Sunday, March 29, 2015

My (not so) love affair with Art Journaling

Once again, I'm faced with the fact that I love to look at artist's art journals but I do not love to create them. Let me be more specific. Pages with paint and collage and images and words do not come easily to me, nor do they particularly "speak" to me or "say" what I necessarily feel. I've done plenty of these pages, including several of Kelly Kilmer's classes. These pages take a lot of effort and rarely am I pleased with the outcome. These are not books I return to look through. Books I pull down from the shelf and look through are:

  • Visual Journals (where I "record" my life)
  • Doodle Journals - mandalas, creative doodles
  • Travel Journals
  • Art Journals that are more art-y than collage-y

So, with two recent books, I realize this isn't my thing. At least the Journaling by 5's book hasn't taken that much time due to the 15 minute sessions. And I have a full book (35 pages!) either finished or ready for the next stage. All done within a 2 week timeframe ... this would have taken months to do. So ...

What I like about this process: Working in one medium at a time ... paint, stamp/stencil, random collage, pen/marker work. Working on several pages at a time (although not in the same book unless I figure out what to put between the pages that won't stick). Timed sessions - gets you out of your head and into the process quickly.

What I don't like is: the timed sessions for "focal points" ... Actually I don't much like the focal points. I realize that I love to create backgrounds. That's what I really enjoy (backgrounds that I use to make scrappy journals). I also don't like ruining pens and markers trying to write on paint and medium. 

So, these pages are ready for me to do whatever is next. At this point, I have no idea where they will go (if anywhere). I will spend some time with this book, not considerable time. But there is the challenge of bringing it to a point where I feel good (or at least better) about it ... and feel a sense of completion (which is one of the BIGGEST challenges I have as an artist).

And I'll continue to enjoy looking at other artist's pages ... but I think I'll let this go. I'm ready to move on.


Shannon Green said...

Ya journaling isn't for everyone. If you've given it a good effort, which apparently you have, and you're still not feeling it then move on! No sense wasting time trying to make yourself love something that you don't love!

I'm glad you gave JB5 a try and I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the process.

Jan Jackson said...

Thanks, Shannon, for stopping by. I find it easy to be inspired by your work, so I, too, am glad I've given this particular style of art journaling a try. And, as I said, I did learn and enjoy much of the process.

Wendy Watson said...

Oddly enough I feel much the same Jan. I don't want to mess with the lovely background, I like to make stamps more than use them and I'd rather make a book full of backgrounds more than use it so I do.

There are so many styles in art journaling so I'm giving it one final burst and then, well . . . I'll just move on.

Urban Rustic said...

I know what you mean about collages....I think that they are deceptively difficult and just slapping lots of cut out images sourced from a magazine with a few choice words thrown in isn't going to automatically work and be successful! I have tried many times and it is just not for me!!