Finding Old Unfinished Art Journal Projects


We have been doing some cleaning…not spring cleaning, but that deep down cleaning that comes when one’s health (mine, in particular) improves enough to be able to accomplish more than one had in the past (within reason, again due to health issues) and as someone has recently moved out (mostly) we can now reach more, do more, let go of more.

As a family, we have been working in rounds of late. We hit on space and do as much as we can together…and then … move on to the next item on our list…

Whilst cleaning…and to be honest, whilst trying to FIND something I put in a “safe” place (let’s not talk about those darn hidden knitting needles lost, erm, safely stowed, since before CHRISTMAS)…I came upon a stack of mostly altered books and hand-made art journals that I had begun to use for various projects…and then let them slide and never finished them. So, yes, a small pile of small books filled with untouched pages…sat up on a shelf, under things, surrounded by many blank journals and other nefarious books, supplies, and whatnots and whatsits as well.

I had to sit down with these books for a bit, these forgotten art projects. Well, not all of them were really art per se. One altered journal featured a bunch of random colors and spatters and various bits and bobs of collage scattered throughout. Sometimes something recognizable, a face, some flowers…mostly it was just me writing quotes. Not writing fancy. Not calligraphy or lovely script or anything of that nature. Just me scribbling most of the time. I cannot for the life of me remember why I started doing it…nor do I recall why I might have stopped doing it.

Seeing that little book made me sad. I can remember finding that thing at the thrift store outlet. I remember taking out pages–and using those pages for various other projects, as well as giving plenty of those excess pages away. I remember playing with the tape that I used on the cover…and shellacking that all down to stay put and to protect the cover itself. Yet, here is a project abandoned. I don’t know why.

The other journals that had been nestled up with this one were similar, although they were a bit more straightforward. One book of collages. One book of sketches. One with random scribbles that were to be turned into more discernible pieces. All abandoned. All forgotten.

Some of them I may take back up and work in again. Some I may take back up and rework entirely. For that first little book, the one full or quotes, I plan to gut it completely. Those pages will be torn down, down, distributed, used in other works. The cover will serve as it is…although I may remove all the ribbons from the spine…I plan to rebind that book with different papers, give it a new life. As for what purpose, more than refurbishing it into a new journal, I really do not know.

That’s part of the fun. That’s part of the journey.