J is for Art Journal: A-to-Z Challenge

I had to make a change.  Running and working in our business means I don’t have the time to set up for painting at an easel and painting with acrylics, which in my case means canvases and 4 oz tubs (not tubes) of paint!  I need a 10×10 space permanently set up, and we move our business studio around to accommodate furniture collections coming in for treatment.  My big painting space simply gets moved too often.

DSC09846I had to find another way.  I looked at working smaller, setting up on a smaller desk behind my work desk, right.  I am an avid journaler, and so, I combined art + journal = art journaling.  Who knew there was a whole community of artists who journal?  I love sharing with them!  (See links page.)  I am working now with shellac, watercolors and various pens and of course, my long-time favorite, the Pentallic Woodless pencil!

DSC09848My favorite journals of all time are the OE Noteflaps, which I fell in love with as lined journals 20 years ago (red, above.)  I naturally turned to their unlined journals to use as sketchbooks.  They fold flat behind, and have an envelope flap at the back (top, in black) to hold bits you pick up in your journeys.  I am currently using with shellac (a technique I plan to teach next year; follow me on FB if you are interested or email me.)  You can see a few pages, above, with the shellac prep done.

DSC09853I prefer square; must be the architect in me.  Square is hard to find in heavy paper! For that reason I like the Aquabee Super Deluxe in a 9-inch (lunar) square.  Unfortunately, Bee paper only makes this in a 93 lb paper, so it is a bit light for wet washes, and apparently, as I am learning watercolor, I’ve discovered I like to paint wet!  And I am not fond of the maroon cover (color is important to an artist) and so this is the first journal I have made mine by painting the cover.  Sanded it and collaged with handmade papers, mine and other peoples, I will continue to create this cover until I am finished.

DSC09850DSC09855There are other journals I use.  Sometimes I like long shapes, and so have two longer format journals I use when it suites the subject:

  • Nature Sketch 6×12-inch with 130 lb paper (nice, and made by Pentalic here in Oregon), and
  • Strathmore 6×18-inch 140lb journal, shown right with my Palm Tree Goddess.

By the bed and/or in my purse, besides my shellacked OE journal, I use:

  • Nature Sketch 5×7-inch with 130 lb paper (fooling around), and
  • brightly colored KOLO sketchbooks that have great pockets at the back, and a see-through cover that you can pop images into as well.  I devote one to all my notes about products and paint colors I like.

DSC09846 copy


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About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
This entry was posted in art, creativity, drawing, journal, painting, sketchbook, watercolor and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to J is for Art Journal: A-to-Z Challenge

  1. Raquel says:

    I love looking into folks’ art journals. I’ve recently been introduced to a couple online communities of art journalers and I’m totally in awe! There should be regular art journal shows all over…. I love that you do beautiful, full on paintings in yours. I think of mine as more of a “junk” journal, I do mindless painting/drawing in it as well as plan larger paintings. I love the cover of the March one– so you do a new one every month! That’s amazing.


    • zenkatwrites says:

      Hi Raquel — Thanks and I just put the start date on the journal — it is not for the month of March only! How I wish — that would mean I had oodles of time to paint! And I like peeking into people’s art journals too . . . delicious!


  2. Sammy D. says:

    Lovely! Intriguing, inspirational and informational, as always. I love my stash of journals, but have a couple I take out and put away when I’m ready to start a new one. For some reason, I never choose them, and I know it’s because I don’t like the cover. I would never have thought of sanding and re-working it – will give it a try. Thanks, Katie!


  3. Rasz says:

    Thank you for sharing your journals. My art space/area seems to change often and I am now crunched into a little corner so I have several art journals I use daily. Like you, size and shape and even the cover matter on different days. I really like the long page turned sideways with the flowers…just beautiful! Have a great weekend!


  4. Annabelle says:

    Love looking at your art journals, the detail and subjects , especially the flower one, all very interesting to look at.
    I like your work area very much, looks so organized and easy to work in. At the moment my dining room is my work space and it’s a total mess so I understand what you mean about moving around all the time , hard to keep track of things, time wasted searching instead of creating : ) Keeping fresh yellow daffodils does make the space happy and fresh with thoughts of Spring, next time out I shall remember to pick up a bunch at the grocery store.Have a good one!

    Annabelle : )


  5. Annette G says:

    Love your journal pages. Happy PPF, Annette x



  6. I loved this post – I am a paper and journal junkie – though I don’t work regularly in any of the journals. Your shellac technique sounds very interesting. The flower page and the funky palm trees are wonderful


  7. Pingback: Lojong Practice 21: Bread and Butter | Zenkatwrites's Blog

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