1916 Journal – An Overview

So, this is my year to explore my work, my way–to explore my art, my way.  I had not actually realized early on in my journey that I was taking art journalling classes…I thought they were about making art…and yes, they are about making art, but they were also about art journals and working in journals.  I could not find the type of classes I really wanted.  When I did find those classes, I found myself unlearning a great deal.  Then, at the end of those classes, I found myself caught up in other … struggles, other plans and futures and other things.

Then, I took that step back and I let myself go.  Well, that makes it sound as if it were something easy to do.  It has been a struggle.  It has been an upheaval.  It is still something I have to keep working out.

I have people I trust that tell me they know my work when they see it, that I do have my own style, even if that of my teachers is present, it is still my own work.  That makes me feel good.  I do not think I have yet done enough.  So I continue to work.  It doesn’t hurt me to have my 15 yo daughter learning to create art as well.

I created this art journal, my 1916 journal as I call it, from an old dictionary.  I gutted it, gave it a hidden binding, stuffed it full of blank pages.  I sketched and wrote some stuff on the first pages and then…I set it aside, thinking I had plans, certain plans, special plans, for it.

This month I picked the journal up, for no real reason other than the mood hit me. I started working on a background over those first two pages.  I wasn’t planning anything specific.  I added some collage pieces.  I put down one piece and it struck me that I needed to do a paint over collage.  It was an Ancient painting of Buddha taken from some magazine that became my focal image.


There was something…cathartic and… opening about doing this piece.  I let go of all the preconceived shoulds and should nots, all the ‘rules’ and everything that I had been consuming and using as guidelines over the past few years…all these things that I had been allowing to box me in, to hold me tight, and to drain the fun out of my work.  When I let go of all the pre-supposed stuff…something started to happen…I let go…I began to enjoy the process…and by enjoying the process, I was able to let go more, to go deeper.


To go deeper was the original intention of this journal…and here I am, finding a place, creating a space, going deeper.

I have since learned a great deal about art journals and the creation thereof since I created this journal.  I am more than a bit sure, even though I thought I left more than enough room for page bloom, I think spine space will be at a premium, so I am working a spread in the front…and then a spread in the back.

I had no plan, other than working a spread in the back, when I started my second spread in this journal.  Again, there was no real rhyme nor reason to why I chose to create this spread.  I started a spread on the very last spread of the book…I began to work on the background, waiting to figure out where the spread wanted to go.  I did not think that I would do another paint over collage piece…but I did.


Once she was finished, I went back to the front of the journal…and started another spread.  By that time, I knew…this journal, at least for the time being, is going to be devoted to doing paint over collage work.


There is a lot of freedom to be found in doing paint over collage work.  It also aids in training the hand and the eye to create in this way.  Plus, it’s actually really fun.  Taking an image, seeing the lines, seeing the shadows, all already there…adding the pencil and the paint and the movement of my own style over these other features.  I create art that is my own and yet not my own at the same time.

I look forward to sharing with you as I continue to work in this journal.