The Owl and The Pussy Cat

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea In a beautiful 'red and white'(!) boat, They took some honey, and plenty of money, Wrapped up in a five pound note. The Owl looked up to the stars above, And sang to a small guitar, 'O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love, What a beautiful Pussy you are, You are, You are!What a beautiful Pussy you are!'

Edward Lear

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Art Journalling

I spend too much time looking at other peoples blogs, and I've now got the hang of trawling through flickr images as well, to fuel my addiction. 
One subject I feel drawn to and fascinated by are 'Art Journals'. There are lots of people out there producing very lovely pages, two of my favourites being
The trouble with this 'Art Journaling' thing for me is that I don't really get it. 
I look at their work and think it's lovely, and I want to do it, but I don't understand why. I can understand drawing and painting as a way of engaging with and observing the world, and I can understand creative writing as a way of expressing stuff that is inside us, but art journaling just seems like daubing and splattering paint, and sticking bits of stuff here and there. There are also a LOT of female faces in peoples art journals. I don't get that at all, and I suspect it is fuelled by the media, most printed versions of which seem to be full of images of peoples faces. I can only comment on printed stuff as I don't have a television, and most of my printed material is scavenged from others for fire lighting as we have no regular newspapers or magazines.
A few days ago I thought I'd have a go at this art journaling thing. It was a sunny day (oh yes, we did have one) so I west into the conservatory and threw paint and stencils and glue and scraps of paper about, glad that the sun was drying layers and allowing me to keep daubing and splattering until I felt the pages had 'enough' on them. Here are some in progress...

Art Journal pages

Art Journal page 'Really Great'

Art Journal page 'Think Different'

Now....what do I do with them?!
 I found doing them easy, and I'm beginning to realize that doing this sort of 'art', as opposed to "Art" (with a capital A, as in stuff to sell or put in a gallery) is something I enjoy and am not afraid of. It's something I'd like to run workshops in. I hesitate to say 'teach' because I don't think it's a matter of teaching I think it's more about encouraging. But I can't see myself running 'Art Journaling' workshops until I feel as though I get what the point of it is!
 For now these pages will say in my work-in-progress pile until I'm inspired to do more on them. Will I get what it's about by doing it, or do I need to get what it's about before I do them?


  1. I relate to how you feel about art journals. I experimented with it last year for a bit, and found that althgough it was fun and freeing (as opposed to drawing that I do a lot more now), I didn't really 'get' it. I enjoy looking at other's art journals and have learnt much about layering and collage by playing around with the techniques, and see that it is indeed a way to liberate one's creative spirit without feeling like you have to draw in a certain way or even draw precisely. I see the value of that anything-goes element of the art journals. However, like you, I have pages of WIP pages from my experimentation stage tucked away.

    I've also realised that the same whimsical, dreamy female face isn't my thing, so I've gone back to my sketchbook and drawing things around me. :-)

  2. Brilliant, thanks for that, I was beginning to think I was the only person who just didn't get it! I agree with everything you said about it being liberating and fun, but then I just feel what.. afterwards.I feel much better now that I know I'm not alone!

  3. Drat, why do I have an exclamation mark by my name and not a pretty picture?! Technology, Bah!