Creative Journalling and Bookmaking

Aglow & happy 
(c) Deb Chaney 2008
9 x 11 " Acrylics on unmounted canvas pad
Original Available
Journalling has been a fundamental part of my art making process for years, well over 10 if I was counting. Morning Pages, free writing, making lists, circle exercise, some of which I discuss in a chapter on journalling in the Little Inspiration Book. But as artist I think its natural to want to push boundaries, explore new mediums and technique and try new things. So after writing and collage and painting and sketching I've been itching to explore book making for a while.
Last year I had the opportunity to attend a workshop with Sabrina Ward Harrison where I met a retired lawyer and artist & book maker - Eris Wagner who was also attending the workshop. Her hand made journal was incredibly beautiful, textured and detailed with thick heavy weight paper she'd glued into an old accounting ledger book and discard photographs she'd glued in, gessoed over and then scraped over so that you saw sneak peaks of the photos and got a faded antique feel. Her journal captivated me so I wrote her and asked her about the process of making it and how I could learn more. 
Here's what she wrote;
"I learned most of my bookmaking skills from Sheeren LaPlantz who died from cancer about 5 yrs. ago. Her books, which are widely available (Amazon) are a good place to start to learn book making.  She goes over all the basics.  Like any art, there's no substitiute for just doing it---practicing over and over...

San Francisco Center for the Book has a nice range of classes and I took a number of them when I lived in northern California. I'm sure there is a Book Guild or other resource in your area that offers basic bookmaking classes.

There are TONS of books available on book arts...I actually learn better from books than anything else....

Another good resource is

Check out the links and then join the listserve and read the posts. If you have any questions you can post them---like "Where is a good basic bookmaking workshop in my area?" [Deb notes that in Vancouver, book making is offered at
Emily Carr University]

From that list, I learned that the
LA Book Arts Center is closing
. Too bad....but I know there's plenty of things happening in Southern California. You might ask Carol Parks..."
Thank you Eris!