Holy Guacamole, Batman… Do I Have An Idea!: An Amazing Art Journal Cover

I have had an epiphany… a light bulb has flashed on in my head… It is a doozie of an idea… A truly inspired idea. A fabulously amazing idea… if I can only figure out how to do it!

What am I ranting about? The merging of two fabulous tools into one. Homemade art journal pages and a Midori-like cover.

So what is the big deal. Well, first off, I like journaling in one book. But it never ends up that way. I always have extra paint and need to slap it down somewhere (other than the current page I am working on in my current journal) or start a new class and want a separate place for that, or don’t want to wait for current project to dry so I work in another  journal… The point is, I always end up with many partially filled or newly started journals lying around. I hate that. I happen to like keeping my work in a pseudo-datelike order.  Having so many  different journals makes keeping similar dates together almost impossible. I also do not like having partially filled journals all over. It is more a mind thing, so many partially filled journals makes me feel like I can’t complete anything (yes, I know… I am doing the work, why does this matter… but it does in my brain).

Second, making an art journal can be a pain! When I started out art journaling, I just knew I would NEVER be interested in making a journal… certainly not when I can just buy one. Years have past and I have made a few journals now… but the fact is I do not like fooling around with binding – which most of the time seems to be the main part of making an art journal. I don’t like the sewing and the awl poking and all that fooling around. I have done it but I don’t like it.

Third, sometimes you just want to work with journals with different size papers… maybe an entire journal with smaller pages, or a journal with all sorts of different size pages (which generally you can’t buy and have to make). So you are left having to start another journal — one you had to hand make  to get  the  paper  and sizes  you want.

Fourth, sometimes you would like to keep a lined notebook (composition book) journal along with your art journal for  notes  and such  – especially if you are taking a class.

Fifth, sometimes working in a bound journal is a real pain. You have a  gutter between your two spread pages to deal with… and because it is bound you are limited as to the page order. By this I mean, once it is down it stays were it is. It is not like a loose leaf kind of notebook (or even a spiral one where you can take the spiral off and then reinsert it once the journal is done) where you can take pages in and out.

The answer to all of the above is a Midori-style cover that can fit  all  your journal books, lined notebooks, and art paper pamphlets.

If you have never heard of a Midori journal, it is a cover that has two or three elastics running from top to bottom inside the middle “binding” area. You slip a journal or pamphlet under one or two elastics and that holds it in place inside the journal cover. Typically they are pocket-sized and used for written journals, appointments, planning, and sometimes art journaling. What makes them unique is that you can buy or make all different kinds of pamphlet inserts. Now if you could get a really big Midori… one that would fit your art journal and/or art journal paper… with lots of elastics…. you could have a cover that would fit all our journals and journal paper inserts. You could put several all in one bound type book. All you need is a Midori-like cover that will fit your biggest journal or journal paper inserts.

 

This is a Midori-style cover I made for my Written Journaling.
This is the inside with the four elastics running from top to bottom.
This one has a pamphlet insert and a Moleskin elasticized inside.
The pamphlet pages are just nested, not bound together at all. The elastic does all that work.
I attached the Moleskin with one elastic in the front cover and one in the back, that held the big book in nicely.

 

If I could figure out how to make this, I would make at least two covers from the start. For my first Midori-like cover, I would put in my Journal Page Jumble. It is pages from multiple journals that I have three-hole punched and bound together with three silver binding rings (my past answer to the above problems – and not a very satisfactory or pretty answer at that). Then add one or two of my other journal as would fit.

For my working journal, I would use the Midori-like cover for art journal paper pamphlets. Pamphlets similar to the ones made in Teesha Moore’s “How to Make An Art Journal” videos on Youtube: Click to go to Teesha’s Video. Her Art Journal is super easy to make out of a big sheet of art paper (she uses a specific type of paper – but I have experimented with all different types and have had great results). Use each of your Teesha Moore journals as one pamphlet. What is the best is that you don’t need to sew it together. Stick half the journal under one of your Midori-like elastics to hold it not only in the cover but also “binds” the nested pages together. That allows you to move pages at will. You still will be somewhat limited by the pages divided by creases but you will have lots more flexibility to move pages and work with individual pamphlet pages (without being nested together with the rest of the pages). The Midori-like cover would hold lots of those types of journal inserts. Or you could make your insert out of many types and sizes of paper. Or even buy a pad of art paper and fold the pages in half using those nested pages to make your inserts. And if you wanted to keep notes, you could also add a lined composition book too, if you wanted.

