Art Journal HALL OF FAME

 In Art Journal, Art supplies, Art Travels, Creativity

I traveled A LOT this year. It was wonderful! And I learned so, so much. About Art. About myself. About life. I also discovered what my absolute favourite new art journal tools are.

1. My favourite new pen.

I took my Escape Artist groups to one of the oldest artist materials stores in the world, Sennelier,  just over the Seine from the Louvre. On the top floor, if you dare risk the stuffy, squeezy, creaky stairs, is pen heaven. The poor assistant up there was trying not to get frazzled as 15 of us squeezed into the small space and proceeded to touch every single item on display. Oohing and aaaaahing like kids in a lolly shop. Loud, over-excited kids with octopus arms. That was us.

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Mr Pen Man was wearing the white Sennelier lab coat, full of information on pens and patiently answered all of our questions and packaged up our goodies. epic pen 114When there was breathing space, I asked him “Mmonsieur, what is your favourite pen ?”. His face lit up! He dug into his apron pockets and flourished three pens. The first two I got when I was in Paris last time. They were nifty, but are in a box somewhere with all my other pens. But the third one. It was a fountain pen from Japan with special ink. I knew it was a magic-like-a-unicorn the second I test drove it.

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Ooh la-la…. It comes with special waterproof, carbon black that dries very quickly. The ink comes in an easily replaced cartridge system. The nib is incredibly fine, and yet robust enough to go over gesso. It can’t go over {everything}, it’s a fountain pen after all, but it tries! Impressive.

The quality of line I can get and the fine, fine detail. give that pure joy of drawing and writing.
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The balance of the pen is beautiful. It is truly epic. It makes me draw more.

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As soon as I realised just how epic the pen was, I had a mild panic. What happens if I lost it? Part of my brain had to be devoted to pen patrol. I knew I needed more.  So, I hunted the Epic Pen down like a panther, and we now stock them in my store! I now have one in every pencil case, on every desk and by the bed.

Click on the image below to get one:

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2. Journal Covers.

Seriously, these Japanese journal covers are best things for an art journaler ever.

Why?

  • The inside covers form a pocket which is such a handy way to keep tickets, loose drawings, postcards etc until you need them.
  • I love collecting stickers from buildings and street signs when I am about and about. Groovy street art ones were everywhere in Paris and Bali. There’s a real technique to getting them off in one go. I call these acts of tidying up public property (a-hem), ‘Timmonsing‘ ( named after Sherri Timmons who was one of my Escape Artists in Paris. It’s a story that needs to be acted out, so I can’t go into it right now, but if you meet me out in the world, ask to hear about it.). The Journal covers are perfect for Timmonsed ephemera. Just whack them on the plastic cover until later!
  • The Journal covers offer protection. I use vintage, altered books for my travel journals, and the covers can be delicate. They need a bodyguard.
  • The Journal covers are a raincoat for your book.
    Why would a book need a raincoat?
    Well, as part of the Escape Artist Retreat, we went to Monet’s Garden at Giverny. We caught the train from Paris, went to the markets in Vernon to get a picnic lunch, and then cycled to wonderland. Well that was the plan. But on our lovely cycle through the French countryside, we were all caught in a downpour that went straight past cats-and-dogs and on to elephants-and-blue-whales. There was nothing to be done except keep going. Monstrous. Hilarious. I will never forget Bexs pulling of a shoe and pouring water out of it. You would think a thing like that could ruin the day, right? No way! Not my group! It bonded us. We survived and as soon as we walked into the garden (slosh, slosh, slosh), the sun came out in the merriest of French ways, and dried us out. We wandered with the ghost of Monet’s amongst his magnificent waterlilies and Japanese bridges.
    That’s why a journal needs a raincoat.
  • And the glossy, thick, crystal clear plastic looks coooool. It just does.

clear-cover-B5I first found one of these in a store in Hong Kong about 5 years ago… then a year later in Singapore I saw them again and bought a bunch. So rare! I needed more, so I got sleuthing and with the help of a Japanese friend, we found them, and I imported them into Australia. clear-cover-ABThere are different sizes , and I cut them and restick with clear tape to make a perfect fit. Every journal I have wears one. You can get them here.

