Joy Journal Project Assignment #6

This assignment is a follow-up from last month when we created a me-quilt journal page using bits and scraps. Look at your me-quilt and choose an image or doodle that you can expand into a story. As preparation for the assignment, either write out or verbally tell the story you have chosen to someone else. This will produce a more full memory of your story and may bring to mind details you had forgotten.

For those of you new to the Joy Journal Project, find an image or doodle that you are drawn to and explore that image. Does a story from your life come to mind? If not, move on to another image until you excavate a story. My image came from a childhood book of mine. Don’t forget to either write out or verbally tell the story you have chosen to someone else.

This journal page assignment will map your story. There are many ways to approach this. You can do a geographical type map, an experiential map, a mind map. A great resource for ideas is Jill Berry’s book, Personal Geographies, which inspired this assignment.

My inspiration for my story came from this little piece on my me-quilt:

This small scrap came from a childhood book of mine. Reading during my naptime was such a pleasurable experience for me as a child, I decided to map my childhood room, the place where my love of books began.

Before we begin, you may find it helpful to do a rough map sketch on a piece of scratch paper. I have mapped the room in my head, so will be skipping this step.

Before I begin the step by step process, I want to remind you all to feel free to deviate from any of these assignments. These are just jumping points. Even if you do follow step by step, your page will look so different than anyone else’s. I really appreciate that about art journaling.

To begin, gesso your journal pages. To protect the pages underneath, you may want to slide a piece of wax paper right underneath your work pages. Allow this to dry.

Next, add a coat of acrylic paint, your color preference. Since I am recreating my childhood room, I chose an off-white, almost a buttery yellow. Allow to dry.

Next you may add other paint colors to further define your space. At this point, you may even collage some various papers using gel medium onto your page. If you did a quick map sketch earlier, this would be the time to refer to placement for your layout. I simply added a few pieces of furniture and a wall within the room and I wasn’t very tidy about it. Allow to dry.

The next step will be adding a tinting or glaze to the surface covering all paint and collage elements on your page. I learned to use Tim Holt’s Distress Ink pads with matte varnish from Orly Avineri. While I have not tried other ink pad brands, Orly mentioned that the Distress Ink pads work best.

To apply the ink from the pad, scrape the pad over the edge of the paper. I have found that just pressing the pad onto the paper leaves undesirable lines, but feel free to experiment with this.

Add a few drops of matte varnish and rub with your fingers across the page. This will create a tinted glaze that is quite nice to write on. If you don’t like to get your fingers messy, time to don the gloves.

Here I have rubbed the green across the page and am adding some brown on top of that.

On the opposite page, I’m adding more colors using the same technique.

But then decided to get really messy and put the ink directly on my fingers rather than on the page, then rub into varnish on the page.

Voilà. Ready for mapping.

The next step will be adding mapping details to your page with a pen or marker. Here are a few of good choices, but with the varnished surface, most pens will work nicely.

Be sure your surface is completely dry. A hair dryer comes in handy to speed that process along. Then using your pen/marker of choice, begin your mapping.

My markings are done quickly and are a bit wonky. I rather like this style, especially since it represents a childhood room. Please spend as much time as you’d like on making your page as tidy or wonky as you feel led. BUT if you feel that inner critic creep in telling you that your page isn’t perfect, throw that voice out the window and just move on. This is about self expression, storytelling, and joy. Self critics are not invited to the party.

After you have your landmarks in place, begin to add descriptors. I added mine Richard Scary style, labeling everything with words. Using symbols and creating a legend would be another approach.

As you see, I also added more color using markers. Feel free to enhance the details of your page using gel pens, markers, whatever supplies you have on hand. These are the markers I used as they are my favorites.

And you are done whenever you feel that page is complete. I sometimes find it helpful to step away from the page when I am stuck and take a short break, then approach the page with fresh eyes. I encourage you to add as much detail as you recall. Then you can either journal on the map, or add little stories that come to mind as you work on the page. I chose the later. Here’s one of my little stories.

AEDM Day 2

I stopped here, but may continue writing on this page at a later time.

The page seems very white to me. I added the color around the rug because I just had the urge. My mom loves the color white. I thought a book she would love someone to write would be Fifty Shades of White. Anyone up for the challenge?

Now to see your pages! Please share. You can either:

  • leave a comment with a link to your blog post -OR-
  • join the facebook group to share photos and stories


2 thoughts on “Joy Journal Project Assignment #6

  1. Rennata says:

    Thank you for sharing this, It answers so many of the how to questions I have. Once again I am tempted to lay aside the projects I wanted to work on during this month and go play with my journal again.

  2. Valerie says:

    Richard Scary rocks…and so do you! Thanks for posting this. I missed being with you in class today! It was worth it, though, to celebrate Grandma’s 94th birthday!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.