Paper Stacks: Origins of Raw Art Journaling

Journals, hand-made and purchased, from my studio.© Quinn McDonald

Over at Altered Pages, Seth Apter had a great idea: On September 21, 2011, post your stack of journals, handmade journals, artwork–whatever you stack up in your studio. An inveterate piler, I loved this idea. Things filed neatly away disappear from my memory, but a good stack of journals and papers is a searchable treasure. Check his website today for a list of links to participating artists and their stacks.

In my stack (above, a fraction of what’s in the studio), is a copy of my book, Raw Art Journaling: Making Meaning, Making Art. I included it because it had its origins in stacks of work. And so did the name. Raw art is the work you do with your hands and heart. It might be outsider art, if you consider Jean Dubuffet’s definition of outsider art: “Dubuffet’s concept of Art Brut. . . was of works that were in their “raw” state, uncooked by cultural and artistic influences.” When we make art that delights us and helps us understand our lives, our journey, ourselves in our culture–that art is raw art. Full of raw emotion, alive with raw meaning. It is not art made to suit an audience, it is not perfection assembled from a kit. It is made with emotion, wonder and discovery.

After years of teaching collage, art journaling, card making, I had stacks of work

Same stack, different angle.

in the studio. Sifting through it, I found small treasures, pieces of experiments, scraps of memory that I could feel over again, pieces that were precious to me because they represented a flash of understanding of who I am and what I was called to do. The beginning of raw art is discovery, the middle is understanding. There is no end.

Please join me at Antigone Books,  411 N. 4th Ave. in Tucson at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, September 23rd for an informal talk, making a permission slip and book signing. Bring your colored pencils and questions about Raw Art.

–Quinn McDonald hopes to see you at Antigone books on Friday evening.

38 thoughts on “Paper Stacks: Origins of Raw Art Journaling

  1. Quinn,
    It’s always very intriguing to get an inside view of where something significant got its start. I love how when you go through things that you’ve worked with in the past through the process toward that significant something, you see glimpses of who you are and what you are called to do. It just verifies and validates the authenticity of what you do; and that’s always a good feeling!

    I have chosen your post, Paper Stacks: Origins of Raw Art Journaling, for the #JournalChat Pick of the Day for all things journaling on Twitter. I will post a link on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, my blog and website, Refresh with Dawn Herring, and in Refresh Journal:

    You’re welcome to join us for #JournalChat Live on Twitter on Thursdays at 4 CST/2 PST for all things journaling; this week’s topic is using our journals to emphasize our power and strengths.

    Thanks again for this inside view of your Journaling life purpose.

    Be refreshed,
    Dawn Herring
    JournalWriter Freelance
    Host of #JournalChat Live and Links Edition on Twitter

    • Thanks Dawn.I didn’t know about the group and I’m glad you stopped by and told me. I’ll be working tomorrow at 2, but I sure would like to jump in. Thanks for letting me know where your blog is; now I want to stop by.

  2. What a fun looking, teeter-tottering stack you’ve made. I think our stacks are an interesting reflection of ourselves, and you seem to be quite comfortable balancing a lot of different things!

  3. PS (Here is my reply to your comment but I didn’t have your email so I’m leaving it here…
    LOL! Thanks quinncreative! Don’t feel bad, AFTER I POSTED these pictures, I realized…in a way…this isn’t a stack AT ALL. HAHAHA! )

  4. Wow…I sure wish I Could join you at Antigone. I’ll have to look for your book on Amazon…because your definition of raw art is pretty precisely how I approach and make art. I just do it for the love and fun of doing it and when someone else loves it…it kind of blows me away! Thanks for your comment on my blog. You gave me a good laugh!

  5. great stack, and wonderful post to go with it! I always appreciate the mention of artists who have made huge contributions to our artistic progress, such as DuBuffet. lovely…

  6. What a great stack and post Quinn. First I love the fact that the stack looks like it should topple but is actually steady and solid. I also love that you included your own book and described the origins of ‘raw’ in the post. Thanks!

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