Stefan Baumann classes on YouTube

Stefan Baumann creates videos of many of his classes. They are great online resources that people can view. This one is a gem as he launches into a talk about what is take to become an artist and how to develop your style. The video starts out with a discussion about colour charts and colour wheels then develops from there. Stefan Baumann is very real teacher (although he calls himself a coach) and I always enjoy his forthright manner as he usually hits the nail on the head . Make a cuppa and take some time to watch. It is …

Cut and paste prints at the Rijks Museum

One of the surprising discoveries I made during my visit to the Rijks Museum is that early 17th century prints were not necessarily produced for only walls or to be housed in albums. There was a whole industry of prints produced for people to use in craft work as clip art. Apparently cutting out prints and pasting them to form new pictures or using them as decorations in craft work became a rage. Publishers responded by producing books of prints to cut out. This blue collage sheet is from an album decorated with cut-out prints by Hendrick Goltzius, Arent van …

Journaling is not about perfection

Journals don’t have to be perfect. This applies to all types of journals, studio journals, written journals, art journals or what I call observational journals. A quest for perfection is a curse.  They do not have to hand crafted pages of mini masterpieces on each opening. Something that really puzzles me is someone saying they have a collection of empty notebooks that they do not use because they might “spoil” them. Using them is what makes a notebook better. An empty notebook is just paper but put some ideas down or some doodles it takes on a life and becomes …

Some ideas on how to journal

I am often asked how to journal. Journals can be kept in any way you choose. You can write in them, sketch in them, add photos, paint in them, do a collage, paste ephemera in them in other words just about do anything in them! There is no certain “look” or style in journaling. There is no blueprint that must be followed, no right or wrong way to keep a journal. There are no rules because they are a creative space and if you tie up a creative space in too many rules it quickly becomes a non-creative space. In …

83 year old diarist shares his hobby of a life time

John Gadd is an 83 year old diarist who over his lifetime has filled 151 volumes with four million words. His journals weigh in at half-a-tonne. In his journal he also includes photographs, illustrations, cuttings from newspapers and everyday items like food wrappers, tickets, and mementos. These bits of ephemera add to the story of one man’s life. His diary starts in 1947 and has been kept ever since which means his diary is eight times the size of War and Peace John Gadd said ‘To begin with the diary was quite hard work and pretty boring. But after a …

How to Choose a Journal

In response to questions I have made a video on How to Choose a Journal. Hopefully people who are looking for a journal that they can both write and sketch in, will find my thoughts useful. If you want to write in a journal or sketch in journal choices are easier than if you want to mix the two activities in one book. To summarise what I look for when I choose a journal is Size – it has to fit in my handbag Paper weight and quality – I like to be able to sketch A stitched binding must …