Sunday, June 16, 2013

Art Journaling

I've been dabbling in my art journals. Here are a few examples of my work. I use mixed media to make collages. I usually start out by prepping the paper using varying methods. Sometimes I use torn book pages, scrapbook paper, magazine clippings, torn paper layering, or gluing pages together for strength. When you use a lot of water to mix and blend colors, your page will need some building up to keep it from tearing. I use another method as well, which is applying Gesso to the page. This gives it a gritty texture and makes the page stiffer. It also helps give the color application something to grab onto. Sometimes I only use Gesso, other times I use torn paper and Gesso together.

"Always Singing, I Wonder Why?" 
Mixed media: watercolor, layered stamping, magazine clipping collage.

Progression: I drew an outline of a bird in my journal. I then traced it to use as a pattern. I clipped magazine pictures to make each component and then glued each piece into my journal.

Next I added watercolor to the background and used stamps to create depth and texture.

Then I added more layered stamping. Layering different stamps and ink colors adds interest and helps to build the page.

Final touches were permanent pigment markers to write, and a top coat of Mod Podge to seal the piece.


 "Tall Houses"
Mixed media: Acrylic paint, magazine clipping collage, stenciling, 
and permanent marker

This piece was inspired by Suzanne Sbarge's work- 
I loved the way she used picture clippings of wood and windows and misc. items to "build" her houses. I thought I'd give it a try and see if I could learn from her design elements. It was a lot of fun to piece it together. I added a background using acrylic paints with stenciling and also some stamped tiles to the bottom of the picture as a foundation. 


"Word Nerd, in plain English"
Mixed media: torn out page from a Shakespeare play, magazine clippings, lettering stickers, clear puff paint (on typewriter keys) stamping, markers, colored pencil, 
and Faber Castell Gelatos.


"Her Peacefulness"
Mixed media: Faber Castell Gelatos, stamping, white ink, purple ink, magazine clippings, permanent marker, and Mod Podge.


"Love Yourself"
Mixed media: acrylics, magazine clipping, permanent marker,
shiny black outlining paint

Progression: I started with a picture from National Geographic magazine. I loved the bright colors and the way this woman had adorned her feet.

I tried to pick up the vibrant hues from her garment for the background.

I added my thoughts on loving self.



"Spread happiness and healing & hope."
Mixed media: magazine clippings, acrylics, stamping, permanent marker, gel pens

Progression: I used acrylics to paint the background. Notice how I used a dry brush to give texture in some spots. Using a magenta stamp pad, I stamped on the flower blocks.

I added wording bee stamps, flower stamps, and outlined the flower block flowers.

At this point it needed a bit of punch to make things come alive, so I outlined the title strips. I used the same colors as on the "Love yourself" design above because they were side-by-side layouts.


"Hands to Work, Hearts to God"
Mixed media: Faber Castell Gelatos, magazine clippings, book page stencil,
permanent marker, brush markers, Mod Podge

Progression: I cut out various hand pictures from magazines. I made a heart by stenciling onto a book page then coloring in with a red brush marker. I cut out 1/4 " around the heart to expose some of the book page.

I set the design pieces aside and started the layout and lettering.

On the opposite page, I did a quick page about service.

"When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, 
ye are only in the service of your God."

For the final design, I glued the hands inside of the heart and used Gelatos to work the background colors. I used the same colors for the side-by-side layout.


" Life is short, so make a splash!"
Mixed media: magazine clippings, gesso, acrylic, straw blowing, assorted lettering

Progression: Page buildup in background, gesso base. I tried straw blowing and discovered that a large straw worked best. I used some gesso to rub out hard edges and added a mermaid to the rocks, and dabbled with lettering and outlining.



"When life gives you lemons..."
Mixed media

Progression: I laid down some pictures and a few page-building scraps.

I glued down some transparent die cuts and magazine clippings and used colored pencil to outline. I wasn't happy with the lettering job I did in the middle or the vibrancy of the background color.

So, I added some Gelatos to amp up the color, layered a page book heart over the lettering I didn't like, made a new label, added a few more hearts and did some outlining to make things pop a bit more. I also used brush markers to amp up the color of the floral transparency die cuts. I like the results. The beauty of art journaling is that you can go back and layer right over the things you don't like.


Mixed media: stickers, magazine clippings, gel pens, acrylic, watercolor,
permanent marker, stenciling, doodling

Progression: page building with gesso, scrapbook paper, daily planner page, and magazine clippings. Notice how the dragon fly is cut off on the left side. This gives the layout interest.

