I’ve been fortunate this week to attend two workshops by Dina Wakely, sponsored by Ink Rubber Paper in Overland Park KS. Tonight’s class was squarely in my sweet spot: Marvelous Mark Making, which involved making random marks and finding art within them. We started by using a stick and a string to make random marks on a page. Then, we looked for the hidden image within and brought it to light using color. It’s no surprise…

A few weeks ago, I mentioned my notebooks and sketchbooks. I also keep a calendar-style scrapbook, using a 9” x 12” wirebound mixed media Strathmore Visual Journal as the substrate. Each two-page spread covers a single month. I glue in decorative paper, photographs, ticket stubs, and ephemera I’ve found along the way. By the end of 2013, my scrapbook documented two years of my life. It had grown fatter than its spiral binding could accommodate,…

I saw some cute little word stamps in a catalog, but I couldn’t bring myself to actually pay that much plus shipping to get them. So I made my own using inexpensive wooden alpha stamps from the craft store and a couple dabs of glue. My intention was to use them in my art journal, but I’ve also made some to use as a checklist in my daily notebook.

When I start a new sketchbook, I open the front cover and write my name and the date on the first page. Sometimes I’ll write “NEW SKETCHBOOK!” or add a random color. It’s my way of overcoming first-page paranoia, in which the artist obsesses over what to draw on the first page of a new sketchbook and what to do if the drawing “isn’t good enough”. So now, as I open the front cover of…

Early in 2011, I signed up for a series of online workshops offered by Strathmore Paper to promote their Visual Journal line of sketchbooks. The workshops focused on art journaling, something I had not tried previously, using materials I was unfamiliar with. Collage. Gesso. Acrylic paint. Scribbling. Doodling. Writing down private thoughts and then covering them up with another layer of paper or paint. More writing. More doodling. I blogged about a few of the…