Artists’ Journals and Sketchbooks by Lynne Perrella | a personal book review

Artists Journals and sketchbooks - Exploring and Creating Personal Pages by Lynne Perrella

I bought Lynne Perrella’s book Artists’ Journal and Sketchbooks: Exploring and Creating Personal Pages at in November when browsing for Christmas presents. It arrived about two weeks ago, and since then I’ve been turning the pages forward and then back again. Browsing, reading, admiring and feeling a need to do some of this myself.

The technique is to have no boundaries I guess. Perrella writes “Just start. Today!” But I feel that I want everything to mean something, to express a moment in time or to write something that you have to be able to read.

I think it is the difficult word journal that stops me. Journaling for me is very clearly writing something for the memory to grasp in years to come. How can it be color? I love the idea though. I love it! (In Swedish you never say “love it” about things that you like, not even when you like them a lot. Love = kärlek and “I love it!” would be Jag älskar det! But this expression is not used very often, maybe because love in Swedish is a stronger word?)

The book is about a special way to record your moods, to find yourself and explore your creativity. Through collages that you splash with paint, words, scribblings, thoughts, newspapers, color and pieces of paper from your daily trash, a magazine or a collection of old postcards.

The pictures in the book are awesome, made by different kinds of artists. The tips and ideas that Perrella is giving is also great. Inspiring! I’m in love with this book, but also scared. What if all I do will be ugly, useless and bad?

But I feel so inspired that I know I will start soon, and I imagine this will be the creative thing of the year for me (like knitting was last year). I’ve been doing a lot of collages out of old magazines when I was in school, usually on different themes. Not so artsy, but fun to do. I made huge posters for my little brothers on themes like “kids” and “flowers” for his wall.

I still have my book of clippings, and after reading this Perrella book I also have one thousand new ideas. Soon I’ll get around to bring out the scissors again. Maybe I’ll find a new me?

Anyone tried this?

Artists Journals and sketchbooks - Exploring and Creating Personal Pages by Lynne Perrella

6 Responses

  1. i’ve wanted to try, but have yet to accomplish it. sounds like you have inspiration at hand, so don’t let it pass.

    “ugly” just means not what you were expecting; as for “useless” or “bad,” it is an intangible representation of a moment in your life; how can that be useless or bad?

  2. I don’t think you can make bad/useless/ugly art… not all people will love what you make, maybe not even yourself, but others will be absolutely mad about it ;)
    my mother is a painter, and she had an exhibition some years ago. there was a painting that she didn’t want to bring for it, she thought it was horrible… I talked her into it, and it was the first to be sold :)
    so just jump right into it, I’ll be looking forward to following it! I can’t wait till my exams are finished, so I can be creative again!!


  3. Here’s a late reply, just saw your link to this book sold at Amazon, it is in the North Light book club library.

    I want to start doing this also, with watercolors, may do an oil on paper now & then, probably some pencil/watercolor & ink/watercolor combinations.

    Will order some sketchbooks, the smaller travel size for their portability. I was an art major in college 30+ years ago, and want to reconnect with Art. I’d recently ordered a couple of books so I can get started doing watercolors. I’d tried them years ago after taping a few of Frank Clark’s PBS shows, I know I can do it, just need to “get to it”.

    I’ll order a couple of brushes I need-1.5″ wash, #3 rigger (script liner)-I have a #8 round, 3/4″ wash, these are reccomended from Charles Evan’s “Watercolors In A Weekend”, one of the books I got, glad to have gotten it, as it is not as hard as it might look.

    As far as the Journal part goes, this doesn’t have to be “everyday”, I’d say a consistent attempt at recording from the beginning of the book until it is filled. I should go go practice doing some watercolors now…


  4. Wow, Hanna, reading this in 2013, and look how far you’ve come! Your art journaling is so inspiring to me, and although I haven’t the time or courage to try it myself yet, I hope to start this summer! I have a book all ready, and am slightly terrified… :)

  5. Wow…this brings back memories for me! Lynne’s book was my first art journaling book, and it blew my mind. I’m going to go back and look at it again right now.

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