Wednesday, 31 March 2010

journal spilling – the book

As mentioned in my first post, Diana Trout's "Journal Spilling" was what started me on the road to art journaling. I did not read, nor buy the book; it was the book title that had me googling on what art journaling is.

Journal Spilling 
Now finally, I've bought myself a copy and it arrived in the mail a week ago.

It is a very interesting book and offers some prompts and page ideas if you are stuck, however I am glad that I only bought the book now and not when I first started researching on art journaling.

This is because the book encourages messy pages, getting things down, and to hell with the critic. As I was more inspired by messy but pretty pages (eg. Samantha Kira), I don’t think I would have been in the mind frame to appreciate the message Journal Spilling was trying to get across.

One part of the book that I was very interested in were the instructions on making your own patterned paper. Scrapbooking is not a big thing here in Hong Kong – or at least I haven’t found it – so I don’t have the advantage of going to a stationery store and buying all those pretty pattered scrapbook paper. So I’d be interested in giving some of those paper dyeing techniques a go.

Friday, 26 March 2010

point & shoot journaling – resonance

I mentioned earlier that I’ve signed up for LK Ludwig’s Point and Shoot Journaling: One, Two and Three Course.

Here are the two pages I’ve made so far in the exercise Resonance.

"Resonate" - Tokyo Tower "Resonate" - Redwood Tree

It really was quite a challenge to take an unbent paper clip to the photos and scratch at them. If I didn’t have a digital copy in my computer, I would have never been able to do it. But once done, I must admit that the photo did stand out more. The second image was too busy already, so I didn’t think it would benefit much from being scratched.

I also went to watch Alice in Wonderland – the imagery was really inspiring. I hope to do something more in tribute to Tim Burton’s imagination, but for now (lest I forget) I did this small doddle.

alice in wonderland

Saturday, 20 March 2010

discovering morning pages

I’ve heard the words “morning pages” and “artist’s date” from a Yahoo!Group I was a part of , but I must admit that I haven’t really paid much attention to them before; I always assumed that “morning pages” meant finding time in the morning to do pages and “artist’s date” being a thing to do or a place to go to encourage creativity.

Although I wasn’t too far off the mark with the artist’s date, I didn’t realise “morning pages” wasn’t just a flippant phrase, but an activity which means quite a lot to many people.

I’m sure most people who visit this page already know what “morning pages” and “artist’s date” are, so I won’t bore you with the details. For those who are new to the idea, please feel free to visit Julia Cameron’s website, where she has generously uploaded pages from her book, “The Artist’s Way that specifically describes what the two activities are.

Below is are the pages from my first attempt at doing morning pages (as I was using a Moleskine sketchbook, I counted a double page spread as one page). The first three pages were pre-background and I thought I would stop writing there. However I felt an urge to continue and boy was I glad I did.

morning pages

It could have been because of the backgrounds that were already laid out, or that I was slower to relax because it was my first try, but I only begun to let go on my fourth page. My handwriting started getting larger and messier until I no longer cared that I couldn’t read what I’ve written – it was all about letting it out. It was quite fun.

Those pages were done after I got home from work. As the point of the pages were for me to unload, I believe I had more to write about after work than if I wrote after waking up refreshed from a good night’s sleep. By doing my pages after I get home, I would have left my stressful work day behind me and free to get on to some creative stuff.

I’ve read elsewhere that doing the pages at the end of the day doesn’t work for them as they end up recording the events of the day which leaves them exhausted. I personally feel that by writing about the day, I would be able to put things into perspective. But everyone is free to do as they will. As Julia Cameron says, there’s no wrong way of doing it.

I know we aren’t meant to re-read our morning pages, nor are we to share them (to avoid feeling the need to censor our pages), that’s why I kept the pictures small. But anyone else want to share their experiences with morning pages?

Thursday, 18 March 2010

we interrupt our usual broadcast… for plastic trash

I was just watching David Letterman and he was talking with Captain Charles Moore about the The Great Pacific Garbage Patch – it affected me so much that I just had to share it with you.

