For those of you who want to cut to the chase visually, I’m adding a gallery for each journal that I keep. I encourage you, however, to read the articles relevant to each image as they become available, or you’ll miss the “chase” entirely.
The First (Composition Book)
The journal pages in this gallery are made in an inexpensive “Composition Book” consisting of quadrille paper pages. The book was less than $1.00 at Wal-Mart, was covered on the outside with a scrapbook paper collage.
The images are in order of both their creation and the weekly challenges issued by Art to the 5 Academy’s “Documented Life Project 2015” (I fell behind in mid-April, but will eventually catch up and add to this gallery!).
While composition books is completely viable, especially for those just starting out, it does require that every page be prepared with some type of medium (gesso, matte medium, etc.) to avoid bleed through and tear out. I also have to keep a sheet of tracing paper between pages to prevent them from sticking together (in part because of some initial wrong choices in mediums – don’t use Modpodge!) and because I carry my main journals everywhere. Extreme heat can cause the mediums/materials to get sticky. I lost two pages, one of which was a favorite and a lot of work, before I learned my lesson. It is, however, not a bad choice if you’re not sure about art journaling and would like to experiment without making any major investments.
Documented Faith Project Planner
This journal is done in a 2015 weekly/monthly calendar book/planner. I love the monthly theme with weekly scripture prompt structure of Stephanie Ackerman’s “Documented Faith Project”, but didn’t want them to get lost in my composition book. I was inspired one evening to use a calendar planner I had purchased (and failed to use). The paper quality of the pages in this book is far better than the composition book, but I still prepare the pages with either gesso or matte medium.
The format is simple. Stephanie’s theme and prompts get the “monthly” two-page spreads. Everything organized and together, plus room to commemorate personal special days and memories. So what to do with the weekly two-page spreads between each set of monthly spreads? I decided to use 3/4 of the weekly spread to study and journal that week’s scripture readings from church, and use the remaining 1/4 to journal about The River’s activities and projects. It’s helped me deepen my bible study, and caused me to go back and study any Sundays I might have missed. Because I’m often journaling “after the fact,” I can’t rely on memory and have actually been doing extra research and reading to not only understand the three readings, but to determine their relationship to one another.
My Journaling Bible
As I stated in my previous article, it was a specific challenge from Rebekah Jones’ Bible Art Journaling Challenge that pushed me to take the final step and invest in a Journaling Bible. FYI, it IS an investment. However, it was worth it.
The bible is a Barbour Publishing King James Version Journaling Bible with a bonded leather cover, ISBN 978-1-63058-143-5. It was the largest journaling bible I could find, measuring approximately 9″x6.63″ with 2″ margins. If you want that size, but want to reduce costs, they publish another version with an imitation leather cover (two-tone) that is identical except for the cover. I doubt you could easily tell them apart.
Unlike Documented Faith, the Bible Art Journaling Challenge has no monthly theme, but does have a weekly scripture prompt and a suggested medium challenge. Although I love her challenges, her approaches, and her amazing tutorials, I’ve become a huge fan of painting with watercolor pencils, especially in my journaling bible. I’m nowhere near caught up on Rebekah’s challenges as I only recently got the bible, but I’m pretty sure I’ll get this one caught up before any of the others. It’s fast becoming my favorite.