After years of writing in journals, a lifetime actually, I've finally started a visual journal. I'm in good company. Somerset has a publication dedicated to art journaling and there are plenty of books and workshops to help those of us who are trying to convert. I'm taking a workshop that started this week, in fact, taught by the fabulous Pam Carriker. Her background pages look more like art pieces than anything I've ever considered journal.
It has been a fun first week; I've made several background pages and I'm anxious to see what we'll do next. I have to admit, this still feels a bit out of order to me; I've always started with a thought, emotion or situation, in other words, knowing what I wanted to express. I don't sketch, so aside from an occasional quote or clipping, it has been confined to words.
My first efforts at keeping an art journal several weeks ago involved staring at a blank page, followed by a search through my 'paper piles' for a photo or quote or some other source of inspiration, gluing, then attempting to fill in the empty space with writing and pastels. It had never occurred to me to creating pleasing backgrounds for later use, without knowing my intention for the page, like putting the horse before the proverbial cart. So, I'm approaching this with an open mind, and an understanding that my concept of journaling is going to change radically during the course of this workshop. Nothing like shaking things up to jump start the creative process.