Art Journaling and Story Telling

I started an art journal. 

 Sometimes it's hard to start new things because I know the end result won't be perfect. 

I was journaling and doodling way back in Jr. High, and there are scads of these books stored in various places around my house.  But this art journal will be different.  There are a few notes already, things I scribbled out when I was in a hurry, as well as pages where I test out products to see the colors and effects, but mostly it is a place to try out ideas without investing in a canvas.  

You may not know this, but I am a story writer.  (Okay, if you have read my blog over the years, you know this.  -Hi Mom- But if you are visiting via Party Time Tuesdays or elsewhere, perhaps you do not.)  

I'm working on a modern Spanglish "Red Riding Hood" right now.  The story is more for practice than it is for publication.  I'm not sure if I should do something totally new and politically incorrect with it, or if I should keep it close to the original.  I often tell "Red Riding Hood" in a storytelling setting. That is, without a book. I add my own exaggerated add-libs about not following directions, consequences, and stranger danger.  

I've had trouble sleeping.  Ideas for the story, and for possible illustrations kept me awake into the early hours of the morning.  My husband woke up at three, and I kept pestering him to get up so that I could go into my craft room (the foot of our bed) and start working on Red Riding Hood. 

I knew I wanted a "whimsy" face - with the eyes far apart.  I used water soluble oil pastels, Gelatoes and -this other inexpensive brand from Craft Warehouse -Portfolio. I haven't worked much with these, and I am not a watercolor artist.  I am also not particularly skilled at drawing.  But I've been haunting art journal and mixed-media art sites -  And while I love the realistic faces, I also love the dramatic, strangely adorable, imperfect whimsy faces. 

I want to be more brave with colors- mix them up and put them where they don't belong, but I'm not quite there yet.  And I really want to try heavier paints.  

I worked on the face separately from the body, which I had cut from papers and added to an already collaged journal page.  

I was trying out new things on the page- brand new gesso from a brand I had never used before.  It wasn't as stiff and thick as I expected it to be, so after it dried I used molding paste and a stencil for the flowers. I sprayed them with hot pink.  What was I thinking?  I love the color but it didn't go at all with Red's coat.  Ick.  

I used some Silks blue paint for the flowers, hoping that would tie in the blue of the lower papers...It went okay, but still the pink and other background colors did not fit. 

I eventually just grabbed some black acrylic paint- bought on sale and never used before.  It was NOT heavy bodied like I was expecting, but more of a medium body - which meant it didn't cover that pink with the effect I was hoping for.  

Maybe you are wondering why a Party Time Tuesday Design Team Member would share a something that didn't turn out how she wanted?

While I am growing more confident in my art - I still spend the majority of my time trying new things because that is one of the adventurous fun parts for me.  Not every adventure turns out perfectly.

So while this was a project FAIL, it was a journal success.  I learned lot's of new things, and I am ready to try her again.

If you get a chance this week, take some time to browse through the Party Time Tuesdays blog.  There is lots of inspiration, and as we are heading into the holiday season, you might find something creative there you'd like to try your hand at.

As for her story-  One of these days I will record me reading it and you can tell me what you think.  Do you have any favorite stories you like to tell?  Ones for long nights, or long car rides?  Let me know what you like in the Comments!



  1. Love how you are experimenting with different products - its a great idea to have a journal just for that - good luck with your story writing

    Hilda x

  2. She's adorable. :) I keep art journals too, and sometimes you try things that don't always work out--that's OK!

  3. I am new to your blog. I love your girl and all her colors and designs. Good luck with your story!


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