Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Traveling Art Journal - spoiler

I'm participating in a traveling art journal group. There are 21 people in the group and we each start a journal, create a few pages, and mail it to the next person on the list. If you are one of the 20 other people participating and you DON'T want a sneak peak of the book I made, stop reading.

Here's a picture of the raccoon that visited my birdfeeder to fill the space between this text and the photos of the journal I made.
cute little stinker, isn't he?

So I hemmed and hawed over whether I should buy a blank journal or try to make one. I love to make books, but my bookbinding skills might not stand up to 21 trips across the country. A purchased journal would be sturdy, but impersonal. I could decorate the cover of the purchased journal, but still, I like handmade. I finally decided to alter this really cool book that I found in a thrift store. It was published in 1975 and is full of the most hideous/groovy pictures. It's a 5-ring binder so it's got loads of room for painted/collaged/embellished pages.

I spent all day Saturday painting and collaging the cover until it looked like this:

front cover

back cover
I kept all of the original pages inside and encourage my fellow artists to use them freely. I altered a few for my introduction, gessoed and painted over a few for a 2 page spread, and I cut my own piece of artwork down to the appropriate size, punched holes and inserted it in the book. I'm hoping people will get creative with the pages and format.

The theme of my book is "risk" and here's the pages I made for it. I won't include pictures of my introduction or the inside front cover - gotta leave a few surprises!

I had made this green paper collage as a possible cover for the book, but it just wasn't working for me. I had way more fun mucking up the cover with paint. But the collage was full of yummy handpainted papers so I decided to turn it into another journal page for the book:

I mailed it off to Connecticut on Monday. I can't wait to see what arrives in MY mailbox!
We are supposed to pass it by the 20th of each month, after keeping it for 2 weeks, so in theory my book will return to me in 10 or 11 months, full of art from all these wonderful artists all over the world! How cool is that?


  1. I could be wrong...but I thought we had until the 20th of June to mail the first time but after that we only have 2 weeks to mail the next one.

    Your journal pages look awesome by the way! Mine are so simple! I'll be posting them on my blog sometime tomorrow!

  2. Awesome that you chose to use an altered book. Love the way you did the cover. I'm so looking forward to this project, and the return of my book to share all of it's adventures! (I'm thinking it changed to 2 weeks too)
    I need to get started on the one I have to send next! Have fun!

  3. you're right - it is 2 weeks. that makes me feel better. a month would be too long because I'd procrastinate and then forget to do it and then scramble and still be late. lol.

  4. Oh, wow, I love it all!! Especially that collage...THAT I want to frame and hang on my wall!!

  5. It's beautiful. Looks dark and mysterious with a hint of joy. Truly a great idea!