Art Journaling

I found out about Art Journaling purely by accident. I had been purchasing some art mags  just to see what was new in the art world and to get some inspiration. I came across Cloth, Paper, Scissors and Somerset Studio magazines and I was just blown away by what I read in them. The art challenges were just what I needed to get my wheels turning and the pictures and instructions were fuel for the fire that burned in me to do something creative again!

So one day, I found a 2008 appointment book that I had received from a friend. It was a beautiful pictorial calendar with photos of Monet’s Gardens on the left side and the appointment calendar on the right. It is nicely bound with sturdy spiral wire and nice weight to the pages. I had saved it because, although outdated, it was just too darn nice to throw away.

I am so glad I kept it because this has become my first Art Journal and I am having such a wonderful time with each page I create in it! Sometimes I cover the calendar side completely with pretty paper and that is the foundation for the page I construct. Other times, I use the appointment page as a basis for the art story I will tell (such as the one that listed the days of my Granddaughter’s dance recital and birthday). That page became a tribute to our little diva as I pasted a picture of her in costume and a ballet pose , the words “Dance like no one is watching”, some sheet music and a few accolades of my own about this special little dancer.  I finished it off with some strips of pretty paper, a rubber stamp of ballet shoes and a few rub on flowers.  On the opposite side, I pasted some appropriate phrases over the picture of Monet’s garden.

Some pages,  like “The Garden Club Girls”, the garden club girls feature sketches from one









of my sketch books on the right and a few phrases overlaying the garden picture on the left. On this one, I added a ribbon border.

Some pages are very simple….like a picture of my Maggie (4 year old Scottie) pooping in a patch of buttercups, I added the phrase “Poopin’ in the posies and a big grinning sun clip art picture overhead.

Other pages are constructed with found papers or antique ephemera and batiked phrases that I made up, while a few are liberally splattered with scrap booking details from the craft store and pieces of colored or printed tissue paper or paper napkins.  Like this one…Live your art…which already depicted an artist in one of Monet’s gardens on the left page. A good jumping off point!

live your art










I’ll share one more page with you today. It’s one of my best, in my eyes anyway. I call it “Who is it For”?  based on my favorite Beatle’s song, Eleanor Rigby. It is dark and moody, just like the song….

who is it for

The “foundation” is a dark, geometric print tissue paper layered with a mysterious looking victorian lady, the song words, a snippet of music notes (not the correct ones…just some clip art from my card program) and a few puzzle pieces with words pasted on them. I just love the effect.  Sorry I couldn’t seem to get a better photo of it!! But you get the idea about Art Journaling anyway and I am hopeful that you will be inspired to try it too.

The Path You Choose

The Path You Choose

 Here’s a funky page that I enjoyed doing. The picture on the left was clearly a garden path so I did my journal entry to go along with that theme of “a path”…saying that “the path you choose may require fancy shoes” because I had saved an ad with all these colorful shoes on it and wanted to encorporate it into a journal page ! My sketch of a windblown gal with a pale wash of watercolor, layered over some purple tissue paper, was just the right background character for the idea of someone dreaming of a career in fashion modeling or design, or another career path that might require fancy shoes.  I couldn’t resist adding the words, step lightly!

Some Journals I have seen in magazines are very detailed and formatted. My first attempt is loosey goosey, (my friend Jude would be proud) to say the least, but I like that I have combined serious art pages with humorous pages and even some personal pages featuring the important people and events in my life… in an artful way.

So today I challenge you to start an Art Journal of your own but I must leave you with this one last disclaimer:  WARNING: Art Journaling can be addictive. You may need an intervention at some future date….

I’ll be waiting to hear about your journals!!



  1. Hi Maron: Wasn’t able to get on your blog the first time but today it worked. I love it. The art journals are amazing. I think I’ll give it a try. I have old appointment books from over the years that actually tell a story. I’ll just play around with them. Thanks for the inspiration and glad that you are loosey goosey! Jude

    • theartfulcodger Said:

      Thank you my loosey goosey friend who inspires me all the time…=)

  2. Forgot to tell you how beautiful your poem is. You are really multi talented. It really touched me. Jude

    • theartfulcodger Said:

      I’m glad it touched you. You, as a multi talented artist, would know… that’s the very best response of all, isn’t it?! Again, thank you!

  3. Kim Karus Said:

    Are all your collages in notebooks? I love it!

    • Kim,
      No, the art journal is just a calendar that I repurposed as an art journal. Whenever I feel like doing a page on any subject or no subject at all, I just open my art journal and start creating a little art “story”. Sometimes I do one page and other times I feel inspired to do several at a time. It’s very satisfying to have that mini-outlet when I don’t have the time to get into a larger project such as a collage or an art doll. My collages are larger, individual art works on stretched canvass, canvass board, canvass paper, watercolor papers, cardboard, wood…whatever I lay my hands on!!

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