Summer Reading Suggestions from the MCBA Visual Journal Collective

July 18, 2013

See the full post for details and links to the 2-part video presentation.

If the above Summer 2013 Reading Part 1 doesn't run, view it on YouTube here. It is 26 minutes long.

On July 15, 2013 the MCBA Visual Journal Collective met to share favorite journaling and art related books and the art those books inspired in their journals.

I videotaped the presentations (which is easier than taking notes and typing it all up; and you get to see some art this way). It's hoped by the group that you'll enjoy reading some of the same books.

The presentation is in two parts. Part one is 26 minutes. Part two is 25 minutes and is seen below at the end of this post.

The following people participated (I will correct spelling as I hear from the presenters. I didn't have people sign in at the meeting.)

Part One: Includes Jean Shannon, Lyn Pauli, Kimberly [?], Mary Kloss, Suzanne Hughes (the group's co-coordinator; her blog Suzanne I am is here), Molly Anthony, and Kathleen Rickert.

Part Two: Includes Jody Masanz Larson, Briana Goetzen (of Orange Spiral Arts), Diana Remington, Ruth Smith, Marsha Micek, Judith Main, Cyndie DeRidder, and Ruth Webster.

I am not on either video because I always go last (the group hears quite enough from me) and the book I brought to share was covered by another. (I routinely write book reviews on this blog, so if you want to know what books I am reading and recommending see the category cloud under "books," "reviews," or use this blog's search engine to look for "book reviews.")

I hope that you'll enjoy this evening's information as much as I enjoyed hearing it in person. Why someone doesn't snap up Jean Shannon as a product presenter is beyond me. She always starts us off just right. Mary Kloss has interesting things to say about her LOVE of the blank page and what she did to overcome the "not-so-blank" pages of our group's collaborative project.

We agreed that Zentangle books are trending right now. Also on this year's list you'll find some digital art and design books. We agreed that blogs and single sheets can be journals too. Watch and be inspired.

I want to thank all the presenters—they did such a fantastic job and came up with such great recommendations. I am sure you will find their thoughtful comments helpful. 

Happy Summer Reading!!!

(Oh, and the lovely tune comes from Kevin Macleod at

Below is Summer 2013 Reading Part 2, which if the embedded version doesn't run can be seen on YouTube here.

    • PeggySu
    • July 18, 2013

    Just watched both videos with great enjoyment. Thank you Roz for doing this and thank you everyone else for such interesting presentations. I’m a “book person” so was surprised how many books I’d never even heard of that I’m sure I’d like.

    I wanted to say something about Zentangles. (I realize this may have been brought up before.) They were invented by Maria Thomas and her husband Rick Roberts and true Zentangles are done in a very specific way that Thomas and Roberts believe has multiple benefits. (The name Zentangle is actually trademarked.) If you are at all interested I think it is worth going to and reading about the history, theory, and so forth. Also the newsletter and blog are fascinating and include interesting stories about the positive benefits Zentangling has had all around the world.

    I know there has been some controversy with some people making fun of the idea of trademarking “doodling” but I think that if you don’t already know the Zentangle story you will find it interesting and inspiring.

    As for the indirect effect on art journaling, I discovered that one of the benefits to me of doing some separate Zentangles was that, besides being fun and relaxing, it gave me a lot of confidence to see what else an unrelated journal page might need and to keep going with the process without worrying in advance how it was going to turn out.

  1. Reply

    Glad you enjoyed the video presentations. I don’t think anyone said anything to minimize “Zentangle” but then I was trying to concentrate on filming while having vertigo (hence some bad zoom choices). I’ve met several of the Zentangle folks (authors) in the past two years and heard a bunch of stories. The members sharing the Zentangle books at this meeting were focusing on the quality of a given book and how it helped or inspired them. And I think you can see that several of them felt that Zentangle did help their journaling.

    I’m glad that you found Zentangle useful in letting go of final results. That’s a great thing.

    • PeggySu
    • July 20, 2013

    Oops. I’m really sorry if it sounded like I was criticizing the members; that was not at all my intent. I thought they were great. The Zentangle books that were mentioned are all written by CZTs (Certified Zentangle Teachers) and one person even mentioned finding tangles online.

    My comment was more intended as an adjunct to your report that the members feel that Zentangle books are trending.

  2. Reply

    Hi Roz,

    I really enjoyed the presentation of the book review in the video format. And loved when the reviewer showed the work that a book inspired. That was brilliant and speaks so much about the influence of the book. I love books that inspire and when it does happen to me I usually don’t get more than a few pages in and I drop it and pull out the art supplies and I am gone 🙂 to me that is a great book.


  3. Reply

    I loved it when people showed the work the book inspired them to do as well. Sometimes books inspire us in ways that aren’t even recognizable because we go off on tangents, but I still think it’s fun to see. And I think a book that gets our creative juices flowing is a good book to have on our shelves. Thanks for watching.

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