Tuesday, March 19, 2013

When the Process is Enough (and Hello Glue It Tuesday!)

For every art journalist, there is a different style of art journaling but for me, my completed journal pages fall into one of four categories: confessional, documentational, affirmational or procedural.  (There is, of course, always some overlap between categories.)

The word "journaling" implies that something will be recorded and so there is tremendous emphasis in the art journaling community on pages that have a point: words in the form of an illuminating quote or personal musings and visual material that illustrates the focus or content of the page.  Sometimes I get weighed down (and consequently stuck) by the concept that my pages need to have some deeper reason for existing.  If you get bogged down on a page, wondering what the content needs to be, perhaps it's time to change your focus.

This journal spread is an excellent example of pages with no hidden meaning, what I'm calling "procedural" pages.  I've been blissfully painting random patterns on old book pages and I wanted to capture the results of that art play.  That's it.  I simply like how these looked all together.  The process of creating this spread is where I really reaped the rewards art journaling can offer: relaxation, time to contemplate, time to imagine "What if?"

I've often heard people say "If only I could do a journal just of backgrounds!"  Well, why not?  Who said that backgrounds aren't enough?  Don't sell the process short.  Play in the paint and bits of paper and if you don't feel compelled to "finish a page off," maybe that page is, in truth, already complete.  Be wary of operating under imaginary rule books.  

PS...This is my entry for Aimee's new feature at Artsyville called "Glue It Tuesday!" I love to cut and paste so this is a perfect challenge for me!  Hope you'll join in too! (The link list will be up every Tuesday at Artsyville.)

16 comments:

  1. :) I like your categories...I think in my journals I have a mix of the same categories, with no rhyme or reason. I have cut and paste plans for tomorrow, so I will catch you at Aimee's link up!

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  2. "The point" should always be to do something that is pleasing to you, not to express a thought or push yourself to be profound. I like this page a lot!

    Happy Glue it Tuesday!

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  3. I agree that sometimes the background for an art journal page is "enough". I have a few of those and just don't feel that they need anything else. However, I never take pictures and post those "unfinished" pages. I guess I need to get over that! Thanks for the encouragement. I love this page you posted. What great therapy to do pages like that!

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  4. I don't have categories...and just go with the flow in my art journals. Most of the time...there is no meaning, past...how/what I felt like doing that day... so I love that you promote that type of freedom.

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  5. looks fun to me! I usually have some sort of story in my mind when I journal. It comes from somewhere, and I don't always know where. Sometimes I'll write, more often the page is enough for me. Except a date - I always seem to need a date! {:-Deb

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  6. These pages make my heart happier than you could possibly know... little squares, tape, glue, collage and COLOR! xo

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  7. Love the random-ness! Sometimes ya just need some color without a lot of meaning behind it. It's good for the soul!
    Lynn

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  8. I love this page! The little patterns look like a quilt all lined up together. Fun!

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  9. I often use one word on a journal page. I know what it means and it is me I please. I love the process and I think this means more than stressing over a so called need for words on a page to indicate a page is done with. I love your pages.

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  10. Love your pages - they make my heart happy. And that's an interesting idea about categories, I'll have to think about that with regard to my journals. I've always just given myself total expressive freedom and labeled the results eclectic. ;-)

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  11. This. This is everything I love about art journaling. You don't need words. I have pages upon pages that are effectively backgrounds, and I'm totally OK with that. I love grids, and the juxtaposition of your patterns and paint strokes is lovely indeed.

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  12. Oh, wow, I love these! I'm a big fan of patterns in general, and you're so right--these all look awesome together. A pattern of patterns!

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  13. Love the grids, I finally got my pages done. Love your use of colour.

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  14. I really like your journal spread:)
    Fran T (via Glue-it Tues)

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  15. gorgeous pages...love the pattern bits!

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