Monday 30 March 2009

Art Journal

Journalling has been my lifeline for over eighteen years. It is still my constant, and I can never imagine, or want it, any other way. It’s how I see the world, sort myself and things out, plan, scheme, schedule, dream, explore thoughts and feelings and yes, still moan quite a bit…
What I discovered some eight years ago, upon moving to Vancouver Island, was that I wanted something more. Words, always my security, and what I return to time and time again, were no longer always enough in some instances. Whether it was because I had started working seriously on my art and wanted to record my progress, or whether I began to connect on a more visual basis I don’t know, but I wanted something more than my steadfast journal.
I found a beautiful 10” x 10” spiral bound scrapbook and began to tentatively explore within the safety of its pages. Mention of my first art exhibit and sale, acceptance into a local juried show, my invitation to a prestigious event at some local botanical gardens… Sporadically I would paint something or collage a piece to be included in the pages, and postcards of others’ shows or work would find themselves pasted alongside everything else.
Last Fall, I moved into a tiny space and as a result had to go through piles and piles of “pieces” I’d saved over the years, as well as far too many half-filled sketchbooks, the contents of which mostly were not likely to ever be allowed to see the light of day again. But some were not half- bad, and I realised that I didn’t have to keep these sketchbooks intact. I could take them apart, burn the pieces I really didn’t care for, and paste the ones I liked into my art scrapbook. Once the move was behind me I spent several enjoyable evenings doing just that.

But it still wasn’t satisfying enough. Mostly because it was images and very few words.
And I cannot live without words.
Around this time I found some 8” x 8” hardbound lightly-lined journals on sale for 50% off. I bought all three. I then came across a blog where the artist shared her collection of 'Everyday Travel Journals' in which she kept a written and visual record of her life. Something about the way she used her journals changed my entire way of looking at things. All it took was an idea to run with, and run with it I did!

I began to combine images, sketches, and words to my heart’s content. I discovered that the paper in the journal I was using could also take watercolours, and I now have a record of my art journey on an on-going basis. I may not work in it every day, or every week for that matter, but treat myself every now and again to a couple of evenings every few weeks “catching up.” I’m enjoying the process so much I will eventually go back through my journals over the last eight years and harvest the phrases and paragraphs that pertain to the images that populate my original art scrapbook.
From now on I am giving equal space in my Art Journal to both my writing and my art, which is, after all, how it was always meant to be…

1 comment:

Sea Witch said...

I have discovered your blog through Ullabenulla's blog. Your whispies with the wild child hair are delightful. Love your words you share. Peace. The Sea Witch