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Prompt60 #17

"I have come to believe that there are infinite
passageways out of the shadows,
infinite vehicles to transport us into the light."
Martha Beck

Loose 9x12" art journal page from 2008 where I devised some Happiness Instructions. It is pinned to the inspiration board in my office. With a real pin! The base is drawing paper with black gesso and the materials include Neocolors, fluid acrylics, a map, receipts, textbook, ticket stubs, scrapbook paper. The title is in Sharpie paint marker outlined with black PITT pen. The instructions are in black PITT pen doodled with gellyrolls {I don't think you can see these in the photograph, they are the sparkly kind}. 

Creative Prompt. Make a journal page where key element is a list. Write directly on your journal page or write on loose paper and stick it into your journal with washi tape. You might write your very own Happiness Instructions, a list of favorite cartoon characters or favorite scents.

 If you are just getting started with art or drawing, I want to recommend Danny Gregory's book The Creative LicenseI keep it in my drawer of books to read again and again. The topic is drawing, yes, but it's not a how-to book about drawing. It is a book about seeing, a book about giving yourself permission {license} to create. 

Another book that is great at giving you permission is Martha Beck's Finding Your Own North Star. There's a bit of woo-woo fluffy stuff but if you can handle that it is a marvelous book. My absolute favorite part has to do with not letting "everyone" {even an imaginary "everyone"} control your creative choices.

PS. At the Create Mixed Media blog you can find my guest post Allow Space for Journaling.


Prompt60 #16

Let's incorporate maps into an art journal spread. The first step, of course, is to collect maps. Here's a heads-up that a future prompt will focus on hand-drawn maps so you might want to start *thinking* about that. But this prompt calls for found maps.

This is my 5x8" sketch moleskine, the one with drawing paper. I went through my baskets of papers looking for anything related to maps and found lots of yummy items. I put them together on the page so that there was no white space whatsoever. Cramming stuff in is fun. Maps make up the majority of the page, but not everything is a map. Reminds me of those math problems about sets. All turtles are named George. Therefore George is a turtle. Anyhow, everything is attached with staples or washi tape or both. I'm so happy to be using washi tapes! Usually I use them for mail art, but it's fun to use them in my journal.

If you want to do a collage overflowing with maps, then cut out anything you can find that is related to maps or mapping, including textures, colors, words and symbols that might show up on a map. 

Maps draw me in with intriguing lines, legends, color codes and intermingling lines. You probably have a bunch of old maps at your house. If not, take a look in your stack of magazines and you might find map-like items that you could use. Here are some things that I associate with maps: architectural drawings, blueprints, museum maps, library shelf maps, amusement park maps, mall maps, garden layout sketches. Also consider mind maps, imaginary maps, cruise ship maps, airplane seat maps. 

Go to the Prompt60 Index.

A little note so that you are prepared for one of the prompts in the week ahead... we're going to be carving stamps. So if you have an opportunity, get a handful of erasers or some material for stamp carving and either an x-acto knife or a basic linocutting tool. 


Prompt60 #15

Prompt Fifteen is to practice doodling, drawing or otherwise writing the ALPHABET with any mark-making tool.

Option #1: Try to emulate an existing font or just invent some silly sort of writing style. You could add arrows to each letter... or bubbles or rainbows! The pink swirly doodles were already on the pages of my lined journal; you can add some sort of frame if you are in the mood.

Option #2: Write the alphabet over and over again, overlapping, with variations. Write while you are not looking at your journal page. I wrote the letters of the alphabet on the second page above {this is in my Art Doodle Love journal, pg. 91} while watching Boardwalk Empire. I couldn't see what I was doing other than to feel the overall edges of the book.

Option #3: {Disclaimer... I've not tried this} Cut out as many variations of one letter as you can find in one magazine. For the sake of your eyesight and hands, focus {no pun intended} on headlines and larger letters. Glue them into your journal or put in a little glassine envelope and attach to the page. It just sounds so cute.

Go to the Prompt60 Index.


