Getting beyond the white of the art journal page can be daunting to say the least. Without a clear plan, visual journaling can take a quick turn for the worst, or never get off the ground at all. I try very hard to practice the “no mistakes” approach. In other words, if I feel that something looks off or wrong, I take the stance that it can always be covered up or changed somehow. But just to start, at the very beginning, spontaneously, launching from the blank page can often seem impossible.
So, I devised an easy and free way of kick start the journaling process with built-in meaning. First, a little back-story. I live on Main Street USA. It’s a pretty busy road with nearly constant 30 mph daytime traffic, along with the occasional family out for a stroll on the sidewalk. I love living on a busy road and I actually can appreciate most of the daily bits and pieces of trash that land on my lawn. Okay, I could do without the cigarette butts and that condom that I found one day was just plain AWFUL, but the other bits and pieces are like little stories of fast-paced life, tiny puzzle pieces of human nature. I only pick up the most perfect, often colorful littered gifts for my trash journals.
On a lightly gessoed surface, I adhere one or two of these generally flat pieces of trash using Golden extra heavy gel medium. After the gel dries completely, I ask myself what does the shape remind me of? What does it want to become? I build off of the collaged piece, constructing a scene, usually of the whimsical type.
This is a fantastic way to be original and make art from your heart (or your lawn). I love that you never know what your going to get. It’s truly spontaneous.
With a few acrylic markers, some pencils and a blending stump, I’m able to sit on the couch, drawing and coloring, incorporating the trashy element. I really like the idea that its’ life as litter has ended and its’ life as art has begun.