Here is a stack of Teesha Moore style pages.
Each piece of paper makes three insert pages that are nested together to make one art journal.
Here are two insert pages getting ready to be nested.

Here is a stack of two art journals, each made from a stack of three of the page inserts.

 

Hmmm. Now all I have to do is figure out the easist way to make one. I have some treated canvas that was supposed to be used to make a painted kitchen floor mat. I could make one pretty quickly using that. But I would like to figure out how to make a Midori-like cover with simple to get materials with as little sewing as possible, something super easy to make.

I will give it some thought. And experiment a little. I will let you know what I come up with!

Do you like this idea?  Let me know, in the comment section!

Happy Saturday!

 

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10/30/15 Art Journal Practice: A New Page

It was a friend at work’s birthday and I rustled up a gift and added some festive tissue paper. It was striped… very cool. I purposely didn’t use it all so I would have some for my journal. I glued down a piece…nice! Yes it is wrinkly in places… don’t care.!

 

My plan is to add a magazine image… white wash it… and make it look more like a drawing or painting. As I searched through my stash, I found this image and it called to me. I like it… just as it is. I set it down and started looking for another… one that I wouldn’t care if I white washed. Oh, the heck with it. I liked, I wanted the first image… and that is what I will use.

 

Not sure if I will white wash it. Yes, I may… But then again, maybe not. Today I will just glue it down. Tomorrow will tell me what the next step will be.

 

Happy Friday everyone!

 

10/29/15 Daily Art Journal Practice: More Blending

The hair. I wanted to work on the hair. Looking at the page the stark blackness of the hair seemed to jump off the page. So I grabbed a brown water-soluble oil pastel and added it and lightly rubbed it in. The stark black was blended and adding the brown seemed to blend in color wise better on the page.

I still wanted to make the Bathing Beauty element more artfully mine. So I decided to add a bit of color to blend into the skin tones of the magazine image. With my cheap water-soluble oil pastels I have a very limited colors… a general color palette with very limited choices in skin tone. But because Ms. Beauty had a tan, I could grab a tanish color and colored in the darker, shadowed areas.

Then I rubbed and blended everything in. Yes the color is a little less natural but I think it did a nice job of making the image look more artful. I could have added color to the lips… and I still may… but I don’t have a color I think would work so well and my pastels don’t have a very fine tip… maybe not fine enough.

I added yesterday’s journaling.

Feels like today’s additions are done. Happy Thursday!

 

This page has gotten me thinking of maybe trying another technique to make a magazine image more artful… Maybe for my next page…

 

10/28/15 Art Journal Practice: What Next?

Again, I am up against something I learned at a mixed media class. “Don’t get too attached to your page…” It is something I struggle with, almost every day. The class instructor didn’t want you to get too attached so you would be free to add more and more layers. The truth is I do get attached… and I probably don’t continue adding because I am afraid I will ruin what I like about the page. Another truth, is that the result is not the end all. The process is the most important. I know all of this… but I still end up wanting a result that I like.

So when I looked at this page this morning I was hesitant. I wanted to make my Bathing Suit Woman look more like a drawing… or at least add some lines to make her look less like a glued on magazine image. I also wanted to do something with her hair. There is a fan behind her… her hair should be blowing. So what to do. Often times I add black lines in the shaded areas like you would in a drawing and outline image elements. But… and it is a big but… it is really easy for me to end up with an image I am not so crazy about. Adding lines helps make the image your own but it is so easy to let the critical mind tell you anything you add is ruining the image.

So I started fooling around… first I outlines Bathing Beauty’s suit in white. Yuck. So I wet the lines and wiped it off… but it left a bit of white residue… which was okay with me. Then I added a gold outline around the entire image… kind of like the flowers and leaves. It was okay. Then I had a bit more courage and grabbed my black brush tip marker and started adding her wind-blown hair. It is very black… I will need to do something, eventually, to make it not so black. In order to tie it in a bit more, I outlined some of the hair strands in gold. All in all, I can’t say look wise, I have improved the page so much. But I feel like I actually pushed my own envelope and tried a couple of techniques I imagined doing. I also added journaling where I had decided early on would be a good place (where after working on the page was afraid might ruin it).

That is all for now. Hope you have a great Wednesday!

 

10/27/15 Art Journaling Practice: Next Step

Time to fix the flowers and integrate the elements into the page.

