Our June meeting of the Visual Journal Collective was our annual build your summer reading list event, where members bring in an art or journal related book to share and something that they created inspired by the book. It was a great meeting with many new to me titles and a handful of interesting YouTube channels to check out this summer while you are relaxing and creating.
Tom W shared with us a collection of YouTube channels on life drawing, bookbinding, and plien air painting that he has found to be informative and entertaining. Here are his top six channels to check out:
- James Gurney Channel. James Gurney is a professional illustrator; he has many short videos grouped by topic on sketching in watercolor, gouache, casein, and sketching on location.
- Proko. Proko is a channel with many videos on life drawing and anatomy for artists. All are quite nicely done, some are available free and others are sold as premium with more instruction and information.
- New Master’s Academy. This seems to be an online art academy with paid passes and online classes. Tom recommended the timed life drawing sessions (both nude and clothed options available) in addition to some free instructional videos.
- Bookbinder’s Chronicle : A professional bookbinder with videos on traditional binding techniques, also has a blog of the same name, bookbinderschronicle.blogspot
- Sage Reynolds: another professional bookbinder with book and box related videos
- Peter Baumgartner: Lots of bookbinding related videos.
Marsha M brought in John James Audubon’s “Birds of America” along with her wonderful and ongoing journal project to recreate the illustrations of all the Minnesota birds in her Kona paper sketchbook using a limited color palette. Her bird drawings are wonderful and it is interesting to see the project as it progresses each month.
Theresa H says that children’s books are a frequent source of inspiration for her. She finds the interesting layered and collaged illustrations by Dave McKean in the book “The Day I Swapped my Dad for 2 Goldfish” to be particularly exciting. She found that she began to try and layer found sheets, images, paint, and text in her journal like the multilayered images in the book. Theresa also finds fellow group member Briana’s fearless work in color, mark making, and pattern to be inspiring
Mary shared a “Pictographic Index 1” by Hans Lijklema with interviews of graphic designers and examples of their work. As a graphic designer herself she finds this sort of book interesting and inspiring for her job and exciting to cut apart and use in her journal later because she finds them in the sale bin at Half Price Books and likes to reuse the images after she has finished reading the book.
Carina brought in “An Illustated Life” by Danny Gregory. She says the different styles of drawing and journal keeping to be freeing when she is feeling stuck in her own work.
Gail shared “A World of Artist Journal Pages” by Dawn Sokol. She says she loves paging through and seeing all the different pages especially since they are more art journal page than sketchbook page. And she freely admits that the idea of drawing more is possible but no really her thing.
Molly also shared the same artist journal pages book as Gail, which she says is always a favorite because she can look through the pages, see something she knows she can do, and be excited to try it in her own work. Molly had several other books (see images below) with her to share, being a self-admitted art book enthusiast.
Molly also shared examples from her index card a day project that she is working on. Her layered colors and visual textures are wonderful.
Jean S showed us the quirky illustrations and philosophical text in the book “The Principles of Uncertainty” by Myra Kalman. She finds inspiration in the fearless drawing style and inclusions of deep writing. She shared examples from her own journal where a quirky image is paired with text.
Briana G has been exploring mark making and is beginning to feel drawn into textile art as her next thing, which is very exciting. Her playful use of color and bold mark making pattern will make delightful fabrics and textile art. Her book recommendations reflect her shift toward textiles and exploration of pattern and fabrics. Her book list included: “Intentional Printing” by Lynn Krawczyk for its detailed information on printing techniques for fabrics, “Drawn to Stitch” by Gwen Headley, and “Creating Sketchbooks for Embroiderers” by Kay Greenlees. She has also been following the work of Dorothy Caldwell, a textile artist, online.
Manida has been revisiting a book that she has had on the shelf for a while and using it to help her build a new website and online store to sell her work. She recommends “The Handmade Marketplace” by Kari Chapin. The book goes into the business side of selling your art or crafts online. It contains information on pricing, including useful formulas to help you arrive at a price that covers your costs and gives you a profit, website construction and layout, forming your company, navigating the online marketplace, and marketing your work.
She also recommended “Etsy-preneurship” by Jason Malinak. His book goes into information on turning your handmade goods into a thriving Etsy business with a focus on the business side. He covers taxes, managing money, bookkeeping tasks, and other topics related to making a thriving business out of your creative work. There is also a website by the same name with tips and tools on creating an Etsy business that is successful from your art. Some of the information is free but Mr. Malinak is also running a business and his site reminds you frequently (with irritating popups) that with payment or membership you can get more of his information.
You can check out all the work Manida has been doing on her site here.
My recommendation for the group was “Making Color Sing” by Jeanne Dobbie. I love her information on color mixing, how well she shows that white is never white, and her use of neutrals in a painting. She also has tutorials and good/bad examples on value use and composition which are very helpful whether your are making a painting or a journal page.
I hope you find a book or two that you may want to check out for yourself. I know I am waiting for my library requests to come in so I can explore some of these great finds in person, and I am sure several of these will find a way onto my studio book shelf soon.
Our July meeting is coming up fast. We have two possible topics right now as I am still waiting to hear back from a potential guest speaker. More news to follow soon.