So, I have a subscription to W magazine, because it’s oversized, the subscription is cheap (like $1 and issue cheap last time I signed up), and it’s filled with fashion and beauty ads, which are always good gluebook and collage fodder. A while back, when I had just finished my book for The Sketchbook Project, and my brain was a little fried, I tore out some of the ads that were just enormous faces, and took them to my local art group meeting. Instead of journaling, I doodled on the faces with some Copic Multiliners. (These are not the Copic pens everyone is so gaga over right now. They’re the skinny, black inking pens with different sized nibs. I like 0.80 and BS nibs, for those of you playing along.) I ended up with three or four really cool looking doodled pages. They sat around on my filing cabinet for a few weeks.

Then, I started the Gluebooks group on Facebook, as sort of a more social, interactive cousin to the long-running Gluebooks group on Yahoo. I had to post a few tidbits to get people talking there, so on a whim, I scanned one of the doodles, and shared it with the group on Facebook. They liked it.

Great. I have a pile of doodles that I like, and other people like. Now what?

At about the same time, I discovered the wonders of Skype, thanks to the ladies in my dark circle journal project. We’ve been calling each other once a week, doing video chats, which initially sounded a little crazy to me, but has turned into a wonderful way to connect with other artists more regularly. I flashed some of my doodles there. I also got into a conversation with one of the women about these big, fat, lovely journals we both had purchased, but hadn’t worked in yet, because they were just so pretty. You know, that “oh, I can’t work in this because I might ruin it” thing? We both had it. And we both promised to get over it, and bust open our pretty journals, and do some real work in them.

So, a few days later, I posted this:

Yeah. I’m not kidding. This book is huge. When open, the pages measure 15×20 inches. But that’s pretty perfect in terms of scale for the big doodles I’ve been doing.

(Totally off the subject, I sort of love this photo, because it shows you what’s going on outside that empty space you always see me photographing when I do step-by-step instructions for something. There’s an 18 inch square of empty table, surrounded by mounds of utter chaos. And that never changes, even when I tidy up. There are layers of stuff laying on either end of the table, from projects I did months or even years ago. I kind of like it that way.)

Anyway, this is the start of my next journal project. This time, I’m doing a book that will stay home when it’s finished, and there’s no deadline. I can just work in it whenever I want. The first few pages will be this sort of thing:

Big doodles on magazine pages, stuck to the page, and then collaged with pieces of my photos, and prettied up with paints, pastels, charcoal pencil, stencils, and pens. I’m learning to mix my media more. That was what I took away from Traci Bautista’s class at Strathmore, which is still posted if you want to view the videos and flip through the class materials. I didn’t connect with the type of journaling Traci does, but I did learn a lot in terms of how she uses various media in her pieces. For me, that’s a successful class experience—I came away with something new to explore, even if I don’t follow the exact steps. Maybe you’ll learn something there, too.

So. New journal project. Look for more pages in the coming weeks. Yay!