Front to Back--what's on TOP of an Art Journal

JOURNALS come in every shape, size, paper, color, texture, store-bought or handmade. Journals are loads of fun! Especially the cover and back. So why not start on top, right at the very beginning and have fun being creative without little "sensors" telling  you what you should or shouldn't do. 

A store bought hardcover journal was covered with various fabrics adhered with gel medium. Fabric photo transfers, buttons, beads and applique fabric heart completed the look.

 For a long time I have wanted to share with you some pages from my many Art Journals. Some pages, are yucky, some are genius, some pure frustration but all were a learning experience and opportunity to be creative without pressure.  And fun! You can sit down to do them, not stand at an easel all day.

This 'in charge' school "marm" has an attitude that was applied with oil paint straight onto the cover of a store bought journal.

Have a favorite artist you love? Why not try their style in a isn't for sell...just a learning experience!  Great practice!

 Want to try a new can always reuse the page or tear it out. Yikes, not that please--recycle. Want to challenge yourself and see if you make progress, journal art is the way to go.

 This large album was a multi-layered experiment. Acrylics, papers, photos, stamps, glazes, scribbles, texture medium...everything but the kitchen sink on this one.

I have filled many a journal all shapes and sizes. But for today I want to share with you the Front and Back of journals that are store purchased.


Tantalizing commercial papers glued with gel medium, prints from favorite artists and glazing finish the look. This is the fastest journal cover I have ever done. The back is very similar.

Recycle is the name of the game these days. I had a painting that was done on paper canvas..not the best painting by a landslide, just messing around. I cropped and cut to fit the blue painted cover, then hand decorated with flowers.  Canvas painting oil, flowers acrylic.

We were eating breakfast in New York City in a tiny, little bakery/restaurant. I would have eaten jalapeno peppers I was so excited about the decor....all pink and black. Yes all PINK and BLACK. Charming, oozing charm.  Immediately reminded me of animal crackers with frosting and a big mug of milk....and there you have it, the backside of a journal.


This is a regular painting executed in oil applied straight to the cover. The view is a busy street in Aix, Provence...all dining alfresco!

My favorite large journals are made by Canson, at least 190# weight paper. Stronger if possible. Because I paint in my journals it is important to have really good paper. There are many journals available for the art journalist! 
Another time I will share with you handmade/homemade journals. But for now, the store ones are fast and easy. You can decorate the spines when you are all done by hanging ribbons, bells, whistles, horns...well just kidding about the horns.

Three little monks out on the street with their begging bowls. Now this cover I wish I had painted on canvas. My daughter Sarah is waiting for this in a larger format. See you never know what an art journal might bring about.

I look forward to sharing the INSIDES over the next will see how some pages are bliss and others bring blisters!  But they are all hanging out together.

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Thank you for visiting my blog today. I appreciate the time you take to say hello. Warmly, Sharon