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Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Peek Inside My New Large Visual Journal

A few weeks ago, I was perusing things over at Roz's place, and signed up for a free online workshop she was doing with the Strathmore Artist Studio people. I love Roz's creative approaches to her visual journals, and I knew she'd have some good ideas.

I ordered a couple of the Strathmore journals in different paper types. I played with each when they arrived. Then I took one to the zoo last week -- and promptly mislaid it before I made the first drawing. Alas, the paper in that one was far superior to the other, and I couldn't quickly replace it. But I wanted to get going with some large sketchbook stuff, so I headed over to my local art supplies store and found a reasonable substitute by Canson.

I've also been watching a second visual-journal workshop there by Linda Blinn, and have been enjoying both of them so much that it's almost all I can think about. Anyway, I thought I'd catch you up on what I've done so far, which includes:

1. Using a print-out of an illustrated piece I did for an online magazine to customize my cover. I've been doing this with my smaller books, too, though usually I wait till the journal is done, then pick something inside that book, copy it and adhere it with PVA bookbinding glue. This time I used an older image and created the cover immediately. First, the image is one of my faves, and second, I like to take a book out in the world that looks like it actually belongs to someone.
2. Playing with trimming pages to reveal bits of the next page.
3. Designing spreads, which cross an kind of ugly ring-binding gutter, without getting hung up on the ugly ring-binding gutter. I don't love ring-bound journals and sketchbooks, but I do love how they lay flat, and how they tend to come with lovely paper that's versatile enough for wet and dry media, and even for things like acrylics and heavier collage.

All right. Peruse my pages, if you like, and definitely visit Roz and the Strathmore Artist Studio folks for lots of cool ideas.

The cover of my 9-by-12 Canson all-media sketchbook after customization.

Page One is actually trimmed to about 6 inches wide to let the design from the first full spread show through on the right. I painted the first page with tinted gesso, and I'll be writing on that page later. If I wanted to, I could use the inside of the front cover, too. Maybe a Table of Contents page?

The first spread is a SeussianSandstrom bird. The inspiration came directly from thinking about what I could design that would look cool from Page One before you saw the full spread. She makes me happy. Note: Her foreground foot actually has plenty of space, and then some to spare. This is just an example of bad photography. Unfortunately, these big journal spreads don't fit on my scanner.

And this is the second full spread. You saw half of it in my previous post. The right side depicts an all-in-one tool I found at an antique shop. I used old doilies my mother had bought now many years ago, which I never threw away, to get some paint patterning.


Don West said...

These are 12x14 or so I presume? Moleskine makes a "portfolio" watercolor journal you might like too...big. I like the all-in-one. Coulda used that when those roadside marauders surprised me lol!

Karen Sandstrom said...

They're 9X12. I've seen the Moleskine watercolor portfolio. I just have such a hard time doing things other than watercolor on that fine paper. It feels like cleaning the house in a wedding dress.

Gayle Pritchard said...

Beautiful to look at. Thanks for letting us have a peek...