Above: "Fruition" a handmade journal by bookbinder and visual journal artist Wendy Hale Davis. (©2009 Wendy Hale Davis). The cover leather has been dyed and the two insert images are gouache.
I know some amazing people and Wendy Hale Davis is amazing on so many points I could go on and on about. I have listed her in my blog roll, but I wanted to draw her bookbinding and book arts work to your attention. She keeps the most amazing visual journals, and has for her adult life. I have had the good fortune to page my way through them—she marries a non-fussy calligraphic hand with visual delights. For me her books are like modern illustrated manuscripts. There is a designer's eye actively working on the page layout. There's an artist's hand creating the illustrations. And there is a humanist writing down the moments of her life.
Recently on her blog, Little Ray, she has been posting some stunning images from current journals. She also takes time to explain her bookbinding paper choices and approaches to journaling. I recommend that you go first to her post "Creating the perfect journal…part i, paper and ink." This post opens with the "Fruition" journal cover and includes an image from the interior. She talks about her paper preferences and her pen preferences. Whether you are new to visual journaling, or a long-time practitioner, Wendy has a take on the process you need to discover.
Next you need to visit "Creating the perfect journal…part ii, stuff" and read about the use of pockets and stickers and ephemera and how they work into Wendy's journals.
More recent posts show additional journal pages and page spreads. All the posts will provide some insight into the events of her life. And before you go off thinking that Wendy must plan these pages and work out everything before she puts her pen to the page I just have debunk that notion. I've been out and about with Wendy when she whips out the journal and just starts working, and making it work, and getting her life down on the pages. It's inspiring.
So if you haven't already discovered Wendy's work, go and check out the links in this post now. You can read in her own words her thoughts on bookbinding and visual journaling. Then when you're thoroughly impressed and awed by the creative force she brings to her journals, check out "The Midge factor…" post. You'll begin to see just a little of why I love this woman and her wonderful insightful and creative mind! She's always "just noticing things." Her journals provide a glorious collection of those moments.