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Prompt60 #12

Here's another fun way to get words onto your journal pages. Use alphabet stamps, stencils or stickers to "write" your words. You can stamp directly on the page or stamp on a separate piece of paper or index card and then attach that to your page with staples or washi tape.

Here's a playful page from 2008 where I used a plastic card to create lines to target my alphabet stamping. The lines always "draw" me in and inspire words.

Above, the back cover of a children's book I altered in 2010, where I used a stencil to write the word ELUSIVE and then alphabet stamps to journal my thoughts. The words at the lower part read, "There's still so much I wish I could understand." And that's still true today. I guess we all feel like that sometimes.

I stamped a bunch of index cards this week while I was testing my ink pads to see which ones still worked. I purchased this set several years ago but I don't know the brand. I've found some cool large alphabet stamps in Traci Bunkers' shop. 

Word-related things that you could add to your page: thoughts, random words, poetry, definitions, rhymes, flash fiction, monologue, dialogue or a joke to a page in your journal. This would also be a fun way to document the name of a plant or label a drawing or diagram.

Go to the Prompt60 Index.


All About Neocolor II Wax Crayons

These intensely saturated art materials are beloved by art journalists far & wide. Neocolors can be blended with fingers, used to sketch, smeared and dissolved with a brush or used to paint like watercolors. There are 126 Neocolor II Water-Soluble Wax Crayons, and they are bunches of fun. 

The background for this simple journal page was scribbled with Neocolor IIs and painted with water for a dreamy look.

Here are some examples made with Caran d'Ache Neocolor II wax crayons, index cards & water. The first four are 3x5" lined white index cards. The last three are 3x5" index card dividers {like manilla folder paper}. These cards do not provide the perfect substrate for mark-making and -{that}- is what makes for fun + free experimentation. 

Click to read more ...


Prompt60 #11

You can do this one as a writing prompt or an art prompt. Or combine the two in an inventive way. 

Writing prompt: Write flash fiction to describe the history of these old paintings.

Art prompt: Paint some abstract shapes that one might find on the reverse of these canvases.

Go to the Prompt60 Index.


Prompt60 #10

Dots with high flow acrylic paint.

Dots with gouache.

Blobs with gouache.

Brush marks with watercolor, changing colors ever so slightly.

Today's prompt is all about little tiny marks. What do you call these? A spot, circle, round shape, blot, blob, fleck, raindrop, tear drop, droplet, polka dot, point, mark, blotch, speck, particle, teeny tiny mark, dab, atom? Or perhaps translate that concept into your favorite language. Whatever you call them... make a bunch of dottical marks on a loose piece of paper or a page in your journal. This could also be a background for collage.

You could make repeating patterns, test different brushes to see the type of blots they make, or make dots with a variety of pens. 

Go to the Prompt60 Index.



Your art journals {your pages} are yours. You make all of the choices. Each choice takes you in a different direction. Yet there is no right or wrong direction. Just keep moving forward.


What About All of That Paper?

“This is a work of fiction. All the characters in it, human and otherwise,
are imaginary, excepting only certain of the fairy folk,
whom it might be unwise to offend
by casting doubts on their existence. Or lack thereof."
Neil Gaiman

I am intrigued and interested in the practical stuff - the way art materials are stored and used. Messy, natural, paint-marked, ready for - or in the midst of - creative play. 

Let's talk paper.

Specifically, the paper used in my art journals and collages.

Creating, finding, searching & collecting "paper stuff" is part of the art journaling process. It can be simple or complicated, but it's an organizational challenge. When I started art journaling I started with scrapbook papers and built from there. The kind of paper I use in my journal is mostly stuff I've painted/drawn or stuff I've collected.

Make stuff for your journal. You can make your own papers by painting abstract patterns & designs with acrylics, ink, watercolor and gouache. Keep the doodles you make on index cards! Make a gelatin printing plate and make prints galore.

Collect stuff for your journal. Keep your eye out for papers to collect - stuff like product flyers, diagrams, old books, maps, building maps, blueprints, photographs, to-do lists, paint chips, tissue paper, catalogs, book jackets, clothing tags, postage stamps, postcards, old sewing patterns, ticket stubs, airline boarding passes, junk mail, etc. You can trade papers with other artists and find stuff at flea markets and estate stales to expand your stash.

How to decide what to keep?

That's a difficult question! I try really hard to keep/collect only what I actually - in reality - truly - think that I will use. I try to visualize {or squint...} whether I'd like to use something in a collage or journal. My storage space is limited so I keep my stash pared down, simple & functional. This helps when I work on journal pages or make stitched collages.

a cigar box with small stuff

How do I divide or categorize my papers? Most of my papers and ephemera are stored in wooden baskets. In general, I divide in two categories {papers I've painted, papers I've collected}. Painted papers include everything from abstract gouache pages to gelatin prints. Collected papers include ephemera {including ephemera and painted papers received as gifts or in swaps}, magazine clippings, brochures, maps. So basically, everything else!

Teeny tiny stuff goes in cigar boxes because it would be lost otherwise. I also keep a box of brochures/papers with interesting text. And I have a box of scrapbook paper. 

Here's a basket of journals in process {more can be found in my car, backpack, bedroom}, plus blank journals and pads of watercolor paper. 

Paper storage challenges? 

Keeping two stashes. I work in two key areas of the house - at the breakfast table and upstairs at the sewing machine - so I keep paper in both places. 

Ginormous papers. I keep large sheets of watercolor paper {for making journals} and Japanese papers on a wide bookshelf but it's not the perfect solution. 

Magazines. Way too many!!! 

So nothing is color-coded or alphabetized, and it isn't in any classical definition of "organized" but it definitely works for me!!!