I love a blank page as much as I love an un-blank page when it comes to starting an art journal spread. So I usually have a few journals and sketchbooks in active use at any given time. Different sizes and papers, some blank, some not.
I am particularly fond of a good, solid, sewn-signature book with thick pages and interesting images that lies flat(!)… and turning it into an altered book – as an un-blank page option.Even if the page elements get totally covered over, there’s just something about coming to a page that already has something on it.
It feels more like a relationship or dialogue with a journal than just filling a blank book, to me… a little comforting, a little inspiring and unpredictable… and not just ‘all me.’ Even if it’s just a perspective, I find it to be a helpful one sometimes, to keep things fresh and feeling engaged.
Sometimes I like a big book for this purpose – like old coffee table picture books from thrift stores (like the one I shared in this old flip-thru video, with a few other journals). But lately, I’ve been craving a smaller size. Just not too small.
I almost went out and bought a book just for the purpose, but decided to go through my old book shelf first. And there sitting in the the second layer back… (yes, my book shelf is bulging in stacks and rows)… was an aesthetically lovely little book I’ve had for almost 20 years, perfect in size and quality for my next altered book.
I am intending to do a lot more creating in my personal painting practice this year, and I have found an altered book gets my creative juices flowing better than a regular sketchbook can sometimes. I don’t know why – just a preference for now. It sort of helps keeps me warmed up and engaged, and open to evolving ideas in the present moment… maybe like a practice should, you know?
Besides, scribbling and smooshing paint in an old book can be activating AND super cathartic+nourishing for my well-being.
So, I started the very first spread in my ‘new’ altered book art journal this past week, as part of what I call my ‘evening-pages’ practice – one of my favorite ways to wind down and self-care at the end of the day. Plus, I am no morning person, friends.
A couple days later, I hit record on the video camera to share some thoughts and process musings with you while I finished the page – just in case you need a little company while you art journal, or find it inspiring to your creative practice.
Grab your journals and supplies if you like, and spend a few moments moving color or doodling with me, while I chat about my process in the video below.
I share thoughts on supplies I used, my approach to these intuitive dreamscape pages, and some of my personal musings about why this little journal and page, in particular, is special to me…
I will be sharing Something From the Studio videos from time to time this year, so if you hang out over on Youtube and want to know when I post a new video subscribe to my YouTube channel, or make sure you join my my Creative Practice Updates mailing list.