Monday, July 2, 2012

the art journal project

Some old time readers may remember that in 2009 I joined a year long art journal project. My good friend Cindy approached me in December of 2008 about joining this group she was coordinating. JZ had recently died, and she thought it would be good for me to get involved. You may be familiar with how this works, but I will explain anyway...
There are twelve members and each person decides on a theme for their journal. The journals can made of anything... store bought, handmade, recycled books, etc. The first month is spent creating a cover and artwork for your own journal.  A list is created with journaler's (I don't think that is really a word!) addresses. At the end of the month you ship your journal to the next name on the list and you receive a journal from the person whose name is before yours. Over the next month you create one or two pages of artwork based on that journal's theme.
The theme I chose was "Loss". When I got my journal back at the end of the project, it was very emotional. Here are few photos of pages in the book...

 The cover is a photo that JZ took of his vintage Esquire. The drawing I did represents him and the things I associate with his being. Some may find it morbid that I represented him as a skeleton shortly after his passing. The skeleton represents not only his death, but also his fascination with skulls. I still have his favorite goat and steer skulls hanging in the log cabin.

This is my friend Cindy's page. Underneath an abstract water color painting, are layers of tissue paper stitched to the page with gold thread. Under each layer are the stories of friends that have died.

 And sometimes loss is GOOD thing! 

 This page is very sweet. A collage of letters and envelopes that a father wrote to his daughter over the span of many years.

 More sweet pages with father daughter memories

Abstract painting, glued into the pages. Sometimes journalers wrote explanatory notes along with their entries, others left you guessing.

Some months I opened my journal package and was immediately inspired. Other times it was a struggle to complete. The project was a catalyst for me to get back to work in the studio and at the same to explore other mediums, and a little art therapy while grieving is a good thing! In the past I shared some photos from the other journals. I may post some more over the next couple of days.

So you may be asking why I am writing about this now...

I am considering getting a new journal group together for 2013. Who better to ask than my blog readers & writers, are any of you interested? If shipping costs concern you, the journals are shipped USPS media mail, which is the least expensive (but slow). I would do my best to have the person that you ship to, live as close as possible to you.
You don't have to be a visual artist to participate. This is very open ended... there was lots of poetry in the journals, collages, photography, stories. I am looking for 10 (Cindy get first refusal) or possibly 11 people to join in. 
If you think you may be interested please comment and ask questions... I have 6 months to pull this thing together!


  1. I would be interested, I love journals and have kept many over the years. I'm not exactly a painter but I can do lots of other things :)

  2. This is a great idea and I would love to participate. I have kept journals off and on over my life but I don't think I've done any real 2-D work for twenty years or so. I think it would be neat to have people from all over the country participating

  3. I'd love to participate; this sounds like a great project because of the sharing and stretching of the psyche; however I hesitate to sign up for future projects because my health waivers up and down. Self inflicted stresses of not completing tasks in a timely manner are more than I'm able to deal with, but I really look forward to seeing the progress of this journal project.

  4. I would love to participate, this sounds like fun, like a challenge and like a great way to build an even stronger community.

  5. Michele, as I read this I thought, wouldn't it be interesting and fun to participate in something like this. And then there was your invitation.I'd love to be included.

  6. Would you find it strange to have a guy in the mix? I already have the book ready...


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