Shifting between the shallow & the profound

“Your idea of bliss is to wake up on a Monday morning knowing you haven't
a single engagement for the entire week. You are cradled
in a white paper cocoon tied up with typewriter ribbon.”
Edna Ferber

All of my chatter about art journaling being about the process and not the end result… it probably will make more sense to S H O W rather than T E L L. When I started these pages, I didn’t have a vision or dream in my mind and I didn’t visualize the results. This is what open-ended art journaling is all about. It all comes down to an exploration of color, texture, words, images, and all of the ingredients of art journaling stew!

These pages were originally shared in The Circle [summer 2016] and the ingredients are heavy body acrylics, found papers, gelatin prints, japanese washi tape, magazine clippings, paper ephemera [like that yellowed automobile manual] . The base here [which is called “the substrate”] is a hardback book where I’ve strengthened the pages in order to do mixed media work.


First - let me mention 2 important characteristics of acrylic paint. Opacity! Drying time! When we play with paper and layers and acrylics there are a lot of variables and things happening at the same time! Once you start to see how that all works, you not have to think as much about the “how” and you’ll feel more and more freedom just playing. Side note: When I filmed these pages, my index finger was injured… so the painting process looks a little wonky. I always figure out a way to paint!

These are the very first pages of an altered hardback book; the left page is technically the inside front cover of the book. I now have an index card taped to these pages that serves as a table of contents for this book.

Generally I work until I don't want to add or subtract anything else… until the composition feels visually balanced. But the way we SEE our own work changes as the years move forward.

These pages were created in the summer of 2016 and now two years later they don’t look visually balanced to my eyes — I bet today I would simplify a little further? I feel like each page we do informs the next. So each set of pages represents that particular point in time and things are always going to look different from a future date looking back. Sometimes better, sometimes worse.

Hey—> Sounds like fun, right? This is the kind of mixed media art journaling we do in the Daisy Yellow Novel Approach and Groovy Grunge Workshops!!!

So I thought about a lake in Ohio that my family visited each summer. There was a old hotel with a wrap-around porch that overlooked the lake. In summer evenings we sat on adirondak chairs and enjoyed the humid breeze. There were simple bouquets of flowers in glass vases in the hotel dining room along with white linen napkins. The words on these pages are found text and not intended to symbolize or say anything. But perhaps they say something nonetheless?

Looking at the finished page my eyes are drawn to the area where the blue + white gelatin print meet the tray that holds an orange flower bouquet.

Fun question: Does filming my work alter what I do? By default, I think it must. I’m not nervous or anything, but I am conscious that the camera is rolling and that I want to work fast and not look completely dorky.