Journal Pages: Just Ink and Lines

Art journals right now are filled with color–each page is painted, layered, inked, stamped, collaged. It’s a wonderful, colorful looks that makes books thick with color. It’s lovely if you are in a studio surrounded by equipment. But what if you are just sitting somewhere, with a pen and a journal? Right now, I’m exploring a minimalist approach in raw-art journaling. I’m researching pen and ink artists–both Japanese, Chinese, Indian, and American. There is a lot to explore.  I want to design a page so there is room for words and images, using as little as possible in the way of design. I want to leave room for writing. Below is a sunrise landscape I tried with a Micron marker, leaving lots of room for writing. Maybe I’ll add color later.

02 Black Micron on Co-Mo sketch paper 80 lb.

Almost none of my journal pages show people. I know right now it’s popular to have long-necked, big-eyed women gazing out from journal pages. Again, in this minimalist phase I’m in, I want to explore the suggestion of people, creating spaces inside the image outlines to write. I like the idea of an outline holding my thoughts. I like the idea of hinting at the spiritual aspect of people by just suggesting a form, and letting imagination flood in.

Figure of woman with writing, Micron pen on Co-Mo paper, 80-lb.

–Quinn McDonald is working on chapter 6 of her book, Raw Art Journaling: Making Meaning, Making Art. She’s thinking this idea of suggesting lines is a good way to explore more depth of what is said, or unsaid.