Art journalling and altered books 

Since moving up to Edinbugh in 2013   I have been art making everyday . I have written before that I started Art journalling in January., but I havn’t shown you the explosion of activity that this has unleashed. 

I have always collected ephemera and visited second hand/ charity/ thrift shops on a weekly basis. Now I look for books , vintage papers , magazines and music paper at bargain prices. 

Why pay  £6 for a new A5 cartridge paper sketch book when you can get a cheap hard back for 50p ? Granted it takes time and effort to alter it but what else am I going to do in front of the TV in the evenings? 

Printed pages 


Collaged pages for journalling – inside a book 

altered books ready to work in 


The documented Life Journal set up by 

Is a fab source of ideasf or prompts about what to put into your book. They have free videos , step by step instructions and featured artists. I started last year and built up a reference library of ideas and samples of my work over the year. This years he focus is on journalling techniques like. gelli printing and ink. Below are some sample abstract pages I made up recently 

 Inks and stencils   
Shaving foam marvelling 


Gelli  prints 


Sample pages from 2015 

Front Cover  

Acrylics  sample  

Mixed media pages   



Mixed media teaching session 

I am teaching next week . I borrowed a page from Debbie Howard’s ‘soulsseedsessions’  workshop that I do every Wednesday .  Below is my version of ‘Make time to sit in nature’ 

 Here is a list of instructions and some images which show my process

 1) Cover page in gesso allow to dry in the version below I used a book page. 

2) Add pale sky turquoise to the top half of the paper 
3) Smoosh down the page with a baby wipe past the horizon getting lighter down the page 
4) add a blue grey with a baby wipe smoosh in bands down towards the horizon
5) Add white with a baby wipe up towards the top 1/3 of the page blend so that the sky is lighter at the horizon 
6) Paint muddy brown green across bottom 1/3 of page ( Orange and Green mix) 
7) before it dries place stencil on top and rub with a baby wipe, keep moving and removing paint until desired affect is achieved 
8) Smoosh the brown/ green up to the horizon and around the edges of the page 
9) Allow to dry thoroughly 
10) if you have tree stamps you could stamp trees/ bushes on the back ground – using larger trees as you come towards the bottom half of the page to create depth – or draw trees in with pen 
11) add a fence on the horizon 
12) Glue  cut out sofa/ chair in the middle ground / add shadow ( I stuck the sofa on the wrong picture (WAAGH) with a graphite block and around the outline to make it pop- you could use  water soluble colouring pencil or crayon 
13) Add some of brown/ Green to tree trunks  with a brush 
14  ) Add leaves to tree using stamps/ sponge make the leaves in the foreground darker than on the trees in the background to emphasise the 3D effects 


I over worked the chair a bit and because it was a photocopy the image ran  and I  think I need to knock the trees in the back ground backwith gesso


Hmmm still not happy with it and it wasn’t mixed media enough so I started again adding  some mad doodling stuff and redid the sofa in printed papers 


Equipment  and materials 

PVA, glue stick , scissors , 0.5 permanent pen, hole punch , medium hole punch , paint brush, white sharpie paint pen,selection of  preprinted papers, circular stencil , turquoise, green, orange, white acrylic paint , gesso, credit card, baby wipes