Monday, August 18, 2014

A peek into our Art Journals


A peek into our Art Journals…this is going to be a recurring series for us. Every single day we are working on art in one form or another. It's our job. But we still make art for pleasure, and this usually happens in the pages of our Art Journals. For us, the Art Journal is the one venue that is strictly personal, fun, and loose. We can have a vague idea and get started on it in an instant. We don't have to plan it out, or work hard on pre-sketches or tracings. We can just go go go. 
So, we thought this would be a great thing to share with you guys. Teaching art is one of our absolute favorite things to do. It feels so good to be able to impart to others even the slightest bit of knowledge from our nearly two decades of being professional artists. And Art Journaling is probably one of the fastest and simplest ways to get right down to a person's creative source. There aren't any rules or expectations. Your Art Journal is what you make it. 
It has now been almost two years since we have done our weekly Art Journaling tutorials here on the blog. It was really Hurricane Sandy that ended the series so abruptly. And then life got hectic, and then we got busy…we wrote our book…designed a scrapbooking line…and also kept our business going. But those tutorials WILL return. We aren't sure exactly when…but we are looking forward to doing full step-by-step pages and spreads with you guys again. For now we'd like to periodically share glimpses into our Art Journals just to show you all what we're up to, and to hopefully inspire some of you to do more Art Journaling of your own. 

Ok, now lets talk a little bit about our latest pages. "Take Me To The Sea", is a page I had worked on in my spare time this past week. You may have seen pics of it on Facebook or Instagram. I really wanted to do something summery before the season ended. That was my initial inspiration…Summer.


One of my favorite parts of the Art Journaling process is gathering my supplies. And I don't just mean paint and stuff like that. I love digging for the source material…old photos, ephemera, papers, and even phrases I had scribbled somewhere in a notebook. 
The girls in this spread are from a book of paper dolls from the late 1940s or early 50s. I set them against a new beach and ocean that I painted, and I gave them new bathing suits that I made from floral scrapbooking papers. I guess the most obvious aspects of their makeover are the tattoos and pastel colored hair. This was my way of updating them a bit. I took classic gals from the 1940s, and made them into classic gals of 2014. At beaches in our neck of the woods, gals with lavender hair and dozens of tattoos are de rigueur. 



I just used pencil to quickly sketch some basic tattoos all over the gals, and then gave them pops of color with a tiny brush and acrylic paint. I wasn't worried about the details really. I was just trying to give the overall impression of lots of tattoos.



And the banner was inspired by vintage beach postcards. I love those so much. I can stare at them for hours. The colors are so dreamy…which is what inspired our seashore bathroom here at home. I also love the old classic lettering style. I think I may have had the phrase "Take Me To The Sea" fixed in my mind before I had even started the page. And the designs on old postcards so often will include gorgeous florals. I love combining lush floral clusters with beach scenes. They go together so perfectly. The florals here were clusters that I cut out from scrapbooking paper and then I totally repainted them to have my colors and bold outlines.

Ok, now I'm actually going to hand the keyboard over to Aaron so he can personally explain his own pages. Take it away Aar...


Aaron: 
In my Art Journal I often like to try to capture trivial little memories. One morning last week I was thinking about the yellow rotary phone that was in my parent's kitchen when I was kid. Yes, I'm a child of the 80s. I have all of these childhood stories that center around the memory of that phone. To name one…prank phone calls. If you were a kid in the 70s or 80s I'm guessing you made your fair share of prank phone calls. I was the youngest of three boys…so when I was very young I borrowed my older brother's friends. I just tagged along with them and did what they were doing…precocious by way of convenience. Anyway, those were magical times. Riding bikes, running around up on the wooded beach behind my house, going to the local swim club, all that stuff. 


