Hello and Good Day to you! Thank you so much for visiting or opening this post via email. I am thrilled to share my notes from the most recent Visual Journal Collective meeting at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Our April meeting topic was about favorite tools or supplies to use with/in your journal. Everyone shared the most amazing tips, and the journals are oh so inspiring! I have a bunch of photos from our evening, so you may want to pour a cup of tea and settle in for some fun!
Before the Meeting
I often like to hang out at Open Book prior to the Visual Journal Collective meeting. I absolutely love and feel grateful to have such a wonderful place in the Twin Cities that supports artists and writers. This pre-meeting time gives me a chance to unwind. I took my journal to the outdoor balcony and made this:
It's a bit of collage, finger painting, and stamping. These are some of my favorite things to experiment with in my art journal. What do you love to do in your journal? Leave a comment below or hit reply for email subscribers. I would love to hear your ideas!
April 2017 Visual Journal Collective Meeting
We started out by introducing ourselves. Some people have been coming for a long time (when Roz Stendahl facilitated, then Suzanne Hughes), and some people are fairly new. We want everyone to feel seen and welcome at our monthly meetings. By the way, our meetings are free and open to any adults interested in visual journaling, keeping a sketchbook, or art journaling. For more information, there is a button on the right-hand side bar at OrangeSpiralArts.com
Here are a few pics of all the tables and the wonderful people at them:
The plastic card can be used in so many ways. Here are a few ideas:
- scrape acrylic paint to get rid of the white background
- make marks and lines by dipping the rectangle edges in paint
- cut the edges with sturdy scissors and create your own patterned paint scraping tool
- use the plastic card as a mini paint palette
I may have been a little enthusiastic as I shared about my favorite tool, but I knew I was in good company. : )
Here are more favorite tools and supplies shared by Visual Journal Collective April meeting attendees:
Marsha talked about her favorite stylus for scoring paper, especially if you have to score against the grain. See her fabulous book below.
Molly talked about several really fun and interesting things. First up is the General's Water Soluble Graphite Pencil.
Next, many of us could relate to Molly's excitement over reused "trash" or recyclables turned into an art tool. Two of Molly's recent repurposed favorites are a plastic spoon and a rubber ball (pictured).
Another "trash to treasure" collector is Kari. We were all so enamored by Kari's thick journal filled with writing, torn pages, and glued in objects.
Kari's favorite tool is a heavy duty glue that does NOT stink, called Weldbond.
She did note that Weldbond does not work great with a rusty nail over a piece of plastic, just fyi.
Special trash finding tip: walk your neighborhood, or visit your local store parking lot. There's lots to be found!
Jean shared her ever-loved tin of Caran D'ache Neocolor II water-soluble crayons.
Jean has a tin of tiny pieces that she has recently discovered are great for using with a fine-tipped Pentel Aquash Water Brush (sold at Wet Paint) as a way to add to her sketches of Japanese toys. A note about the Pentel Aquash Water Brush is that it is does not roll away, due to its unique shape.
Jean also shared her drawing explorations with the Non-photo blue pencil, recommended by writer, artist and "accidental professor", Lynda Barry.
In case you want to learn more about Lynda Barry and her being an "accidental professor", I highly recommend her book, Syllabus: Notes from An Accidental Professor. In this book, she talks how and why to use the Non-Photo blue pencil.
Chris talked about shopping at Ax-Man and discovering some great tools. Please note that the inventory is constantly changing at Ax-Man, and the tools Chris found are no longer there. You can still keep your eyes peeled for similar items, or these items at other locations.
One item Chris likes is this marker by Milwaukee tools. It's called an Inkzall permanent marker, often used on job sites.
Chris also talked about a silicone mat that is convenient for keeping pages clean, for spray ink messes, and painting messes, as it wipes off easily.
Kim talked about her favorite Tombow Mono Permanent Adhesive Tape Runner to use for collage.
There's the tape runner itself:
And then the refills:
Before Kim knew that visual journaling or art journaling was a thing, she was making collages in an old book.
Kim participated in Lisa Sonora's 30 Day Journal Project, and started a new collage journal.
(I love this picture of Kim. It makes me deeply feel the importance of sharing our creative projects with supportive people.)
Theresa shared her new favorite carrying case. She loves the clear window so that she can easily see what's inside the pouch.
Theresa also shared how she loves to repurpose small tins to carry her supplies.
Lynn shared her favorite paper punches that you can use anywhere on the page. They are by Martha Stewart and are called All Over the Page paper punches.
I didn't get a good picture of Lynn's paper punched pages, but here is one of Lynn's inspiring journal pages! You can see the paper punches at the bottom left of the image.
Journal Sharing Time
After people shared their favorite tools and supplies, we had some time to share our journals. This is one of my favorite parts of being part of the Visual Journal Collective. Everyone has such a unique way of creating, and it is really, really inspiring to see other people's journals. I shared some images already, but will continue to share the remaining photos I took of people's journals. I hope you love this sneak peek!
My apologies in advance for the photo blur. Pages were flipping fast, and I am a little rusty with the camera I was using.
Chris' mixed media journals:
Theresa's contour drawings:
Lynn's mixed media journals:
Molly shared about the many art challenges she's participating in this April. Take a peek at her @mkranthony Instagram account for more images!
Kim's collage journal:
To see a collection of Jean's Japanese toys, visit the East Lake Library in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jean will be there for Children's Day, Saturday, April 22, from 12pm-2pm.
Theresa Harsma has work on display at the Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, WI.
If I missed your announcement, or if you have some news to share, please leave it in the comments below.
Thank you to everyone who showed up to the April meeting. It was so great to be with you all!
Blessings and Peace,