Recently I purchased a few arty magazines from Stampington & Co, because it is cheaper to buy direct from the USA than to buy them here in New Zealand; that’s if I can even find the titles I want. So, I’ve been enjoying the Winter 2011 edition of Art Journaling by Somerset Studios. Yesterday I popped across to Ro Bruhn’s blog and, what do you know, she was blogging about sketchbooks. As I said on Facebook, I had an instant case of sketchbook envy. Then I got to thinking; what is it about Ro’s sketchbooks, amongst others, that make me envious and wanting to do more? I use my sketchbooks, so what’s the issue here?
I spent some time looking at my journals, some online ones, and the pages in Art Journaling and started to see the differences. Often the ones I love use pages that have been prepared ahead of time – smothering them in gesso and acrylic washes ready to work in. Many that I like have stitching and ink splatters, or just lots of layers of work. Yet when I look at mine I tend to want to get the ideas down, visually thinking out an idea, and then move on. It was an “AHA! moment.
I hauled out a 13x21cm sketchbook with a nice weight of paper, and went through it covering all the pages with gesso. When that was dry I went back and edged all the pages in various ways – something else I had realised I love the look of. After that had dried, I started creating some pages, working back and forth, adding paint and collage and ink and my own handwriting. No plan – just working intuitively and, more importantly, keeping working on the pages. And you know what? I now have 3 pages in my new journal that I’m really happy with. They say something to me, say something from me, and are testament to my new working process.
For the record, the page I have scanned is about the recent disasters and how I am overloaded by all the tragedies and taking myself off the news circuit for a few days. A huge step for someone who is normally a news junkie…