Recently, I began journaling, but not in the traditional way. I am a visual person. I tend to learn best with visual cues, and as an artist, I am constantly working and using the visual language of design. So, when I decided to begin journaling, I did it in a visual way. I had the idea that I would write a book using watercolor paint as my words. In short, I adopted a style of using dashes and marks of watercolor to stand in for the words and sentences of a book. It's a creative and fun way to go about journaling.
To do this, I first mark out time each day to sit down at the table and paint. This is important to do or it just won't happen. I find, I must have some set schedule. However, it need not be a long time. I tell myself to sit for ten minutes and work. Often, that ten minutes will become thirty or even an hour, but I demand of myself at least those ten.
Next, I think back on my day and go over the feeling or mood that I carried from it. Was it a good day? What were some of the conversations that I had? What did I work on? What was one highlight and what was one lowlight. Then I begin to paint. I just let the feeling of the day come out.
If you are creating a visual journal of your own, don't feel that you need to paint abstractly, as I do. Just paint whatever you want and remember a journal is only for your eyes. No one else is going to judge you on your artwork.. It's a private thing, so just be creative.
Here are some examples from my first journal using this technique:
Recently, I took this crafty journaling idea further and began to leave space for actual notes, similar to a traditional journal.
Here is how I did it
1. I have given myself a rule that I must work at my journal for at least ten minutes a day. I often do more, but I must work for at least ten.
2. I rule in an area where I want to do a little painting in my journal. Remember, you can paint or draw whatever you are feeling. Don't think in terms of the picture being good or bad, just try to capture the spirit of the day. If it was a sad day, use slow lines and darker colors. If it was an energetic day, use more bright colors and daring lines. However you want to express the day is up to you. Just be creative and let it rip.
3. After painting, I rule in a few more lines and write about the day, or maybe about the painting I just made. I usually put the date in the top left corner and the day's temperature in the bottom right.
4. Don't worry about your handwriting or your spelling, etc. Just get your thoughts down.
5. I try to at least get one affirmation into each journal entry. No matter how bad the day, there must be something good to be thankful for.
Well that's it! It is a lot of fun to journal when you don't have to worry about writing too much and just explore the mood of the day with paint and color. Send me your own creative journal ideas. I would love to see them.
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Just look for Bruce Black Art.
I have been working on my website this weekend as well as doing some social media marketing to promote my new children's book, The Bright Star. Brian Mostoller is the author and I did the illustrations. You can find it online now at at Amazon.
Marla and I also went to Phoenix event, Junk in the Trunk today. That is a large, and amazing, antique event out in Scottsdale Arizona. you can find all sorts of unique items and vintage pieces that recall your childhood. However, after just looking up at the clock, I realized it is almost five o'clock! There just don't seem to be enough hours in the day. Anyway, here is a quick pic of what I have been working on in the studio. I continue to explore the abstract idea of using marks to represent words in a book and am playing with the thought of creating a series based on the elements of air, water, lands, and gas. We will see.....
Recently, I have been trying to work a little more in my sketchbook. I have been really busy with my students as well as with illustrating a children's book, so finding some time to make my abstract paintings has been limited. However, I have been getting at it here and there, and this is what I have come up with. They are sort of abstract poems and are usually based on specific places and landscapes.
For this book, I am working on handmade cotton watercolor paper in a leatherbound book. I have been using watercolor exclusively and work in a very free flowing and intuitive manner. Some come out better than others, but each represents a moment in time. I find working on my sketchbook journal is a great way to just explore my own creativity and unwind a bit.
Author: Bruce Black
Welcome to Life Reimagined! I am a professional artist and long time art teacher, Over twenty-two years teaching and still going! I have painted all my life and love to inspire others to reach their creative potential. I hope this blog brings you inspiration!