Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Journaling on the Move

There comes a time in your journaling adventure when you may not want to leave your journal home while you go on trips, vacations or expeditions. Depending on your journal style and trip, art journaling on the go can be very simple.

Above are the things I typically take with me while traveling, except for the globe who normally stays home. I take my book and a small pencil pouch filled with a few basic items:

- Pencils
- Pen or two
- Felt tipped marker or two
- Craft knife
- Glue stick
- 2 to three paint brushes
- Small watercolor set

If I don't feel like I'll have the time to sit down and paint or want to travel extremely light I will sometimes paint the backgrounds of pages before I leave the house. While I'm on my trip I'll rip or cut up pieces of brochures and add them to ticket stubs, writings and doodles on the pages. This method can cut my on the go supply kit down to a glue stick, knife and pen.

Sometimes I'll leave the pages blank and the watercolors at home and see what I can come up with using only a few colored pencils, a pen and a glue stick. It's an interesting challenge to see what you can come up with in your journal with such a limited amount of supplies. Keep in mind, you can always add that missing accent or two when you've returned home.

The above journal page was done while I was camping in Eastern Pennsylvania. The drawings are simple pencil sketches and the leaves are all things I found and glued onto my page. The berries were simple outlines that I filled in with color using crushed berries.

Some other techniques to keep in mind when you're traveling with your journal and want to keep you packing light:

* You can antique your pages and give them that beige tinge with a used tea bag or spent coffee grounds. Go ahead and rub them on your page being careful not to accidentally ruin any of your previous work. If you let blobs of coffee grounds sit on the page for varying lengths of time you can acheive different shades of brown. Upi can use this technique for accenting the page or to create an entire background.

* You can blank out some pages (or sections of page) in your journal with white acrylic paint or gesso to create a blank drawing surface. Use this space to sketch things you see on your trip such as funky architecture, beautiful birds, seashells, a person riding the bus with you... anything you might want to document. A simplistic style can be cathartic and relaxing.

* Collect random bits and bobs from your day's activities and tear, cut or leave them whole and paste them into your journal to create a spur of the moment collage. Don't over think it, just go with it. This can be a raw and wonderful way to document your trip.

* Do you remember any techniques you used to create simple art as a child? Things like chalk rubbings, spore prints, berry dying? Try them out while you're on your trip!

I'll be spending my weekend camped out with the husband on Hunting Island State Park and my journal will be coming with me. With any luck I'll be returning with a few pages done and some sightings of varied wildlife, including alligators in the wild (yipes!). I'm hoping I'll have some good stories to journal about, but nothing involving reptiles anywhere near my tent! ;)


  1. ~nothing like the being outdoors and allowing nature to inspire...last weekend i was filled with creativity from my camping trip...though i only bring with me usually a pen...i l♥ve the little pouch idea...still small amount of space...an a berry stain...brilliant...wish i would have thought o fthat while away! wishing you and yours a beautiful holiday away together...warm wishes and brightest blessings~

  2. Very good suggestions indeed! I never travel without my pen and my journal (I am rather a writer-type girl) but You know inspiration comes when least expected:)

    I am moving forward with the recipe translations, sorry for taking it too long. In some days they will be in Your mailbox:)

  3. I'm so behind on this! :S
    But I've got a good enough excuse... Still I wanted to do some work in my journal. Tomorrow we spent the day away from home so I can't continue my diaper bag... So I'll take my pencil case and journal with me and see if I can come up with something!

    all those articles are really interesting... You should continue when July ends :D

  4. i've said it before: you can make art journaling even if you have only a simple pencil and a piece of paper!!!

  5. Wow, some great tips here and I love your example page. I've been nearly finished my second for some time but haven't got round to it 'cause I've not been home much. Now I don't have an excuse anymore! By the way, I agree with Andreann, this is too much fun to end when the month's over!

    Have a great trip, looking forward to seeing your resulting creations :)

  6. Great ideas!! Have a great vacation!! Hope it is all you want and need it to be.

  7. I'm absolutely loving your posts on journaling. What great ideas!


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