Monday, June 29, 2015

JFJ 15 for 30 Challenge - Day 29: Connection

Through journaling we connect to ourselves, and we connect to the places we inhabit. Through sharing we connect to others and we build relationships. It is through these connections that we begin to see our place in the world and figure out what is important to us. The journal grounds us in our lives as we discover the ties that bind us.

For today focus on the idea of connection. Explore the connections that you have made to yourself and to others over the last twenty-eight days. Focus on how these connections have brought about clarity, confusion, questions, and answers. In what ways have you connected to yourself, to places, and to others? In what ways have these connections affected your relationship to yourself and to others. Write, paint, collage, and draw. Respond in any way you see fit.

As always, share and strengthen those connections. #jfj15for30

Sunday, June 28, 2015

JFJ 15 for 30 Challenge - Day 28: Drawn Text

As we’ve mentioned before, words are an important part of our journaling practice, and we use words in a variety of ways. Sometimes we want the text to become more graphic in nature, and we could use collaged or stenciled words. But drawn text is a great way to bring a graphic and a personal flair to our words.

For at least 15 minutes today, draw words and text. Perhaps you highlight some of those operative words with drawn text, or perhaps you illustrate your favorite quote. Perhaps you create a specific theme word for your page. Use any stye of lettering you want such as block, bubble, or graffiti letters. Feel free to draw or sketch your letters with pencil before using materials like pen and marker.

Keep sharing those responses. #jfj15for30

Saturday, June 27, 2015

JFJ 15 for 30 Challenge - Day 27: Tearing

Who needs scissors? Tearing and ripping can create interesting lines and textures, and we, at times, tear pages and fodder as we work in our journals. Tearing a series of pages creates a lot of interaction and surprise. Ripping fodder brings in a lot of contrast to the straight and uniform lines and shapes we normally use. We try to be purposeful and careful as tear and deconstruct images, pages, and text. We then are free to reconstruct the images, pages, and text in any number of ways.

For today focus on tearing as a means for working in your journal. Try tearing off parts of pages. You can even tear a series of pages. Try ripping up colored paper, pictures, or old artwork and gluing in the parts and pieces. Think about tearing up some of your writing and randomly gluing in pieces so the meaning becomes obscured. Begin tearing and see where it goes.

Don’t forget to share! #jfj15for30

Friday, June 26, 2015

JFJ 15 for 30 Challenge - Day 26: Translucent Surfaces

Layering is an important part of our journaling practice and using translucent surfaces such as vellum and tracing paper is an easy way to add layers to our pages while allowing lines, words, images, and textures to show through the collaged material. We often write and draw on these translucent surfaces and glue them into our pages to create additional visual interest.

If you have them, experiment with translucent surfaces. You can draw, write, or print on the paper first, and then collage it onto your pages. You can cut and glue to create see-through shapes of colors, or you can use vellum and tracing paper to cover windows and cut-outs in your pages. See what type of layering effects you can create with these semi-see-through surfaces.

Keep sharing your responses. #jfj15for30.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

JFJ 15 for 30 Challenge - Day 25: Self-Portraits

Self-portraits can intimidate some people, but if we rethink the what and the how, we can use ourselves as the imagery in our journals whether drawn, traced, or collaged. We don’t have to stick to realistically rendered drawings, we can use photographs, templates, and image transfers as ways to include ourselves.

Today, focus on using yourself as the subject matter for your journaling. Feel free to draw yourself as you look in a mirror, but if you lack the confidence or initiative to draw yourself, rethink what the self-portrait can be. Print out selfies, trace photographs, and scrounge around for old drawings. Use photocopies to create image transfers or cut yourself out of a photograph and use it as a template to trace. Experiment with different ways to include yourself in your work.

Don’t forget to share some of your results on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media. Use the hashtag #jfj15for30.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

JFJ 15 for 30 Challenge - Day 24: Tracings

Tracing is often seen as “cheating”, and you may have been scolded by someone not to it. But tracing is a viable and valuable technique for including images in the journal. Besides stencils and templates, we often trace ordinary objects such as tools, rolls of tape, and scissors as a way to document our surroundings. We also trace our hands and the hands of friends and family as a way to record our connections with ourselves and with others. It’s a direct way to include people in our journaling process. We can even trace pictures and photographs as a way to include images that we may not want to take time and effort to draw in more conventional ways.

