Monday, April 28, 2014

From the Archives: Art Journals

I started my first art journal in late 2008 - around the same time when I started my first blog and made the difficult decision to change to a different program at university.  It was also a time when I was dealing with feelings of despair and hopelessness, and working in my art journal gave me a positive focus that helped me to keep moving.  I've kept quite a few different art journals since then, but I don't talk about them as much on this blog anymore.  My focus has shifted away from painting and collage to drawing and sketching.  I'm now more interested in keeping a sketchbook than I am in keeping what most people would think of as an art journal.  And since I graduated from university, I've been focusing on my writing and more of my creative energy has gone into that instead of into my journals.
I still love looking back at my old journals, though, so here are some of my best art journal posts from the archives:
  1. Checking In: Sketchbooks, Gluebooks, Art Journals (November 2011): In which I meander around a number of topics and muse about what an art journal is and is not.  My gluebook was one of my favourite art journals, by the way, and I've been thinking of keeping another one just to use up some of the many paper scraps I have accumulated.
  2. From the Art Journal: Grid + Mandala (August 2010): I had a thing with grids for a while.  And mandalas.  Actually, I still have a thing for both of those.  (And apologies for the awful photo in this post!)
  3. Bookbinding: Gwen Diehn's Thirty-Minute Multi-Pamphlet Journal (May 2010): This is my most successful foray into bookbinding so far.  I've always wanted to do more bookbinding, but I often feel intimidated by it.  This journal was easy to make, though.
  4. From the Art Journal: Grid, Typography, Silhouette (October 2010): (Yes, another grid!)  This was another one of my favourite art journals, and I still really like all of these pages.
  5. Drawing Practice (September 2012): I love these drawings; they're all so flawed and wonderful.  I need to draw more.
  6. Supplies for the Travel Journal and Pages from the Travel Journal (October 2012): I loved keeping this travel journal (it may be my favourite journal ever) and looking at these posts makes me want to travel again so I can keep another one!
  7. Art Journaling, Part 4: Pen Work (December 2009): This is a rather old post featuring one step in the development of one of my earliest art journals.  Adding the fine details with pen and ink is always one of my favourite parts of the art journal process.
  8. Intro to Visual Journals, Part 1 and Part 2: Supplies (May 2012): The basics of keeping a visual journal (which, to my mind, is a broader category than "art journal").
  9. From the Art Journal: Simplicity (July 2010): One of my favourite journal pages, loosely based on a quote from one of my favourite books.
  10. Book Review: Raw Art Journaling (November 2012): This is one of the best introductory books on art journaling I have come across.  Also, I sometimes struggle with book reviews, but this one turned out well, I think.
In July of this year, A Penchant for Paper will be five years old. As part of the celebration, I'll be delving into this blog's archives and sharing with you some of the best posts from the past five years (with a focus on older posts that newer readers might not have seen).


  1. I enjoyed all of these old posts, Heather, many of which were new to me. It's interesting that you and I have been on many similar paths (although I'm a few decades ahead of you :-) )... I went from written journal to art journal (I like your term "glue book") of collage/painting to drawing/sketching journal. And my travel journals are by far my favorites. And I'm a writer, too (though not of creative material anymore -- now it's all commercial writing). Your blog is very well written, like you actually think before you write (sadly, not true of so many boring blogs in the blogosphere)! Keep on writing, blogging and journaling!

    - Tina

    1. Thank you, Tina! I cannot help but wonder where my practice will be when I'm your age :)

  2. Wow thanks for sharing these. I am trying to write and create again and came upon your blog post.


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