Art Journaling With Anna

A couple weeks ago I was browsing Instagram and came across an art journaling video on Liz Lamoreux's feed. She was just doing her thing, finding joy in the journey, and I thought to myself that I really wanted to offer this kind of activity to any of the kids around here and do some myself. 

I jumped on Amazon and ordered four watercolor journals (for me, Anna, Audrey, and potentially Isaac and if Simon and Elliot are interested I'll order some more), watercolors, and pen sets

Sometimes we really have to act on those impulses.

They've been sitting on our big living room table for a week or so waiting for the "right" time or for someone to ask about them. 

Actually last night started out with Anna wanting to watch a movie while Simon was at Boy Scouts. After being reminded by Aaron, I reminded her that we were trying to stick to our screen time limits (one hour per day on school days) and maybe we could just go take a bath and read (something she still likes to do with me). And then I looked over on the table and saw the supplies and asked her if she wanted to work in an art journal instead and she agreed. 

I wanted this first experience to be really simple and fun. I got out my computer and we looked through Liz's feed so she could get an idea of what I was talking about and I suggested that we just copy some of the techniques that Liz showed. That is so totally the best way to begin. I went upstairs and grabbed some washi tape and a jar of water from the kitchen and we got started. 

I honestly can't tell you the last time I just played like that without any end result in mind. It was so great. 

We looked up art quotes on Pinterest and Anna picked one to add to her first page. You can hear her read it on my "Art Journal" save Instagram story

I love that it was something we did together. I love that it was simple. I love that there are so many lessons inherent in this practice - especially embracing imperfection. I will welcome any activity that enables me to easily slip that into the conversation (always a good reminder for myself). 

We talked about colors and how much water to use (or not use) and sticky washi tape and pen sizes and we made stuff just to make it. 

The best way to end the day.

I'm looking forward to this as a regular evening/weekend activity and seeing who else around here might want to participate. Starting with just pens and watercolors is an easy way to begin and we might branch out from there. 

PS // I just looked in my archives and the last time I posted something about art journaling was in 2011. I used to incorporate it a bit more into what I was doing and then I think that life + work got in the way. 

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16 thoughts

  1. lauracwonsik says…
    05/02/2018

    This is so fun! I will be interested to see how/if you incorporate the finished products into memory keeping. Yay for new experiences! (Tell Anna she is totally talented, too!)

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. northcarmen says…
    05/02/2018

    I think this is something I would like to try with my Sara - she is a year younger than your girls, but very artsy, so it could work as a joint project. Thanks for the inspiration, Ali. :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. MaggieR says…
    05/02/2018

    I can’t express my love for this enough! My kiddo (6 1/2) and I have “summer journals” that we draw in and document nature and what we see while school is out but I’m totally going to introduce this. It will be as good for my soul as it will be for hers! Thanks, Ali!

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Mmshughes says…
    05/02/2018

    I love this! My daughter is just 3 but she already loves to use watercolors and loves when I sit down with her. This would be perfect for us!

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. erinkmckay says…
    05/02/2018

    I have been "arting" with my daughter since she was about 3 - she's 22 now. We started with scrapbooking, photos, and stickers, and now we both do One Little Word, have planner/memory books, art journal and do paint nites both out and in. It's an amazing way to connect with your children and from that life long bond. So many wonderful conversations have arisen and life's challenges resolved over a jar of water and a pan of water colors or palette of acrylics.

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. KathyDavis says…
    05/02/2018

    This is so sweet... Love spending time like this with the grandkids, and seeing what comes up in the conversation. So sad for me that two of our kids had to move their families out of state due to the cost of living in California. These are the moments that won't happen without extended, relaxed time ~ I am happy for your family, but sad for mine.

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Lwills54 says…
    05/02/2018

    So so fun!!! Can’t wait to do with my grandson!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. cherienz says…
    05/03/2018

    I would be in. I call it visual journaling these days as I always hesitate to call myself an art journaller. But my daughter is now 14 and she loves to draw, paint and do stuff. Nowadays more on her laptop, but I want to keep the 'real' stuff happening I am a mix of journaling/scrapbooking so love to see you get back to this.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Mel_12 says…
    05/03/2018

    Well, your link to the 2011 post took me down memory lane as I'm sure it did for you. I've been here a while! I loved your posts like that. This is a great reminder that crafty-ness tends to cycle round again but also do it! Like you say sometimes you have to act. Glad you acted and shared here. Keep up the great work as always. x

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. MrsKnight says…
    05/03/2018

    Bam. Done deal. Thanks for the "doing" inspiration and the link to Liz for "how-to" inspiration! Summer Manifesto books here we come!

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. AmeliaWoodbridge says…
    05/03/2018

    Love the picasso quote! I've been trying to learn some about watercolor to use in backgrounds for my scrapbook projects...it's fun to paint :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. CarolynMarnon says…
    05/03/2018

    Anna looks so grown up in this photo. I took a class where we learned something similar to your first pages, but we filled in the colored areas with doodles. That might be a simple way for Anna to expand on that "first" lesson and take it a step further.

    I hope you will share more art journalling!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. iHanna says…
    05/14/2018

    Great spreads Anna & Ali. Art journaling is one of my favorite things in the WORLD. :-) Everyone can do it, and it's so much fun.

    /iHanna
    http://www.ihanna.nu

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. northwind says…
    06/07/2018

    I consider this a wonderful pastime with the child.
    We, too, sometimes devote evenings to the drawing, reading, or writing various topics.
    In drawing the nature, perhaps the most difficult thing was to explain to the child what the prospect is, I showed photos, drawing attention to the size of the objects in the foreground of the picture and the size of similar objects in the background.
    But even more difficult is writing a mini-essays on a certain topic.
    When you need to freely express your thoughts and feelings.

    Susan Miller,
    here is my blog
    https://essayshark.com/blog/check-out-an-awesome-speech-on-happiness-sample/

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. beezervanessa1 says…
      06/07/2018

      Try to describe the pictures of artists in your essays, this is very attractive, so you try to guess what story he wanted to tell.

  15. fannyathome says…
    09/11/2018

    Hi Ali! Could I get actual link for Liz's video vs. her instagram account? I see several videos in her account and I'm not sure which one inspired you. If you don't mind. Thank you!!
    We've been playing with this this morning!

    Reply 0 Replies

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