Monday, May 31, 2010

Interactive Pages

It is often interesting to play with how pages interact with one another. Cutting holes into pages is one way to create areas of interaction, but with a simple tearing technique, you can only tear two pages and have it look like four torn pages. By gluing in the torn parts of the pages, you do not waste good paper. See our book for detailed instructions.

The above images from volume 12 show how the torn pages interact with one another. The pages were started at a session at NCCAT in 2008 and contain a lot of fodder, quotes, and imagery from the week. Notice how the word "Grow" changes to "Flow" in the fourth image. It was a great way to remember such an amazing week.

This technique is a great way to tie several pages together allowing colors, images, and themes to flow beyond a normal two-page spread.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Signed Copies Now Available

Now for what you all have been waiting for. Well, at least some you. Signed copies of The Journal Junkies Workshop are now available. Dave and I were able to find some time to get together this weekend and were able to sign a few copies. Those copies are now available on our Website for $25.00. While you're over there, check out some of our other merchandise as well.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Old Page

I came across this journal page image as I was looking for something new to post. It is from my second journal, and must be seven or eight years old, but I find it amazing that I am still working with imagery like this. The curves and swirls were originally inspired by Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha, and I have been revisiting these elegant forms on an off in my journal and in my art ever since. Like many artists, I tend to fall back on old and comfortable imagery, especially when I am doodling in my journal. I guess the swirls are one of my "things".

Besides the imagery, I like the fact that this page is pretty much one medium - except for the collaged raffle ticket and coffee stain. There is something refreshing about this more minimalist approach compared to my more normal mixed-media approach. It's nice to limit the media and the imagery.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Now I've Seen It...

I have finally seen our book - well four copies - in a bookstore, so I guess that it's official. We're published authors Not that we weren't before, but as I said in a previous post, it's one thing to see it online or even a box full of copies in the living room. It's another thing to see them lined up on a bookstore shelf. I was near a Borders and had to stop in, and there sat four copies of The Journal Junkies Workshop. Why they were on the jewelry shelf, I really don't know. I guess that it was better than the paper craft shelf which was the bottom shelf.

I am asking anyone who has purchased the book to please offer a review of it on sites like Amazon. If you posted one on your blog, I ask that you copy your review to those same sites. I would love to get the word out. I really believe in the book, and think it's a great resource for anyone interested in the visual journal.

Thanks again to all you who have supported us and have taken an interest in what we do. You are the reason we wrote the book and have offered workshops and presentations. We're just spreading the journal love.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


The visual journal has power. And I am more convinced than ever that the journal is a powerful tool for life. The journal is not about making “pretty pages” or simply recording life. It is a living document changing to fit mood and circumstance – an Everything Book that aids in the experience of life. It is a place to collect memories, to dream, to dump our emotions, to change our lives, and to make sense of our crazy world.

I wholeheartedly believe the visual journal has the power to change lives, and new life paths can emerge within the pages. I have seen the journal’s power to transform in my own life as well as in the lives of my friends. I have seen how the journal was a large part of Dave seeking and getting his MFA, and I have seen how many of my friends have reconnected with their art and were able to make art a priority once again. Because the visual journal is a place for us to hope and dream it helps create new direction in life and helps us to figure out what we most want from life.

The visual journal goes beyond being a place to plan the future, and it is place to get in touch with our vulnerable aspects – to get to know our selves intimately. Because it is foremost a journal, we deal with the heartache, the drama, and the confusion of everyday life. We pour our doubts and our thoughts into the pages allowing us to process the emotions and the energies that grip us. With words, images, color, and lines we deal with life and make sense of it. The visual journal connects us with ourselves.

I know that my own life gets focus and direction as I work through a myriad of things in my journal, and it has helped change my life. The book, the workshops, the presentations, the seminars, have all come from the journal. Long before I began presenting about the journal with Dave, I kept a journal. Slowly I began to realize its power as I poured myself into it. I dumped my hopes and dreams, my pains and disappointments, my triumphs and passions into the pages of my journal figuring out who I was and what I wanted and needed. And then I began to share. My life took on a new direction as I began to feel like an artist and began to see how the visual journal could affect lives.

