The Creative Process, A Peak inside my Empty Watercolor Journal

The Creative Process, A Peak inside my Empty Watercolor Journal

Do you enjoy the anticipation of an upcoming vacation or trip?  Do you practice packing your suitcase with your favorite clothes?  To me the journey begins way before walking out the door, suitcase in hand.  I love preparing my art supplies for my travels.  Planning for my upcoming trip, Painting Poppies in Provence, France, I decided to take two watercolor journals.  (Two spots just opened up on this trip to Provence, so let me know if you want to join us!) One is a 14 x 10 Arches Watercolor Book with 140 pound Arches paper.  The other smaller one is a Strathmore 400 Field Watercolor Sketchbook.  For years I have had a love/hate relationship with the Strathmore field book.  Every other piece of (crappy) watercolor page alternates with a piece of drawing paper.  This drawing paper is where my mixed-media imagination soars and I have probably filled at least 10 of these journals with art from my travels.

Pages in my journal prepared for the trip

First page in my new journal with inspiring quote.

Well, this year I decided to quit complaining about the (crappy) watercolor paper and tore my Strathmore Sketchbook apart.  I kept the metal coil and the black hard covers.  I  filled it with Arches 140 paper alternating with Strathmore 400 series drawing paper.  I prepared the drawing papers with colorful backgrounds and finished the first page with an inspiring quote for my upcoming trip: “To Paint…. to travel…. the combine the two is to celebrate life”  (Jack Brouwer). 

The cover of my new “Strathmore” journal now filled with Arches watercolor paper!

Stay tuned for my upcoming article in Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine’s special edition, PAGES, on how to prepare these your jouranl pages with mixed-media and watercolor.
How do you prepare for your upcoming journeys?  I would love to hear what special techniques and ideas you have!

9 thoughts on “The Creative Process, A Peak inside my Empty Watercolor Journal

  1. I see white flowers in that very top page you've prepared! Sounds like you're going to have such a grand time.

    I usually create a journal with whatever my favorite paper is in my favorite size at the moment. I also agonize about pigments right up until two days before I leave—they have to have time to dry in the pans or it would probably be even closer to flight time!

  2. Oh goodness, I seldom worry about the clothes till the last minute but art supplies need going over again and again and yet again! Since I travel by car I can often take a lot but my husband and the interior space of my tiny Hyundai Accent limit me.

    Instead of taking apart journals you buy, get yourself a Bind It All machine. I've been making my own journals with my favorite papers or papers I want to try and they work great. It punches through pretty heavy bookboard so you can make great supportive covers. You can find the Bind It All here: http://binditall.com/
    and to see what it does I have a short post here: http://freebirddrawing.blogspot.com/2011/03/im-ready-or-not.html. These were very quick covers but you can make some really wonderful ones and have a super looking journal as thick or thin and as big as you want.

  3. I have a bind-it-all Freebird! In fact I have 2 just in case one breaks. That is how I punched all the holes in the Arches watercolor paper. I'm anxious to see what you blogged about it.

  4. What a nice sense of anticipation it must bring, packing your art supplies. Painting your vacation seems like it would bring such beautiful detail to your eye …

  5. Just checked out your trip. What a fantastic trip that will be. Thanks for your comment about my blue birds. Nice to know that it happens elsewhere. They got into knock down flights falling to the ground over that birdhouse, but ended up moving on anyway. 🙁

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