Journaling {Near} Daily

6:37 AM


An lunch outing with a friend as well as my beloved "Almond Joy Cookies!"
Back in January, I decided I needed to knock the rust off from my daily journaling skills. With the holidays and other responsibilities vying for my attention, my sketchbook sat on the corner of my desk or in the bottom of my purse collecting dust. 
The page where I drew out the schematic for my new Paris sketchbook cover along with a couple of swatches of material
To remedy this I picked up an inexpensive journal at Michael's. The soft-covered, Artist Loft journal is 6 x 8 inches closed and there wasn't much info on the cover with regard to the paper content. The web site says the paper is "wood-free" but not acid free. Since I paid less than $4 for two, I'm not to concerned about it. 

My intent it to use these as a catch-all type of journal. I want to track my daily experiences as well as project plans, shopping lists, places I visit, cat antics, and outings with friends. It will be a place where I can play, practice and experiment with new ideas without worrying about the expense of wasting "good paper."
Plant City, Florida is a fun little town with a robust antique center in the downtown area, a train depot museum, and lots of quirkiness—a sketcher's dream! 
Speaking of the paper, I was pleasantly surprised at well the paper handled watercolor and pen. It doesn't bleed through, but if I make a mark I do not like, there is no correcting it. In my attempts to make corrections I've either removed paper fibers or I've covered it up with a permanent white pen. I suspect more serious corrections will require gluing down a new piece of paper. 

Daily Journaling or Journaling Daily
When I started this project, I thought I'd fill a page—all in one setting—at least once a week. Turns out that was delusional thinking. The first page happened all in one day, but not in one setting. The second page was mostly done in one setting. The third page was drawn one day and painted over the next few days. The Gasparilla spread, seen below, has taken the longest. Drawn in one day and it took me four days to paint it in small blocks of time. 
This spread is all memory sketches as there was no way to do this the day of Gasparilla.
The last couple of pages were drawn in fits and starts and painted several days later as time allowed. Life has a way of getting in the way of my plans. Funny how that happens, huh?
Gotta rub da belly! At a favorite restaurant we only visit once in a while. Buddha looks Italian to me!
At first this bothered me, but then I realized that I was still working in my journal on a nearly daily basis even if I wasn't finishing one page at the time. Turns out that finishing a full journal page in one go isn't realistic for me. Working in small pockets of time still gets the page finished, still keeps my mind engaged and I'm strengthening my skills. (And when you're constantly on the go while traveling, this is actually a more realistic type of sketch "training" anyway.)
Valentine Day 2018 Memories. Capturing the memory before it gets lost in life's constant flow.
I've found that setting rigid rules that I most follow with regard to my journaling is almost always a non-starter. I do much, much better when I leave myself some lots of wiggle room. I can generally keep on track if I have some flexibility. Without it, I grow frustrated and chuck the project into the "not-gonna-happen" pile of unfinished projects. 

Does any of this sound familiar to you? Have you let a project fall to the wayside because you didn't build in enough (or any) flexibility? Can you revive it by revising the "rules" you set for yourself? 
I know I have several projects like that but something tells me this project won't be one of them. 

By relaxing the rules around what I can and cannot put on the pages, by releasing my expectations of how much work I have to get done and when as well as the paper's allergy to corrections, I suspect these will be some of the most enjoyable journals I create!

What project can you breathe new life into if you change or relax the "rules?"
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3 Creative Thought(s)

  1. I sure do know about setting too many parameters. I found a sketchbook that I was going to to one thing in and 3years later I decided to just paint in it to finish it. Not what it was originally to be used for but hey...use it.

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  2. I enjoyed both seeing your pages and hearing about how you've adjusted your expectations around daily journaling. It's encouraging as I start getting back into regular sketching practie.

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  3. Laure - love your journal pages. What a great way to keep memories alive on a daily/weekly basis. Super friend. Thanks for sharing. Hugs!

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