Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Art Journaling

I saw this class poster at Ben Franklin last week and I was intrigued to know what it was about. So I registered for this class and it was yesterday. Beth taught the class and it was so much fun. She started with reading a permission - permission to let go, let go of all the inhibitions, be yourself, go wild and not be in boundaries and let it flow. She had done research for the last one year on Art Journaling and she mentioned that it is therapeutic. For example, if you see yourself going for dark colors while painting your art journal, it means there is something bothering you. So people have studied art journals to understand people's psychology apparently. This is what we made in the class yesterday. Keep in mind, no two journals were the same. Everyone used different colors, different images and painted it their own way.

She says its an exercise to let go, which is tough. She also read some art journaling prompts that would help with that. Like letting others draw the background which you cannot control or picking the colors you do not like and working with them. If you don't like it, apply some gesso and start over again. You don't lose anything. It's your journal and you create what you like out of it.

Basically the way it work is that you start with an art journal, which you can get at any art store. You start with applying a layer of gesso - a primer for your paint so that the paper does not absorb the paint. We tried black, white and clear gessos. Then we  used heat gun to dry the gesso. Watch out how much you apply gesso, as it might take way too long to dry or even stick the pages together (which is what I did). Then after the first layer, apply a layer of acrylic paint. You can choose any number of colors. Then it's up to you to depict whatever you want on it.

We were taught to make Collages. Collages - are putting some pictures together to convey the message. It was not much about the image itself but the blending of colors and patterns. To apply the images, we just tore off images from magazines, but you can do essentially anything. To paste them to the paint, we used Matte medium.  Then I stamped with the regular stamps and stazon ink. I also used Sharpie poster paint markers, water based to write on it. You could use daubers, glitter etc.  you name it, you can use it. Hence the reason it is called mixed media art.

If you are artsy and you like to maintain a journal, I think it is a great way to do it. Let go of your troubles, inhibitions and just indulge yourself in art. Of course, even if you are not artsy, like me who never learnt to paint, still it is a great idea in my opinion.

I have ordered this book called Art Journals and Creative Healing as I am intrigued by this whole concept of  Art Journaling.


Carolina Little

Prema, this sounds so therapeutic and fun. I always kept track of my life on a Journal when I was a teenager and I loved it!!!. Now for me a therapy instead of journaling is scrapbooking. I love to follow our lives with pictures. Great idea. Very nice project!!!

Chaitali Narla

Thats such a cool idea! I am looking forward to borrowing your book sometime after you get it :) Very nice journal!

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