87 posts categorized "Art Journals/Altered Books"

December 29, 2012

Yellow Stripes on Gray

It was by accident that she stumbled upon the yellow stripes again.
From afar she could still make them out ...
Moving familiarly in the syrupy dark lit by twinkle lights.

Still stitched on gray ...

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jenny dohYellow stripes on gray.
Never and forever.

The world has its ways
to quiet us down
The world has its ways
to quiet us down comes the rain
But down comes the strength
to lift us up and then ...
—Jack Johnson

December 18, 2012

Handmade Stenciling and Art Journaling Tutorial

I've been making my own stencils for my art journaling lately. Here's how ...

jenny dohUse a black permanent marker to doodle circles or other shapes onto a sheet of acetate or transparency film. (You can find these sheets sold in office supply stores. Nothing fancy.)

stenciling tutorialMake a slit in the centers of the circles with a sharp kraft knife.

stenciling tutorial
Use scissors to cut out the shapes using the slits as the starting points.
stenciling tutorial
It's easier to do this rather than trying to cut all shapes out with the kraft knife.
stenciling tutorial
Place the stencil onto a journal page and apply a layer of paint with a cosmetic sponge. That's just one way. You can add color in any manner that you like. The stencil will be sturdy enough for you to treat it like any other purchased stencil.

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Use a tracing wheel and roll it into some paint.
jenny dohRoll the tracing wheel onto the paper to make some dit dots.

tracing wheel tutorial
Add doodles and text as desired.
jenny dohEasy peasy. My favorite pens to doodle with? Find them here.

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Happy stenciling, doodling, and art journaling. :)

November 24, 2012

Performance Art = Honest Art

There's a friend who was sharing with me her uneasiness about what she thinks is a whole lot of performance journaling going on in our art world. "No one's being honest in their journaling. It's all about performing for the blog or the Instagram," she said. For her, she'd rather see a journal page filled with raw angst and rage rather than one adorned with pretty doodled birds, stenciled flowers, and washi tape.

Jenny DohHer perspective got me thinking not only about art journaling but about every other thing that I do creatively.

There are others in my life who take a different perspective about the sharing that's going on in our creative world ... people who feel that some folks are being "too honest" in what they share as they point out how they really want to be spared the details about a person's cancer, divorce and heartache. They'd rather see more birds, flowers, and pretty girls who dream big and follow their bliss. (Whatever that means.)

There was a great article in The New York Times recently about Judd Apatow. You know ... the comedic genius behind The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Freaks and Geeks, and the upcoming film This is 40. Well, in the interview, we learn that what and how he lives and who he lives with spill into his films to influence characters that he develops, situations that get depicted, and detials that get shared. Perhaps it's because he draws from his real life that his work becomes so honest and hilariously relatable to people.

To the matter of his tendency to draw such details and specifics from real life, the article notes how Apatow's explains it to his children: "I've tried to explain to them why we do it ... this is what creative people do. They share their lives, they let other people see that they feel the same things as them — that we're all in this together."

But surely ... if Apatow is like all of us, he has some days that are happy and bright, right? We all have those days. And of course because he's like us, he also has days filled with angst and turmoil. And the thing is ... we see all of that in his work. The good, bad, ugly, funny, and tragic. Honestly, isn't life is all of that?

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Maybe when I make an entry in my journal, I have an audience in mind that I intend to share the entry with. And perhaps because I have that audience in mind, I don't share some of my deepest and darkest thoughts. Not sure. But so what? Does the fact that I edit some of my thoughts while I journal or paint or collage mean that the end result is not honest? Are paintings and journal entries that deal with the macabre, or depression or uncontrollable impulses only the ones that qualify as "honest" art? Aren't I allowed to have days and therefore entries that are light and happy?

Having said that ... although sometimes what I share may look and feel light and happy, I have also definitely made and shared entries that unveil some of my angst and turmoil. When I do this, I do wonder for a moment whether I've shared too much ... but that wonder is eclipsed by the fact that I have to let it out. And as Apatow points out ... that's what creative people do: We share our lives ... sometimes the pretty, sometimes the non-so-pretty ... we let it all out to let others see that we are all in it together. That some days are pretty, lovely, and funny. And that other days are dark, dreary and depressing. Sometimes tragic. I don't think any of our days have to compete with each other for validation. They simply need to be respected when shared, to show each other that we are not alone.



November 22, 2012

Fiona. She is not afraid.

She is not afraid.

Jenny DohShe has large pink wings ...

Jenny Doh... with lime green dots.

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...that are accented with orange.
Orange ... the color she never knew she would adore so much.

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She loves all colors actually ... and many other things for which she is grateful.

Fast balls come at her. But she can catch them. And if need be, she can throw them too.
She is not afraid.

November 20, 2012

Countess Calm

I've been having lots of fun sketching faces. They just keep flowing out of me. Night and day. I love them. A friend of mine was recently sharing with me her belief that the faces people draw in many ways are self-portraits. No matter how we try to diversify them, they are portals to who we are. Interesting perspective, don't you think?

So this is the latest face I sketched. She is Countess Calm.

Jenny DohIn the face of chaos, drama, and discord, she leads the way with calm. She is unflappable, and has a track record of staying calm and focused.

In the midst of problems, she dons her mask, her cape, and stands with her Allies of Calm to find solutions to weather the rough winds of melodrama.
Jenny DohOnce things settle down, the mask and cape go back in her closet to rest as she continues forward.

