Who Is
The Fragrant Muse?

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Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, United States
I'm a Creative Soul and Happy Person. I have a passion for my Family, Aromatics, Fairy Gardens, Pugs, SoulCollage, Miniature Worlds, Visual Journals.


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Friday, May 8, 2009

Art Journaling

My art journals are rendered in cheapo composition books. I paint and collage over the lined pages to prepared backgrounds for journaling.

I have a thing for inexpensive Mead composition books with the mottled covers. They take an amazing amount of abuse, have tightly stitched binding and the lines are just the right width.

I've been writing in these books since I was 15. My mom even sent them to me when I lived in Rome because I couldn't get them in Italy.

About two years ago, I wanted my journal to be more visual, so one day I squirted a blob of cheap acrylic paint across the page (my muse is rather impulsive and messy that way) smeared it with a sponge then glued on a picture cut out from a magazine. Viola! Instant background!

It's lovely to write over the textured, wrinkle-y colorful page. What's amazing to me when I now read back over my journal entries, is how the memory of what I was feeling when I wrote is more deeply etched in my brain because of the visual element.

Because of the low cost of this whole activity, I feel unrestrained by how it should look or making it pretty or any of those other rules my inner perfectionist likes to impose. It gives me permission to just create. It's more about the process than the product but I love the way it looks, too.

The pages are all varied and might start out looking something like this:

This page is waiting for my words

And end up looking like this.
Here I am going on about mental overload again.

(BTW, this is obviously not a before and after of the same page.
I don't have any after pic of the blue or before pics of the red).

You can see more of my journal pages on my flickr account here.


Janet said...

I love this idea! It is coolness to the nth degree! I've seen articles and pics about similar ideas, and, in fact have even bought a few composition books. (I also have an old book and a stash of stuff to do an altered book - also really cool I think.) I think I've never done one because I just didn't know where to start. Obviously the key is to just do it without overthinking it. You've inspired me. One of these days, you'll see photos of mine! Thanks!

Mrs.Rotty said...

i used to do something like this forever ago. i might have to start it back up. what a fun and creative outlet.

The Fragrant Muse said...

Janet - I am the queen of overthinking which is why I love this type of art. There is no doing it wrong. In fact, once I painted a background I disliked so much that I simply glued the pages together and moved on. It's freeing! I'll be posting more pics soon. I've always wanted to do an altered book, but I need a 40-hour day to do everything in my head.

Mrs. Rotty - Yes, get out those old books and slap some paint on them and go. It's a ball!

Delena said...

Thanks for putting me on your favorites and commenting on my blog entry 39 things. I will follow your blog also. Awesome!

RachelDenbow said...

thanks for the link to this. I love using paint to transform backgrounds but seem to have left that medium out of this last class unintentionally!

The previous three classes that I offered from 2008 included a lot of painting backgrounds but I used chipboard as my base instead of paper. It dries quickly and doesn't usually wrinkle.

Thanks for sharing and I'm looking forward to seeing your work in this class!

michelle allen said...

that is so awesome that you've kept a journal since you were 15! i wish i would have done something like that. i love those mead comp. books too!

Anonymous said...

oohh! i see how this works! thanks! i thought you were using some special art sketchbook or something... but i love composition notebooks!!! =^__^=
ah, now im so excited! i have something to do when im snowed in now! =D

Jolls said...

Wow, this looks like an excellent way to release aimless creativity (something almost everybody has)! In all my years of drawing and making art I've never really thought of this. Thanks so much for sharing :)