Artful Academy journal – March

An art journal page with a house made from patterned papers on a stencilled background with green foreground and blue sky with sun's rays. A banner saying "home" hangs across the top.

Series: Artful Academy 2020 journal #4

The theme for March was home and it was time to get the stencils out again. I’m following the themes and the basic techniques used, but varying some of the elements and ideas in each lesson: there is no point (for me) in just recreating what the instructor demonstrates, so I’m tweaking things as I go along.

For the lower half of the background, I quickly laid down a mix of greens and lifted some of the colour back off again through a leaf texture stencil (Tiny’s leaf grain by Marianne Design) — I love this stencil, and the Tiny’s sliced wood and Tiny’s foam stencils I got at the same time. And now I’ve just made the mistake of wondering whether there are any more stencils in the “Tiny’s” range and, well, let’s just say there are a few, some of which I may have to acquire. No, I don’t have enough stencils already, why would you even think that…

A close-up of one of the stencilled fern fronds with the sketched outline.

I had to work to get the sun’s rays in the top half (another stencil That Special Touch sunrise) looking right. My first attempt left me with too-bright colours that didn’t match the tone of the bottom half. Luckily, acrylic paint can be layered easily and with a bit of faffing, I created a background I liked.

Yet another stencil (CraftStar fern frond) added the foliage in the foreground. Once that was dry, I sketchily outlined the leaves with a sepia multiliner to give them a bit more definition.

Then it was on to the house. The instructor used a stamp for this, but I’d been wanting to try using paper piecing to create buildings and this way I could make something that was closer in style to our home. And it is yet another use for odds and ends of patterned paper, which is a good thing.

A close-up of the paper-pieced house.

Rather than just stick some cut-out words on the page, I decided to make a banner using a piece of string and some die-cut letters (My Favorite Things stitched banner alphabet). The example went on to include a lot more doodling, but I was happy with it just the way it was. And anyway, I had a matching collage to make.

I didn’t have any light blue collage papers so everything ended up being quite a bit darker than the journal page, though not quite as bad as the photo makes it out to be. It’s not my favourite collage, but it’s better than a slightly grubby blank page.

Two page spread with an abstract collaged page in blues and greens on the left and the "home" journal page on the right.

16 thoughts on “Artful Academy journal – March”

    1. Thank you! I don’t do it often, but that’s one of the nice things about art journalling, it’s an excuse to play around with different techniques without trying to create “art”. And it’s another use for all that patterned paper…

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  1. I love looking at art journals! They’re always so creative, so colorful, so clever! I’ve wanted to do one, but I just don’t know how! I’ve read books and articles, but when I try to start a journal of my own I have no idea where to begin. I can’t pin down any ideas, don’t really know what should gp into a journal or what purpose it’s supposed to serve, so then I’m all over the place, can’t stand any of it, and just toss it aside. Those probably sound like silly questions and complaints to you, but my brain just goes haywire anytime I try to put an art journal together. I’ll follow along here with your blog. If I can’t create my own journal, at least I can enjoy yours. 🙂

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    1. I can’t art journal without prompts of some sort, I’m pretty sure that every page I’ve made has been in response to an online class or YouTube video. And I overthink words to a ridiculous degree so I tend to focus on the “art” more than the “journal”, unless I’m going to hide the words to the point they become more texture on the page (like If you’re curious to try it yourself, have a look at – that’s the class I’m following and it’s free so you could just watch the videos and see if anything inspires you.

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    2. Oh, and they’re not silly questions – it’s the process of trying to work out your relationship with an art form – I had the same problem with the purpose of art journals, so I just treat it as a playground rather than some place to explicitly air my thoughts and feelings. I find that reclassifying something as “play” takes the pressure off creating something “good” or “meaningful”. I also could never use both sides of the pages in journals (“but what if I do something good enough to frame and it’s stuck in a book with something awful on the other side”), so I’ve gone with loose pages for this one, compromised with the collaged backs, and I’ll bind them together at the end of the year.

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      1. I finally got into the class site, and I’m making my cover page right now. I’ve figured out why this has always been a challenge for me. I’m a writer more than an artist. I do journal — not every day, but often — and I have no problem filling page after page with my thoughts because I’m using words. I don’t know how to do that in images. Does that make sense? I’m following along with the suggestions given, associating colors and shapes and ideas with my word for the year — which is IMAGINATION, by the way — but even then, I still don’t know quite how to put it all together. The cover page I’m creating now really has little to do with all the concepts and thoughts I wrote down! LOL… so, I’m asking myself why I did the exercise. Another stumbling block for me is that I don’t do “crafty” things like stamping and cut-outs. Anything involving glue and scissors is difficult for me. But this is going to be all about moving beyond those limitations, having fun, and being creative.


      1. Yes, it’s the new editor 😦 I’ve had problems with every comment I’ve tried to post. My whole day is going screwy LOL. I got the free journaling course, but haven’t received my log-in info, so I can’t access it! Lots of other little online annoyances are happening too. Seems my computer and browser just don’t want to play nice today! Thanks again for recommending the journal course.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s not just you… my email has decided that around half of my WordPress notifications are spam… and I’m not going to tempt fate further than that because I have blog posts to write today!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Got a question! I’m watching a video from the Art Journal class. She’s started off by talking about today’s “prompt word”. I’m not finding anything with August prompts. Is there a list?


      1. Yes, I have the “Recycle” but in the video she mentions “today’s prompt of Gratitude”. Where was she getting that? I came up with my own prompt word 🙂 and I’ve done my page for today… just getting ready to write a post about it. Do you have a day-by-day prompt list that you’re using?


        1. Oh, don’t know where “gratitude” came from… the August prompt is definitely “recycle”. I’m just working off the information on the class page (and getting reminded of how quickly time is passing by the arrival of the August reminder email this morning).

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          1. I “recycled” a bit for my page this morning, after first choosing a prompt word for myself. I’m seeing that what I put together really doesn’t reflect my thoughts or ideas LOL… but at least I’m doing something creative, and that’s exactly what I’ve needed. I have a post scheduled for tomorrow about this process, and about figuring out for myself what I need from an art journal.


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