The Art Journal Experiment is going much better than it was last time I posted.  I’ve been trying different mediums besides watercolors and the pages don’t curl quite as much.  Plus if I use a heat gun to dry the pages between coats of paint (ink or whatever) it seems to allow the pages to lay more flat because I can coax them along with my hand and spread them out.  Whew!  So glad it’s working better now … I’m actually getting excited about this project.

Did I mention that I altered the covers of the original book?  I took the covers off the spiral binding and covered them in a favorite scrapbook paper – repunched the holes and put it back on the spiral. I’ll probably doodle on the cover along the way – that paper just screams for doodling, doesn’t it?

So in my mind art journaling is designed to be a combination of art and journaling — which means pages telling the story of my creativity with art supplies, but also a place for me to write my thoughts like a normal journal.  And eventually that’s where I want to go.  But for now I think I need to experiment with backgrounds a bit more.  I did one full page with journaling and all… but I feel like the journaling was a bit “forced” and I didn’t truly give myself the time to sit and think with just my journal and a pen.

I guess these first pages that I don’t like so much actually look pretty good in pictures.  

So for now I’m going to do what I’ve heard Kira does — she lays down a bunch of backgrounds on several pages, then carries her art journal and few writing/drawing utensils with her to do the journaling wherever she happens to be.  Speaking of Kira — one day I hope to be able to master the watercolor thing like she’s done. By the way… in that video (which I just watched for the 3rd time now) I realized that she mentions she gesso’s all her pages first before working. I’ve only done one in my book, gonna need to try to do more to see if I can see a difference.  I wonder if she puts the gesso on all the pages in the book before she starts creating or if she does it as she goes along.  Mmm…

So this is what I’ve tried so far:

Ranger Distress Inks — just cover the whole page in a couple different shades of ink.  (I love Ranger Inks by Tim Holtz and have nearly every color that’s made and a bunch of his alcohol inks too.)  Then I added a few stamped images from my huge collection of acrylic stamps.  This one was super easy and gave me immediate gratification. It gave me a bit of confidence to try some other pages.

Acrylic Paint and Tissue Paper — tried a page with a thick layer of copper colored paint and dried it. Then added some scraps of scrapbook paper and tissue paper on top using Mod Podge.  Isn’t that tissue paper adorable?  It’s got bumble bees all over it.  When everything was dry again, I added some swipes of more Ranger Ink – Walnut Stain.   I couldn’t seem to get the pictures to show the beautiful copper color of the pages – it really shines!  

Acrylic Paint and Paper Weaving — the green acrylic paint was the base then I added swatches of silver metallic paint on top and dried it.  Then added strips of scrapbook paper in each corner to create a woven technique.  Then Mod Podge’d over the top of the weaving to keep it in place real good. 

There’s more to experiment with.  But for now, I’m having fun with this. (And don’t laugh at my novice pages, I’m still learning here people! LOL!)  By the way, taking pictures of the pages counts toward my creativity stuff too.  I do love my camera and playing around with ways to capture the art journal pages – its a challenge to get the lighting right.