Vintage Art Journal 1

The end of 2023 gave me a big burst of energy to clean up my studio. In the midst of rearranging, I got off on a tangent and ended up making 22 handbound journals! The good news is I used a lot of paper that had accumulated so I didn’t have to find place to store it. A local artisan makes fabulous marbled papers and those finally found a home as the journal covers. The interior pages were a variety of cardstock, watercolor paper, and my printed papers from my stash.

This vintage art journal is close to my heart in two ways. The bindings are double sided tape covered with scraps of vintage vellum. The beautiful drawings are by Magda Mader- my beloved mentor. After her death, her family generously shared her artwork with her students. These vellum sheets were her working drawings for document ornamentation. Adding her art to my art was lovely. Secondly, the focus of each spread was a page from my own old work ledgers. After closing my business of 36 years, I decided to do a collage a day for 100 days to celebrate my new freedom. These yellowed, tattered pages represented a big part of my life. Creating new art from the old was very cathartic.

Each spread features at least one of these 100 collages and a variety of other art. Continuing with that studio cleaning, I reused old paintings, Artist Trading Cards, gel plate prints, and more. I love covering the floor with possibilities, choosing a group of things for each spread, then doing a deep edit to hone the composition. This journal took hours- moving parts, adding/subtracting, and then careful gluing for the final spread. Additional touches of Sennelier oil pastels and Daler Rowney acrylic ink added the final details. I really made an effort to keep the spreads clean and simple which is not my normal style. I loved the results and will explore this method more in future pieces.

Flipping through this vintage art journal is sweet and nostalgic. I remember my lessons with Mrs. Mader and the incredible education she gave me- both in art and life. I thought about the years I dedicated to my business. All the smeared ink and coffee stains got me here to a new life of artistic freedom.

Vintage Art Journal 18
Vintage Art Journal 2
Vintage Art Journal 4
Vintage Art Journal 7
Vintage Art Journal 10
Vintage Art Journal 11
Vintage Art Journal 13
Vintage Art Journal 15
Vintage Art Journal 6
Vintage Art Journal 14