She knows that the mask and cape are always there for her ... to use as needed, so that no matter how volatile the winds may get, Calm will always lead the way.

November 15, 2012

Huffington Post {Hearts} Journal It!

One night last week, I was having this really interesting conversation with my daughter, Monica. She's an aspiring writer. Actually, she is a writer. One of the best writers I know. Anyway, we were both saying to each other how awesome it would be if either of us could one day write something that would get published on The Huffington Post. "Yeah, total bucket list wish," I said.

Jenny DohAnd then off to bed we went, as the evening wound down for both of us.

The next morning, I received an email from Lark (my publisher) about an invitation from The Huffington Post that came in, asking if I'd write an introduction for a feature of my latest book,  Journal It! for The Huffington Post's Books Blog.

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Hootin' and hollerin' we did, Monica and I. Just like that. From bucket list to reality.

In a matter of 48 hours, and with the help of my secret weapon copyeditor Amanda Crabtree Weston, I turned in my piece, crossing my fingers and toes that it would happen.

It did! Here's the link with the complete article that features Journal It! I'd say this is one of those rockstar moments for me. And the fact that the moment introduces the topic of art journaling to such a large and mainstream audience makes my heart soar.

Huffington PostFor those who you who have not yet tried visual journaling, let me give you the official nudge. It's one of the most wondrous art forms I've experienced and one that I have become passionate about. If you're afraid you'll mess up the blank paper staring at you, don't worry. It's just paper. What matters is your point of view, your creativity and your story ... they are truly worthy of artistic expression. I hope you'll pick up a pen, maybe some paints, and any old journal (plain or fancy) and give it a try.
Journal It

Learn more about Journal It! here.

Oh yeah, if you're in southern, CA, join me and contributing artist, Belinda Fireman to celebrate Journal It! at Studio CRESCENDOh on December 1st. This is a FREE event. No need to RSVP. Just show up. Wine, cheese, twinkle lights, interesting conversations. What better way to enrich the holidays? See you soon. :)

November 13, 2012

Sketching Faces

Ever since the class with Dina Wakley last weekend, I've gotten a bit obsessed with sketching faces. I can't stop! There are many artists whose faces I've admired and I think they all inspire me as I experiment with my sketched faces. Dina Wakley, Teesha Moore, Klai Brown, Cori Dantini, Julie Balzer, and Danita to name a few. Thought I'd show you some of my latest.

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So fun.

November 11, 2012

Rockin' the Art Journal with Dina Wakley

Check out this face that I sketched on my new journal page. I did it with Dina Wakley's guidance from yesterday's class that she taught in Studio CRESCENDOh.

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How to sketch a face is just one of the MANY things that she taught during the class, including her AMAZING scrape and rub method, which was simply fabulous. Here are some of the other pages I made:

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Jenny DohI just can't wait to go back into these pages to continue doodling and journaling in them. So cool!

Each student ended up finishing an entire book made up of pages dripping with painted, stenciled, printed, silhouetted goodness.

Jenny DohDina was a masterful teacher who packed every nook and cranny with killer content.

And the good news? She'll be back! We are aiming to bring her back two different times in 2013 so stay tuned to our master studio calendar. For those who missed this one, you'll wanna definitely get in on Dina when she returns. Truly a fabulous and inspired time had by all. Thankyou, Dina.

Jenny Doh

November 08, 2012

Altered Anthropologie Catalog Art Journaling + Doodling Tutorial

I just about flipped out when the latest Anthropologie catalog arrived, didn't you? So, so beautifully styled and shot. I loved it so much and I felt that the cover and interior pages were just begging to be altered and turned into a journal. And that's exactly what I did. Here's how I embellished the cover.

Jenny DohThe cover really didn't need much to cover up but I wanted to cover the catalog name so I used some white gesso to do that.

altered anthropologie catalogThe paper frame that they used in this catalog is one that just opens up so much in terms of journaling possiblities so I ended up adding lyrics to one of my favorite songs in the middle of the frame and then added dit dots. I love how it looks like the frame is dimensional and popping off the page.

lettering tutorial
The apple in the photo inspired me to get one of my favorite stencils and add more red circles. And a bit of washi tape to balance things out.

stenciling tutorialAnd seeing all that red inspired me to add red to my earlier text and doodles.

doodling tutorial
I'm gonna use the entire catalog as a journal. Love it.
doodling tutorial
Happy creating. :)

September 28, 2012

Cello Doodle Carved Rubber Art Journal Tutorial

Check out my new cello rubber stamp that I carved. So cool, right?

Photo-9As you may know, I love to carve rubber without too much fuss. I just like to take my pen to the rubber and doodle what I want. No transferring, no fussing ... just going for it ... and embracing all the imperfections.

I did however practice doodling cellos first. Basically, a few scribbly vertical lines, then a two lines to make the cello's silhouette. Then nobs at the top and mirrored "f" shapes on the cello's body.

So once the rubber was carved, I inked it with a brown inkpad and stamped it onto a piece of German music paper. I used some black markers to outline it and add some doodles.

Photo-7I also used the eraser of a pencil to stamp dots and doodle more lines.
Photo-8I also added a paper cutout that I made from this tutorial. And then I attached it to an art journal page with black photo corners.

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