International letter journal 2×4 

One of my favourite ways of working is collaboratively. Before letterjournals  I made artist trading cards and post cards with several people all working on the same card- we called these ‘jams’. Recently I have made a couple of letterjournals this way too. Jade Herriman introduced our FB group to this way of working.

My friend Meg in New Zealand (  and I both made a phamplet letter journal that fits in a business envelope and agreed to send them to each other to work in 3 times. 

Meg and I decided to have an ‘abstract’  theme. I tried to remember to take photos every time I received or returned a journal but I don’t seem to have succeeded.

A journal with a selection of my patterns and textures 

A journal with 2 layers worked on by both of us 

Below is one journal with 3 layers of work – we doodled with black and gold pens , added collage and paint – I like the work at each stage , some of Meg’s ripped collages in blue are particularly delicious( middle right, bottom left) . I liked the vieling that you can achieve by adding stripes of white gesso on top of textures ( middle and middle right) 

Some zoomed in sections of the same pages 

This is the first time I have worked abstractly in a journal and a first where only one other person had been involved. I have worked on larger pieces like this before when someone is in the room or the same country , but not different continents and not with someone I don’t know very well. We set up FB messenger and have had quiet detailed supportive chats at various stages. In a way the process and the dialogue have made the journal even more special.

This is where my documenting falls down – below  is my journal with 4 layers – I don’t seem to have saved the photos of my first two rounds ( sigh) 

My journal after tea dipping with 6 layers 

Some of the pages were hardly altered by the tea dipping – depending on whether we used acrylic or watersolouble paint and or glue. 


3 thoughts on “International letter journal 2×4 

  1. It was great fun and encouraging to work with you but a but a great challenge for me to work in layers. I’m usually so happy after just one layer I don’t want to touch them. And then earlier on I always wanted to preserve the flavor of the previous layers, which became increasingly difficult, and yet trying to make the final view something coherent and… a whole greater than the parts. I found “abstract” not hard against my earlier worries; it meant I didn’t have to force the spreads to “look like something”, that I didn’t have to work towards preconceived images, be they visual or otherwise, which freed me to experiment with materials. Lastly, I find I need to go easy on researching the Internet; I still have plenty of color field painting images that pull me in that direction that I haven’t been able to create/replicate/mimic/copy. What next, Tess??

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