Sunday, January 20, 2008

Art Crusade # 16, Journal Your Blog

This was a toughie. The Art Crusade # 16 assignment was to pick a blog post and (art) journal about it, then share the journal page on your blog. First, I wanted to pick a blog post about which I had something to say. It seems logical to pick one about art. But which one? Well, it turns out that once I've said something my art, I'm kind of done. Which left me with this post about some pieces I was painting for my cousin for Christmas. That is problematic because they are hardly more advanced than they were at the time I wrote the post. Now I'd have to admit to the world what a deadbeat non-finisher I can be. Ugh. Then, ironically, when I took the picture of the unfinished tryptich, I put the canvasses right in front of another unfinished painting! Sigh.

Another thing; usually my journal pages are not so nifty looking. I never pre-prep the pages with paint and ink and stuff(although this one did happen to have a coat of gesso on it - the only page in the journal that does). While I occasionally go all out on a journal page, I typically just grab the journal and scribble down ideas and lame sketches to remind myself of them later. I really wanted to prettify it for this. Make it more like the journal I wish I kept. Below are a couple of typical pages.

Look at that vast expanse of white. Yeesh. So I am not entirely shamed, I will share another couple of pages where I actually did make a little effort.

I was reading what Michele wrote about visual journals and feeling somewhat guilty; which naturally led to feeling whiny... I already have mountains of dishes, laundry, and household filing piling up around me. Taking more time to work on a journal just seems like it would take away from the time I use to make art and post on my blog. Plus, I'm already so solitary, I don't really want something to make me more solitary. Which is how journalling occurs for me. One reason I'm so drawn to art is that it is a way for me to communicate with people outside of myself. A way to say, "See? This is how I think, how I see." I feel like I'm writing something blasphemous here... Sorry, Michele.
Strangely, this is akin to a conversation I was having a couple nights ago at the Room 206 gathering (which I will blog about at another time). When I admitted that I hadn't owned a pair of jeans for the whole of the 1990s, I think there was kind of a jump in time or something. I know it seems strange, especially here in the States - and even more specifically, here in the Northwest - but for me it was very practical. I only made a certain amount of money and so I really couldn't afford to buy anything that I couldn't wear to work. Since my free time was spent holding cocktails rather than walking sticks or shovels, it was a choice that made sense.
How that story relates to visual journals is in the practicality argument. What with Rexy and her therapy and housekeeping (such as it is) and family stuff, I barely squeeze in time to work on artistic endeavors (including blogging - it's 1:07am right now) as it is. When faced with a limited amount of time, I choose to paint rather than journal. And every time I cut something out with the intention of using it in my journal I inevitably think to myself, "Why waste this (time and resource) on the journal when I could use it in a piece of art?" It's an easy decision for me. Maybe if I were a little more "type A" I would use my time more efficiently and I wouldn't have to make the choice. I don't know.

When Rexy goes to school for a full day rather than just 2 1/2 hours maybe I will be able to be a little more free with my time - able to journal and socialize. Until then, I'm pretty sure my journal will continue to be a collection of vast, white expanses dotted with notes, doodle-y sketches, and snippets of poems.
Hopefully no one hates me now for not being an avid art-journaler (hmm, I pretty sure that's not a word). Does anyone else feel this way?
Join the Art Crusade! Visit the GPP Street Team blog.
Don't forget A Place to Bark!


Lucy said...

I can relate as to why you don't journal more, or have less 'white' space in your journal. For me, it's a time thing as well. The time I do have for my artwork, is better spent on a larger work of art--but yet there is still a part of me that wishes I had a journal that chronicled my journey for those pieces I have created. Or something that I could pick up when I lacked the ideas and inspiration to create a bigger piece. Hmmm...the answer probably is somewhere in between spending quality time with your journal yet not be afraid to step out of that book and onto the 'canvas'.

michelle ward said...

Stop your whining! Just kidding. Thanks Laurie for being honest with your view about journaling. All these pages are great - the finished and the 'white space' pages are equally terrific. Let me just put in my two cents about why I started to journal: I was 'on assignment' to make projects for quite some time and found I didn't have anything to show for all the work I'd been doing. I was always rushing to meet a deadline and would have piles of scraps or leftovers that I couldn't part with (or clean up) and while in the process would come up with ideas for new projects. I started keeping notes and sketched in a journal, then began using the scraps and do-overs on my pages, simply as a reminder for what I'd done already, to inform and inspire what to do next. I finally had something to show for all the work I'd been doing (and giving away or selling) and it felt really good. Validating. Making a page shouldn't be looked at like a chore, but a quick way of documenting both your thought process and your art process.

Thanks for playing Laurie.

Anonymous said...

