Art journaling has become rote: You paint several backgrounds first, then design and layer stencils, paint, collage, and words later. Move on. There is charm in free-slapping paint and words. You can also be precise with color and words, like Teesha Moore, whom I admire greatly for meticulous design.
Long a fan of writing-only journals, I still prefer to work out thoughts and emotions one page at a time. Without the constriction of a completed background color that no longer matches my emotion. If I work on several pages at once, they are all free-standing, drying in peace, without waxed paper.
Free-standing pages give you emotional and creative freedom. You can gather and sort at leisure. If you use 5-inch by 7-inch watercolor paper (A5 or A6 work just as well) you can also use them as postcards. (Use regular letter postage in the U.S.) The stamp and postage mark add charm and a certain amount of wear, making your thoughts look well-used.
I belong to an international postcard exchange (Postcrossing) and send about 30 postcards a month. People post their requests, hoping you will send a theme or style of postcard. Some people request no handmade or art postcards, and I honor that request. One person requested postcards with butterflies, and I made one, only to notice she didn’t want handmade cards. I had addressed it already, so gesso to the rescue. But that meant not sending it to someone in the exchange. I decided to send it to . . .myself. I wouldn’t mind the gesso’d over spot.
Getting a postcard is completely different than turning a journal page and reading. Grabbing your mail and sorting it has a mindset of grumpy bill paying, tossing out, getting the chore over with.
Discovering a postcard with a personal message is the equivalent of slamming on the brakes before you pass the store you’ve been looking for. You see and feel the message in a completely different mindset–one of vulnerability and surprise. What better time to get a message you need?
—Quinn McDonald designs free-standing pages, postcards, and containers to hold them. She is teaching these postcards in Tucson on September 22, 2013.