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Book Club: Journal It!


It's time for our December Book Club!  Just as a reminder, each month I choose a crafty book from my bookshelf and create something inspired by the book.   I hope you'll be inspired to do the same.

This month I chose the book Journal It! curated by Jenny Doh:

In an act of full disclosure: I'm one of the nineteen artists featured in this book.  

Jenny Doh has gathered a wide variety of art journalers into the pages of Journal It!  Each artist is featured over several pages.  You get a mixture of his/her artwork and comments on the process of art journaling.  In addition, each artist gives some instructions for at least one technique that he/she likes to use.

I thought the best way to describe the book for you, would be to share a little about each atist's chapter:

  • Bob Fisher: Bob's work is intensely saturated and tends to monochromatic use of color.  He mixes collaged text with hand drawn images, many of people.  His suggestion about using watersoluble crayons for portraits sent me off on a binge of several weeks of doing just that!  
  • Julie Fei-Fan Balzer: This is the *best* chapter in the book.  ;)
  • Belinda Fireman: Belinda's work is brightly colored with a strong use of black marks to create focus and design.  The two techniques she shares both involve using a black pen over acrylic paint, which is one of my go-to techniques too!
  • Debra Cooper: Debra does a lot of layering of paint and ink and I liked the part of her chapter about incorporating stenciling into your journal.  The technique she shares for layering spray ink and acrylic paint is one I love to use too!  She also shares a wonderful hand drawn alphabet.
  • Carolyn Sewell: Carolyn's chapter is full of her intense lettering -- black ink crowded onto a stark white page.  I could stare at it for hours.  And she gives some great tips about accepting mistakes.
  • Anna-Maria Wolniak: Anna-Maria's work is full of brightly colored watercolor splashes and text that beautifully mixes handwriting and stamping.  There's a kind of lush minimalism about her work that is mesmerizing.
  • Melanie Mowinski: Melanie's work pulls its color scheme from nature: browns, greens, and greys.  Her "field guides" are wonderful and *almost* make this city girl want to go and explore nature!  I really appreciate the technique and tips she shares for dyeing Tyvek.
  • Jill K. Berry: Jill's pages feature realistic sketches of people and lots of writing.  My favorite page of hers is filled with her beautiful calligraphy in several different styles.
  • Alisa Burke: Alisa's sketchbook pages are filled with lovely drawings painted with watercolor.  I like her idea of framing your subject matter when working in your journal.
  • Susanna Gordon: Susanna's work is very 3-D.  From a doll she made to moth brooches, her charming art work mixes a dark mood with a light and bright style.
  • Sarah Atwater Bourne: Sarah's chapter is full of different ideas.  She explains how to do easy toner based transfers and shares the cutest matchbox journal ever!
  • Susan Shelley: Susan and I agree: there are no rules when it comes to art journaling!  Her pages are very textural and incorporate everything from hand stitching to burlap.  She also shares how she makes "found fabric paper."
  • Corey Moortgat: Corey's pages are very much like scrapbook pages to me.  She incorporates a lot of photos of her children and mixes pretty patterned paper with paint.  I adore the arch shape she uses in a lot of her artwork.
  • Kathrin Jebsen-Marwedel: Kathrin's art journal pages are full of delightful drawings, precisely colored.  Her drawings have an almost cartoon-like feeling, with clean lines and bright colors.  In her chapter she shares her tips on coloring (involves mixing watercolor and markers).
  • Bruce Kremer: Bruce's journals are a wonderful record of his travels and his life.  He takes simple lined notebooks and fills them with writing, drawings, and mementos (like leaves and feathers).  He doesn't treat his journals as precious.  Love that!
  • Roben-Marie Smith: Roben-Marie's brightly colored pages feature tons of intense pattern and texture (circles are a fave) and she shares how to replicate her inky paper backgrounds.  I also love what she shares on stitching in her journal (something I want to do more of).
  • Zom Osborne: Zom's free and easy pages are filled with writing and drawings of doll-like girls.  In her chapter she shares a gesso resist technique (one of my personal faves too) that is easy and versatile.
  • Alison Worman: Alison's work is wonderful and interesting and different and thoughtful and minimalisitc.  It's all about texture and shapes with lots of hand stitching.  I love her "Little Windows" page and based one of the stencils I recently cut on it.
  • Jeanette Sclar: Jeanette's pages are filled with watercolor sketches.  She also shares how to do a Citra Solv Transfer -- a type of transfer that I've read a lot about, but never tried.

Whew.  That's a long list of journalers with a wide range of styles.  I will admit that there are some journalers who I'm closer to in style and thus gravitate towards, but there's lots to be inspired by.  

When I sat down to create, I didn't have any one journaler's technique or ideas in mind.  I just kind of took what I had absorbed from the book and let it flow out onto the page.

I like it.  It feels like me and yet it's also different for me.  And isn't that the point of reading a crafty book?  To feel inspired and incorporate some new ideas into your own work?

Would you like to win a copy of Journal It!?  To win, leave an answer to the following question in the comments section of this blog:

What do you like about art journaling?

I'll announce the winner next Monday (December 24, 2012).

Thanks for stopping by!