Next, I used acrylic paints to do some color blocking and shading.

Then, I added my thoughts about 'thoughts', put down some stickers, outlined, and did a few areas of overlay stenciling. I spent some time on the intricate areas of doodling- the checkerboard,the top red color blocks, the vines, swirly's and paisley's.


"Owl you need is love."
Colored pencil and marker


"The spirit within me."
Mixed media: book pages puff paint, watercolors, permanent marker, doodles


Mixed media: Gelatos, watercolor, magazine clippings, acrylics,
 doily stencil, trim, gel pens

Progression: I used a purple Gelato to create the box in the middle and then gently used a spritz of water to soften the lines. I spritzed the whole page after that. I used watercolors to add softness. Then I used a very loaded watercolor brush and tapped it to cause drops to splatter on the page. Since the page was already wet, the droplets blended nicely on their own.
After that I added the wording from cut out magazine titles and did some stenciling using a paper doily. I brushed on Mod Podge and something wonderful happened. I forgot that I was using a water soluable gel pen and not a permanent one. So when I spread on the Mod Podge, the colors bled. I really like the effect it created. That is why I love art!


"Black and White"
Mixed media: stickers, book pages, magazine clippings, doodling, permanent marker, lettering, tags, vellum

Progression: I started collecting black and white bits of this and that. Pretty soon the collage just emerged. It all started with the picture of the penguin.


"Embrace your curves"
Watercolor and permanent marker

Progression: I was painting to come up with a random background. As I looked at how the paint collected, I began to see an image emerge; that of an abstract curvy woman.


"Be Willing to Let Go"
Mixed media: Gelatos, stamping, magazine clippings, marker, acrylics, book page w/brush markers


"My Favorite 7 comedy movies"
Mixed media: lettering stickers, gel pens, colored pencil, clipping


"We gather together with a single goal..."
Mixed media: freehand bookpage designs, stamping, 
hole reinforcer stickers, clippings, markers, stenciling


"The World... it is a jungle out there!"
Mixed media: acrylics, clippings, stamping, sticker lettering

Progression: Layered acrylic green paint hues.

I did the same here on the opposite page. Created a background with greens.


Mixed media: sponging acrylics, clippings, sternciling, gel pens

Progression: Started with sponging and dabbing various colored acrylic paints.


"there... That place seems good where we are not."
Mixed media: clippings, gesso, stenciling, doodling, acrylics

 Progression: Found a picture of a rocking chair I liked. I wished I was 'there' sitting on an unknown porch, rocking away my cares. I started stenciling checkered patterns then fleur de leis. Then it started progressing from there.



"Carpe Diem"
Mixed media: stenciling, gesso, acrylics, velum, clipping, stickers

Progression: gesso and acrylic then stenciling and outlining. 


 "Fairy Dust"
Mixed media: clippings, book pages, brush markers, watercolors, clear glitter

Progression: watercolor wash then glue with clear glitter sprinkled on top.

Next, I added clippings and placed wings behind the female using a magazine clipping found on a dress pattern. I glittered and lettered.


Lastly, I outlined everything with gel pens.


Mixed media: clippings, stickers, watercolors, stamping, permanent marker

Progression: laid down magazine clippings, page build-up materials, library cards. Then I added journaling, watercolor, and stamping.


"The Key is Love"
Mixed media: clippings, stickers, Gelatos, doodling, book pages, brush markers, Mod Podge, rose petals from the flowers my son gave me for Mother's Day 2013.


"Sweeten Your Life"
Mixed media: clippings, die cuts, stenciling, stickers, watercolor, permanent marker


"Girly Girl"
Mixed media: clippings, stamping, book pages, gesso, stickers, embellishment


"It's Time"


"Sweet lovely goodies"


"the woods"


"glow, polish, refine"


"My happy place"

Progression: clippings and scrapbook paper. I loved these dapper gals.


"imagine creativity"

Progression: clippings, gesso, word strips, stenciling, tag



 "Let it Go!!"


 "sweet dreams"



  1. Some of these are so weird and I would never do any of MY art journal pages like this. Yours look shit

  2. I like your creativity, expressiveness and ideas. Thank youfor sharing

  3. Found you via Pinterest. I really enjoyed looking at your journals. That's why it's called mixed media. We can do anything. Thanks for sharing! You gave me the impetus to get working on my own journal.