What You'll Find Here

I post daily (photos of my journal pages, things that inspire me and personal bits and pieces) to inspire and encourage others. I have always believed that if I can do it, so can you.

You'll find resources (my favorite supplies, books, slideshows of my art journal pages, favorite bloggers, etc...) listed along the right hand side of my blog.

I've been teaching both in person and online workshops for more than twenty years. You can find out more about my classes by scrolling down along the right hand side of my blog. I strive to make classes accessible to everyone (both beginner to advanced).

I love teaching and truly believe that deep down inside everyone is an artist, capable of creating something. There is power and knowledge in the act of creating something with your own hands, made from your own heart and head.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at EGorey99@sbcglobal.net

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Conversations in Art Journaling: Writing


For my 4,000 blog post, I thought that I'd try something new. I want to introduce a series that I'm calling, Conversations in Art Journaling. I'd love to discuss thoughts and feelings on art journaling and include you in the conversation!

Over the years my approach to art journaling has varied and changed. From the early days of painting pages and simply writing on them to progressively adding bits of found paper to leaving paint behind altogether for a few years to explore collage to bringing paint back into the picture and seeing how far I can push myself. 

One thing that has stayed the same is my desire to be as open and as honest as possible on my pages. It is something that I see many struggling with (including myself at times.)

There are people who don't write on their pages (whether it be out of fear of what they will or won't say. Some fear their own handwriting. That it will "mess it up" in some way.) There are people who use the words of others (quotes, song lyrics, book passages, etc...) for some of the same reasons. They print out quotes and use them on their pages, refusing to add their own thoughts and letting others speak for them.

Why? Why are we so afraid of our own thoughts, ideas and experiences? Why are we afraid to commit pen to paper?

This isn't to say that I don't think that you shouldn't use quotes or song lyrics in your work. Or that you shouldn't use words or quotes cut from books and magazines in your artwork. What if you took these ideas and take them one step further? What if you respond to the song lyrics or quotes? What if you dialogued with that bit of cut out text onto your journal pages? 

I love to glean a bit of inspiration from other folks' conversations, book blurbs and more. Yet, when I add them to my journal, I want to add my own experiences, my own musings about why their words are important enough to add to my work. What is it that created a spark that I had to use their words on a page that I created?  I also want to use my own handwriting. There's something to be said about putting pen to paper (even when you run out of space, your text isn't straight, your letters are imperfect, your spelling and grammar are off.) 

There is something magical, meditative and very present about putting pen to paper vs typing on a computer. There is something imperative about using your own words and ideas in your journal with your own pen. 

What's holding you back?


Anonymous said...

for me it's not at all a question of being held back. It's all about the fact that certain things I may pull out,reveal or discover while art journaling are nobody else's business. Various, and generally specific, layers of personal revelation are only intended to be between me, myself and I/eye. "Fear" holds no place in that equation. Nor do any of the other examples you gave. The only thing that keeps layers of my art journaling process shuttered are a matter of absolute self autonomy. Since I keep detailed written journals as well there's no danger of me forgetting something valuable simple because I've deliberately chosen not to leave more than scant traces of my epiphany. Privacy in which to grow deeper into oneself, to my way of observation, seems to be a really under-used power tool for some.

Karenliz Henderson said...

Years ago if you had asked me why I don't use my own handwriting, I would have said because it's ugly. That all changed years ago when I showed my daughter her grandmother's love letters to her grandfather. She was so thrilled to see her writing, the huge smile on her face, she wasn't even reading the letters just looking at the writing. As for my art journals there is only one I write in and it's about my daughter. My true feelings as raw as they can be at times. Maybe her child will look at my writing with the same reaction. My others are just art journals where I experiment with color, textures, collage, scribbles of words, mark making, etc. instead of having 100 unfinished canvases or pieces of paper laying around.

Elizabeth mcentee said...

My favorite way to write in my art journals is on top of what I have already written so it becomes a pattern rather than words. I haven't found a way to integrate my written words with the collages Ive been doing lately, so sometimes one page is my writing and the facing page is the collaging/stamping/painting. I do like to use cut out text or stamps sometimes. I am in the middle of a journal about men. When that is done I'm going to do a journal with my writing on every page - yikes.

Kelly Kilmer said...

Anonymous wrote:

"Privacy in which to grow deeper into oneself, to my way of observation, seems to be a really under-used power tool for some."

When I work in my art journal, I am looking for connection. Connection with myself as well as connection with others. I have no problem sharing my thoughts, ideas and feelings because of this. I think that sharing my visual as well as written journaling helps to make both myself and others feel less alone. It's my way of reaching out to myself and others and looking for something shared, some shared sense of being human and the experiences and feelings that come with it. I have had many, many people over the years thank me for doing this and I wish that others would feel that they could do the same.

That said, if one is in a place that isn't safe, obviously, there is a concern for privacy as well as safety and discretion is advised. Write first and then paint and collage over your pages but do what makes you most safe if you are in that kind of a position.

Although I can understand where you are coming from, at the same time, if most of us used "privacy as a power tool", the world would be at a loss for the many published journals and diaries that so many of us reach for on a regular basis.

@Karenliz What a gift to yourself and your daughter.

Kelly Kilmer said...

@Elizabeth, Thanks for sharing. It's always interesting to me to see how folks incorporate text with their artwork. Text as pattern is always interesting. What an adventure-exploring writing in your journal on every page. I hope that you enjoy the process. :)