Friday, January 27, 2012

Art Journal

The Art Journal Cover - in its third incarnation.  I especially like the accidental orange paint that got on it while I was working on an inside page.

Hello and welcome back! I've certainly been creating stuff in the past few months, but I'm afraid family life and whatnot has gotten in the way of posting. But I thought I'd let you in on my latest project: the Art Journal. Now, I'm not really using this as a "journal" per se, though I am learning to like some text in artwork. Instead, my intent is to play with paint and collage and doodling and whatever other processes and mediums I fancy. And it's just that: PLAY. There are no mistakes. I'm sharing this with you, but my intent with the journal is for it to remain private and safe, so I can "mess up" a bit and learn how to make it into something I really do like.

Front inside cover:  "bunspiration"
collage, pen & ink, paint, found object
remember the coffee filter flowers?  I keep everything.
I like them as they are. 
Some of these pages are finished, others are works in progress, some will never be completed.  I share them with you as an inspiration, to try new things in this new year.  I haven't picked up a paintbrush since I was in college.  I've never worked with gel mediums.  I've never done collage.  I haven't doodled since I was in high school.  I'm trying to explore the "art" side of me, and help it grow as much as the "craft" side has.

My first attempt at loosely following the online (free)
Strathmore class "Doodles Unleashed" check it out - its wild!

There's also something very real going on for me here:  my dad died suddenly of cancer a little over a year ago, two weeks after my baby girl was born.  This journal, and this journey, is allowing me to actually find out what "art therapy" is all about. 

"what I want" collage, paint, found words

"twilight zone" black gesso, white watered down spray acrylic,
white gel pen, gloss gel medium

When I make a page, I have no agenda. I don't know what it will look like when I'm done.  I don't really know what I'm doing.  And it is SO liberating.  Sometimes they "say" something.  Sometimes I just want to play with light and dark and color.  Sometimes I just want to glue a bunch of stuff to a page and then cover it all up with paint and stamps and drawings and see what happens.

"the IT couple" collage, paint, stamp, pen & ink, white gel pen
and I put a bird on it.

"spray doodles" collage, spray acrylic, stamp, paint, white out pen

"dare" collage, gel image transfer, paint, gel medium

playng with contrast and color "orange & green" paint, image transfer, gel medium

playing with contrast and color "yellow and green" collage, paint

I encourage you to do something similar.  Get out of your box of what is "right" and what is "wrong".  In art, those words really have no meaning.  I use a Strathmore Visual Journal, but you can use whatever you want.  Do what makes your heart happy.  Try something new.  If you don't like it, cover it up.  My only rules are I can't tear out a page.  If you don't like it, come back to it later.  Change it.  Make it something you never expected.  Don't get bogged down with having the "right" supplies.  Use what you have.  Use things in new ways.  Cut stuff up.  Glue stuff down, and cover it up.  Paint a separate page and cut it up to use as collage. Whatever you do, MAKE SOMETHING.  It will be amazing, I promise.
inspired by Zentangles - title page.  Some quotes,
some ruminations, some mission statements.

Please, comment!  If you have more specific questions about processes, inspiration, colors, tools, whatever, please - ask.  If you want more resources for inspiration, please ask!  I have more resources than I know what to do with.

And I will leave you with Yoda:  "do or do not, there is no try."


  1. Hey Bean, now I know what to do with those tickets stubs and theatre programs and bits of pretty string and lost sequins that I find.
    Thanks for the idea. I'm with you. I won't write in them, well I've tried but lose interest right away, but could glue things into them and then they wouldn't be a big scrapbook you have no place to put because of its size. thanks. Jo

  2. Bean, these are beautiful; what a wonderful idea!!!!

  3. Oh Bean--so wonderful, so liberating. I am looking at a phrase from above, and think it should relate to life in general, especially when rebuilding from an empty spot:

    "Do what makes your heart happy. Try something new. If you don't like it, cover it up. My only rules are I can't tear out a page. If you don't like it, come back to it later. Change it. Make it something you never expected. Don't get bogged down with having the "right" supplies. Use what you have. Use things in new ways."