I love art books, whether they show one artist’s production or whether they are “how-to” books with lots de demos. They are highly visual and colorful. And they are usually inspiring.
This is certainly the case with Jeanne Oliver’s book. She demonstrates her approach to visual journaling with many different tools and mediums and encourages her reader to experiment. There are two very distinctive aspects to this book, and they are in the definition of “journal”. On the one hand, a journal is not necessarily a daily account of events and thoughts. On the other hand, a journal is not necessarily what fits into the book format.
The book format is indeed present in her process of journaling. She even suggests building your own book with a variety of paper textures and binding it yourself. But she also uses a wall display to gather pictures, artifacts and other visuals that could be used in the composition of book pages or spreads, or in other ways.
The journal, as she uses it, is more a chronicle or memoirs, representing multiple aspects of one’s life, encounters, and events. The topic to be developed or the story that one wishes to tell can be done at any point in time, using all the means at one’s disposal.
Although the author uses a great variety of mediums, all this can be done with a minimal amount of spending on art materials.
The Painted Art Journal is a very good resource for anyone wishing to embark on a project of self-discovery and personal chronicle using mixed media. It breaks down the barriers between text and image, and opens up all possibilities for self-expression.
Oliver, Jeanne. The Painted Art Journal. North Light Books, 2018.
Will be available in early July. Thanks to North Light Books for making this book available for review on Net Galley.