Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Visual Journal Part 2

OK, now back to the visual journal.  What is a visual journal anyway?  Everyone seems to be making them.  Are they playgrounds or places to experiment like sketchbooks?  Or documentary like scrapbooks?  Are they artworks in themselves?  Do they have to include text? What is your visual journal to you? 

I keep sketchbooks, as you may know.  These are my visual playgrounds, where I can do whatever I want, and share or not share as I please. Sometimes I work on loose sheets of paper as my sketchbooks, and sometimes I work in spiral-bound books. My sketchbook starts as a series of blank pages, bound or not bound.

This visual journal is something else.  It starts out as a book of already-painted pages.  The pages inspire further mark-making, as you'll see in this video:

 Here are a few page spreads that did not make it into the video:



 And a few the you see in progress in the video:

The process of making and then working in this kind of journal has a couple of benefits for freeing your creativity and putting your Inner Critic in her place:
  • First, you can be totally experimental in making the papers.  They are not Art On The Wall, and they will not be seen as Compositions.  They will be folded in half, nested together, and covered with more paint, collage, and drawing.  So you can't get too precious about them.  
  • Second, the journal itself is an ongoing work-in-progress.  It gives you an opportunity to exercise your visual muscles without the pressure of Making Art.  And this exercise, this practice, will hone your skills, strengthen your art, and expand your visual vocabulary.
Don't forget, I'm teaching  Unbinding the Visual Journal:


  1. Jane, strange that you mention the IC today, its on my blog too today. Love your videos and what you share of your freeing process. Want to take a class, but can never make up my mind about what I need/want!? Advice?

  2. Loved seeing what you've been up to lately Jane. Your journal pages could all be in an gorgeously colored and textured.

    I really need to do more work in my's a great way to break away from a painting I think rather than doing nothing while I think on it.

  3. What fun... I love the enhancing the book pages after the fact. Great!

  4. Love your pages-when I really want to feel free in my artwork - I like to work on tags. Some I like and some I don't (that's what gesso is for!!). I love that so many artists share their processes online. Thanks for the video.

  5. Thanks, Jane, it's fun to watch. I love working like this, too!

  6. You are so generous with your videos, sure appreciate it. Always fun to watch and learn. What is the brand of your favorite gel pen? Was the squeeze bottle PVA glue?
    Thanks bunches.

  7. Love watching you work... makes me want to get into the studio... and it's only 6.30 am here... and cold.

  8. Great photos, ideas and playfulness. Thanks Jane for this very good video.

  9. I really enjoy watching you work because it makes me feel more free to try things. I love your visual journal. I joined the Sketchbook Project and mono-printed all of my sketchbook pages in the hopes of doing away with the "blank page syndrome" I sometimes experience. Now I need to figure out what to do next. Thanks for your inspiration!

  10. Hi Jane! I understood that you said you "sewed" the pages together. I went to the recommended site, but did not see how to put the pages together. Could you help? I've watched you entire list of I'm just waiting to see how long it's going to take for ME to get to the table! Hope to see you in Virginia Beach in Oct! The way you share your wealth of knowledge is a GREAT source to all of us! Thank you!


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