art journals and observation

art journal jan 22 2014
art journal page, self-portrait, acrylics and collage. jan 22, 2014

Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.
Leonardo da Vinci

The journal page above was inspired by Rachel's prompt, how people see me. When I started the journal page, what surprised me most was how I had to subdue my negative inner voice. Seriously? I did not see that one coming! I decided to focus on the who and narrow it down to what my Mother would say or my husband. That brought on the positive inner voices and made the written words more an exercise in how others see me. The bear, the dragonfly and the lotus are more about my observation of myself.

Recently, I've been going through my notes and drawings from the past two years to cull material for a new zine. Whether I am looking at someone else's journal or my old ones, there is a sense of otherliness: Something foreign and mysterious yet experienced. And having some distance from the time my journal was written gives me a better understanding of where I am now in relation to where I came from.

Degas is one of the very few painters who have given the floor its true importance.
― Paul ValĂ©ry

Last week I started reading Drawing from Life, the journal as art. This book features journals that are not kept for the purpose of art, but for the sole purpose of recording observations and information. Some of the journals are field journals such as ones kept by geologists or marine biologists, and others are by artists. The book was compiled by the biographer of Dan Eldon and his journals, Jennifer New.

What I've found most interesting are the field journals and how these journals add another dimension to recording data that is necessary. To realise that even with modern technology, having a personal field book to look back on really shows how personal observation, written notes and drawings give the viewer a better understanding of the experience.

joining A Year in the Life of an Art Journal and Sunday Sketches


  1. A wonderful journal page - the colours draw me in. And yes, it's so true, no matter how technically advanced we get, a traditional journal with field notes in are the best. Happy SS

  2. I've just popped over from the Liberate Your Art participants' list - nice to meet you :)
    A gorgeous journal age!

  3. Lovely journal sketches ~ always a way to progress ~ like the color popping through ~ ^_^

    carol, xxx

  4. Beautiful, beautiful piece. I really like this one alot. :)

  5. Gorgeous..symbolic..full of beauty and meaning ...and the expression of the soul!Loved what you wrote..yes journals of all kinds/purposes are fascinating!
    Shine on!
    Happy Sunday Sketches
    Victoria, pencil and wing

  6. this is such a wonderful page,
    i love the profile as well as the various elements and colors.

  7. Love your work on this interesting background!

  8. The beauty of you shines in this one Juana... This is very special, I think. LOVE the dragonfly. ;o) I love journaling. Much of my journalling is in written form, has been for a while. I tend to do art in a separate journal. I would like to do more of a blended journal. I've just started a seasonal project combing my poems and small sketches... will see how that goes. :o) Happy Days ((HUGS))

  9. Really beautifuL, I see light. Bright happyness, and freedom! Dreaming and life.

  10. This is so beautiful!! I love it!! Thank you so much for sharing with us at A Year in the Life of an Art Journal!! It's so neat to see how the prompts are taken and shaped into such unique and individual pieces!!

  11. What a fab page!! Love the colors on this...thanks for playing along with A Year in the Life of Art of an Art Journal.:)

  12. Love your page! The colors and the profile silhouette and the fairy... Very nice!!

  13. That's a gorgeous art journal page on how people see you. I can relate to the fact that your negative inner voice was subdued through this exercise, because my expectations of myself are higher than those imposed on me by others. May your art journaling continue to bless you.


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