Thursday, June 21, 2012

Junk Mail Journal


As many of you know, this past week I was in Portland at the ArtforAll 2012 Event, sponsored by atcsforall.com. I was very involved in the planning process, coordinated the workshops and helped make sure things went smoothly during the event.

Along with teaching two classes, I also took a couple of journaling classes from the amazing Amy Sargent. Her focus was that journals don’t need to be expensive!

One of the key thoughts that stayed with me was that my personal journal is for ME… it doesn’t have to be perfect. It can end up ugly, and it doesn’t matter. It’s just for me. I loved that! Very freeing!

Her first class was how to create a journal from materials you already have on hand. What better way to recycle/re-purpose things?
I constructed two quick journals in this class; one from old post cards, local art announcements, junk mail, paint chips, envelopes and book rings.



The other used the cup wrap I had on my to-go tea cup from breakfast, and paper from the “free” table, where folks put assorted supplies and ephemera to share with other artists. (One person’s junk is another’s treasure…)


Amy’s second class had us working on a journal page, using some of the ideas she gave us. 

One of the ways she starts a page is to glue random scraps of paper and pictures onto the page, and then cover with a light coat of cheap acrylic paint as the “gesso”. She told us the “dollar or less” paints have a high chalk content, dries more quickly than gesso, and is very inexpensive to use. Great for traveling! So that’s how I started. Torn pages and a layer of cream paint. 

I actually completed the page below in class using materials I gleaned from the “free” table, or that were shared by friends during the class. Amy also  suggested that if writing over the whole page is daunting, make a circle and just write in that. *light bulb* I can do that!

Amy’s classes really inspired me. Quick, easy and inexpensive journals! I can so do that! Funny how sometimes it just takes a new perspective to give you a jump start.

While it’s not a “painting”, I did paint in my new junk mail journal this week, and am linking to Paint Party Friday, hosted by Eva and Kristin. I urge you to check out what the other PPF artists have created this week! 





28 comments:

Nora CG said...

Love you journal pages, very inspiring and thanks for the great tips from your class. Love them!

Tammie Lee said...

how wonderful that you made your journal out of found and collected things! It looks wonderful as does your art.

peggy aplSEEDS said...

wonderful! i always like these upcyling projects! happy PPF!

Lynn said...

Looks like that was a fun and informative class. Thanks for passing on some tips! Your journals came out well and I can see lots of art coming in those future pages. HPPF!

Robin Panzer Art said...

Helen sounds like the event was a huge success and I'm so sad to have missed it! I'm also lucky I didn't come because I would have gotten sick right dab in the thick of it! Your journals are awesome! Amy is inspiring!

Pointy Pix said...

Journalling seems like such a fun thing to do and I love the whole recycling ethos of how you came to make these ones. your journal page turned out beautifully and that's a great tip about just writing in the circle!

Maria Ontiveros said...

Love your journal page! Especially the woman!
Happy ppf!
Rinda

Ginny said...

Thank you for sharing what you learned. You have inspired me to try something new with the materials I have. It is always so much fun to come to Paint Party Friday and learn from all of the other wonderful artists.

Susan said...

Thank you so much for your post. I am struggling to get a journal started. I like the lightbulb idea for writing. I love the look of your page.

Christine said...

I love these ideas so great to recycle and use inexpensive materials. Lovely journals.

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Absolutely fantastic creations and use of 'what you have' and such an informative post of your process ~thanks, ^_^ (A Creative Harbor)

Carolyn Dube said...

It is painting! You did use cheap white paint right? You certainly have the spirit of creativity and artful expression! Love where you took your circle page!

Kat Griffin said...

I am inspired for the very first time to make a journal of my own now ! great great post my friend ! I know you must have also inspired others today too. My thought is to reuse papers like you did and gesso the pages and every day or once a week at least journal about how I feel physically and mentally good or bad

-KAT- happy PPF

Marji {RainCityGirl} said...

Oh, I love these ideas. I agree "light bulb goes on"! Such a simple way to create such beauty. Great work. Happy PPF

Anns Art said...

Really like your journals, it must have been wonderful to be in a class where you could create. I think it helps seeing and working with others.

Anne said...

Thank you for sharing the inspiration and tips for journaling, so interesting and ingenious! Great pages!

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

What a great use for Junk mail. Fun project and some good hints here too. Happy PPF.

Leovi said...

Wonderful compositions, I really like your use of the objects destroyed, really creative art diary. Greetings.

Caitlyn (ladyphlogiston) said...

I love the idea of the coffee-wrapper book! So cute! And that's a gorgeous journal page.

Sabina said...

A junk mail and recycled bits journal! How cool! And to think I was considering purchasing some expensive leather-bound journal just give me some incentive to get started. Thanks for this insertional post, and great work with the collage. The musical notes just seem to make the art cooler.

Karen Smithey said...

Love the journals! I think that when we use 'ordinary' or 'ugly' materials, we sort of transcend them, and they become beautiful by virtue of being loved and used. Imperfection, loved, makes for perfection! That Wabi-Sabi idea...

Mary C. Nasser said...

Very creative and inspiring way to re-use materials!
♥♥♥
Happy PPF!!
Mary
Mixed-Media Map Art

The Weaver's Hand-Aspiring Artist and my own worst critic! said...

Fantastic, Helen! I hate that I couldnt be there. Last year OY introduced us to those incredibly freeing junk journals. Mine, sadly is still waiting for me to do something with it. Youve inspired me to pull it back out though...after the move and after I figure out which box its in. Thanks for sharing your beautiful beginning!

Daniele Valois said...

This is FAB!!! THis is right up my alley!

Belinda Carson said...

So love the journal you constructed out of junk mail! Looks great!

Deepa Gopal Sunil said...

It's too good & to think it's all from 'junk'; that gives a whole dimension to it...just BEAUTIFUL!

Ayala Art said...

Great journal, and yes, a fun way to recycle and up-cycle

Gloria said...

How fascinating! I love how you made the journals out of recycled pieces.

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