Prompt60 #14


5x8" watercolor moleskine journal, watercolor, pitt artist pen, 2011

You are invited to create a page in your journal that studies a single color and variations of that color. Pick any color you wish. Today might be a red day. Or an orange day. Or a blue day. Or perhaps gray. Draw freehand lines in your journal and fill in the lines with color. This page is not about patterns or perfection but about exploration. The order of the colors is of no importance, just play.

This started as a page where I experimented with creating a variety of browns. Years later, I wish that I had noted the paint mixtures. I was pushing myself here, because brown was a color that I rarely used {this has not changed}. Yet I wanted to better understand it! So the intersection of words and art came about because the stripes of color looked quite inviting.

If you want to work directly in your journal and have thin paper that will not take watercolor - or you wish to work in a different medium - I think this would be a fun exercise with colored pencils. Try light sketchy lines with one color and then light sketchy lines with another color. Like if you started with a green you could add a yellow or a white or a peach and still have it be some sort of green. 

On your varied stripes, write a list of memories related to that color.

  • "Brown wooden rulers at school." 
  • "Brown-Eyed Girl, the Stones."
  • "Chocolate truffles on our first night in Ghent, Belgium."
  • The classical guitar my brother used to play.

If you have watercolor or mixed media paper, use watercolor or gouache to create your color concoctions. Please do not be concerned with the "correct" way to mix colors. I do not know the correct way, but I can definitely solve an advanced algebra equation if you wish! Just keep moving forward even if you don't really know what you are doing! You'll learn as you go, collecting tidbits here and there along your path.

For more prompts go to the Prompt60 Index!


Prompt60 #13

"The scientist does not study nature because it is useful;
he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights
in it because it is beautiful."
Henri Poincare

Lucky 13.

This is an anything goes sort of prompt. Search through your assortment of random papers, including junk mail, notes to yourself about books to read, swatches of wallpaper, playing cards, stickers, clothing tags, handwritten notes, doodles, etc. and attach them to your next few pages.

In this particular journal, I work on a few page spreads at the same time, so that I can pick and choose where I'll put a particular item. But I try to work fast, because I have more fun when I don't analyze what I'm doing! 

Included on these pages? Papers I've painted, clippings from magazines {including Flow}, japanese paper, washi tape, ticket stubs, stamps, a tarot card, gouache paint on black paper, stamped index cards, a photograph taken with a toy camera called a Fujifilm Instax Mini {reviewed here} which is kind of like a polaroid. The subject of the photo is of another page in this journal, another reference to those mirrors where the same image is repeated to infinity. Maybe that's like drawing your hand while you are drawing your hand. Or putting a photo of your fridge on your fridge.

Something to remember. Art journaling does not need to be complicated to be worthwhile. It's as simple as gathering a stack of papers that make you think or smile. Get out a journal, a roll or two of washi tape and a stapler and watch reruns of The Big Bang Theory. It's good for you.

Go to the Prompt60 Index.


Prompt60 #12

Here's another fun way to get words onto your journal pages. Use alphabet stamps, stencils or stickers to "write" your words. You can stamp directly on the page or stamp on a separate piece of paper or index card and then attach that to your page with staples or washi tape.

Here's a playful page from 2008 where I used a plastic card to create lines to target my alphabet stamping. The lines always "draw" me in and inspire words.

Above, the back cover of a children's book I altered in 2010, where I used a stencil to write the word ELUSIVE and then alphabet stamps to journal my thoughts. The words at the lower part read, "There's still so much I wish I could understand." And that's still true today. I guess we all feel like that sometimes.

I stamped a bunch of index cards this week while I was testing my ink pads to see which ones still worked. I purchased this set several years ago but I don't know the brand. I've found some cool large alphabet stamps in Traci Bunkers' shop. 

Word-related things that you could add to your page: thoughts, random words, poetry, definitions, rhymes, flash fiction, monologue, dialogue or a joke to a page in your journal. This would also be a fun way to document the name of a plant or label a drawing or diagram.

Go to the Prompt60 Index.