Creative Therapy
A New Adventure

Art Journal Every Day: Evolution

ArtJournalEveryDayLogo-150 Hello!  Hello!  Can you believe we're already three weeks into January!  It seems impossible, doesn't it?

So, how did you do this week?

I'm rather proud of myself.  I managed to work in my art journal every single day (even just to do two minutes of scribbled journaling).  It's not easy to get to it every day.  Especially when there is so much on the ol' "to do" list.  But I figure I have time to brush my teeth twice a day.  I have time to check my e-mail sixteen times a day.  So I make time to art journal at least once a day.

I say "at least" because some days I art journal more than once a day.  Some days I do five minutes here and ten minutes there and then another five minutes before bed.  Some days it's one minute and then another two minutes.  And the good news is that it all counts!

But you know what?  That's all theory.  How about some concrete examples?  Today I thought I'd share the evolution of a spread in my art journal page.  I took photos from January 11 - January 17.  This is how I used ten or so minutes every single day.


  1. I love the intense colors you can get from watercolor crayons, but I find them difficult to write on top of.  So that's why I only used them for the border.  And while it looks like two colored stripes, it's actually four different colors.
  2. So that I could write on top of it, I used regular watercolor paints to lightly color the center of my page.  I do a lot of writing in my journal so I've learned to go light with this first layer.
  3. I cut this large illustration from the newspaper.  I used Liquitex matte medium to adhere and top-coat it.  I've resisted Liquitex matte medium for a while.  I didn't get why everybody raved, but I was putting in an order for art supplies and needed to get over a certain number to get free shipping, so I threw it in my cart.  And after using it I can tell you that it really is the best decoupage medium.  The finish when dry is great: it's easy to write on and color!  Just *love* it!


  1. In my daily art journal I like to stamp the date.  I use Staz On and Archival Ink because they're waterproof and I never know when liquid is going to hit the page!
  2. I was a little stumped as to what to do, so to kill some time I just watercolored the facing page.  A wash of color is always a good way to spend a few minutes while your brain in digesting.
  3. I treat my daily art journal like a diary.  And every day I write a little something (or sometimes a lot) about my day.  I almost always use a Sakura Pigma Micron (.05 size) or a nib pen.
  4. You may recall that my "mean girl" had a butterfly stuck to her forehead.  It was a leftover bit from another project.  I removed it from her forehead when I gave her an eye lift and adhered it on this page instead.


  1. That poor butterfly on vellum.  It just can't find a home.  I removed the butterfly and added this tag instead.  I made the tag to illustrate this blog post.  The tag was sitting on my desk, so I stapled it to the top of the page.
  2. My chevron obsession continues.  I stamped all around the page, again using waterproof ink.
  3. More daily journaling.


  1. One of the things I talk about on my DVD is having art mise en placeMise en place is a French term that means "everything in its place" and is used in cooking to refer to the notion of having all your base supplies chopped and ready.  This little scrap of paper is part of my art mise en place.  When I have free time I like to paint up some papers so they're ready to use when I need them.  I was happy to cut a rectangle out and glue it down!
  2. I often add a dotted line to give a random page like this some order.
  3. I added some more intense color with colored pencils.  I like colored pencils.  They're easy to use and their precision is a nice change from the imprecision of a paint brush.
  4. I felt like the stamping was dominating the page so I painted over the design with white paint and I really like the effect!


  1. I use a lot of leftover scraps from other projects in my art journal.  This is a phrase from a scrap of leftover patterned paper that was sitting on my desk.
  2. I created a layout with these white tags, but they didn't work.  So I just stuck the tag into my art journal!  And from a design point-of-view it really helps the other tag  not look so out of place.

I forgot to take a photo one day, so there's a lot to explore here!

  1. More garbage.  I punched a butterfly from some patterned paper.  I mounted the scrap I punched the butterfly from on black cardstock and voila!  A page embellishment is born!
  2. Another leftover white tag rejected from a scrapbook page.  The colorful tag is from a demo I did for an online class I taught.  It has been sitting in my "stuff-to-use" drawer for more than a year!
  3. I stamped all the dates.  I used two of my favorite number sets!  The larger ones are actually foam stamps. Don't forget: You can use foam stamps with regular stamping ink too, not just paint!
  4. It's not like I've written a ton here.  Some days I only have time or energy for a few words. 
  5. I am having a compulsive need to find a home for that darn butterfly!  Let's see if it stays this time....