So, prank phone calls were simply a fact of life. You and your friends could center an entire evening around silly phone calls. As you can read in the little note above, there was this mean photo of my dad right there in the center of the dial. My parents were funny like that. The photo was serious…my dad really didn't want us abusing the phone for silly purposes. But the photo was also tongue in cheek. We were supposed to fear it…but we also knew that the whole idea of it was funny. I of course don't possess the actual mean photo of my dad, so for the purposes of this Art Journal I just had Jenny snap a pic of me looking a bit mean. My dad had the same beard in that era…and we definitely resemble one another…so I figured I'd pose for the reenactment. And yes, the pic in the bottom right corner is Tanner Boyle from The Bad News Bears. I had that hair at that age, and in my memory every single kid in the world looked like that in my childhood. So Tanner simply represents youth of that generation. The station wagon on the opposite page of the spread is just a typical family car from then. My mom drove one that looked just like it, except her's was green. And I selected the yellow floral pattern behind the car because it looked like typical kitchen wallpaper from back then.



I laugh at the idea of telephone poles and cables…how they're serious and essential constructs of modern civilization…but us dopey kids were crowding up the lines with our dumb jokes. And the sketch I did of the blue victorian house on the left is my childhood home…which is still my parent's house today.


Both Jenny and I paste phone book pages into our Art Journals all the time, just to bolster the pages, and we also like how the small print adds texture to the page. We usually gesso over it and let just bits of it peek through. But in this case, the phone book page was totally fitting. I really like to combine photographs, patterned papers, sketching, and hand painting. And if I can use these elements to tell even a simple little story, then I'm happy with my spread.


Ok guys, hope you all liked taking a peek into our Art Journals. Like I said, we'll share glimpses as often as we can. And real deal tutorials are coming back…I promise.

xo, Jenny & Aaron





17 comments:

  1. Love love love love your pages! LOVING the story about Dad's pic and the crank calls! LOL!!!!

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    1. Thanks so so much Julie!! You are a sweetie! And yes… isn't Aaron's spread sooo funny?! ha! xo

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  2. I LOVE both pages! Aaron, your mean face is priceless! I'm afraid it looks more like you have indigestion,lol! Seriously though, the pastel hair and tattoos on Jenny's page, so creative and beautiful. Aaron, love the symbols around the phone dial! One of my pranks got me in deep trouble, it involved a well and some laundry detergent.........

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    1. Hi April! Thanks so so much! Ha! Isn't Aaron's face too much here?! I cracked up when I took the pic! Thanks so much for the sweet words! And for sharing a bit about your own hijinks! ha! xo

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  3. A book of Jenny and Aaron - isms! I was having my coffee at work and wished there was alot more. Love it guys! Grace xoox

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    1. ha! Thanks so so much Grace! We promise more quirky Art Journal pages in the near future! ha! xo

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  4. Wow, I really love the art journal beauties! I hope you will have some for sale in the near future...;o)
    Hugz, Z

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    1. Hi Zandra! Thanks so so much!! Yes! We plan on offering a wood plaque version of the girls! Soon! XO

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  5. I had totally forgotten the years of prank calls! Thank you for the memory. Wonderful post, too funny about the "mean" dad photo on the phone (I am imagining these type photos all through a house with lots of kids.), and a joy to read.

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    1. Ha! Glad we could entertain you a bit! Thanks so so much for reading and for your sweet words! xo

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  6. Oh my goodness! Love the beach girls!!! Please tell me that you will be selling them in your shop!?! Perfection!

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    1. Thanks so so much! Yes! We will have a wood mounted print version very soon! xo

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  7. Yay yay yay yay! My fave feature! :)

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    1. Thanks!!! We hope to do another Art journaling post this coming week! XO

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    1. Thanks so so much Delores! So sweet of you! :) xo

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  9. Y'all are unreal! One of my bucket list wishes is that I can be sitting either here or there journaling with you two!! And eating your delicious recipes that you make! Maybe one day! Bunches of hugs and love coming your way! Becky

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Thanks so much for reading! We absolutely love to hear from you guys...so please leave a comment if the mood strikes you, or if you have any questions for us about a recipe, project, art supply , paint color, etc. Don't panic if your comment doesn't appear right away...we moderate all comments to avoid getting tons of spam. Thanks again!!
xo Jenny & Aaron