But I'm really not talking about keeping a diary of events, though those are interesting in later years. I'm addicted to big girl stuff... keeping a journal or even several. I have a computer program for my PC called The Journal, and although I don't write in it every day that's where I keep health records and the more personal stuff, password protected. And I have a Garden Journal that's been many years in the making. And then there's my little Moleskine that stays in my handbag. But the journal that is an extension of my body is my art journal. It isn't the kind that has gorgeous art on every page like Teesha Moore, but it's the repository of my studio plans, where I do mind maps as a way of planning art and life.
My journal contains gallery announcements of artists whose work I like with some comments on the show. Its pages are full of sketches, ideas, photos that inspire me, lists of all kinds... it's the sort of journal that Gilbert K. Chesterton was talking about when he said "I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train." My books aren't sensational but people find them fascinating. By the time I fill a book it's half worn out and then it becomes more dog-eared as I go back into it time and again seeking inspiration.
The journal pictured at the top of this post is my current one, started in January. There's not much in it yet but I'm working in it frequently. I made the book. I have a clunky machine called a Rubi-Coil that punches holes for spiral binding... a splurge when I was teaching art journaling. For the last two journals I've used a medium weight tan paper that I buy locally by the ream. The covers are 140# watercolor paper that's gessoed on both sides. I'm an ex-quilter and for this journal I cut paper squares and made a patchwork design on the cover, but I didn't like it so I troweled on a thin coat of gesso and then racked through it while it was still wet to form texture and pattern. I find that if the cover of my journal is attractive to me I'm more apt to pick it up and work in it than if it's plain.