Pass the Journal—Strathmore’s Traveling Journals

June 1, 2015


Above: If you click on the "Pass the Journal Project" link in the first sentence of this post you'll go to a page with the 12 journals listed. If you then click on "PULP" you'll see a map. If you click on the little flag in Minneapolis that I have pointed to with an arrow, the side bar will pop up showing my page spread, the materials I used, and the page title. There is also a mini-bio about me. Later there will be more flags for this journal as it is passed along and each artist posts a spread. And since I sent it to another Minneapolis artist, I think there might be several flags in this area. It will be fun to see what happens.

I'm excited to announce that several months ago I was asked to participate in Strathmore's "Pass the Journal Project." I was one of twelve artists who was sent an 8.5 x 11 inch Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media hardcover journal to start the chain. The journal actually arrived two weeks ago. Each artist is to complete a spread in the journal within two weeks and pass it along to the next artist.

The book I was sent is "Pulp." (My friend Ken Avidor was sent "Fourdrinier" to kick off.)

For "Pulp" I created a title page (since the endsheet wasn't the same paper and I wanted to do my spread on a spread of the same paper. Also I'm a little compulsive about having a title page. Then I did the first spread which I've included below in this post.


Left: If you go to the site link and INSTEAD of clicking on the title of the journal you click on "Artists" in the top line of the window (Arrow A), the page will look like this second image. At Arrow B you can click for a drop down menu of the journals (I'm in "Pulp") and that will take you to that journal's map. If you write in an artist's name at Arrow C on the left you can search for the artist. If you go to Arrow C on the right (sorry, I just saw that I labeled with C twice, but you get the idea), you'll see an alphabetical list of artists, down which you can scroll.

Artists_-_Strathmore_Pass_the_Journal 2Left: If you scroll down the list I've just shown you, you'll see Ken Avidor, and when you scroll down further you'll see me, "Roz." I think the artists are showing up on the list in order of how we posted because I know Ken was going to send his book on to Andy Singer and I see Andy has already posted and appears just below my name. Of course you can select last names to view the list by. The list you see will look different because artists are adding new page spreads all the time and the list is growing.

I'm pretty excited to see what the other artists involved are going to be doing. I know that some of the journals went outside the U.S. so there is going to be a wide selection of approaches and styles posted.

Since I know Ken's journal went to Andy, if you go to the "Fourdrinier" journal page there are already two flags there in St. Paul. Click on one and see Ken's work. Click on the other and Andy's work pops up. I think it's pretty cool.


Left: A detail from my spread. You can see some of the red under painting under the gouache in the cheek and forehead of this dog.

You can read more details about the project here on the About Page. At the end of the project the journals will be going to Strathmore, The Trout Museum of Art, or the Paine Art Center. (You can read about those places on the About page.)

If you go to the ARTISTS list that I've shown you in the second and third images in this post, and you click on an artist's thumbnail a larger version of their work pops up. Alternately you can click on the "view journal" link which takes you to the map, or you can click on the link to the artist's website. (I put my blog link there because it's been so long since I updated my website. EEEE.)

When I sat down to do my page I had two goals: 1. I wanted my page to be representative of what I do (which pretty much means birds, dogs, or people), and 2. I wanted to demonstrate that this paper is really very versatile and can really take a beating.

I wasn't sure what I would do on the spread for an image, but to achieve goal 2 I knew I wanted to pre-paint my background with mixed media. (I did this with acrylic paint, and rubberstamp ink (Brillance, which is waterproof, and which you can see in the rounded squares stenciling pattern across the spread).

That sat open for about 5 days or more while I thought what to do on the page. Then our rainy days turned to sunny and warm, on the final day I had for working in the journal. I had to make a decision and I knew the zoo would be a zoo on our first warm day in weeks. The dog park seemed to be the natural solution. The heavy layers of gouache on the Chihuahua on the left were added in the studio from memory, covering a fairly detailed, quick contour sketch (which benefits from being hidden by paint). For the sketching portion of the page spread I used a .3 Staedtler Pigment Liner, Montana Acrylic Markers (blue-green and pink to isolate a couple figures), and Schmincke gouache.

As readers of my blog know, I love this paper. It takes everything I throw at it and still keeps performing.

Note: I realized today that I have never had a category for "Pre-painted backgrounds." Perhaps it's because that would be redundant in my case since I do it so often. But I added such a category today, to help visitors find at least one piece quickly.

Below: Here's my final piece.


  1. Reply

    LOVE!! The colors really capture the canine energy of the dog park, all that running,jumping, chasing, barking all conveyed through the colors. I think this project is amazing and have been following it since I first heard about it. I hope there will be a printed book at the end that can be purchased. I’d love to have one. I haven’t used this paper yet but just ordered 25 sheets (On sale at Jerry’s + coupon, $2.02 a sheet!!!)for book binding, very excited about that. Also, love the affirmation that we all have subjects that our own personal favorites to sketch that we return to again and again. Certainly true for me also.

    • SusanLily
    • June 1, 2015

    I love your spread, Roz, and how you captured different expressions for each dog. What I fun project this is. I’ve already been introduced to a couple new-to-me artists this morning just by clicking on your link and exploring.

  2. Reply

    Thanks Jan. I’m glad you enjoyed this. I think a printed book at the end would be way fun, but I don’t think they have any plans for that.

    What a deal on the paper you got! You’ll love making books with this paper. I just love binding it and working with it. I know you like watercolor paper so I think you will enjoy the possibilities this paper offers not just for watercolor but everything.

    Yep, thank goodness for favorite subjects. It feels like putting on comfortable shoes and going for a long walk!

    I’m particularly happy because I’ve just been able to get back to painting in the past couple of months. In April and May I was doing lots of paintings to make up for lost time. And that really got me primed for this project.

    It’s time to start thinking about the Minnesota State Fair!

  3. Reply

    Thank you Susan. I too have learned of some new-to-me artists by looking at the site. As the books fill up it’s going to be more and more exciting. I know where some of the other books are going and I can’t wait to see what the artists do.

    It’s also fun to see how other people work on a paper I love so much.

    • Chris Willis
    • June 1, 2015

    I love this spread so much! My favorite subject and favorite colors, amazing layout, energy, expression, mood, typography … Just wanted to let you know you made my eyes very happy today! 🙂

  4. Reply

    Chris, love that you love it. Did you click enlarge on the full image and read what the Yorkie owner said to the owner of a large dog about to eat said Yorkie?!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Close Cookmode

Pin It on Pinterest