Wednesday, March 15

Journaling by Teesha Moore...

How I Journal by Teesha Moore
For instructions on how to make your own journal, click here.
Paper: I LOVE fabriano artistico (either natural or bright white) 140 lb. hot press (smooth) watercolor paper. You can get the best prices through or depending on who's running a sale. I buy the sheets in the 22x36 size and cut them down to make a journal out of them. (I'll explain journal binding in the next "how-to"). Anyway...of course, any paper will do, but I have come to know and adore this paper in particular. Try buying a sheet or two, cutting it down to 8x10, and then just journaling on the individual pieces of paper. Do not buy Arches unless you do not plan on folding it. It cracks along the fold and even though may be cheaper, is not good for binding.
First Layer: Watercolor. When I have my 8x10 (favorite size) journal bound and ready to go, I'll just do a color wash on the first 10 pages or so (after those first few pages get completely filled I then do the next 10 pages). I use either Daniel Smith tube watercolors, Golden liquid acrylics, or occasionally other paints such as fluid acrylics made for pens or twinkling h2o's. I just squirt paint directly from the tube onto the page and smoosh it around covering the page with color. I don't necessarily try to make any designs at this point, but rather play with color combinations and enjoy the process of painting. Try lifting off the paint with a paper towel while still wet on some pages, or just playing around with different ideas that come to you. You can sprinkle salt on a watercolored page but must wait a long time for it to dry. when thoroughly dry, brush off the salt and you'll see a wonderful texture in the paint. Also try taking a regular old Crayola crayon in a light color and drawing a random design on the page before painting. Next, using the watercolors in a darker shade, paint over the crayon. You will see a vibrant line emerge from the crayon that looks fantastic with darker watercolors.
Second Layer: Collage. I like to cut a shape out of a large color/pattern that I might find in a magazine. For instance, look for colors/patterns you especially like in the clothes of a fashion magazine, or the sofa's or curtains in a decorating magazine. cut strips, stars, circles, blumps, whatever...and add them to your journal. I usually have a piece of collage that I really like and I'll look through my 10 painted pages to see which page it looks best on. The image may be in pink and orange but it might look superb on the turquoise page you painted. start placing images here and there on the pages, making borders around the edge and somewhat working on a theme for the middle...for instance, houses, flowers, leaves, people, faces, spheres, triangles, etc. Have something in mind, so you know which shapes to cut out and generally place. this fast and without thinking too long and hard about it. Be instinctual about it and do not think too much about the outcome beyond a vague idea. Do not add too much collage. Pieces here and there are good but leave yourself room for other layers. you can always come back and add more. To find good collage fodder, look through magazines upside down, so your mind can't associate as well with what it is seeing. Also...even if you buy my collage sheets, use parts of the images rather than the whole image. Be frankenstein and put different things together to help it become more your own. (after getting some finished pages under your belt, take your journal down and make color copies of the pages, making reduced copies and enlarged copies as well. Then use parts of these pages in new and different ways in future journaling pages.)
Oh and about adhesive for the collage: I've been using double sided tombo mono adhesive in a roller. However, we just found a new product which we like so much we are carrying it. (Click here to order) It is called Trio tape and has 3 different widths of double sided adhesive in the same applicator.
Third Layer: Crayons. This is my favorite part and favorite medium. I use caran d'ache neocolor II's. These are water soluble artist crayons and can add lots of energy and color to your page. They also help incorporate your collage into your page rather than the collage just sitting on top, looking like you just stuck it down. I go around the edge of my collage pieces with this crayon, drawing a little on the image and a little off the edge of the image. I also use these crayons to change the color or design on the piece of collage itself, making it more my own. Sometimes I use these crayons to draw words as well. Although I rarely add water to the crayons which make them into a paint-like medium, you can do that as well. However, be careful to just add small amounts of water (with the tip of a finger), so you don't start wrinkling the pieces of super thin collage pieces from magazines.
Fourth Layer: Pens and pencils. I like neon gel pens, colored pencils, graphite, Faber Castel PITT brush tipped pens (great for going over the crayon and glossy collage), Faber Castel PITT superfine in black (love this pen for writing...but it won't go over the crayon), and assorted other pens I pick up here and there. I use these instruments for doodling, writing, adding details to some of the collages, and basically messing around with lots of details. The colored pencils are good for shading and adding depth here and there and even more color.
Lastly: I keep working & working & working on the pages, jumping around between the 6-10 that I painted, always finding a page I feel like adding something to. It takes a long time for me to feel the page is finished. as long as there are empty spots, it isn't finished. However...when I finally feel like they are close to being done or I am ready to move on to new stuff, I'll paint the next 6-10 pages and begin all over again with the layers.
I like to do all the art-ie stuff at home and do all the writing when I am out at coffee shops or bookstores. The two activities are totally different and you'll have more success of you don't try to do both at the same time. It is a lot of fun to be in the mood for writing in your journal and opening it up to find little spaces here and there on the pages that you have already decorated. You fill in all the holes with words and your page will be full, energetic and done....although I usually go back after the words are written and work it even more with colored pencils, gel pens, ink, whatever I feel in the mood for., I don't seal or spray my pages. If I do occasionally use portfolio brand water soluble oil pastels (which add great color as well) I rub them in very well and they simply don't transfer to the other page. I have a feeling this has something to do with the good paper I use. It seems to suck the mediums down inside and trap them there.
Good luck journaling. and most of all, have fun with it. play and don't care about how it turns out. you will have pages you like better than others and some pages turn into one giant mess...but you learn from these things. and for the record...I have a lot that come out bad. But sometimes, these bad pages turn into some of my most favorites, because you put extra effort into them trying to turn them into pages that work.
This is a clip from Teesha Moore

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