Sunday, October 3, 2010

X Marks the Spot

Starting a new journal is a wonderful, almost incomparable experience. I posted about journaling most recently a few weeks ago, and promised one of my readers a comment or two about what I described as "consecrating" a journal.

The image to the left shows the first page of a new journal, the Japanese stab-stitch bound journal shown in my previous post. One exercise I teach my students is designed to overcome the fear of "ruining" a new journal, especially a hand-made one. First we discuss all the ways that we can turn off the negative "censor" voices in our heads, the voices that prevent us from reaching our creative core. Then I talk to them about the journey they are about to begin in their new journals. Then, favorite writing tool in hand, I ask each student to select a page in their journal, and make an "x" on the page. "X" marks the point of entry into the pages of this personal, perhaps sacred, journey. Make your mark to begin.

 Many of my friends work with journals, often using them to work out their ideas for other artwork they will create. The examples below are from my friends in my artist group, the tArts, artists Susan Shie and Jill Milenski.

This is one of Susan's many journals. This one is for the drawing class she teaches.

Jill sketches everywhere, and often makes paintings from her sketches.

I would love to hear about your journaling experiences. Please reply : )


  1. I have several journals all at the same time ... Depending on what kind of a mood I'm determines which journal I'll use. That does make it a little easier I think .... Having options. I like your x marks the spot idea though too. And then there's always gesso :)

  2. Kimmie, I am the same way. I have journals everywhere, and like certain ones for certain moods! Granted, I sometimes "love the one I'm with" if I need to capture something, but usually like to choose my love of the moment. I do have a journal with pages coated with textured gesso, too. Just had to try some things out right that minute : )