Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

Art Journaling

In putting together the ‘extras’ lesson planning posts, I was browsing YouTube for ideas and inspiration and I came across several nifty art bloggers. Suzi Blu on YouTube: I am SacredOverwhelmed with arttxcentrix and Art Journal Backgrounds by milliande struck me as inspirational and so I started working on my own art journal(s – now plural. I started with one, but the library’s book sale upped my materials-on-hand list by no small bit {wink}).

For my first attempt at creating an art journal, I re-purposed an old journal that has had pages ripped out and a really cheesy ‘piano, ballet slippers, rose’ motif  from when I was a teenager. I’m sure it used to contain horrible teenaged-angst-y poetry and entries about how unfair everything was {rolls eyes}, but now I can confidently say that it’s being put to much better use. I covered it in brown paper, then inked a tree design into the front of it and added gesso (or white tempera paint, which works just as well – I’m sure there are good, solid artistic reasons to use gesso, but I had tempera on-hand so that’s what I used first, with near-identical results) to the inside pages, then a variety of techniques for the backgrounds, and added some images and words inside. I’ve glued and watercolored and painted and stamped and doodled; I have several really neat looking foundations to build on now for collage work. I really like Leslie Herger’s technique videos for background ideas, too.

I picked up a bunch of little books from the book sale last weekend at the library to alter for art journals – I found several with really interesting cloth covers and several that were embossed that will make excellent altered book journals and a bag full of books and magazines to tear up for pasting into more interesting configurations. Gesso covers a multitude of sins, it seems, and can be used to highlight or conceal bits in the original book as the artist wills. That’s taking liberties, calling myself an ‘artist’; my goal is to one day use that term confidently.

I picked up a couple of blank watercolor notebooks for the boys to start their own journals in as well as a couple of books to use. PeaGreen is something of a naturally skilled artist; he’d been drawing anime figures in his book while LBB prefers shockingly detailed stick-figure renditions of video game artwork in his. He’s always had incredibly expressive stick figures, and now they even have dialogue sometimes. It’s really interesting to me to see the boys bloom as creative entities. I hope that they retain that quality as they get older.

We’re planning on getting the Artistic Pursuits curriculum at some point, but it’s not been in the budget yet, so this is our current ‘art curriculum’, supplemented with concepts presented in the Core Knowledge books. I talked to Brenda with AP, and she said that the art curriculum is not structured so that book 1 – grade one, and that since they align the techniques with history, any age group will find something useful in each book (though the 1-3 books are more aimed at elementary students). We’re going to start with book 1 since we’re re-covering ancients in our history lessons, and align art with history for a well-rounded lesson. I’ve always like inter-disciplinary lesson plans; they seem to be more engaging and the kids always get more from them.

This afternoon, we’re picking up my niece from school and hitting the library for a few art-related books, then coming back home to introduce our new project to her. Hope your afternoon is filled with art and fun!

Warmly,

~h

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3 responses

  1. PB&J

    I’m really enjoying art journaling. Thanks for sharing your new passion with me :).

    January 13, 2011 at 8:54 pm

  2. Yay 🙂 You should bring your journal to the park tomorrow so I can see!

    January 13, 2011 at 10:34 pm

  3. Pingback: What’s Open 1/16 « A Domesticated Woman's Adventures

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