Visual Journals Meet Technology

Deirdre passed this link on to me. Pamdora has written a post about journals. In it she links to YouTube videos of artists sharing their visual journals. I did look at a couple of the videos.

The videos show page after page of the artists’ drawing books. It is cool to see what they are drawing, because it gives me ideas for what I can draw if I ever become regular in working on a visual journal. I was bolstered in my efforts by looking at Paula Scher’s video, because she draws letters in different ways. She decorates the shapes and encloses them in different vessels. What a simple idea for getting starting on a visual journal journey. Start with the basics!

Her fonts get more elaborate as the video goes on and the audience begins to see the border treatment that she does on the pages of her journal. Her work kind of reminds me of writing your name over and over on your notebook in 6th grade.

Celia Squire, a London artist, does very detailed pictures of what looks like the world around her. The figures are elaborate and rich. The details made me want to look closer. I really like the first page of the woman sitting at a cafe table.

Stefano Faravelli’s journal is wonderful. Pamdora writes “A beautiful travel-style journal that folds out out into one long composition.” Her words do not do justice to the fantastic watercolors on each page or the cleverness of the way the pages fold out to one long painting. I really like the way he has incorporated words into his compositions. perhaps I don’t need a visual journal, because Stefano has done what I want to do!

One of the things I hadn’t thought of until I saw Remy Bardin’s journal were foldouts and pockets. I could make little secret hiding places in my visual journal. Perhaps I should call it the mythical visual journal?

The videos are accompanied, except for Paul Dewis, by a strange clapping/rustling of tracing paper sound. I turned off the sound on my computer, so I could concentrate on the art.

It is obvious that these artists:

  • are in the habit of creating visual journals
  • have the perfect supplies
  • are committed

There are many more videos of this project. Go take a look. You will be inspired!

What a great idea.

NOT All Talk and No Action

Darling Boy and I drew together last night and I started the visual journaling I have been wanting to try. I didn’t do any writing, which I think I should. I found a picture of a fabric flower (fusing probably) in a catalog and have had it pinned to my design wall for ages. I thought of creating an applique’, but never did. The first step to an applique’ is a drawing, so I did some drawings using different media last night.

Felt tips pens.

Colored pencils and chalk pencils.

The drawings didn’t come out the way I expected, but I am not disappointed with the results. I still have the CPS article in my mind and my drawings look very different. If I am going to do much of this, I will have to stop comparing my drawings to anyone else’s and become comfortable with my own style.

Thinking Blogger Award

Kristen awarded me the Thinking blogger Award. While it has taken me awhile to post this on my blog and write about it, I was really glad. I don’t think I have ever really shared my writing in any meaningful way beyond letters to friends, essays at school and my thesis. Receiving Kristen’s Thinking Blogger Award made me feel like I had achieved something.

I started this blog, because:

  1. I needed to jumpstart my quiltmaking work after a long drought of time and ideas. I figured if I had an audience of regular readers, it would help me to keep at sewing and writing.
  2. It was a regular opportunity to write for a reason: I was gearing to up to write something longer and needed to “train.”
  3. I wanted to share what I was doing, including pictures, so that I could get feedback without joining a quilt group.
  4. I wanted to chronicle my progress.
  5. I wanted to explore one subject thoroughly.
  6. I like the concept of social networking and the technologies associated with it.
  7. I wanted to show that an ordinary person could also do extraordinary things sometimes.

I did not start this blog to:

  1. Blather on about my personal problems
  2. To talk about the entire universe of ideas and information.

Part of the Award is to make note of other blogs that inspire me or make me think. Here they are in no particular order:

