Art quotes

"For the last 20 year period I've been working with ideas conceived as a child." -Red Grooms

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Keeping an Artist's Journal

Never be without your little pad. - Leonardo DaVinci

(Including samples of Joel Ellis art

Ok, I confess I do keep a journal. Well the thing keeps me on track in those moments of low inspiration. The goal is to record the activities of this very unusual journey through the creative process and yes, it is a big plus helping with the business part too.

Ephemeral Moment, sold at Shiawassee Art Center 

Everyone who uses a journal develops their own way  and purpose. Is it a record of the works produced or is it a commentary of the Times influencing the work? Working under the restrictions of a world-wide pandemic, for instance, may call for a lot of comments.  For me the art journal is a piece of evolution regarding my art, consequently, it has also been an ongoing process with many comments like, “darn, why didn’t I think of that sooner?’’ Each artist will develop their own style based on purpose. Here’s something to think about - along the way the journal itself may also be collected as art.

Autumn Dune Grasses, expressionism
Earth Cycle, an exercise in abstract

Here are some points for a record keeping journal that also turns into a business record.

  •             Create an art journal in a notebook that has a wide left hand margin to record several items, dated, about that piece of work. The entry on the more spacious right hand side should include a description and rough sketch of the piece.
  •             Develop an inventory numbering system for each piece of art - place it on the back of the actual work and in the left margin of the dated journal entry. 
  •             With the inventory #, dimensions, medium, here’s  the fun part - when sold place a big $ sign under the date of entry, and any other fun information on that entry such as where it was shown, when, and if known who purchased the piece.
  •             The commentary parts of my journals, based on what is going on around me or notes of the Times, are also dated and blended into the record keeping part. I also note quotes or books I have read for future reference. This works for me, but like I said, everyone has their own way. 

The last few months I have been recording world events affecting me that give future viewers a look into the environment the paintings were created. These journals become a time capsule for future generations.

Thank you for visiting the Joel Ellis Art blog. Best wishes in the coming season to you and those you love.


Helene's Cosmos, water color on paper