Art Journal with almost “finished” pages

Love this book cover that I made (copyright Hanna Andersson)

I love how this journal that I’ve made looks and feels. It is just delicious! Love the cover, the inside so rich with sewn pages, cut up envelopes and folded water colour paper. But I have a hard time creating in it! It’s been waiting for me to open it up for weeks now. The pages are maybe a bit too prepped, to “finished”, to full already, for me to feel invited to create on them…

This is how one spread looked already when I bound the book together (with flip-up taped in later):

Just as it is
Btw: both the Brooklyn library card and the information is taped in so I can flip them up, like this:
Flip the rules

Beautiful pages, yes, with lots of space for doodles or writing, but not much room to… move around? create art? be me? I’m not sure what it is, but since I have a diary where I write most days the writing tends to end up there and not in the Art Journal. And I really think the pages are pretty, so I’m not wanting to go in with acrylic paint to mess it up either. Not sure what I should do, I’ve started another journal, an altered book, that I’m not sure I like either! Very unusual for me, this unsettling feeling with the ongoing journal.

Sewin in

I love all the papers on these pages, the images, the space that invites you to write in it… It looks inviting doesn’t it? Maybe I should just stop hesitating and decide to fill it! I’ve signed up for Art Journaling Every Day this month too and I do need to start doing that! Do you ever get stopped like this? What is your favorite solution?

This is a photo of the spine;

Art journal spine

Yummy right? These photos makes me happy. Now I just need to find a blank page and make it “work” for me! :-)

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18 Responses to Art Journal with almost “finished” pages

  1. Melanie K. says:

    I have to admit, those are some very pretty pages! It reminds me of when I did a journal in the Mary Ann Moss’s Remains of the Day journals and so hard to USE the pages already filled with images I loved! Hmmm … I need to go look at that journal when I get home from work. I know I did use it … but I can’t remember how I did it now!
    I love how you made this one though! I want to make one like this with old hard covers. It is always so hard for me to commit to making a book though. I never get exactly what I want and I always wonder how can that be if I made it?
    We creative types … never satisfied! LOL!

  2. Laila says:

    Hi Hanna, your pages looks great but if you hesitate the time is not right I think. Be in your flow and the time will come to fill your beloved art journal. I especially like the last spread with the lovely dots. :-)

  3. iHanna says:

    Melanie K, haha, you’re so darn right! We’re human and we’re never satisfied, I guess that is the biggest problem. Thanks for pointing that out to me! :-) I’m very Mary Ann Moss-inspired with my journal making! :-)

    Laila, thanks! Maybe you’re right too. I am creative in other areas, maybe the journal will be a summer journal, hoping we’ll have a summer in Sweden. It was beginning to look like winter returned this week… :-) Take care!

  4. kelley says:

    Is that your journal for the 2012 sketchbook project? or just some ephemera from the last one you’ve added to your art journal? You’ve inspired me to join the current sketchbook project, but I haven’t started yet. That little notebook is so forbidding looking.
    I love the picture of your signatures. It makes me want to see what’s on every page! I consider putting the pages together, collaging, and all that part of creating the art, not just the drawing and painting in it. So to me it is beautiful as it is.

  5. Zom says:

    This is what I call “the problem of beautiful backgrounds”. They are sitting there, so beautiful and gorgeous, and you don’t want to ‘ruin’ them.

    Maybe a little raw umber to grunge them up? teehee. That would be hard. Glazes and small writing are kind of all I would be able to contribute.

    Please post again when you do continue. I would be very interested in what you do.

    • Janet says:

      I too get the problem of “beautiful backgrounds”. Last year I filled an altered book with lovely collaged pages with the intention to paint and journal over, but with some pages this was very hard to do. I thought it would make it easier for journalling to have prepped a whole book but it had the opposite effect.

      My conclusion is that the collage IS the journal. It is what we create at that time and perhaps should be left, at least for now. I have a habit of cutting-up and re-doing my old work in time and feel that, sometime in the future, I will be ready for doing something else with my little collaged book.

  6. Laura says:

    Maybe the art of collage on these pages IS your statement, IS your journaling. Maybe they are done! I find myself revisiting even journals that I have deemed finished and being compelled to add something or write something on a painted page that I could not bear to write on originally. Keep that in mind and enjoy the beautiful book just as it is. That’s my two cents.