To this day, I use the journal to deal with my life and to affect change within it. As I grieve over my recent loss, I work directly and indirectly with that grief, and though I may not be specifically addressing the loss at points as I work, it informs my choices and embeds the pages with an emotion only known to me. My mind turns and churns as I lay down layers of watercolor or ink creating an unconscious subtext. At other times I specifically address the pain and the grief, and it all helps me to cope – helps me to be present with the loss and not bury it inside. Again and again, I have turned to the journal to celebrate the good – to deal with the bad – to discover my true humanness.

So, I keep sharing my journey hopefully helping others in their journey on this earth.

Friday, May 7, 2010

New Pages

I have actually been pretty productive with my journals lately - from notes at the NAEA Convention and dealing with the passing of my dog to ideas for new directions in my art and experimenting with the new Strathmore journals. So, I thought that I would share. The page above is a sketch I made in my current 11x14 journal. I'm trying to take my art in a new direction, and I have been experimenting with more organic shapes and forms while still trying to show a shallow, layered space like in my Excavation series. I used a standard Bic black ballpoint pen. I love the gradation that you can get with it. I'm not certain if this is THE direction that I am headed in my art, but it's a step in some direction. I do know that I'll be adding to this page - definitely more shading, but probably color and collage as well.

I couldn't help experimenting in the new Visual Journals from Strathmore, and I love the heavier paper. I think folks will really like them when they come out in the summer. So, I had begun several pages in a couple different journals, and when Jeanette of Strathmore asked me if I would be willing to create a page that she could use as a visual journal example, I quickly finished the above two-page spread in the 5.5x8 Watercolor Journal (140 lbs paper). The beginnings of this spread can be seen in the previous post. Titled "Lost and Found" this is much more of an art piece where I really sat down and worked on it from beginning to end over a three day period. Most of my other journal pages evolve slowly over time and I incorporate a lot of day-to-day things. But it's nice to be able to focus on something and see it through in a short period of time.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New Journal Line by Strathmore

I got home the other day to find a package of samples from a new product line to be released this summer by Stratmore Artists Paper. Strathmore is set to release a line of visual journal spiral bound books in three different sizes. More on that in a bit, but first the story.

Several weeks ago, I was contacted by Jeanette from Strathmore asking if she could use some of my journal page images as a way to show how people use the visual journal. In exchange, she would send me some free samples of new products and mention the book. I said, "yes," and sent her some images. So, I got a whole variety of Visual Journals, and couldn't wait to experiment with them and share with everyone.

So, here's the scoop. Apparently Strathmore realized that visual journaling is becoming big and that many visual journalists are not satisfied with the quality of paper in traditional sketchbooks - too much bleed through, tearing, and broken bindings. So, they are releasing a line of blank books featuring a number paper qualities to satisfy the rigors of the mixed-media nature of the visual journal.

Paper types that will be available:
Drawing - 100 lb
Mixed Media
Bristol - Vellum and Smooth
Watercolor - 90 lb and 140 lb

Of course with the thicker paper, each journal will contain fewer pages. The Drawing Visual Journal will contain 84 pages (42 sheets) and the 14o lb Watercolor Visual Journal will contain 44 pages (22 sheets). But all journals will be spiral bound on the side with heavy-duty wire and heavy-duty front and back covers. All Visual Journals will be available in three sizes: 3.5"x5", 5.5"x8", and 9"x12".

So, I've been experimenting in the small Drawing Visual Journal and the medium 140 lb Watercolor Visual journal (both of which are open in the photo above). I'm loving the thicker paper quality, and permanent marker does not bleed through the drawing paper - great for those Sharpie lovers. The small journal makes an excellent pocket journal, and the medium journal will be a great travel journal to use when visiting museums and galleries.

I'm just not a fan of spiral bound journals. I know that they offer benefits - they lay flat and the offer expandibility. But the spiral gets in the way of a two page spread. I'm hoping that they will offer a hardbound 11"x14" version, and after emailing Jeanette, Strathmore may be considering it. But in the meantime, I will be getting some of the small journals when they are released in June or July.