Sunday, January 08, 2006

Thoughts on My Journal & Recognizing Artists Work

I am at a point where when I read books or magazines about journaling or collage or 'altered art' I can recognize some of the artists just by their style. I am surprised that this is happening. I now can pick out immediately, work done by: Teesha Moore, Tracy Moore, Lynne Whipple, Lynne Perrella and Claudine Hellmuth. Pretty good for someone who has been into altered art for just four months. Or maybe that means I am doing too much reading about this topic!!

I am inspired by the work that others do. I am at a point though, where I enjoy looking at some of it, and am inspired by some of it, but I am not always interested in copying and recreating what someone else has done. (This is why so many of the paper arts magazines and books do not appeal to me. I want to create my own thing not just have a step by step process of what someone else has done.)

The best thing for me is to be inspired to try something new and to interpret it in my own way. For example I may try a paint technique that one artist wrote about, but I use a color that is more appealing to me.

What it has underscored for me is that what I think is important for me at least to find my own style and to feel happy with it. I do have my own way of doing things but sometimes in the recent past I'd read or see something and feel that perhaps I should be doing THAT instead of THIS. Sometimes it would make me feel that what I was doing is not good enough.

I am my happiest when I am creating things in my own style. I did a lot of work in my artist journal last week. What I did is unlike anything I have ever seen pictured, and that is now okay with me.

I have stopped beating myself up about my journal because it doesn’t look like someone else’s. I don’t like it when people say you should do this or that. That includes the recommendation that in a journal an artist should really work to have a minimum number of words vs. images or artistic elements. Right now what feels right for me is to have a blend of words with artistic elements. Now I am journaling using fewer words than I used to. My past attempts to journal with words only never became a routine thing as just sitting and journaling in long hand writing was boring to me. (Actually blogging is a form of journaling; it is just online so I do spend time daily on this blog or blogging on my other blog.)

Anyway at this point I am having fun. My journal has watercolor painted background pages which were fun to create and are fun to write on. I am having a blast collaging on top of the pages with ephemera from my daily life or with images or cut out words or phrases that apply to my life or to what is being written about on that page. I also am doing some rubber stamping in the journal. This is a nice balance for me.

If I get brave I may post a scan of some of my journal pages. I am not ready for that yet, though.

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