Friday, October 28, 2011

From My Art Journal: 3 weeks and Waiting

I thought I'd try something different with my Art Journaling for a bit.  I usually work in sketch books, because I can get one with heavy enough paper to handle all the abuse I do to it, but I came across a really lovely old book at the library sale last weekend, and felt inspired to try some altered book work with my journal pages.  I've never really done altered book and am excited to try something new.  The book is called "Art Stories" (seriously, that is what it is called), written in 1935, and has the sweetest illustrations and children's stories about art.
It was meant to be.  I wasnt really sure when I would start working on it, since I had so much going on in my home life and a million things to list on etsy for the holiday season before I had this baby, and so tucked it away on a shelf, but then I came across this post about self promotion as an artist yesterday and it REALLY hit home for me.  Did any of you see it yet?  I found the message really powerful, and realized that the pressure to keep promoting my art was taking more time and space in my life than actually creating it (which is what I really love).  So this morning I waded my way through my art room (which is currently a storage space for all my bins from the last art show), pulled out my paints, oil pastels, and alcohol inks, and started playing.  The theme ended up being about my official arrival at 37 weeks pregnant today, giving me about 3 more weeks to wait until this lovely little boy arrives.  Here's a quick tummy shot.  Yes, I am wearing a zebra print tank and PJ pants with a sport bra.  I am down to only 2 pairs of pants that fit and maybe 4 shirts, and sport bras are all I can stand to wear underneath right now, so fashion is not exactly a top priority. 
I am still feeling good, doing regular activities and exercise, I just get really tired very fast.  I am also getting a little impatient.  I have never really been very good at transition.  I just want to get the changes in my life over with and start the new chapter.  I hate waiting for a major change that is almost here but not quite yet.  It's like you have no idea what to do.  I want to focus on my last few days of just the 3 of us as a family, but then don't want to be too detached from preparing for the impending birth and labor process about to happen to me.  I also have a TON of work still to get the house ready for baby boy's arrival, but no energy to do it like I want to right now.  So instead I Art Journal and purge out all the nervous energy and unsure feelings.  It really helps.  I dont actually get anything else done, but I feel better.  Here is my first spread completed in the book. 
I had to glue several pages together to give the surface enough sturdiness to work on with paint and inks, but that is kind of standard practice when working in altered books.  Isnt the original illustration on the right adorable?!  I couldnt stand to paint over it.   

Any of you tried this medium before for journaling?  I'd love to hear about what you liked, disliked about it.  What worked well and see any pics if you got them.  In fact, I am currently looking for anyone who wants to do a guest post about art journaling, (share some of your pages and tell the stories about their content or how you created them).  Just send me an email and we'll chat!  Have a wonderful weekend everyone!


  1. I love your pages.. and u look amazing! Your work amazes me! xo hugs

  2. EEEk I got your package this in love!!!!!!!
    I've had the lurgy and felt yucky for most of this week and your package made me smile from ear to ear, it was like sunshine and rainbows arriving on a grey day.....Love, love, love!!

    I will be blogging some piccies on sunday (Hopefully) I need to share your wonderfulness!!

    As for the above piccies, you look wonderfully perfect!!

    I hate all the having to self promote stuff, I love my blog and blogland but all the other stuff drives me insane, all I want to do is create art and make money lol, surely that should be more simple? ;o)

  3. I love your pages!!!! I've thought about doing an altered book but haven't given it a whirl yet. You look great!!!

  4. Oh, how I remember those last few weeks when even the biggest preggy pants feel tight. (During my first pregnancy I SO UNDERSTOOD the whole baggy mu-mu thing, and so wished I had one!)

    Your spread looks great. I have wanted to work in a published book as my art journal, but haven't done it yet. With those children's illustrations, your book would make an amazing baby journal!

  5. wow, only 3 weeks to go! I wish I only had that many... I still have 13. :P (and I think I'm much bigger than you look in the photo! oh well..)

    Love your pages!

  6. I love this post! I just got the cutest little vintage book that I want to use somehow. It's too cute to tear and use in my paintings so maybe I'll follow your lead and use it as an art journal... thanks for sharing!

  7. Hi Harmony - I found my way to your blog from your guestposting on Colorsmith (Cami is a friend of mine) - so glad to see your beautiful work! Truly love your wonderful use of color and the sense of joy in your art! And always nice to see a fellow Floridian making mixed media art too :-)

  8. I absolutely adore this! I have been thinking about getting old books and doing cross stitch work in the margins. I don't draw or paint, but I think I could create a stitch-version of an art journal.

  9. These pages look lovely! A wonderful idea to take a book and alter it. If I were working mixed media I would certainly try it.
    I want to say that I read the post that you referred to, on self promoting and the balance with making art. Thank you so much for that! I am so struggling at the moment with that theme. It almost gets me to the point of not doing anything, neither art nor promotion.... which can't be right. It has made me feel more relieved and inspires me to just goa nd create for a while. The promotion part will flow from that again, I'm sure.
    Good luck in your last weeks! Big hugs, Maureen

  10. What a wonderful idea to use a book as a journal!
    'Luckily' I was in search of a new one, so I could use this idea (almost) immediately.

    The book I used is perfect as a journal too. I decided on an old Loesje book. Loesje is a Dutch 'girl' that spreads posters with texts that "are mostly positive and funny, and at the same time critical, wanting to stimulate the viewers to see things from new perspectives, and take action in their own lives. Loesje texts are not trying to tell you what to think; instead they often invite to many different interpretations." (she's international too:

    Thank you so much for the idea!


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