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Monday, 10 March 2014

Art Doesn't Have to be Expensive

Well hello there dear friends. It's Horace back with you again whilst Wilbear snores gently in his wicker chair.

Some of you may remember me showing you this fabulous journal we received from a dear friend on our shared birthday last year

Well we only have 4 pages left to fill in it now so it's getting lovely and full

I thought I'd try and finish the journal by our shared birthday this year at the same time as showing you how art journalling does not have to be expensive.

Of course you need something to journal on to, but this can be practically anything. We've used old books, the insides of cereal boxes and cheap notebooks as well as our gorgeous journal. Look around the house and try to utilise your recycling pile.

Next you'll need something to journal with. Well you could use pencils, pens, paint, your child's colouring pencils... I can almost guarantee you will have have something in your house that will do. Even a biro or felt tip is fine, you can create a doodle with those.

I've decided to try and stash bust by using these cheap paints we bought to use on the Gelli plate ( which we later sold)

First I made a disgusting green and white mess on the table (which was covered with a plastic tablecloth then a piece of cheap wallpaper). To protect your surface, again look at your recycling and utilise what you have. An old carrier bag cut up and covered over with newspaper or a telephone directory is fine.

I painted my page with the disgusting green mess ( a paint brush would come in handy for this, but you could use your hands if you don't mind getting messy). I disliked the colour produced by mixing my paints, so I blobbed a lighter green and some white onto the pages

Then closed the book and smooshed ( very technical term that) the paints together by sitting on the book. Of course, you may not want to sit on your book, well that's fine. You could smooth the pages together with the flat of your hand, working from the center of the book to the outer page, making sure you have a protective layer beneath the page as this is bound to spread out of your journal. If you have a brayer or an old rolling pin you can use those to smooth the pages together.

Don't keep the pages together for too long, or all you'll produce is a stuck together mess. As soon as you open the pages you'll see texture created by the smooshing. Lots of lovely little patterns will have appeared.

Now, see all of those plastic lids on my desk in the picture above? Again, this all came from the recycling. Any lids will do. Take these and press them into the still wet paint, to create various sized circles

Don't try to be too neat or orderly, aim for a random pattern as above. I also rolled the ridged side of one of the bottle tops along my page for a different textured effect. Experiment and see what you come up with.

Once your paint is completely dry, you'll want to decorate further. I used rubber stamps for this, but you could cut up images from an old magazine and glue them onto your background. I decided, to go with my Chinese stamps, I'd try some Chinese writing. Hopefully these symbols spell hope!

The most important thing to remember in art journalling is to have fun, experiment, and don't worry too much about the outcome. It's all about the process.

With love from the bears


  1. Oh, that is waaaaaay cool. !! I love how that came out. I am still shying away from journal pages although I have stuck my toe in - as it were - on 3 occasions now :-)
    Thanks for the inspiration (as always) !!
    IKE xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  2. I don't do enough journalling. I must try harder! You are, as alwasy, an inspiration.

  3. A brilliant, thrifty page spread - the smooshed paint effects are so dramatic, and I love the Chinese lettering. Lots of inspiration to get messy here... and I need some messy time, it's all been too prim and po-faced round my way lately!
    Alison xx


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