Patience is the most important thing when dealing with anything “new.” And being patient is especially important when art journaling. I say this because the final image slowly reveals itself… first going one way, then another… sometimes resting with nowhere to go for a while… then finding a new path.
For those of you unfamiliar with the process, here’s the basic recipe.
You can either start with a blank journal or recycle an old book. You want the book to have good paper that will hold up to lots of gluing and painting. No worries if the pages bucket and wrinkle, just keep the book flat and closed whenever possible.
You can start any number of ways, but make sure you have NO idea in mind; you need to be open to what flows naturally from within. Next, find some scrap and glue it down, add a bit of paint in a few basic colors, add ephemera or napkins, scraps from other projects like Gelli prints or the sheets you use under other projects that are covered in layers of stuff. There is no right or wrong way to start.
One thing is certain, you will find that things go from looking great to terrible and back … until the page resolves itself.
I use Matte Medium for gluing. Others use Gel Medium. I also advise using a matte varnish of the spread BEFORE you add gel pen lines for finishing details. Other than that, here’s what happens:
Things don’t make sense… they feel chaotic, unrelated, unresolved…. and then after many, many twists and turns, the page resolves itself. Like this spread; it was unresolved for months. It just sat there, then suddenly I found an image that wanted to be here. and things began to come together. Like magic.