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Cathy Johnson's
Keeping an Artist's Journal!

WATCH THIS SPACE for the new semester date! Meanwhile, please feel free to ask to be on our waiting list ... write kate@cathyjohnson.info.

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Keeping a journal allows us to capture the days and moments as they speed by, celebrate our lives -- our families and friends, our pets, travels, observations and more -- create a lasting record you will treasure forever. I often use my journals as a timeline to help me remember what year we went to the desert first, or when I saw the first pileated woodpecker and where, or what that little Italian restaurant in Parkville looked like.

Your journal can be as simple or as elaborate as you want to make it -- some artist's journals are works of art in themselves! Yours can be that, or a place to make quick sketches and studies, or even a place to integrate all the pieces of your life -- mine contains grocery lists, phone numbers, business cards and more, along with my sketches and paintings.

In fact, it is whatever you want it to be. It's up to you to decide, and make it happen...

I've kept journals of this sort -- constantly evolving, I'll admit -- for over 30 years, and they'd be among the first things I'd rescue if I had to evacuate! They help me remember, but more than that, to re-experience and celebrate the moments of my life. Who I was with, what was happening, what sights and sounds and scents filled that moment even if I didn't make note of them. It's magic!

Sketch, paint, or even collage in your journal -- draw your pets or children, keep a travel sketchbook, plan future paintings, study nature, ask questions, celebrate your days, express your imagination - use what you learn in this online class in all these ways and more.

And as always, feedback from the instructor and the other students is a vital part of our classes. Ask questions -- or answer them! You're an important part of the process.

We'll explore tools and materials, getting acquainted with what they'll do - or for the old hands out there, just loosening up. We'll learn how to make several types of simple journals so you can have just the paper you like to work on! Best of all, we'll discover new eyes to see with, and new ways of expressing ourselves on paper.

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This will be a 5-lesson class, this time -- a way to kick off what may be a lifetime of enjoyment. Class size will be limited.

Note: We usually utilize a somewhat flexible schedule to allow for holidays, as well as my outside deadlines or travel. Students have appreciated the extra time allows for exploration and discussion! Click here for online group.

$100 covers the entire course -- everything but supplies. You'll find a list of suggested supplies for the course in our Files section, but if you have a preference, that's fine!

Interactive Classes:

Click here for watercolor class.
Click here for watercolor pencil class.
Click here for watercolor pencil mini-class.
Click here for drawing and sketching class.
Click here for creating textures in watercolor class.
Click here for keeping an artist's journal.

These classes are covered by copyright; lessons are password-protected, so please keep your password handy!


This time the syllabus will be a bit more casual! It's a brand new class, and I'm letting it unfold, to a degree. Here is a rough outline of things we will be covering ... perhaps in this order, perhaps not!

Week 1 - Exploring what YOU want and expect, plus practical matters like materials and supplies

• Deciding on what to use - what will your actual journal be
• Journal types and preferences
• Other suggested materials and supplies

And more importantly,

• What do you want from your journal, and from the class?
• What will go into your journal?
• Two simple make-your-own journals + one to grow on
• Exercises
• Class feedback
• Exercises and assignments

For fun, we will have a poll on what you expect or want from your journal, on our class page

Week 2 - Exploring Types of Journals

• Trying out different forms and uses
• Daily journal
• Travel journal
• Memories
• Dreams
• 10 things
• Integrating your Life
• Questions, answers, and suggestions
• Class feedback
• Exercises and assignments

Week 3 - Techniques

• Drawing-pencils, ink
• Watercolor
• Brushwork-pocketbrush, Chinese brush paintings, etc.
• Watercolor pencils
• Elements of Collage
• Ways to design your pages
• Questions, answers, and suggestions
• Class feedback
• Exercises and assignments

Week 4 - Putting it to work

• Integrating your favorite techniques--deciding, mixed media, it's up to you
• Discovering what's become important to YOU about journaling
• Developing more fully what YOU want to do
• Questions, answers, and suggestions
• Class feedback
• Exercises and assignments

Week 5 - Wrapping it up

• Thinking about journaling
• Finding time
• Making time
• Journal grids
• Composite pages
• Developing a habit
• Answering questions and making suggestions
• Class feedback
• Exercises and assignments

The important thing about a journal is that it is YOUR journal...it becomes what you want and need. No one else can really tell you what should go into it, or how to do it-you learn new things, try out new ideas or concepts or techniques, and develop your own path.

As always, questions and answers are welcome. Online, class-time feedback is an integral part of these classes-it benefits everyone since several people may have the same concern, If you have a particular problem or challenge, please ask, and we'll address it, with lots of give and take.

And again, we'll put up a poll that will allow you to see how your journal actually turned out - as you expected, differently, how?