Vintage Post: Artist Journals & Cat Character

This post was written during my last semester of college while I was taking an Illustration course and just starting to get into art journaling on the side. I absolutely loved the Illustration class but looking back at the cat character I chose, I wish I had done one of the other sketches. Oh well! It was a learning experience since I was not comfortable creating illustration work on the computer.

Original Post from March 19, 2009

Found another appealing book at the library called Art Journals & Creative Healing by Sharon Soneff! It has a different take on the idea of the art journal. The artist described her book the best in her introduction:

“Journals serve many worthy purposes-to document major events, capture fleeting moments, develop raw ideas, even to chronicle what you dreamed last night. But has it ever occurred to you that a journal could be used to assist with, and promote, health and healing?…Art Journals & Creative Healing explores the combination of these two therapeutic exercises-the written expression with the artistic one-resulting in a venue for pushing beyond difficult human experiences to a place of newfound wisdom, peace, comfort, joy, health, and healing.”

The examples inside are not necessarily done by artists who know how to draw, but there are definitely more crafty people who have done these journals. I believe anyone could do these types of journals. They don’t have to look perfect, and they don’t have to be seen by anyone other than yourself. Even if you may not want to make your journal therapeutic for yourself, it still contains some great ideas or possibilities for any kind of journal.

Some great suggestions I grabbed from the book (I embellished some of them) are:

1. Maybe you want to tear up sheets of paper that you find and instead of gluing them in, tape them! Give your pages that edgy look!

2. Recycle an old day planner by altering it. You can use artist’s Gesso to coat the pages so you can have a blank sheet, and it will help stiffen the paper and ready it for either paint, pastels, pencils, etc.

3. Another way to attach pieces of paper to the page is to literally sew it on! Adding some stitching will give the page texture.

4. Write down your favorite quotes!

5. Plus, don’t feel like you have to do one page at a time. You can revisit a page after you have painted a background.

6. Finally, a journal does not have to be bound! You can use loose sheets of random paper you find or index cards. Then keep them together in a special box or folder. Just have fun with it!

Animorphic Cat Character

This week, I have been working on this character for Illustration class. Thought I would post it up! It is NOT complete yet. It is just the B&W tonal version of it so our professor could see what direction we would take the character.


Art Journal: Floral Doodles

Seemed like these next two pages were so hard to photograph because of how bright and rich the reds were on the page. The light kept bouncing off of them and showing a light flare.

In my art journal, I like to paint some of the pages with acrylic and then move on to something else within the sketchbook. There are several things started but not very many are complete. I think it is important to know that you don’t HAVE to get a page done in one night. It could be better for your sanity to move from one spread to another to keep yourself fresh. Especially if you are struggling and are beginning to dislike what you are working on.

I had a lot of fun on this first page even though it is a bit hard to see the Chrysanthemum-like flowers. I had contemplated whether I should go back and darken up some of the lines, but it could make a spectacular background for maybe some digital artwork. Otherwise, I was getting a kick out of drawing the half circles all over the page.


This second page did not turn out the way I wanted it to, but I was trying to treat the page differently. My mind kept thinking about Dr. Seuss and what flowers in the garden of his mind might look like. Even though I am not happy with it, I am going to leave it alone for now. 🙂

Vintage Post: Part of My Drawing IV Final Project

Here is another post from my older blog. I was in the last semester of college at the time and immersed in a project that I would like to eventually finish.

Original Post: March 15, 2009

For the past two days, I have been finishing up one of my drawings for Drawing IV class. It is my personal project that I am starting to freak out about because I am supposed to do 10 of these. Since I am drawing them in graphite and they have to be a large size, they are taking a lot of time!

The idea behind my project first sprouted from the old vanitas (which means vanity in Latin) still lifes. They are usually devoted to reflecting on the shortness of life by being subliminal in still lifes by using flowers, tabletops, smoking paraphernalia, or luxury goods. More obvious symbols of mortality used were skulls, burning candles, pipes about to burn out, bubbles, or clocks. The main idea is to make the viewer contemplate the work, look at it longer than a glance, and challenge a silent debate. Every person, who looks at an image, brings his or her own experience to that piece making it a type of symbolic still life painting.

Each of the 10 drawings I will be doing are going to be portraits of family members who have passed on or are still living. Only they are not going to have the actual person in them, objects that were their own items or things that remind me of them will be used to form the portrait. The one I finished last night is my Mom’s portrait because when I was growing up she would play the piano for me, and I was always fascinated by her jewelry box. I could even point out the music on the piano and items inside the jewelry box and what they mean too. I know the image isn’t the best. I took several pics with my camera, and it kept wanting to give it a fisheye appearance and bleach out!

Title: Mom 
Medium: Graphite
Size: ~28″ x 32″

Doodle Curls

New Year’s Resolutions… I tend to never do them because I rarely remember or accomplish them. I would rather take things a day at a time, but this year I would like to attempt to fill my Art Journal that I have been playing around in for the past two years. I have a tendency to see a brand spanking new sketchbook and buy it, but I have never finished a sketchbook on my own except for two! One of them was filled because I used it for two college drawing classes and the other was for last years Sketchbook Project. A lot of times when I am drawing it is for someone else (gift, etc.) so that goes on loose leaf paper.

An unfilled sketchbook can be daunting to all of us, but I have been subscribing to the philosophy that says:

Do not to worry about what you put in your sketchbook.

Doodle! Paint! Get the color or lines out to exercise your hand and brain. Since I enjoy drawing hair or curls, I had a little fun with my black Sharpie on a couple of pages I had painted ahead of time.

What are some other artist’s resolutions? Or goals for this year?


Vintage Post: Creativity

Why am I calling this post Vintage? Well, my friend, since I am phasing out my long time Xanga blog, I will be bringing over some of my older posts on here so they don’t completely disappear off the face of the earth. Whether you are reading them for the first or second time, I hope you still enjoy the “Vintage Post” series.

Originally posted: Sunday, 22 February 2009

“The world is but a canvas to the imagination.” -HENRY DAVID THOREAU

I tried to draw something quick last night in pencil, but again I ended up really enjoying what I was drawing and continued to work on it through the night.

Every time I draw a character on the page, I feel it becomes too lonely looking and begin drawing more people around her. When I sit and sketch I can’t help but make a collage of images together to fill up the page. The drawing may not make sense, but I am entertained by it while I render such a piece. 
Before I stick the image I did in, I would like to quote an activity out of the book called “The New Creative Artist: A Guide to Developing your Creative Spirit” by Nita Leland.

Do a Drawing a Day

“Reinforce your drawing habit. Draw something- anything- every day. Keep a pencil and paper in the family room, in the kitchen and in the car. Draw odds and ends: a phone, soda can, bone, pencil sharpener, teakettle or geranium plant. Draw from memory and imagination: an apple orchard, the neighbor’s dog, a man-eating flower, a frog who is a prince, a Martian.

Draw with your right hand, then your left; with your eyes open or closed. Whenever you see a pencil, pick it up and draw. You learn to draw by drawing.”