  1. That scrap of painted paper was still sitting on my desk, so I cut a chunk out to decorate the page. From a design point-of-view it also helps to bring that pattern/color/texture across to this other side.
  2. More scrapbooking layout leftovers!  A piece of a punched border and a journaling strip that didn't get used!
  3. I've been working on some designs on my computer.  I did a test print onto photo paper.  Rather than let that print go to waste, I cut the design out and glued it into my journal.  Not only is it pretty, but it's an artifact from this week and what I've been working on!
  4. I've never particularly liked my handwriting.  I've often coveted the handwriting of others.  But every time I look at one of my art journal pages I find myself reading the text and not thinking about whether or not it looks ugly!
  5. I had used a piece of vintage sheet music in another project.  This was the page border that I cut off.  I actually have an envelope full of page borders.  They have a great vintage look and work really well for all sorts of things.  Anyway, I grabbed it and typed up a few thoughts on it with a typewriter.  That's tissue tape at the bottom.


  1. I decided to continue the flower theme and used a Permapaque marker to doodle in the existing space.  Notice how I stopped at the edge of the vellum panel behind the butterfly.
  2. I used some text stamps to stamp the date.  I often use my art journal as a way to explore ideas.  I love how this date turned out and now I'm thinking of how I can use this idea on another project!
  3. I used a Sakura Pigma Micron for all of the journaling on this page.


  1. I left my journal open on my desk and when I had ten minutes I grabbed a brush and painted in the design.  Quick and dirty without worrying about staying in the lines!


  1. I used the last little bits of the painted paper to fill in the large gap on the bottom and add a little dividing strip in the middle of the page.  Using the same paper over and over really makes this spread look like I thought it out instead of the truth: I just grabbed crap from my desk and glued it down!
  2. I cut a tag shape from some leftover sheet music and stuck on this adorable "feltie."  It's something I got in a kit and have never been able to figure out what to do with.  I felt like the big eyes captured something I was feeling this week. So into the art journal it goes!
  3. I had fussy cut that blue frame from some patterned paper, with the intention of putting it onto a scrapbook page.  Instead of throwing it away, I slipped it onto this page.  It helps to soften the harsh line between the painted flowers and the rest of the page!

So here's a peek at the final spread.

And some close-ups:

Some things I learned from this art journal spread:

  • One of the things that I so enjoy about art journaling every day is the sense of a project building.  I have a bad tendency to be a "finish it now" person.  I have zero patience.  Doing little bits every day allows ideas to percolate and themes to emerge and forces me to let go of control.  I love that.  I have trouble embracing that lack of control in other artistic pursuits, but in my art journal it really gets me going.
  • I love how the negative of the punched butterfly turned out with the date stamped at the bottom (the last detail photo).  I'm going to have to do that on purpose on a scrapbooking page.
  • That cut out phrase "the wisdom," which was a leftover scrap of patterned paper.  I ended up using that idea on a CHA project -- a little painting.  I never would have thought about cutting the words from the patterned paper if the scrap hadn't been sitting on my desk and begging to be put into my art journal.  Now it seems so obvious!
  • On the "Grow" tag even though that looks like a super long bingo card, it's just a regular sized one that I cut in half.  I placed the quote over the gap and I think it looks so cool!  Definitely going to have resize some more embellishments using that technique!
  • I know I said this, but the stamping of "seventeen" has me jazzed.  I've already put it on a project, which I will share soon!

What have you learned from your art journal this week?

Thanks for stopping by!


P.S. If you're new to Art Journal Every Day here's the 411:

  • Complete list of posts can be found here.
  • Optional flickr group is here.  There's a message board and photo pool.  Instructions on using flickr here.
  • People signed up for January are listed here.  You don't have to sign up to play along.  And you don't have to share any pages, unless you want to.
  • Be nice to yourself.  Aim for ten minutes a day.  If you don't make it, tomorrow is another day!
  • And it's never to late to start!