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Inspired by…Books!

June 22, 2011

Oh, man.  I love books.  I should have know that they could be the cure to my artist’s block.  On my last trip to Barnes and Noble, I came home with a whole pile of them.  And I’ve, slowly and steadily, been able to do a bit of work after being inspired by them.  Yay!


So, what am I reading right now?

  • Painted Pages by Sarah Ahearn Bellemare
  • The Journey is the Destination:  The Journals of Dan Eldon
  • The Creative License by Danny Gregory
  • Drawing Nature:  a Journal by Julie Bliss

So, let’s start with Dan Eldon.  Wow, I have been reading art journaling blogs for a couple years, and I’ve never really seen anyone mention Dan Eldon.  I actually heard about him from the book The Journal Junkies Workshop.  Dan Eldon was a journalist–and art journalist–who traveled all over the world.  His journals are so amazing, and so is his story.  There is so much eye candy in this book!  Any art journaler would love it (but be prepared to have your heart broken–Dan’s story does not have a happy ending).  Most of his work is collage, and of course it made me want to drag out the scissors and glue stick.



Collage is always my favorite way to get myself out of a funk.  It is simple, stress free, and you can do it anywhere.

I have also wanted to start adding more sketches to my journal.  When I came across the Danny Gregory book it seemed like exactly what I was looking for to help me start a sketch diary.  This book is great.  It walks you through, step by step, and shows you how to start drawing, but isn’t overbearing.  It’s hard to explain.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that it will tell you how to draw, but it gives you plenty of room to create your own style.  After I picked up this book, I found the Drawing Nature journal and it seemed like a perfect place for me to try out the exercises from Creative License.  In the front of the Nature journal there are several exercises to help you get started sketching, and then the rest is blank pages with a really pretty border and helpful prompts on each page.  Of course, it is meant to be all about drawing nature, but it’s far too hot and icky and mosquito-y here to try that, so I’ve just been sketching household items.  Here are the first few things I drew:


I am trying to sketch a little everyday and hopefully my drawing skills will improve.

And then we have Painted Pages.  This book is also full of gorgeous eye candy!  There are tons of simple exercises to get your Spark going.  One thing I really liked was the two-minute prompt exercise.  There are several prompts in the back of the book.  You cut them out and then pick one at random and do it for two minutes, then pick another and go another two minutes and so on.  I did each side of the spread below in 10 minutes.  I really love them!


So, that’s what has been inspiring me lately!


What’s on your mixed media bookshelf?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 22, 2011 6:27 pm

    I don’t have any art book but I feel super inspired by the pages you posted here! I think I might get one of them 🙂 They’re all so different and sound truly funny!

  2. June 22, 2011 8:04 pm

    i’ve always wanted to get the dan eldon book. i think it was out of stock when i tried to get it a while ago. you have such beautiful, beautiful pages! love the collaged ones.

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