After my blog on the book binding course I was asked about what a visual journal is, and how to use it.
I am an artist, with a fulltime job. I try to do something creative on a daily basis, even if it just a quick drawing in my journal. To create something regularly keep my mind active and in creative mode.
Previously I used to draw and make notes on any loose piece of paper I could lay my hands on. But I am sure you know what happens to such papers. By Day 3 they are all crumpled up and ends up in a dustbin. With the visual journal I make my notes, make drawings, put down my creative ideas and make short entries on interesting places I visited. I even like sticking in interesting wine labels and note who enjoyed the wine or meal with me. It makes for vivid beautiful memories.
When I am not at work and moving around on weekends, my journal is an extension of me, going with me wherever I go. You never know what might inspire you.
On holidays it becomes a travel journal. It makes every trip a bit of slow living. On vacations I tend to draw a lot, on location. For that you have to sit down, see what is in front of you and really experience it. Later, when I go back to my drawing I can relive my experience. I can not only recall the place, but also the quality of light, the atmosphere of the place, the smells and the sounds. This is much better than photo’s, as often people can hardly recall what cathedral or place they photographed.
As a visual journal often acts to refresh old memories, notes and small sketches can act as stimuli for a new art project, especially in times when the creative muse ignores me. Then a small sketch or idea can be an inspiration for art. These sketches would be those that previously landed in the dustbin.
For these journals I make my own books. I buy good quality drawing paper that I bind into book form. This gives me excellent quality paper to write and draw on, that is well bound and will not fall apart half way through the book. I then cover the book in leather and strong upholstery material. This makes your book more sturdy and nice to touch and to hold onto.
Using a visual journal enriches my life. If you want to live a full and creative life, I can recommend it.
Back home after a wonderful sabaticle in Paris. So many memories. I spent my day unpacking my bags and working in the garden and going through e-mails of the last two months. But mostly unpacking memories.
Paris greeted me with grey skies this morning. I am sorry to leave. It truly was a wonderful time. We lived two months of a bliss, carefree and never really planning ahead. We lived the moment, decided what to do when we woke up in the morning.
I am sad to say goodbye, but looking forward to see all our loved ones, and slightly worried about my new life as a worker bee in a big beehive. But that is only next week..
It is so sad to pack up. We had an incredible time. Something to treasure for life. We had beautiful experiences and made memories to last a lifetime. We can really say we experienced the best that Paris has to offer. I can now understand why most artists spend six months to a year in the Cité without being board. At the exhibition last night I actually saw how many friendships I made, without really even putting in the effort.
We woke up to a perfectly bright sunny day. Sunshine but not hot. Frederika was busy on the internet so I left to walk along the Seine, something I did almost every day. The second last day here. I can not believe this is almost over.
Tonight is my exhibition. It is not the strongest collection of works I presented as an exhibition, but I am presenting it as my personal memories of Paris. Places and things I have seen and that has influenced me in the short two months. I know that the real effect will only start showing in a few months time. Things must first mature, like good wine.
We waited for perfect weather to take our planned trip to Giverny. It is where Clause Monet made his home and planted the gardens that he painted for the rest of his life.
At last we get the chance for going somewhere by train. Getting train tickets seems more difficult than I remember… Since we woke up a little late it was a scramble to get to Gare Saint Lazare on time, but we made it!