Sunday, 23 September 2012


Gosh I don't know what's come over me. As you know, I've been blogcruising and yesterday I wandered into the world of art journalling. I knew about it through the very talented Butterfly at Words and Pictures, and now I've had a good old rummage in the cyberworld.

Now, I could bang on for some time about my history with Art, so I won't. Suffice it to say that although I would describe myself as a creative person, I would not describe myself as an artistic (in the visual art sense) one. I do, however, like writing - the physical process, I mean. I love the feel of pens in my hand and the experience of making marks on a page. So when I came across a process from DaisyYellow called slow journaling (sic - it's American),  as demonstrated by Leslie Herger, I found myself desperate (I do not exaggerate) to try it. So I did. And I took some pictures, because I realised that a) it's nice to have a record; b) for me, it took away the fear of messing things up, because I would have a photo of the stage before and c) BECAUSE I CAN (cf iPhone).

So I'm going to be very brave and post them. Oh - one other thing. The idea of doing this with words of my own was too much for me in a first attempt, so I took as my text the fine Scottish song Ye Canna Shove Yer Granny Off A Bus (my phonetics). There are other verses, but they lack the high moral tone of verse 1, so I have not used them. Ready?

Stage 1
Stage 2

Stage 1 - draw boxes with wavy lines

Stage 2 - write words and go over outline of boxes. For those of you who like pens (and if you don't, I'm sorry. I mean I'm sorry you don't like pens) I used a Pilot V5 hi-tecpoint 0.5

Stage 3
Stage 4
Stage 3 - paint over with watercolours. 

Stage 4 - go over outlines messily with Sharpies to match the watercolours. Nearly. (My own idea! Not to do it messily, though.) NB I don't know what's going on with the text here - I can't get it to space properly - sorry.)

Stage 5
Stage 6
 Stage 5 - realise that watercolours were too strong and text now more difficult to read. Experiment with using Sharpie to go over text, whilst subliminally altering message. Put in arrows so people know where to go when reading.
Stage 6 - go for it with Sharpie-ing and add more helpful instructions.

Stage 6

Stage 6 - admire my handiwork and nearly drink paintwater instead of tea.

Stage 7 - realise there are two Stage 6. Er - Stage 6s. Sixes. Stages 6. Whatever.

So - the result is far from perfect but I had fun doing it and learned a lot. Ooh - musical interlude.

Thanks for reading. And remember what not to do with your Granny.


  1. Welcome to a world of new delights! Huge congratulations on your first step - I think it's a great page (and very interested that you've got all those bits of kit to hand!!)...
    Alison x

  2. Thanks! It was surprising what was in the house when I trawled round. I've been flirting with things like this for years, and P is a bit of an artist, so between us there's a respectable supply. Next stop - gesso!!! xx

  3. Love the blue - known as Mirka Blue by butterfly and me and Ally Blue by Annie. Oops there's Annie again - sorry!

  4. Please never apologise for Annie - she's always welcome :)

  5. What a wonderful way to spend time! What manner of thing is a Sharpie? I'm assuming a pen but it sounds like a weapon, or a depilatory device.

  6. Dear Lady Longstaff.
    I understand that you are only familiar with pink pens especially designed for your delicate feminine hands. A Sharpie is indeed a pen - I imagine it would make a decent weapon in an emergency but I fear it would be useless as a depilatory device. You could ink over the unwanted hair, in a colour to suit your mood, as they write on many surfaces. Ask your maid to Google (she will know what you mean) "Sharpie" and show you the results. You will not be disappointed.

    1. Oh my. Oh me oh my.

      I. Need. Sharpies.

    2. Isn't Mr David Beckham somewhere in the Sharpie mix. Is it that he uses them for maaking his "tatouages". (Are bits of showy-offy French permitted herewithin?)

      I was very taken by the journalling posting ma chère. I have a deep yearning to buy many beautiful things from art shops, which has always been balanced by a corresponding inability to do anything pleasant with them. But I may well dabble, I may well. I have had, as you know, cause to be engaged recently with the oeuvre (I'm sorry, I just can't help myself. I think it's the need to show that there was some point to me having done a French degree)of the marvellous Stevie Smith, and was reminded of how very much I love her drawings. And then, as I was thus engaged, someone (an artist called called Sarah Pickstone) went and won this year's John Moore Painting Prize with a painting based on a Stevie Smith drawing! Synchronicity eh?

      Lady L, have you sent your maid out for a sackload of Sharpies yet? You could redecorate the Long Gallery all by yourself.

    3. Hmm...think I also included a little Dutch, and then a little Double Dutch.

  7. Your French adds a welcome je ne sais quoi and showy-offness is always applauded. DB was the figurehead of a television Sharpie advertising campaign in a most misleading way. I'm still cross with him. The scene was a lot of swooning ladies after his autograph and he signed someone's shirt. Ooh, I thought, a pen that writes on clothes (not that I am given to signing ladies' clothing). I rushed out and bought some and on the packaging it says not to use it on cloth!!!! I knew not about his other user habits...
    Stevie Smith is in the air, isn't she? I'm going to Google her drawings