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3. My favourite bag.

Packing for an international trip puts a lot of pressure on decision making. And I am not talking about flights, hotels and sightseeing lists. I’m talking about the important stuff like what art supplies to bring! I usually pack way to much stuff. And then I take a bag that can carry it all. and guess what? It gets heavy after 5 minutes and each day through the holiday I carry less and less until I don’t even take my journal with me.  Until suddenly I am home with a part filled journal. No more.

Earlier in the year I created a tote bag with Society 6. The bag comes in 3 sizes. I got the 13 x 13 inch.


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At 13 x 13 inch it’s just roomy enough to fit my journal, and small pencil case, wallet, phone, tissues and a muesli bar. I throw it in the washing machine if it needs a spruce up. It is a simple tote. No pockets. Light, easy and cute.

It is a simple tote. No pockets. Light, easy and cute. I dragged it with me EVERYWHERE! And as a direct result I journaled so much more than usual.

I always travel with great expectations. But my bag gets heavy and I stop taking things out and about with me, until suddenly I am home with a part filled journal.

No more. My Paris and Bali journals are FULL because I cracked the journal bag code. So as a reward for scanning all my artwork from this year ( 160 scans!) I treated myself to one of every tote bag I created for Society 6!

society 6 totesI can’t wait to carry more of my my artwork around with me!

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GIVE AWAY!!

As a special treat for you too, I am going to give-away one of my totes awesome Totes!

All you need to do is go to my Society 6 store and then come back here, let me know in a comment that you  which is your favourite Jane Davenport design!

If you are a Society 6 member, or join up, you could double your chance in the give-away by hitting the ‘Promote’ heart for the artwork you like.  And to triple your chances give it a a Facebook like as well, All appreciated!

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It goes without saying, that the white ex-fine sharpie paint pen and Peerless watercolors are faves too – but you already knew that! This post is about the more mundane, less colorful items that can rock your next vacation!

It feels so good to share these journaling discoveries with you!

Which brings me to a point about my store. It only has things in it that I actually use, adore and swear by. Essentials for life! It’s not a run-of-the-mill art supply/ mixed media shop. Its a den of delights for art journal afficionados! I find things from all around the world, test and if I fall in love and use them, they go in the store. I retire things that I stop using because I found something better.

xoxox

Jane

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Showing 187 comments
  • James

    Dear Jane,

    Green Eyes is absolutely stunningly beautiful, and from my eyes is the best.
    I would give you 11/10 for this bag.

    Love your work, especially Frogology. I have been following you ever since the exhibition at the Water Corporation in WA a loong time ago.

    James
    xx

  • Hey Jane — I did all three — joined S6, liked them on FB from my personal account and fanpage; and promoted your Dear Deer by Jane Davenport totebag because that is how much I love it! LOL Thanks for the chance. – Terri

  • Karen H

    Oops….forgot to mention, I did “heart” Green Eyes over in S6. Looks like she is a favourite all round!

  • Karen H

    Green eyed is my favourite because she is beautiful , elegant and so recognisably your work.
    Thanks for the giveaway Jane xx

  • Martice Smith II

    Puffy hair is my girl!! She looks like a ton of fun, rockin’ her natural beautiful hair like that! I can surely relate to her. Excellent post, Jane! Enlightening, invigorating, and serendipitous all rolled in one! Thank you.

  • Petra

    Dear Jane, What a beautiful products you make! All your bags look wonderfull but the kind a like the most is nature study with all that beautiful animals aroud the girl. Thankx for the chance to win one!

  • Wendy Winston

    Hi Jane my favorite tote is Dreamer her colouring mesmerizes me!!!

  • Jay

    My favourite is Dear Deer, hands down.

    I’m so glad I ordered the Epic pen the last time I bought from you. I’m thinking that one is definitely not enough though!

  • Carol

    Nearly impossible to pick one… But if I were forced to choose, I would say Dreamer because I was saw you create the original at the Donna Downey studio last spring. It is sooooo beautiful!

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