Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Making an Art Journal

I recently decided that I was in need of a place where I could sketch and play with paint without the pressure of making an actual piece of art. Sometimes I want to paint, but I don't want to paint a painting. Working in a journal rather than on canvas, for instance, seems to help move my focus to the process rather than the end product.

None of my store-bought journals were quite right for this project, so I set out to make my own. Following the instructions in Gwen Diehn's book The Decorated Journal, I learned how to sew a text block using a variety of papers I had in my studio. For the cover, I was drawn to an old children's book I'd previously pillaged for collage material. Using PVA glue, I pasted in my homemade text block and voila! -- a new journal.

I had a great time decorating the cover with artsy and inspirational pictures. Adhering the images was a bit of an experiment, however. I used encaustic medium (beeswax), which gave the journal a nice old world feel, but the downside is that the cover is a bit sticky to the touch. If I try that technique again, I'll likely confine the wax to a smaller area.

And here's another peek inside: