Keeping an art journal

Keeping an art journal

Hands up. Who keeps a journal? A journal of any kind? Me! I could be considered as a ‘sad’ person as I keep a running journal (yes, I am a mad keen runner) a gardening journal which helps plans out ideas for the garden, recording successes and failures. And, more importantly, an art journal.
July 2019 saw my return to art, finally having the time to dig out those paints and other art equipment and get back to what I really love. Painting! Don’t know about you guys, but inspiration comes in many forms and at unexpected times and I need to record it, or it gets lost. So, the art journal was opened. The journal recorded thoughts, ideas, achievements, failures, lessons, plans, discussions, observations, notes on other artists and their work, preliminary sketches for future work, references to books and articles, YouTube video links that caught my attentions, notes from reviewing these videos and, shopping lists for materials and equipment!
Just finished the first edition of the art journal and the following are a summary of the highlights and notes:
• Joined Painters Online, UK Craft Fairs and created pages
• Now subscribe to Leisure Painter and the Artist – very useful source of information, ideas, techniques, and approaches.
• Following different Facebook artist groups and YouTube who provide how to guides and inspiration
• Created a working studio in the attic room, organised loft area as storage space for materials and finished work. Its been reorganised a few times now. Foraged charity shops for shelving found a brilliant book rack to store paper.
• Started visiting art exhibitions and joined online expos during lockdown
• Started course with London Art College to get back to basics
• Join other forums such as Local Art Gallery and Art Gallery SW
• Was inspired by abstract painting approaches and incorporated them into my art which provided confidence and found my own style
• Experimented with other materials and techniques.
• Bought quite a few art books, especially watercolour and acrylics which illustrated different techniques and approaches.
• Big jump in inspiration came after a visit to the craft marquee at the Great Dorset Steam Fair which developed the ideas of creating other products and having own stall and attending such events.
• Researched online shops and other outlets for selling artwork. This is a huge minefield and will share in another blog, together with the difficulty of pricing your artwork.
• Found two amazing local printers who specialist in the reproduction of artwork. Brilliant for ideas.
• Created the website: Artworkbyjan.com. Also, other social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
• Created product ranges, joined PayPal. Designed a stall and attend first art and craft fairs
• Commenced writing blogs to provide an insight of the journey.
There are many lowlights and comments made in my journal which are not for delicate ears. I am now on my second art journal. By keeping a journal, you will be surprised of how far you have come, how your ideas and thinking has developed over time. This provides you with confidence and a basis to then go forward and continue to learn, building on the lessons of the past.
Go on, buy that A5 book and start your art journal. You could even paint the cover!

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