Monday, July 5, 2010

Journal Starters

It's blazing hot around here these days. My studio, located on my third floor, is really sizzling in the summer so outside of the box packing get up there to pack for classes and do the odd bit of tidying. Hopefully, there will be a couple of early mornings this week so I can continue with my paintings. Above is a lovely little vignette from one of my studio shelves. A few journals, a lovely doll made by a friend some years ago and the evocative "Girl on a Chair" a papier mache piece by Rosemary Markowski (reasons to miss my studio).

I spend time at my desk in the blissfully cool first floor and work on small watercolors and my journal! So here are some fresh ideas to jump start your journaling.
Recently, there was this on-line project with the great prompt: I Am Enough. Beautiful! Those three words have been in the whirling in my head and it seemed a great concept to introduce to my teen journaling class and this is what are doing.

Week one:
The prompt was: Tell A Secret 

I wanted them to feel safe so encouraged them to write in pencil. We wrote on old book pages to make it even harder to read. We discussed writing backwards, upside down, crazy close together and leaving no spaces between the words. I also assured them that we would be ripping these pages up after writing and using them for background. I gave them 10-15 minutes to write while we listened to instrumental music. We then ripped up the book pages, glued them into the journal and painted over top. One top of that, using a permanent marker, we drew self portraits.

Next week, we will do "Secret Wishes." My plan is to build on these interior thoughts and eventually the final prompt will be I Am Enough: smart enough, pretty enough, clever enough, kind enough. An gentle archeological dig.

A few more ideas ...

{1} One of the goodies I love to use in my journaling classes are cards from the Seek Deck by Joan Philips. I keep one deck intact in my desk and order multiples to give to my students for prompts. These are pretty cool cards with sentence fragments or words printed on top of Joan's photographs.

{2} Found poetry is really fun as well. Get a magazine with good writing, poetry books or other well written paperbacks and dig through, clipping out words or sentence fragments. Shuffle them around until a poem begins to emerge.

{3} Here is a great post from Lyric Kinard on finding copyright free photos via the Library of Congress. Loads of fodder there.

{4} Thank you, Julianna, for sending this link for The Sketchbook Project. Take a look. A group of people sign up to get a moleskine cahier (small pocket sized). Everyone fills in the same little moleskine and then the project will be exhibited in various locations. I'm very tempted!

{5} The five minute collage! Take a few old mags and rifle through - quickly! - pull images and large words out. Wean your pile, tearing into the images: no scissors or fussiness. Glue 'em down. The whole thing should take five minutes. I learned this technique some years back from my friend Robin Moore. Thanks Robin. Here is a photo from one of my students, Janet Davis. She did the five minute collage in class and then worked on top of it later.
Janet Davis, 5 minute collage, then worked over

I've been working backward and forward in my journals lately. I like this non-linear journaling process with a set of pages emerging slowly. It's nice to shake things up. I'll post some pics later in the week.


Sandra L. said...

Thanks for those links, Diana.
I totally hear you on the heat thing. I know it is hotter where you are, and I'm having trouble dealing with the heat too. I am staying up all night and then sleeping all day to cope with it. I have an air conditioner in my bedroom, plus some strategically placed fans.

Here's to fall! :)

Michele said...

hi diana! i have a journal of sorts but it mainly contains short phrases. ideas. i call it my idea book. there are a few little sketches and some magazine photos i use for inspiration. one day i hope to do more of what you suggest... thanks for the inspiration. this may be enough to get me started.

PaperPumpkin said...

Wow, lots of interesting info and great ideas for journaling! Thank you for the inspiration...again!

Joan Phillips said...

Thanks Diana! I posted on my blog and linked to yours. I appreciate all your support for my mini book.-Joan

Tinker and JingeBear's Mom said...

Terrific advise, and I really appreciate all the links. I'm doing the sketchbook project - hope to see you join in. You are the reason I've started art journaling! Thanks!

Laurie said...

Dear Diana, I love you. You are so lovable. With lovey love, Laurie

Jane LaFazio said...

great prompts Diana. and how great that your turning teens on to journaling.

Rosemary said...

Great ideas! I may try a version of the notebook project with my daughter and her friends.
A friend of mine had a great idea - visiting a working artist every Friday. They recorded a song in a music studio last week. I’m looking for artists who would like to open their studio and let the girls see what they do. If you, or anyone you know is interested please let me know.

kendall said...

HI! I started 'Journal Spilling' about 2 months ago and have found it very hard to be messy and be ok with a mess up. When I paint I'm the same way. I always think it has to be perfect the first time...I'm such a pain to myself.

I got on your blog yesterday and found one of your latest posts helpful. Instead of using old book pages though I used journal pages from when I was in high school. I laughed at some of the stuff I wrote. I covered them in water color, teared them and put them on the page. I ended up covering all of it with blue and orange paint then wrote in it with gel pens. It's messy and ugly, but mine and no one else really has to see it. Which is hard to remember.

Thank you for all the inspiration! It's helped off to try something with "Secret Wishes"...

Anonymous said...

last few days our group held a similar talk about this subject and you point out something we have not covered yet, appreciate that.

- Laura

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