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

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