Saturday, January 10, 2015

Art Journaling For The Senile

I have adored art journaling from afar for far too long. I keep telling myself I'll start - and I have bought a million art journals that sit blank in my studio, mocking me.

There are a million reasons I haven't started:

  • I am scared of blank pages.
  • I like to create art in small spaces - that's why I like cards. 
  • There are too many pretty art journals out there for me to make an attempt.
  • I haven't found the "right" journal yet.
  • I don't have good handwriting.
  • I have nothing to journal.
  • I love France Papillon and no way can I make anything like what she makes.
Well we've been chatting - the reluctant art journalers - in the Mixed Media Forum on Splitcoast and we have decided to quit putting it off. So earlier this week, I took some books to sell at Half Price Books - and I got $26! That's unheard of at Half Price. I guess old Slavic Linguistics books never go out of style!

I spent about $1.50 of my haul on two books I thought would make good candidates for an art journal.:

Oh - book worshipers - avert your eyes! These books are going to get arted! Sorry if you're already on the way to your therapist.

Today, after class, I decided to get started, with some nice bright colors to combat our horrid grey skies. Homegirl needs to see the sun - STAT!

I decided I would do art journaling for the senile. Traditionally, people do two page layouts - I thought since I do like the smaller space of a single page, that I'd do one page, and keep color notes on the other page in case I stumble on a combo I want to recreate.

First, I coated both pages lightly with a credit card and American Journey Gesso - I love this gesso because it's the only one that was made to work with watercolor - traditional gessos don't work with watercolor very well. I dried it with my heat gun. I made sure to let the original book page show through - I like that the soul of my book will still be there, although the book worshipers will not be mollified by this.

On the right, I stamped the image from the new Sale-A-Bration set - A Happy Thing - in Yellow Citrus Chalk Ink. Then I painted it with a combination of Golden Fluid Acrylics (I love these because they behave more like watercolor), Lukas watercolor, acrylic paint and graphite (all paints listed below.) I dried it all with a heat gun, and stamped the greeting from Hello Life on top.

On the left is the senility map. I took an old gift card, cut it into three long strips, and used those as palette knives to swipe cool colors I used upward, and warm colors downward. As I used them on the right, I added them on the left. When I was done, I labeled all the colors with a Pitt Pen.

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I think this method will work for me because it's more of a technique journal than a book full of diary entries.

I really enjoyed it and completely forgot about the cold rain and grey air outside.

Here's a list of the things I used on this spread in case you can't read my writing:

When I was done, I glued each page to the page behind it with Liquitex Matte Gel medium. That makes them sturdier and flatter. 

 So it's no France Papillon, but I like it, and I STARTED! The rest is easy.

 Fun way to spend an afternoon.

I'll be back tomorrow with my class projects and the WINNERS of my Season's Giving drawings - some of you are going to be very happy!



  1. Love it! Still not buying it!

    Love you more than the lemon

  2. Art Journaling scares me too. So glad you started!! It is beautiful!!

  3. I'm in the same boat...I've always wanted to expand into art journaling but many of your reasons apply to me, Lydia. I love how the page turned out! It's quite inspiring.

  4. Gorgeous, Lydia! I've started dabbling in art journaling myself...intimidating and fun all at the same time 😊

  5. Great Looking Pages!!!! Yea... you Started... Journaling is Best when you make it your own....


  6. wonderful. Angela Bode and I both started art journaling this year also. We joined up with Journal 52 and both have enjoyed the process so far. :)

  7. I have not started a journal for a lot of the same reasons as you, but I could totally see doing it as a technique journal. A way to try something to see how it would turn out. I mean its only paper...and you can rip it out if you don't like it...right?

  8. Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo cooooooooooooooooooooool Lydia.

  9. The scariest step is the first step! Now that you have taken that step it will be soooooooooooo much easier from here on out! Awesome colors!! TFS!

  10. You should check out irreversablymoi's fb page and blog!

  11. Who won your Clearsnap seasons givings blog hop prize please? Thanks

  12. Very nicely explained. You scored with your book prices. Lovely journal page.

  13. Lydia, I would LOVE to hear what you think your must-have supplies are in terms of Gessos, Multi Medium Mattes, Acrylics (Heavy Body or "High Flow") - in a set or separate colors, and WHICH colors. I'm not a fan of dark colors - I love what you've used in your pages so far. Do you get your Golden Acrylics from Amazon for $10 each? And I LOVE how you put your supplies on the left hand page while still making it look nice!! Lydia, you really need to teach a class on this stuff. You've already got your first student. LOL! Is this a good place to ask these questions, or is the Mixed Media Forum a better place to ask?? Please reply @ moot96 AT aol DOT com. Thanks!! :-)


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