Although David Letterman try to keep it light and funny, it is a serious matter. We have islands (yes islands) of floating plastic in our oceans (I can’t seem to find a longer clip where Charles Moore explained about the piles of plastic trash that’s accumulating in our oceans).

Unfortunately Captain Moore hit the nail on the head when he said that we are “crisis driven” and there’s still many people who aren’t aware of the situation yet.

As such, I propose the following (this shouldn’t take more than an hour of your time):

1. I suggest everyone try Googling “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch” and try reading just one article about the situation – be aware of what’s going on.

2. Try finding some local organisations, like the Algalita Marine Research Foundation or Project Kaisei – see what you can do to help. Perhaps you can donate a bit of the money that you’re saving for your next art journaling class. Or if you’re short on cash, you can think about joining/organising a local Ocean Clean-up Effort for World Ocean Day.

3. Bag the bag; it’s not much, just bring your own bag the next time you go grocery shopping (leave tote bags in the car so you don’t forget)

4. For you ladies out there, it’s not just plastic bags that’s causing the problem, I have one word for you – Mooncups

5. Lastly, next time you go out shopping for groceries, please try to choose items with less plastic wrappings – I’m personally going to cut back on bottled drinks.

Let me know how you go, cheers!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010


I keep putting off writing about it ‘cause I really don’t know how to lead up to it so I’ll just throw it out there, Samantha Kira has started a Tuesday Vlog (video log) on her website.

If you love her time lapse youtube clips on art journaling, you’d love this new addition to her site.
I personally cannot attend the live recording session on Tuesday – it’s at 4am my time – but I watch the recorded the clip off her blog while I’m working on my latest page.

She talks about the recent projects she’s working on, the supplies she uses and offers tips and tutorials. So far there hasn’t been much art journaling per say in these vlogs, and there can be technical glitches sometimes, but I’ll be interested to see how this develops.

On another note, I’ve recently finished the Suzi Blu Les Petit Doll course – will post picture when I make some finishing touches – and after some debate (with my wallet) I registered for LK Ludwig’s Point and Shoot Journaling: One, Two and Three Course.

They are actually three courses spanning a period of 13 weeks that you can sign up for separately. The courses help you integrate photographs into your art journaling, and not just as a picture, but as a focal point of your journaling. It encourages you to take new photos as well as to dive into your old collection of photos that you’ve taken, archived and never looked at again. They help you think about your existing photos and to see new potential images in the making.

For the first exercise, Resonance, I chose the following two photos – I’ll upload more pictures when I’ve completed the exercise.


Friday, 12 March 2010

humidity, art and hong kong

This is a bit delayed as the weather has now changed for the better, but the last week had been pretty hellish.

It is now “Spring” in Hong Kong, and that means it’s VERY HUMID.

For those who do not live near the equator (I know, Hong Kong isn’t THAT near either), when I say very humid I mean anywhere between 90-97% humidity… that’s enough to make my walls sweat and my windows weep. Stuffed toys placed near the window? Big no no, they just get soggy (even drippy) as they soak up all the condensation that forms on the windows and puddles on the window sill. (I wish I’d taken a photo instead of hurrying to save my not inconsiderable collection of plush animals)

Of course my little fan in the bathroom decides to die at this time and in addition to having fogged up mirrors after a shower, all the towels are still wet the next day. Nothing dries and you can feel the bacteria growing in that room… ugh…

I need to buy a dehumidifying (although electronics stores are sold out on all the good brands… will have to wait till April for new stock).

In the meantime, how does this affect my art journal? A picture is worth a thousand words…


The gesso felt dry when I began writing on top of it, but two days after completing the page, I come back to find that the words are no longer legible. Apparently it wasn’t through-and-through dry…

During the winter, I could dry the pages by hanging them over the heater, but it really is too warm and stuffy during Spring to have the heater on. This makes journaling a very very slow process… Perhaps time to get another journal (and do two simultaneously)?

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