Artists books and visual journals

I saw this visual journal cover by Picasso in an exhibition in Bruges, Belgium in May 2011.  It was created by collaging autumn leaves,  art work and decorative papers over a paper doily then pasting the whole lot onto a piece of corrugated cardboard. It dated from the 1940s.  I found it fascinating that one of ‘greats’ made journals by collaging drawings with found bits and pieces.


I photographed this detail of a painting in a hotel foyer in Turkey.  Unfortunately I have no idea who the artist is.  The technical execution of the work wasn’t as neat as it could have been but I liked the idea of using a photocopied illustration, wallpaper and gold lines with areas of mottled paint.   The technique could be used to make a cover for a journal or even journal pages.


DSCF7343  This carved wooden panel was hanging in a hotel foyer in Kusadasi in Turkey.   The designs could be adopted to make a journal cover – maybe with paper or cardboard cutouts layers onto textured paper or even a simplified version created with rubber stamps. The hanging beads could be become a tassle that finishes off  sewn binding.

For a more traditional look these old bibles in the mosque at Cordoba are hard to beat.039   040

In Konya in Turkey I went to the place where Rumi the Sufi mystic instructed his followers and taught them how to become whirling devishes.  A collection of monastic cells  to one side of the main building were set up as a museum and housed items that the  devishes had used.   This journal was displayed in one. (Sorry about the lens flare in my photo). The central area that is decorated with the darker brown motif was a separate page.  Once again I found it inspirational for visual journaling.  I like the way the pages are divided into separate areas.    The calligraphic swirls on the right  side could  become an area of decorative text.


DSCF8025This book was also in the same museum.  (Once again – sorry about the poor quality of the photo.   It was taken through plate glass in a dimly lit room).   The other page of the book was a mirror image of this one.   I thought it was a lovely decorative way of presenting text.

A glorious illuminated manuscript


photographed in the cathedral in Toledo is another inspiration. (again photographed through glass with distracting light effects)  The whole thing looks like a kind of story boarding to me – story boarding with gold leaf and calligraphic text.   The animated figures on the right are a delight.

DSCF9385  DSCF9384  DSCF9388 These lovely examples of Islamic calligraphy were photographed at the Hagia Sophia in Instanbul.  Once again they suggest interesting way of presenting text.

DSCF9382  I particularly like this one where I’ve accidentally included a reflection of a window in the image.  It adds to the layered effect of the calligraphic swirl over the text.

DSCF9389 The effect is more distracting in this photo though the calligraphy arranged to form a pattern is really impressive.   Be great to figure out a way to make the everyday Roman text we use look so artistic.

Cocha Jerex- Autocensorship Texts. Version 1 1976. (exhibition in Queen Sophia Museum, Madrid, Spain 2012)


This journal suggests interesting ways of presenting these ideas in a book format.


6 thoughts on “Artists books and visual journals

Please comment. I love knowing what you think.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s