Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Encyclopedia of Stress Art Journal

Today on her blog Tasra Dawson showed us a page from her first art journal. So I decided to show you some of mine too.

In Google search for art journal I found several magazines in towns of every size called, Art Journal. There is a Flickr group called Art Journal with 4739 members. A cursory glance through the images there reveals that many people use the term art journal and sketch book interchangeably. Others create collage works that are dark and disturbing, full of skulls and horns and blood (not my thing). While others use text and color to create beautiful reflective pieces.

These colorful pages remind me of the work of Dina Wakely and Julie Fei-Fen Balzer. Their work is colorful, complex, full of texture and life. They layer paint and ink, paper, images, and text to make beautiful pages that draw you in and keep your eyes busy. 

Yesterday Dina Wakley posted on her blog about her new book Art Journal Freedom: How to Journal Creatively With Color & Composition. One of the reasons she wrote this book was because she wanted you to grow as an artist. 

A week and a half ago Julie of Balzer designs posted in her Art Journal Every Day series the difference between art journals and other paper crafts and is really worth a read if you're interested in getting started.

My art journal is not a blank book but a book I'm altering. The title was just too enticing at the charity book sale. It was the lonely shrink wrapped index to an encyclopedia that was nowhere to be found. My art journal is called Encyclopedia of Stress. I will show you glimpses into this book, but then I'm done. This is a very personal project for me. 

This journal is not a place where I plan to grow as an artist, though I will not deny that I probably am growing as an artist as I add to it. I do try new techniques here but because it is a glossy page I feel somewhat limited. Perhaps I should do a page on that. My journal is a place where I pour out my stresses. Where my sadness and grief can wander at will. Where my insecurities can dance. In creating the art that tells the story of my feelings I have found a way to work through my feelings. 

I've had this book for a couple of years and I try to date the pages because the stresses I add to it now are very different than they were two years ago. My first entries were about construction on the expressway leading to work. Then they were about the anxiety over losing my job. And now they are about losing my father and trying to help my son work through his grief and feeling like I'm failing. Of course every mother feels like they are failing their children, even when they aren't. 

One of the benefits of this book is that
there are already illustrations of brains in it.

Here are a few links to see samples of other people's art journal pages.
On Tumblr. On Pinterest. On Flickr.

Happy Crafting,


tasra said...

I love this! So glad that you shared! Hope to see more pages soon!

alexa said...

What a great book to be altering/using as a journal. Hoping that things will get easier for you all little by little. I always enjoy seeing art journal pages very much indeed .…