider my journal to be part diary, part visionary journal and part of it is a lab
for exploring new frontiers...
for experiencing a fearless joy of discovery...
|Detail of art journal page, Caterina Giglio.|
ingredients: crackle paint, cardboard, paper ephemera, acrylic paints, pencil, fabric.
playing with crackle paints and Italian collage
in my journal..
experimentation is the cornerstone of any studio..
the best things happen when I say,
"I wonder what would happen if I did..."
working in an abstract form in my journal allows me to express my emotions
without using figures to represent the people or situations that
are manifesting in my experience..
There are a number of fabulous teachers out in the field right now... here are just a few: