What happens when you buy a journal you can’t tear the pages out of

40 03I’ve never shied away from admitting I’m a ‘bin girl’.  All the journals I’ve worked in up to this point have been visual diaries with the spiral binding.  Which means I’ve freely torn pages out and binned them when it felt like they weren’t working.

40 02But after doing Jane Davenport’s weekend workshop, where she delighted in the fact I couldn’t tear the pages out of our handbound journal, I’ve taken the leap and bought a Strathmore Mixed Media Journal.  It’s a hardcover, bound journal.  In other words – a journal you can’t tear the pages out of.  In fact, that’s what I’ve called it.  “The journal I can’t tear pages out of”.

40 05A lot of people talk about your art going through an ‘awkward teenager’ stage.  Where you feel like it’s not working.  It’s not coming together.   This is where I would normally tear out the page with a few ‘special’ words and throw it in the bin.  And I would walk away from my art room for a few days, frustrated I couldn’t make something nice.  Which means, I don’t get very many pages finished.  But with this journal, I’m pushing through.  I’m coming back another day.  And it’s actually working out.

40 07I’ve done lots of art over the holidays.  Lots of back grounds.  Lots of layers.  Some journalling (which is kinda the point of an art journal).  And practicing my faces.  I’m learning each one gets better with practice.  With tweaks and changes each time.  This one is the first one that made me really happy.  Like it’s kinda getting there.

40 06I journaled about what 40 means.  This birthday feels really significant.  And like something great is coming but I don’t quite know what.

40 01The page includs Clauding Hellmuth Studio Paint, Atelier acrylic paint, Daler Rowney acrylic ink, Posca paint pen, Pilot permaball pen and Prismacolor pencils.  I used lots of water for washes and drips, bubble wrap for monoprinting and of course, my stencil obsession continues.

40 09I was in love with this page for a few days.  I kept coming back to the art room to look at it.  To rub my hands over the pages.  And then… You know how sometimes you do something so good you wonder if you’ll ever do something as good again?  So I’m trying to figure out why I think this page works – the art theory behind it all, so I can make more pages I love.   Because it’s not just about making pretty stuff.  It’s also learning and experimenting and growing and improving.

So happy with how this whole journal is turning out.  I feel like I’m finding my style a lot more, becoming more comfortable with how my art looks.  Feeling comfortable with my process.  Finding my style and process is something I’ve chased for a long time.  Knowing how to start, how to go through steps that create something consistent, how to do it my way rather than replicating what other artists have taught me.  This journal is helping me find all those things.

I might not be a ‘bin girl’ for much longer…..

Coral.  xo

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