I just finished taking Caryn's six week Art Journaling class and I'm converted to this kind of creative expression. I remember loving art as a child and even dabbling in it as an adult. Having taken several art classes in college: pottery, watercolor, sculpture and drawing, nothing really caught my interest for any length of time. But now I'm loving exploring ART JOURNALING or I call it VISUAL POETRY because it's a great medium to include poems as well as print images in a collage on a page. In fact just about anything can be used to make a page: paint, colored pencils or chalk, pencil or ink drawings as in Zentangle, wrappers, string, newsprint, paper dolls, magazine images, scrapbook letters, patterned tissue paper or decorative napkins. The only limitation is your mind and the courage to express yourself.
So to begin it helps to have a wire bound watercolor notebook with 140 lb. pages so they won't curl when you paint on them. I ordered mine from Blick online. Or you can get lesser weight pages and glue two pages together. Many bookstores or scrapbook supply stores carry these. The first step is to create a background for your page with some kind of paint or even colored pencils or just scraps of patterned scrapbook pages torn into random sizes then glued to your page with Modge Podge or Matte Medium.
Caryn uses an old credit card to swish acrylic paint freely and quickly to cover a page. Then you can add patterned napkin images or colored yarn, lace, ribbon or whatever-even live leaves that will Modge Podge will flatten and be preserved forever in your book. When doing napkins separate the layers and use just one at a time. Put the modge podge (MP) down then lay the napkin on top and carefully cover it with more MP-it will dry clear. Use the plain single layered napkin pieces also as somehow they draw different colors. See above or below and click to make it larger. I added some textured stick on letters then sprayed with MP to help it stay on. If you don't like your background or page, you can always paint over it with Gesso or white paint and start again.
What you will discover as you do your Art Journaling you'll learn lots about yourself as your Left brain-Adult Critic will try to stop you immediately saying to you-You can't do this, you'll just make a mess, etc. But it you can let your Right brain-Creative Child take over in no time at all you'll be having so much fun, you'll wonder why you never tried to do art journaling before.
After you create a background for your page let it dry, then add some other interesting layers or STUFF with matte medium or glue. Don't worry about what to write or what images to add to your page. Let the process take its time. There are no deadlines.
Do several background pages in different colors and then let them wait until inspiration or some idea comes to mind that you want to use. Maybe a magazine image or a phrase or thought will come. Below, you can do double or side by side page. I used two different colors of blue with white paint sponged on top. It's fun, kind of like finger painting, though I use brushes.
Right now I'm creating some images of spring and nature-wonder why? I'm also signed up for Caryn's next series of class on Art Journaling and Zentangle. If you live near my town, she's teaching at Dandylion Wishes-a scrapbook store on Saturdays 1-3 pm for only $10/session plus your materials. You not only learn how to do art, but to understand yourself better in the process. You can do it at home too. It's very relaxing and fun! And it's a place to leave a legacy of your wise thoughts/poems for your family to one day enjoy after you've moved on to the next great adventure.