Dawn DeVries Sokol
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{AJF: The Journal Artists 4}

This week for Art Journal Fridays, we have an interview with 1000 AJP contributor Jeannine Peregrine. I LOVE Jeannine’s pages...She obviously puts her heart and soul into them...


Why do you journal?

JeannineP1
“This is the only reality there is. If you can get it down on paper, in
words, notes, or color, so much the better.” (Henry Miller)

 

How did you start journaling?

I was required to keep a written journal all four
years of high school English. This established a lifelong journaling
practice for me, one of the few things from my formal education I am truly
grateful for. After 9/11/01, I had a hard time expressing myself with
words and went searching for a medium that allowed me to combine words and
imagery to express what was difficult to wrap my head around. Art journaling helped me (and continues to help me) process the things that show up
in my life in a way that words alone do not.

 

What artists do you look to for inspiration?

Juliana Coles, both her artwork and her visual
journaling process (and her spirit too) inspire me deeply. I’ve
taken three classes with her and they were the most meaningful art classes
I’ve ever experienced, both from an artistic standpoint and a personal
one. It’s difficult to put into words. Her focus is not on
pretty art, but the funny thing is, the pages I’ve done in her classes
are my favorite visually. I am also inspired by Karenann Young, Kristin
Smith, Traci Bunkers, Sabrina Ward Harrison, and really, **everyone** who has
work in the 1,000 Artist Journal Pages book – my copy is already
dogeared!

 

JeannineP2
Where do you journal?

I usually work in my studio space (a small room in my
house). It is my own dedicated space and its own kind of sanctuary.
I am happy and comfortable working there.

 

What are your favorite mediums to journal with?

I use old hardback books for my journals and I love to
work with paint, glazes, charcoal, Glaze and Souffle pens, tapes of all sorts,
images, colored pencils, and scraps of papers and printed items. I also
love to use Golden’s Absorbent Ground medium which turns any gesso-primed
surface into a watercolor paper-like surface. 

 

Describe your journaling process. Do you jump
around in your journal, or journal each consecutive page? Do you have to complete
a journal page before starting on others, or do you have several in different
stages? 

I work in one journal at a time, but I jump around on
the page spreads. This was hard for me to do after all my years of
written journaling where everything is done in strict chronological order, but
I’ve finally accepted that my visual journals are different animals and
need to be tended differently. I usually do a lot of visual work first,
then fill in with writing and found text. I generally work on five page
spreads at a time and flip back and forth between them until they are “done”
and then move on to the next set of five spreads. 

 

What other art forms do you partake in and how do
they influence your journaling and vice versa?

I do a lot of mixed media/collage stuff, like everyone
else. I’m sure that journaling and my more “formal”
collage work influence each other, but to me they are separate entities. My art journals feel like my true and authentic work because the process is so
freeing. When I’m working on “art” pieces (for
publication or shows) the work (to my eye) is more hesitant.

 

What do you recommend to those who want to start
journaling but aren’t sure how?

Just get started! You don’t need a fancy
journal. You don’t need to know what you’re going to do on
the page. Just show up with your willingness and a brave and open heart,
and get going. Open your journal and slap some paint down. Then
glue something on top of that. Keep going. If you get bored with
it, turn to a new page and start again. If you don’t like what you
did, paint over it. Stick with it. Eventually (and it may take a while,
don’t give up) you will get into your own groove. It’s all
about expression, not perfection. You can’t do it wrong.

 

JeannineP3
What has journaling done for you personally?

Keeping a journal provides a vessel for all the
thoughts, feelings, and experiences I carry with me. I’m very
introspective and used to think this was a negative character trait.
Journaling is actually one of the most positive things I can do for
myself. I’m able to understand things better and release the icky
stuff instead of holding on too tightly and letting things fester, and it also helps
me commemorate the good stuff.  

 

Journaling seems to be trendy right now—do
you see yourself journaling long after the fad is gone? Why or why not?

I’ll always journal. Thanks to the English
teachers at my high school who instilled the habit, I will never give up
journaling—written or visual. Journaling is a part of who I am,
no matter what the rest of the world may or may not think trendy or cool. If you’re journaling only because it’s trendy and cool,
you’re missing the point.

 

What do you see for the future of art journaling?

I see more people giving art journaling a try, which
is a great and wonderful thing! I hope people will be encouraged to enjoy
the process and develop their own way of working and then sharing their work
with the rest of us. Sharing our pages, sharing our lives helps us see
each other as individuals instead of as labels or stereotypes. At the
same time, we see how much we all have in common as human beings.  I’m a believer in the power of art journaling! And hopefully
we’ll see 1,000 MORE Artist Journal Pages on bookshelves soon!

***************

Thanks so much, Jeannine!

And if any of you would like to see more of Jeannine’s work, go to her blog or pick up a copy of 1000 Artist Journal Pages...If you don’t have a copy, click on the Amazon link at the top of the right-hand column...


Have a

GREAT

weekend!

(BTW: This type sizing thing is all out of whack...my apologies since I don't know HTML well enough to fix it...I’ve tried what I thought would work, but it’s not cooperating...)


AJF Q&ADawn Sokol3 Comments