A Living Journal

Journal Lessons

It’s been well over 2 years since I started ‘formally’ journalling and it has been a thoroughly interesting journey.

I started off with a (writing) Poetry journal in the form of a Visual Arts ring-bound A5 book and an A5 Moleskine Watercolour journal then in my next journal, a Paper Mill A4 with Ivory sheets, I combined the two interests.

On the writing Poetry front, I noticed that my Lamy Safari Fountain Pen’s nib now writes a bit rough after using it on 110 gsm paper. I won’t make this mistake again.

The Paper Mill Journal seemed like a great option at the time as it would hold Watercolour but was smooth enough to write on with a Fountain Pen. The one thing that kept gnawing at me though was that the paper was too smooth for Watercolour.

I’ve also tried a Strathmore A5 190 gsm Watercolour Visual Journal which was ok though I think I prefer the Moleskine A5 200 gsm.

I now write my Poetry on normal paper that is contained within an A4 Journal that is approx. 3.0cm thick and it works rather well and have been utilising both the A5 and A4 Moleskine Watercolour Journals of late.

It would be so nice to find ‘a one Journal fits everything’ though so far I have not seen anything that will fit the bill, short of making my own Journal.

I’m sure that I will try a home-made one in time. I’ve seen examples where people have ripped out the pages of a book and repurposed the cover for their home-made journal. Being a book lover I would find this extremely hard to do so I would have to make the covers myself as well.

I have a few commitments that end on 30 June this year and plan to spend a little more time investigating in a home-made journal then, so till that time, I will keep experimenting.

Have you found a Journal that meets all your needs?

Written by David Johnson
March 2020

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Paper Mill Journal (Ivory Pages)

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Poetry Journal (Normal Paper)

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Strathmore A5 190 gsm

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Moleskine A5 & A4 200 gsm

Watercolour Sketch A Day Continues…

Back on Australia Day, 26 January 2019, I decided to do a Watercolour Sketch a Day, mainly because I was inconsistent in getting to actually paint. I wanted to learn Watercolour and would do a small one, then life would intervene and before I knew it, another couple of weeks had passed and so on…

As of today (Day 127) I have done 127 Watercolour Sketches in a row. It continues to be fun and has become a kind of therapy and it helps me escape into my own little world and away from digital technology, as digital seems to have pervaded into most areas of our lives. I find it quite meditative and am thoroughly enjoying this journey of fun and learning!

Currently, I have about 3 sketchbooks going. One is a Paper Mill A4 heavier Ivory paper (that sadly the manufacturer has advised is now unavailable), a Moleskine Watercolour A5 Journal (200gsm) and an A4 (120gsm) hardcover Journal.

With the Paper Mill Journal being unavailable, I think that I will have a go at building my own. More on that in another post.

I use Cotman Watercolour Half-Pans, Aqua Wash (mainly) and some conventional brushes and Staedtler Pigment Liners and Derwent pencils.

For now, here is a selection of my Watercolour Sketches since Day 67.

Written by David Johnson
1 June 2019

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Day 67 – Peppers Manor House Woodshed

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Day 72 – Bark

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Day 84 – Contemplation

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Day 86 – Paperbark & Grass

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Day 91 – Park Stairway

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Day 92 – Afternoon Church

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Day 100 – Gouldian Finch

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Day 110 – Wyangala Waters

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Day 114 – Erosion

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Day 119 – Point Pigeon Lighthouse

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Day 124 – Lighthouse

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Day 127 – River Reflections

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