Focus on tracing things for at least 15 minutes today. Since we’ve focused already on stencils and templates, use ordinary objects like pliers, scissors, keys, or kitchen gadgets. Look for something that will give you an interesting and complex shape. You might also want to trace hands - yours and the people around you. If you have tracing paper, you can trace images and photographs. We like to use photos we have taken to keep the imagery as authentic as possible. Then you can glue the tracing into your journal. Look around to see what you have available for tracing, and experiment with using these items in your journal.

Share your responses to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media. Don’t forget the hashtag so we can see what you’re up to. #jfj15for30.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

JFJ 15 for 30 Challenge - Day 23: Painting with String

Watercolor is a great medium for the journal, but the basic techniques can get a bit boring after a while, so we like to spice things up and add a bit of unpredictability and chance into our pages. Using string to apply the paint is a fun and exciting way to bring some surprise and unusual textures into our journal pages. This technique can be very messy so we are careful of our work surfaces and our clothing.

For today use string to apply your paint. Any thick string or yarn will do as long as it is absorbent. Dampen the string first, and then drop it into a heap on a palette or plastic plate. Then apply the paint to the string with a paint brush. Try dropping the paint saturated string on the page, dragging the string, and even stamping with the string. You can even close your journal on the string, leave the ends of the string extending off the edge, and pull the string out of the closed book. Experiment with the string in anyway you want. Can’t think of anything, do a quick Internet search.

Don’t forget to share. #jfj15for30

Monday, June 22, 2015

JFJ 15 for 30 Challenge - Day 22: Operative Words

There are times that we want to bring emphasis to the words that we write. It is then that we turn to operative words. These are words we want to draw attention to, and they succinctly sum up the phrase or sentence. When searching for operative words, we look for a handful of key words in our writing, and we rely on our gut instinct because these are powerful words - meaty words. When we find these words, we embellish them in all manner to draw focus and attention to them. We might even make a list of them so that we can explore them further in the future.

Spend your time today revisiting the writing that you have done in your journal. You might want to go back to that stream of consciousness writing, and look for these key words. Use metallic markers, colored ink, or anything else you have to highlight, embolden, and embellish these words so they stand out from the rest of the writing. Try circling, boxing, and tracing the words as a way to draw the eye to these operative words.

Share on those social media sites if you'd like. #jfj15for30

Sunday, June 21, 2015

JFJ 15 for 30 Challenge - Day 21: Masking

A fun alternative use for stencils and templates is to use them to mask off areas as we use watercolor paint. With this technique we block off certain areas to keep them clean as we paint., and we often use pieces of paper, tape, and stencils along with watercolor paint to create interesting negative spaces on our pages. By laying these objects down on our paper and painting over them, we easily create designs and patterns with the masked areas. Be careful when using tape, some masking tape will tear the paper as you try to peel off of the paper. We like to use painters tape.

For today, find some interesting flat objects, slap down some tape, or cut paper shapes to block of areas as you paint, splatter, and sponge. You can use this technique to add interesting layers to pages you've already started and to begin new pages. Experiment with different cut and torn shapes, and play around with how you apply the paint.

As always, don’t forget to share. #jfj15for30

Saturday, June 20, 2015

JFJ 15 for 30 Challenge - Day 20: Colored Paper

The collage elements we incorporate into the journal don’t have to be precious, personal fodder or random things we find. Colored paper is an effective way to add lines, shapes, and large areas of color to our pages. Many of us have stacks of handmade, textured, and exotic papers in our studios, or bits of construction or scrapbook papers, or delicate, thin, translucent papers.

Use some of these papers in your journal today. Cut out specific shapes and glue them to pages you’ve already started, or cut and glue down larger shapes onto a blank page as a way to get something started. Cut a variety of lines from the paper, and use them to create structure, movement and flow in your work.

As always, share your responses if you’d like. #jfj15for30