Art Journal: taking stock again

"What do we need to stop doing,
in order to stay focused on
what we have to accomplish?"
David Allen

Every few years, it's important to TAKE STOCK of what you've been up to, what you've accomplished, what all of this journaling LOOKS like from a macro perspective.

I last gathered them all up [like herding cats, right?] 3 years ago -- so there are actually a few more boxes, including 8 more Moleskines... and those are not in this dining room photo shoot. These are the bound journals only -- there are another 200+ painted pages on loose watercolor paper and of course a book shelf full of index card art! I wanted to give you some perspective on the art-making madness!!!

Art by Tammy Garcia
Journal collection by Tammy Garcia.

I've been art journaling since 2007 and blogging about it since 2008.

But what on earth is art journaling? It is a loose, free, flowy form of art not constrained by rules or shoulds. I believe that it is worked on paper of some sort but it can be on loose paper or in a bound journal. So I see the word "journal" in art journal to mean documentation rather than a physical bound journal. In art journaling the page, whatever turns up, is the tangible output of rolling up your sleeves and playing with paints, papers, images, words, etc. There's an introduction called Art Journaling 101 and a post about materials called Art Journaling 102

This box contains the smaller travel journals that are in the photograph below. 

This box contains the smaller travel journals that are in the photograph below. 

This reminds me that baby steps matter, that pages add up and multiply and make a difference. Because not every day is a wonderful, positive, happy day. Some days I need to see all of those yummy colored edges. I like to do work that will make me smile when I look back at it. 

Hand-made journals by Tammy Garcia.
And then the stack of tiny travel journals and accordion books fell over.

And then the stack of tiny travel journals and accordion books fell over.

I've sent my art journal pages to be considered for only one book, Dawn's A World of Art Journal Pages. And I'm honored that several of my pages from the altered book {the one with the blue cover in the top photo} plus an inked page from a Moleskine were selected for inclusion. The  book shares so many different aspects and styles of art journaling. It's very freeing, once you see what it's all about!

You can work inside or outside an actual physical journal. You can see a stack of "loose" pages in my first "taking stock" post in 2012. Art journal pages are often - but not always - a mixture of mediums. There are often - but not always - words. The pages could be mono-chromatic or infused with RAINBOWS. Some artists work on a series {colors, calendar pages, faces, fashion, food, plants}. There are shapes, images, concepts, symbols, mysteries, contrasts, juxtapositions. Or maybe not. Maybe something else altogether. 

I'm sorry that I have not been responding to the comments in the past several weeks, it's difficult to keep up with everything in blogland. Please know that I read every single comment and love and appreciate all of them. Thank you, thank you, thank you for letting me know that you are out there reading!