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.

5 thoughts on “Journal Pages: Just Ink and Lines

  1. I love the simplicity of these! I find these illustrations to be much more though-provoking than those with layer, upon layer, of color. These remind me a little bit of some of the base illustrations of Japanese woodblock prints. Thank you for your inspriration!

    • I’m keeping them as lean as i can. I tried some color washes, and some are too much. Stay tuned for images that I’ve worked out. And you are absolutely right, they are based on Asian woodblocks and ink drawings. I’m finding them deeply satisfying.

  2. I love this idea. I, too, get so tired of those ladies with the “broken necks” although I occasionally draw them too. I absolutely love these though. I really want to work in pen and ink and look forward to more of your inspiration.

  3. I LOVE these. The first one holds so much promise in its hint of the new day. And I’ve never been one to have people in any of my art, but the hint of human presence – now that is very appealing. I’ve been working on some minimalist photographs of landscapes. It’s surprisingly hard to capture what you want with just the basics. Maybe we are steered towards the more detail oriented, more to look at, more to keep us busy, everything given to us, so we don;t have to supply any details using our minds.

    I really love these, Quinn. Simply simple, mind-opening.

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