Art Journaling – Backgrounds: Does This Ever Happen to You?

Do you ever create a journaling background on which you do not/cannot journal?

I’ve been back and forth about what type of surface is good for journaling.  Theoretically, one might journal on anything.  Ooh – what about a car?!

 Picasso Car (As reported in The Guardian)

But I digress.

I’ve journaled in wire-bound books, in moleskines ™, in grunge journals made of scrap corrugated cardboard, in books composed of handmade paper, and, more often, on individual large sheets of watercolor paper.  In 2011, I worked over numerous watercolor backgrounds (spiral bound), sometimes with gesso (white and black), many times without.  This year, I’ve covered many a watercolor paper surface with acrylic paint (in addition to artists’ paint tubes, I have fun with the sample jars of house paint)–

House Paint Samples for Art Journaling © Wendy Journalista

– scraped with an old plastic card.  Many a teacher advises making several backgrounds ahead of time so that they may be at the ready for the arrival of one’s Muse.

Here are some:

Background Spread Olive Green ©Wendy Journalista

A sage-olive green background.

 Background Spread Fauvist Pink © Wendy Journalista

A Fauvist palette.

Background Spread Fourth Of Julyish © Wendy Journalista

Fourth of July-ish.

 Journal Background Parrot-like ©Wendy Journalista

Can you see a parrot in this?

If I love the background, I don’t want to cover it up with collage, or mar the painted image with lots of writing.  Yes, I’m a lots-of-writing girl, not an inspirational word, phrase, or one-sentence-per-spread girl.  Maybe the “background” is really a painting.  Should I honor a background as a painting?  Maybe creating a background too far in advance is not productive.  Maybe the answer is to create so very many backgrounds that there will always be something that will be appealing.

For a recent page that I began on indecision, I ignored my stash and scraped acrylics anew – dark blues, some black mixed in (not obvious in the final work), white rubbed in, and a touch of sage.  It’s dark enough that only white ink or metallic markers show up when I write.  When it’s further along, I’ll upload.

Do you create lots of backgrounds in advance?  If you are working in a journal (rather than loose pages) and creating backgrounds in advance, do you journal chronologically – taking whatever background appears that day?  Or do you choose a background based on your theme/message you are creating?  Do you ever create a background upon which you cannot bear to journal?  What do you do?

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