  7. Orly Avineri says:

    I like it soooooooo much, just the way it is, it’s so lovely, from all angles and sides…I’d leave it alone and go create somewhere else (:

  8. Andria says:

    I agree with what Laura has said…it’s what I was thinking as I read your post: perhaps you were “art journaling” as you created the journal. The pictures and colors and words and patterns are all there! I love the look of all the collaging…so much to see and enjoy!

  9. kelley says:

    Yes, what Laura said! She articulated what I meant to say much better.

  10. Heather says:

    Love Love these pages! I am wordy when it comes to my journaling a lot, but there are times I can just put a quote a short bit or a word to describe whats going on in my life! Love the pages, have I mentioned that ;-D

  11. Lis says:

    LOVE your journal! I agree in some ways, it seems like these pages are “finished” with the exception of maybe a single line of text or a quote … they really seem like a visual diary. Just my reaction; I also have several types of journals ongoing and there is something refreshing in just images/designs/colors conveying my mood versus words. Totally inspiring me! Will love seeing what you end up doing.

    And the bunting flags? Oh my, I now have another (!) project on my list (so you are not the last person to make them … it will be me if I ever finish the other 1/2 finished projects cluttering my home!)

    xo Lis

  12. Marilyn says:

    I don’t “write” in my journal every day. Sometimes days go by and then I might do3 or 4 pages at a time. Just go with the flow as the old saying goes……Love your blog…

  13. Lay Hoon says:

    The pages make me feel excited and wanna to start my page.

  14. kathy stewart says:

    Beautiful book but i know what you mean – all that lovely stuff there it is hard to know where to start to adding to. I usually just close my eyes (metaphorically of course) and slap on some watered down gesso. i find that I do so much more when I start with the blank page.

  15. iHanna says:

    Thanks for commenting and helping me out here!

    Kelley, no this is not a Project Sketchbook sketchbook, it’s my art journal and I’m keeping last years memoribilia in it now. I haven’t signed up this year, I’m concentrating on my own for-keeps books when I feel inspired to journal. Thanks for your kind words about the pages in my art journal, you’re right: they are good as they are. Yay!

    Zom, hehe, yeah umber is nice but nope, not for these pages. But I like your idea of “small writing”, I think that is the way to go. Just wait until I feel I’ve got something to write, or do my actual morning pages in this art journal instead of my diary then. Thanks!

    Laura, yes you’re so right and thank you for writing what I needed to read, what we all need to be reminded of sometimes. :-) Collage sure feels like my medium more and more. The problem with these were that they were finished before I started working in the book, but if collage is my “statement” maybe I need to add some more collage bits and pieces to the pages and that will make me more satisfied with them. Thank you!

    Orly, haha, you are the art journal pro so thanks for that! And yes, I like these pages too – a lot – don’t know what I was complaining about? I might write something later but also learn to leave pages “alone”. They don’t need to look finished and full just because my other pages usually do. I don’t need to overfill every page, right? Thank you! You rock!

    Andria, of course I was “art journaling” while I made the book! You’re so right. It’s not just book binding it’s creating a yummy inviting page right there and then, and almost every page in this journal feels this way to me. Thanks for writing that sentense, love that idea! :-)

    Lis, thanks for your kind words on the journal pages, you make me smile when you come visit me! Have fun with your projects and then bunting flags galore, right? :-)

  16. Chris says:

    I haven’t read the comments, so I hope this isn’t repetitive, but I think there is value in making this book, whether it’s filled further with journaling, or not! This is a beautiful book that will endure, and is already filled with your spirit and energy and your creative judgment! It can be finished as is, if that’s what you feel!

    It’s hard sometimes, to know when to stop, whether you are holding yourself back out of fear of the unfamiliar. I sometimes don’t know if I’m not stretching myself because I’m uncomfortable with a new practice, or if I truly feel that I’ve reached the completion of a project. It’s the dynamism of creativity. What a challenge it poses sometimes!

  17. Pingback: Art Journal number 17: Creative Discovery | iHanna's Blog

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