Monday, February 20, 2012

I don't keep a journal

In the fall of 2008, I was visiting a local art museum with an out of town friend and stumbled upon an exhibit of artist's journals. I'd never seen anything like it and I was riveted. They filled me with yearning and made me physically ache. I'm not sure I even thought in terms of wanting to do something like that myself because it seemed so far out of reach. I wasn't an artist. That Christmas I gave my friend a copy of 1,000 artist journal pages - mostly so that I could look at it before mailing it off to her!
(I've since purchased my own copy.  It's amazing)
Three years later, I make a lot of art, but don't really think of myself as an art journaler because...
I don't keep a journal.  
But I do have THIS book.
It's a cheap weekly planner, kept during the most stressful 3 months of my professional career.
It holds 30 flimsy pages of collage, some drawing, and a few words each day - it's an amazing snapshot of what I was doing, reading, watching, eating and feeling in 2009.  
But I don't keep a journal.
In August of 2009 I got a new job, and life was easier and happier and I stopped writing stuff on that calendar. But in Spring and Summer of 2010 I kept something of an almanac in this little spiral bound notebook. I spent a lot of time working in the yard that summer and I joined a farm share for the first time. I documented everything I planted, and when everything bloomed, and what I got in my weekly share. There were some personal notes thrown in as well, and looking back on it gives me such vivid memories of that time.  
But I don't keep a journal.
Fall came, gardens died, and back-to-school-time got busy. The notebook was forgotten.
But clearly the pull of those artist's sketchbooks hadn't lessened. I bought a flimsy blank journal in April of 2010 and started painting and collaging snapshots of my daily life again. This one coincides with setting up my art room, launching my blog, and getting into a daily art practice. It has almost 50 entries.  
But I don't keep a journal.
Not coincidentally, that book came to an abrupt halt around the time I was doing the Index-Card-A-Day project (June - August, 2011).  
Come September, I remembered my weekly planner from 2009 and bought another. This one is still going strong with daily entries 5 months later.  
But I don't keep a journal.
And then in January, I started watching Natasha and Amy's altered book videos on flutterbye, and made my own altered book for documenting my life.  It started out with daily entries, but that only lasted a week, since I was already keeping daily entries in my calendar.  I'm using it regularly though - sometimes to capture the mood of a week, sometimes to reflect on a single event.  Sometimes I write loads of words, sometimes the images speak for themselves.  If you look closely, you might even call it an art journal.
oh nevermind.


  1. But you don't keep a journal :)
    Great idea for "not a journal"!

  2. If you ever do decide to keep a journal you have some planners and books full of lovely ideas!

  3. Whatever you call them -- or don't call them-- those books look good!

  4. What ever gets you through. Nice ways you have of keeping things for memory and for practicality. I journal sporadically too, moods come and go, but there are some amazing art journaler's out there and it blows my mind too! xox Corrine

  5. Hi -
    I saw your info from Pamela's blog. And love this post - I admire the art books (No, by golly, NOT a journal! :D), and so wish I could do something of the sort. Hopes of sparking more creativity, but can't seem to find enough time to do my art work and mail art anyway - how could I squeeze this in too?! Thanks for the inspiration; maybe I'll find/make the time for it!

  6. Your 'not journaling' made me smile. I only started last year and keep it up randomly, when the spirit moves me. I've never been one to write my every inner thought down, so my 'journals' are more inspirational or fun. I can sure see the value of looking back and having memories so artistically rendered. I'm glad there are other non-journalers out there :)

  7. I'm SOOO glad you 'don't' keep a journal! Then I would have to be envious of all the gorgeousness!

  8. to bad you dont keep an art journal, because I swear I saw flashes of brilliance in those I dont keep an art journal books

  9. Such a great post. So many great journals and journal pages! You know, you might enjoy keeping an art journal.

  10. Oh, I'm so glad you don't keep a journal....I already feel so inadequate by the entries of those art journal people....haha!!

    Thanks, now I can't even say I'm a've got that title...and well, that's still too much journaling for me...heehee!!

    Maybe, I'm an invisible journal keeper?

    Still....nice to be able to look back on moments of your life like that :)