Last year I talked about taking a sketchbook with you wherever you go. (September 2019) But today I’d like to elaborate on that a little.
This week the temperatures were up in the 80s here in southern Indiana. My husband and I decided to take the day off (heh heh) and go to the lake. We took breakfast sandwiches. He fished while I painted. Later, as we were waiting for the paint to dry, I showed him some of my other sketches over the years.
This particular book is an elongated one, perfect for landscapes. I’ve captured scenes from vacations and travels in many places over the years. He asked if I would ever consider selling the book. After a little thought, I replied, no. It has too many memories.
One word of advice. Date your sketch and make a note of where it was done. Our memories get fuzzy over time and this really helps.
The primary difference between a sketchbook and an art journal (in my mind) is that the journal may have much more extensive writing, like a diary, along with sketches, and even things that have been glued inside. One of mine has the label for a special chocolate shop in Paris. I will visit that if I ever go there again. And I sure would not have remembered exactly where it was. Tickets, photos, postcards…even pressed flowers have all ended up in my art journals.
You may wish to keep a running commentary in your various journals. But one thing that I’ve found really enjoyable is to create a dedicated book for a special trip or event.
One of my favorites is a bicycle tour I took through Provence a number of years ago. The journal wasn’t very large, only about 5 x 7, but was easy to slip into a purse or my bike pack. And it really turned out to be more of a diary with sketches than a sketchbook. But it has been so fun to pull it out every once in awhile just to read about my trip and think about where I was when I made the sketches.
I know we are all feeling the angst of staying at home these days, but do you have any ideas for an art journal? Maybe a gardening one or something dedicated to the holidays? What do you see out of your window? Activities at the park? Let your imagination roam.
There are a number of books about art journaling which might give you a few ideas. Here is one of my favorites by Danny Gregory. He has actually written several books on the subject. Check them out here.
An Illustrated Journey: Inspiration from the Private Art Journals of Traveling Artists, Illustrators, and Designers.