Just a girl and her journal.....

Journals can be used for many things.  Some people track their appointments.  Some track their fitness/health goals.  Some function as to-do lists, enabling you to check off items as they are finished.  These are all wonderful ways to use a journal.

My journals, on the other hand, exist entirely to support my creative making.

I keep two journals.  The first one, the one I am writing about today, is used to record the day-to-day activity in my studio.  I track projects from start to finish, with sketches, fabric swatches and photos of the work in progress.  I include personal notes (for example, "I should have stayed in bed this morning" or "It is raining outside" or "Boomer wants his lunch") as well as critiques of each quilt as I work on it and as I finish it.  I call this journal my sketchbook, but it really is a journal of my quilting life.

I take lots of photos as I work on a piece, and I print them out on my small Canon photo printer.  I often use them to check values.  This piece, for example, was intended to grade from light to dark.   It was a pretty subtle gradation and easier to see in black and white:
I record dyeing experiments:
I keep track of inspiration pieces and the pieces I create from them:
I record the progress of each piece, along with critiques I have about them, during piecing and after completion:
I include sketches, often made while I am away from my studio and then glued into the sketchbook:
I sometimes paste swatches of fabric into my sketchbook.  This piece was a color chip challenge.  The chips (from a paint store) are in the right hand column, the fabrics I used are in the columns moving toward the right:
I also jot down ideas and/or make sketches for future pieces.  Things often occur to me as I’m working, ideas for the next piece in the series.

It preserves a history of my life as an artist.  I have a shelf in my studio with 14 sketchbooks stuffed to the brim with my work and my thoughts.  I occasionally pull one down and leaf through it’s pages.  They are records of my successes as well as my failures.  And sometimes a source of inspiration for future work.

The sketchbook has become an important part of my studio practice.  At the end of each day, I photograph the work on my design wall and tape the photo into my sketchbook, along with any notes for the next day's work.  It is my "end of the day" ritual, one I don't think I can do without.


Anonymous said…
Wow, great Heather! I wish I could do that!

Debi B.
Colleen Kole said…
Thanks for sharing Heather. I am having a hard time finding the wire bound journals. Love how you can fold it back and lay it flat. What brand are you using?

Happy New Year my friend. We need to plan another destination trip for 2019!
DonaleeK said…
Beautiful use of your journal. I do something like this too... but I'm not consistent. What I get a kick out of is going back and look through them later.
Thanks for the share!
LA Paylor said…
wow, very detailed! Interesting to look back and see where you've gone. I love to see a sketchbook, or a palette from the famous painters. you put almost as much effort into these as you do your work,