I fooled around adding shadows. I sealed both pages with a layer of gel medium so that I would be able to write on top of any of the elements. The water soluble oil pastels I use often time ruin pens or is just impossible to write over. Putting a layer of gel medium over the top solves this problem. I have to be careful when doing this… the shadows I put down will reactivate when wet so I have gently go over the top of my elements so not to change its look.

Since I have to wait for the gel medium to dry – I will call it a day. Tomorrow I want to figure out a way to Make the Fan and the Bathing Suit Woman less like cut out images glued to the page. Shadowing helped I want more… unsure of what more would be right now. Also I would like to add black outlines to the white oil pastel lines I added to the page (to mimic the bathing suit lines). I also had wanted lots of room for journaling… and although I do, I might rethink my initial plan for where and how I was going to add it.

Happy Tuesday!

 

10/26/15 Art Journaling Practice: Add A Bit of Paint

White flowers is what I wanted to add to tie everything together. Grabbed my metallic gold pen and sketched out a couple of flowers and some leaves. Didn’t have a fine brush so just used the large flat brush that I had handy and added some white to the flowers. I went over a bit of the gold detail and sketch lines but once the paint is dry I will add them back in.

 

Since the paint needs to dry… I will leave it at that today. Have a great Monday!

 

10/25/15 Art Journaling Practice: Catch-Up Time

It’s been a really weird day. Doesn’t feel like a Sunday. So I actually had time tonight to fool around a bit. Grabbed magazine images and started to glue.

 

Liked this fan… but the model… not so much.

All gone. Liked the bathing suit beauty with the fan.

 

Wanted to add something to the left page… a focal image leaving room for lots of journaling and doodling… something with white flowers, maybe.

That’s all for today! Have a great night!

 

10/23/15 Daily Art Journal Practice: After Missing A Couple Of Days

The last two days I have punked out. I didn’t do my practice. Have not been feeling well. And though I don’t feel so hot today, I wanted to at least do something.

I decided to work on a background for a new page. And I wanted to use my trusty brayer.

For my first layer I put down yellow. Brayer, brayer, brayer!

Then I added white paint and brayer again.

I want some shine, so I grabbed my metallic orange and brayered it right in.

Wanted to add a bit more white but my white paint wasn’t coming out properly so I grabbed my bottle of white gesso. I did shake it but when I squeezed it out I hot a big glob of clear junk. Took a nearby baby wipe and wiped it up. Shook it well again and got gesso but it still seemed a little thin. Brayered it all in.

Because I got a lot of white runny gesso over my beautiful metallic orange…I added more orange and brayered it in. I am going to let it dry and see how I like it.

 

This page looks a bit bumpy because of the glue and paper used on the opposite side. I don’t let it concern me, I just go with it.

This page came out much smoother because there is nothing on the other side. I wish you could see the metallic sheen better. The shine makes me happy.

Happy Friday everyone!

 

10/20/15 Art Journal Practice: Not sure what to do next…

Was wanting to add a bit of acrylic paint… grabbed a stencil and white paint… and it all went terribly wrong. The white started to look yellow… maybe there was some color on the stencil that didn’t get washed off? Whatever happened… as soon as I added the paint… I didn’t like it. I tried using a baby wipe and it didn’t do much. What to do? I added journaling over the biggest bit of it. I left the portion on the left but will probably at least try to do something to either make it white or something, just not sure yet.

 

Making choices and mistakes is all a part of art journaling. Classes I have taken focus on not getting too attached to what you are doing to be afraid to mess it up. While I understand this idea, it can be a struggle. If I like a page… should I move forward? Good question!

Happy Tuesday!

 

10/19/15 Daily Art Journal Practice: The Next Step

Life kind of happens. Right when I thought things were back to normal at work, things take a sharp right turn. No time for Art Journaling on Friday because I needed to be at work at 5am… and had to work on Saturday. Sunday I did a whole lot of nothing…

 

So today, I get back to my Art Journaling. I immediately grab my water-soluble oil pastels. These seem to be my go to way to better incorporate my collage element into the page. Normally I use it to put a shadow… using a dark color. Today I decided to use bright colors. I first colored in light blue around the blue elements, then colored around the pink flowers with a metallic rose color. Then I grabbed my silver and colored around the black and white elements. I also added some silver around the window frame and the Window Woman.

 

I used my finger to smudge in the color. But I wanted it to be more subtle, so I grabbed a partially dried out baby wipe and smoothed out the color some more.

 

That’s all the time I have. Happy Monday everyone!