Art Journal Pages (April)

I was skeptical of the art journal idea at first, I'll admit that.

I struggled to understand how someone so talented could spend so much time creating artwork in a journal, when they could pump out masterpieces and beautiful works of art.

But eventually I came to realize that the artist cannot express everything they feel through their chosen art form. Some things are not meant for the world to see, some things need to be thought out more, some things need to be tested first, and some things just need to get out and onto the paper. And for those reasons, art journals make a lot of sense for the working artist.

I see plenty of other artists who conquer the art journal and know it so well. They dive into journal after journal, build up stacks and stacks of memories recording their lives and creative processes. I longed for that sort of documentation of my existence. Not just a diary, or a book of graphite sketches, but a raw examination of myself, my life, and my view of reality.

After picking up some basics on the ideas of art journals and how I should use them in my creative journey, I decided to dive in. This month I'm working in another journal from 1 1/2 years ago; to fill it's pages and make it into something really special.
(I love the illustrated spine on the spine of the journal. It's adds this very comical and raw, exposed touch to the book.)

Art Journal Pages April 2011 
(Finished & In Progress)

Left: A drawing from my high school years, accompanied with a personal manifesto of sorts.
Right: A mixed media still-life of my dogs at playtime.

Left: A mixed media collage with a photo from Arizona.
Right: A watercolor doodle I made from high school. 

Part 1 of a 2 page Diptych on my creativity and muses.

Left: A mixed media collage containing lyrics which I've used repeatedly in my recent work. (I love this one a lot.) 
Right: An in-progress journal page. Not sure where I'm heading with this one yet.

A complete experimentation which has led me to obsessively drawing faces in wild, bright colors. I'm in love with this idea. It's very meditative.

An in-progress spread. I'm excited to see where this one goes.

More colored faces.

I made this spread because I was really enjoying my day yesterday. Everything felt so right and peaceful. Especially the colors. It was like all the colors were brighter.

This page has a lot of depth to it, and I'd like to take a minute and point out my thought process.
I've been thinking very seriously how I can use my artistic talents to speak for the things I believe in. I'm very much against killing any form of life (people, animals, plants), but more specifically I strongly oppose war.

The photo above is from an article which was discussing slavery in Niger. The government officials of the country pretend that it does not exist, and that all is well. The group photographed above are insurgents fighting for freedom from their tyrannical government. 
At first, one may think, "Yes, that's right! Fight for your freedom and beliefs! Don't let anyone step on you!
But, look closely and you'll see that I wrote "Kill 4 Peace" on one of the men's T-shirts. Because it's all very ironic. Can you really kill for peace? Doesn't killing someone (regardless of how cruel/insane/murderous they may be), to promote peace, defeat the purpose of what "peace" is all about? And that's what this artwork is saying. The text which accompanies it is from a great song by Gus Gus; it reads "I fight fire with fire when I'm in this state. If I can't find love, I guess I'll hate."
We can all choose peace and love, over fear and hatred.
No more war. No more killing. No more pain. 

Left: Watercolor painting/collage, and my thoughts on beauty in life.
Right: A small collage prepped for more detail work.

This page is done, I'm pretty sure. 
I wanted it to be simple. Speak loads, be colorful, but not too busy.
I think I succeeded. 

Look forward to more journal pages soon, as we have become the best of friends.

Oh, and if anybody has any good ideas for keeping art journals in one piece as they grow big, please let me know. The pages of this journal are tearing a bit and I'm fearing it may fall apart before I finish it.



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