  1. Yarnstorm creates a beautiful blog. The design of the blog itself is a work of art. Then I get the joy of looking at her photos and her projects and her color sense. It is fresh and well written. Her photographs celebrate the ordinary [work of women]. I especially like this post.
  2. Jan at Be*mused has a wonderful sense of design. Her photographs are little works of art. They really exemplify her sense of color. Her title looks like the Bewitched logo from a zillion years ago. An example of her fabulous color sense is in this post. I also like the photos she posts about projects that inspire her, which she follows up with examples of her interpretation.
  3. Red Shoe Rambling. I admire Deb’s perseverance in posting every day; she committed to doing it and she does it. She also has gorgeous photos. They are really different from Be*mused and Yarnstorm. I love the ones she posts of nature. I also appreciate her bravery in posting photos of when she was a kid!
  4. I really like Laume’s Studio, because she describes her projects and thoughts about them. Again, she posts wonderful photos. Laume looks at the world the way I do. She posts pictures of patterns that she sees in her daily life, such as this post about the photo of fence.
  5. I supposed I could have chosen more than 5, but in sticking with the rules, I decided to only choose 5. It was difficult, because there are a lot of bloggers I admire: Deirdre (love the tabs on her blog and she always reads my blog. Also, she is a master painter), High Fiber Content (Julie is fearless in trying new things. Her blog is also a great chronicle of all the various projects in her life), Fibermania (Melody Johnson is so consistent and cheerful in her posting), I chose Pamdora’s Box, because of her drawings and her sense of humor.

You can read Kristen’s post about my blog is here. You can find out about the Thinking Blogger Award in general here.

Thoughts on Visual Journals

I stared at the screen all day yesterday and was amazed when no new posts materialized.

Today Deirdre got me thinking with her post mentioning a new box of crayons. This dovetailed with me finding two sets of felt tip markers that I have had for years (yes, they still work). No longer my implement of choice, they have been languishing.

I am still thinking about visual journals so Deirdre’s post made me think of the “visual work” I did when I was a kid. Doodleart were black and white posters you bought in a tube and then colored with felt tips. I loved Doodleart posters and am amazed that they are still in business! I see the aquarium and think I did that one way back when.

I was also thinking about coloring books. I used to go to TG&Y on my bike and buy coloring books and paper doll punch out books. I think coloring books may have been the original visual journals for me.

This Disneyland coloring book is copyright 1975 by Walt Disney Productions. It is called a Whitman Book, Western Publishing Company, Inc., Racine, Wisconsin. There is a history of this company online.

I really thought a lot about color when I was coloring. Notice how Minnie’s shoes carefully match her dress?

It should come as no surprise that I was extremely neat in my coloring. I also DID NOT share. I didn’t want anyone messing up my work of art. 😉

Still no movement on actually creating a modern visual journal, but it is still rolling around in my head. I think I need to find a good art store.

Creative Journals

I have been feeling, for a long time, how I would like to work on a visual journal – painting, sketching, colored pencils…something. I am an inveterate journal keeper. I have been keeping a journal since about 1980. Perhaps earlier. I have scads of them everywhere. I used to put snippets of things in them and they would get quite fat and I would have to keep it in a big ziploc bag in order to ensure that the bits and pieces wouldn’t fall out. An old boyfriend spent the day reading my journals once and that was the end of him. Jerk. My journals are for my mental health and NOT for sharing. They are not nice, not always pretty, but they are a fantastic exercise.

Anyway, enough boring background.

Lately I have been writing bits and notes in my journal about Thr3fold journal in order to remind myself what I want to write in the review. Putting the notes in my journal keeps all the parts together. Today, I was reading an article in Cloth Paper Scissors. Jane Lafazio, Keeping Creative Sketchbooks, pg.24-27, March/April 2007 issue, writes a little lesson on drawing and the whole article is illustrated with pages from her notebooks. The images are fresh, alive, colorful drawings. They make me want to get closer, to know more. She also writes “The journaling makes my sketchbook more than a series of paintings; it becomes my illustrated personal story.” What a lovely thought. I love the thought of something being my personal story.

Darling Boy made a deal with me to draw every day. This is his picture. Of course it is about war, but I love the little alien in the upper right hand corner. I am tempted to enlarge it and paint it. Something about it appeals to me, perhaps the googly eyes.

Tonya showed a picture of one of her visual sketchbooks, so I have been reinspired all day to figure out how to do this.

And finally, I finished another Cross Block (Flowering Snowball). Two in one week! I am thrilled!

How do you like the fabric with the faces?