Really nice pages! I especially love your scrolly doodle on the white pages! I can totally relate to not finishing something I start much though that I restrict myself from purchasing anything to use unless I have completed the current project. I had to seriously put myself on "lock down" to battle my art ADD.

Heather, said...

I absolutely love the pages with the white expanses...who says white is a bad thing? The hearts pop off the page and besides if it made you feel good and revved your creative spirit while doing it then you acheived what I think art-journaling is about! Thanks for sharing your thoughts because sometimes, in looking at everyone's beautiful blogs, I can't help but feeling that I don't really have my life together at all and then I read something like yours, honest and full of the day-to-day, and realize that we're all probably dealing with many of the same things...too many responsibilities coupled with a vast amount of creativity and curiosity! Thanks for sharing from your heart and a 1:00 a.m.!

PLO said...

I love your journal pages. Mine are usually more like yours, with a LOT of white. It is good to have an assignment that makes you try something new.

girl_gone_thread_wild said...

Wow, I also found this months crusade to be challenging, mostly because I didn't grow up with a journal- instead I wrote poems (somewhat like a journal but not very visual). I can't believe how much I'm learning about myself through Michelle's fun posts... thank you Laurie for stopping by my blog, I'm totally diggin' your doodlings here and that postcard is SPECTACULAR! Art on, Monica

Becky New said...

I think you did a great job with this! I love all your colors... and the differences between the post and the journal page. :) Cool!

Elaine Thomas said...

Hello Laurie, thanks for stopping by my blog. I love your pages. Also, your daughters and I have something in common. My Birthday is also on February 14th :) Best Birthday Wishes to them.


Jodi Barone said...

Thanks for a great post. My mind is full of ideas that I need to put on hold all day at 1am too. I like the white space in your feels they are clear minded, perfect in a zen way. I believe your art is also your journal; I find your art very expressive of who you are and what matters to you. Hope this finds you happy, rested and well.

between the worlds said...

Hey Laurie- thanks for swinging by my blog- the banner changed over the weekend- but is still not quite right- needs some TLC- how did you do your's? Strange that you are blogging about journaling-i'm starting to journal a bit myself- never did any before- a la teesha moore- we'll see how that goes! cheers!!! LR

Kathy McCreedy said...

Hi Laurie! Glad you joined the Street Team! Hey, journals aren't really supposed to be anything more than what YOU want them to be! Lighten up, sister! :D Have fun, no one else is judging you or your journal, I promise! I think by nature we are all way too hard on ourselves, and it doesn't have to be that way. Have fun, do what you can, and I promise you'll look back in a couple of years and see real growth... in whatever direction you take. Believe me, it's all OK!! All my best...

Chris said...

Laurie! Did you feel any differently (better or worse) about the journalling after you made this 'extra effort', of prepping and showing the pages? I think they are fab, and I also like white spaces. I have kept journals all my life, but never decorated them. I would buy fancy, designed journals to write in, but never include my own art. So this challenge is going to be interesting for me because I haven't really made a habit of combining the writing and the art. I think any embellishing on the page is revealing and gives layers to what you are doing, and I think your pages are interesting. I'm becoming a big fan of doodling, too. Just to doodle is fun and freeing!
Thanks for sharing.

Robin said...

I am really intrigued by your "white" pages. I absolutely love art journals, but especially I love them when the muse is still raw and fresh. Your doodles and borders demonstrate those quick moments of creativity and ideas that are so familiar to all busy people, but especially mothers! That said, I'm crazy about your "finished" page too.

~Izabella said...

this is so awesome!!

I wanted to join in on this crusade, but journaling scares me silly!

xo! ~Izabella

Kathryn said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and living your comment about the Super Bowl Commercial. I LOVE your blog! I am thinking about joining the Crusade as it is a way to do art and journal (which I have been very sparatic doing).
Look forward to your coming posts! By the way, I added your blog to my Blogroll, I hope that is ok. :)
Artful Blessings,

Dieverdog said...

You shouldn't pressure yourself to do anything you don't really want to do... that's not what the Street Team is all about (so far as I'm concerned!)... sure sometimes we need a push to go outside our comfort zone to experiment and try new things...which is a good thing... but don't compare how you do things with anyone else... we all have different needs and different ways of working... I kind of am with you... I'd rather just go straight to making art sometimes rather than journal...the idea of journaling is that you can be free to make mistakes or do whatever... but I put pressure on myself with every page to look a certain way and to be art in its own right... but it shouldn't be stressful... it should be FUN!

I love what you did... but we don't all have to love what we do (though I want to love everything I create... I sure don't always!). So just worry about having fun with your art and being expressive about whatever you want to say and share with the's all good!

Penny said...

Oh WOW, you did it again! Your pages are so fun, so full of life! Love them!