Monday, June 11, 2012

Paint Table Journals

by Jo Reimer
Love page in Junk Journal
22" x 8.5 "
collage sketch exploring the use of strips
Thought Catchers
I'm big on the value of keeping studio journals, sketchbooks, art journals, daily pages, or whatever sort of diary/planner that serves the artist in the studio. My journals are the  place where I work out my bright ideas, do all sorts of planning for future work, keep an inventory of completed work,  record quotations, and much more. It's a "thought catcher".

As usual, if you click on a picture you can see more detail.
Page of Jack Portland art cards from Laura Russo Gallery

Art Card Journals
I have several journals in which I keep art cards that I collect at exhibitions, the sort with an image of a work from the exhibit. When I get home I glue the card into my art card journal and write about the exhibit or about this particular work. Sometimes I print a smallish image off a website and do the same thing.  I find that this practice has helped me grow in awareness of what appeals to me about art. If you look in my journals you'll see that I'm attracted to borders, to abstracted landscape, to numbers and lines and math symbols, and blocks of plain color which set off loosely drawn images. You won't find representational paintings unless it's transfers of photographic images. You'll also find lists of titles that appeal to me that might help me generate titles for my own work.

Art Cards from Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson
print of work by Cathy Woo
Paint Table Journals
I've been making my own journals lately, using the "dirty" paper from my big painting table. Two or three times a year I take the old paper off the table and replace it with kraft paper from a large roll. Then I cut up the old paper into 8.5" x 11" sheets, punch holes and coil bind these sheets into journals. These are the journals that I use as my studio reference journals. The page spread above is in one such journal. The color on the page comes from cleaning my brush or testing paints.

Amy's page in a Paint Table Journal

 Paint Table Journals
One of these goes to the luck winner.
Is it you?
Journal Giveaway
The good news is that I made two Paint Table Journals yesterday and I've decided to give one to one of you dear readers as a thank you gift for your loyalty. Some of you are followers; others subscribe by email or reader or RSS feed. You often leave encouraging comments.
 I appreciate every single one of you.

You come back time and again to view my art and photos, to read what I say without negative criticism, and you tell your friends that my One-A-Day blog is an interesting read.  So, today is the start of a DRAWING.  If you want one of my Paint Table Journals put your name in the pot by leaving a comment on THIS post and then Friday at noon, PST, I'll draw a random name and the winner gets the journal.  When I notify the lucky winner I'll ask for a mailing address. It's totally free and I'm not collecting names or addresses for any other purpose.

Inside the Paint Table Journals
Now it's your turn. Go to the Post A Comment section below and leave your name and a comment of any length, perhaps telling us all how you use journals, if you do, and I'll add your name to the drawing.  Thanks a bunch.



  1. Oh what a wonderful opportunity, thank you for such a generous offer. I would love one of your fabulous journals.

    Loved seeing how you have filled yours!


  2. I like the idea of the art card journals. When I can I collect those cards 'to use later', but I never do because I like them too much.
    I've been planning for a while now to do an inspiration spread in my artjournal with images of artworks of others I like.

  3. I hope I am not posting twice, but my previous comment seems to have disappeared. Let's try this again.
    Thank you so much for the giveaway. I would be thrilled to win one of your journals! Maybe it would bring with it some "good art juju" to motivate me to make art everyday. I admit, sometimes I am just too tired. That's when the internet comes in handy. I am never too tired to be inspired by others. I see you have a Pinterest button- I'll be glad to start following you as soon as I finish up here. Thanks again!

  4. These are wonderful and inspiring. Love it.

  5. These are awesome! I love visual journaling! It is my savior and my unburding. Thank you for doing this!

  6. I would love one of these - your blog is lovely and been following your work since art 'family' cards in Legacy some years ago now! Thank you for sharing.

  7. Oh I would love this kind of scrappy journal! ANd I love this post, getting a glimpse of all your different kinds of journals! The art card is a great idea, and so is the table cover journals - love it!

  8. Gorgeous journals Jo and a treat to see inside the different journals that you use. Thought Catchers ..... I like that!I would love one of your journals! I create 10 minute collages on most days and fill a journal quite quickly.

  9. Oh Jo, I LOVE this! Thanks so much for sharing your studio journals and the ideas that inspired them. I am totally inspired! They are lovely! Many blessings to you my Friend!

  10. Hi Jo;

    What a wonderful idea to use the paper on your art table. Maybe I should switch from plastic to paper too.

    I'm going to be nicer to my long ignored studio journal.


  11. Your organization skills are amazing and creative. I hate to throw anything away which might become "art," so the journals with paper from your work table attracts me too. I just wish I had thought to do that, too, a long time ago. It is a great way to keep track of color inspiration, which in addition to collecting quotes by or about artists, keeps me looking, writing and painting.

    1. That's an idea I'll appropriate, Barb... I can add quotations and notes to the paper on the table while I'm working. That'll make the paper more interesting the next time I change the paper and make new journals.
      It's good to hear from old friends.
      (Barbara and I met in 1991, in Greece, while we were on a watercolor painting trip. Lots of good things came from that painting trip.)

  12. Oh, what fun! A great way to not waste a thing, especially beautiful work table coverings. I've repurposed my cloth work board covers as well.

    Thanks for the chance to have a part of your work

  13. I think I would use the journal as a place to look at the beauty of serendipity combined with your exquisite sense of color.

    Fun give away Jo!

  14. What a wonderful idea! I have journals all over the place, some I write in, some I draw in, some I practice lettering. This is a fantastic idea, I am drawn to color and texture what a great combination of both. This would be a great place for inspiration.

  15. reposting: I love this idea of the craft paper that covers your work table becoming cut up pages in a journal !!!!!!!!! These are spectacular!! Do you bring the pile of pages to Office Max or Staples to have the spiral notebook made? (OK !! I found your post on how you do this!)
    It seems I am too busy to do a journal or even blog. I bought a sketch book a few weeks and it is even empty.
    So happy to see what you are doing over on the west coast! It's always good stuff!

    1. I used to take my journal pages to Kinko for coil binding but splurged on a Rubicoil hole punch when I was teaching journaling workshops. Here's the URL for my source, with directions and ideas.
      I've never been sorry for the purchase.
      Journal habits are like any others, hard to start, difficult to overcome. Sometimes I go to my journal several times each day and often I go days without opening one.

  16. Hi Jo,
    These look like so much fun! I use my journal to take notes in classes, and also to write ideas or sketch ideas for painting. I love your idea of saving cards from shows you've been to also. I think I will add that practice! Thanks for the idea and the chance to win!

  17. Wow, Jo, Way to go!! I love the way that your thoughts and work coincide with your blog. You really must consider a show of these works of art. Let's talk soon.

  18. Jo:

    I have followed your work since the glory days of Stitchery and Wearable Art. I just recently discovered your Blog; so glad you are still creating - I really feel right on your wave length. I, too, am deep into Art Journaling and also Bookbinding. It's good to know you are still there.

    Another Jo in Albuquerque

    1. Stitchery days are way behind for me, though I'm aware of how much we learned about artmaking way back in the 70s. I still use many of the old techniques although French Knots have become dots made with a brush or pencil eraser and paint. Thanks for getting in touch again.

  19. Jo--

    Your journals provide inspiration.


  20. Jo, your painted table journals are a great idea. I like the way you experiment with different papers for your journal pages. I keep a sketchbook of drawings and sketches often water colored and idea books with more designs, ideas and inspiration. Please put my name in the hat. I'd love one of your journals.


I appreciate comments and questions.

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