Welcome to International Fake Journal Month 2013!

What is IFJM?
Please read the page "What Is IFJM" for details.
Learn the difference between Faux, Fake, and Fake Historical Journals.

2019 IFJM Celebration
IFJM has been suspended indefinitely. Please read the pinned post about this below.

Participants who Post Their Journals
A list of 2018 participants who are posting their fake journals this year will appear near the top of the right side bar of this blog around April 6. Lists of participants who posted their pages in 2010 through 2017 appear lower in the same column. Please pay them a visit and check out their fake journals.

View a Couple of Roz's Past Fake Journals
Roz's 2009 fake journal takes place in an alternate Twin Cites, where disease has killed the human and bird populations. (It ends up being an upbeat tale of friendship.) Watch a video flip through of Roz's 2009 fake journal here.

Read an explanation of Roz's insanely complex 2011 fake journal.

Tips on Keeping a Fake Journal
Click on "tips" in the category cloud.

Remember, "Life's so short, why live only one?"

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Paging through Roz's 2009 Fake Journal

I made a short, low-tech movie, using my digital mini-camera, while paging through this year's fake journal. I wanted to do this because I wanted to share the sense of moving through the pages, as opposed to simply seeing the page spread scans that were posted on this blog. Going through a book page by page gives you a different experience. Even in this low-tech movie you can get a bit of an idea of the crinkly nature of the warped pages that I have been talking about when posting about my work in this book. The presence of my hands in the frame also gives you a sense of scale. I hope you enjoy this short movie (4 mins. and 30 sec.). If the embedding doesn't work you can find the movie on You-Tube.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The 2009 IFJM Contest Winners

Above: the last post in Anne Bray's 2009 Fake Journal. ©2009 Anne M. Bray. This journal was also an altered book journal.

The judges, as I mentioned in an earlier post, were prompt with their task. The delay has been mine: no computer time. However, I'm very pleased to announce the results today.

The winner of the 2009 International Fake Journal Month Journal Competition is Anne M. Bray. You can see her first submission here. There are additional items posted on her site, and of course the image above is from the same journal.

After the competition had ended Anne wrote in to tell me about the process.
Wanted to share my latest (last?) post. Though it's not my intent to stop, I did come to some sort of an ending point and haven't journaled since (for various "reasons"). I found it much harder writing about places I'd never been, and got too busy to do research on them—probably why all the map making entered in. (Actually Leonard is back in the states now, so...)

I did 14 pages and feel very accomplished about that. I enjoyed experimenting with the colored pencils, it lead me on to using them more in my "real" art. Also impelled me to take Kate Johnson's WC pencil class.

Thanks for giving me the inspiration to try the fake journal. "We" both thank you!
Her comments hit on some points that I believe make the fake journal an interesting exercise in artmarking and journaling: experimentation, the use of new materials, and the realization of how our choices can aid or hinder our process. I hope that if you are thinking of starting a fake journal you take a moment to read past posts from other artists on this blog and reflect on how their choices helped them. It will enable you to eliminate some of the obstacles you might encounter.

In addition to the first prize winner the judges selected a second and third place winner. These are, respectively, Jana Bouc and Janet Hedley. (Janet, if I have missed a blog or website location for you please advise and I'll update this post with a link.)

The judges (4 visual journal keepers who sorted through the entries from 14 separate artists; some of whom didn't want their entries posted) told me their choices were difficult. They were entertained and intrigued by all the entries. (They've asked that I never ask them to do this again!) The altered book approach that Anne took obviously appealed to them.

They know they have my thanks. I'd like to add to that my thanks to everyone who did participate in the contest. I'm so glad that you took the plunge and kept a fake journal and then shared it with us.

And to the winners, congratulations your t-shirts will go out in the mail early next week.

So, now it's time for my fake journaling efforts to go dormant. I may get the urge between now and next April to delve into another fake journal, but I'm pretty satiated. I had a great April 2009.

I imagine this blog will be quiet for the next several months. Please be sure to check back in March 2009 when I start ramping up the April 2009 celebration.

In the meantime, if an idea for a fake journal author and situation occurs to you, jot it down. Have a special page in your regular journal for this purpose perhaps?

And if you are out shopping for journals and find an unusual book, well this might be just the vessel for next year's effort. Or, when you are binding next, take a moment to use those scraps in a creative structure, or create a certain size of book that you think would be fun to work in for one month. Just a little bit of prep between now and April first will allow you to hit the ground running.

And if you are continuing with your fake journal I wish you a great and continued adventure.

Keep thinking about how you journal, why you journal, and what you journal. Are there things you can do to jostle up your habit to make it more meaningful for you? Let's all keep learning and observing.

Thanks for a great 2009 IFJM Celebration!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Final Page Spread in Roz's 2009 Fake Journal

Above: the April 30 page spread from my 2009 fake journal. I used Ziller Acrylic ink with a dip pen and Schmincke pan watercolors. Note that there is a tab in the gutter from a cut-out page. When I first purchased this Alvin Field Notebook I didn't know what I would use it for and I cut this page out as a test page. I didn't realize at the time that in so doing I created exactly 30 spreads (perfect for doing one a day in April). In the book, the fake journal author has actually written on the backside of the tab: "Page missing when I received the book from Ted." Readers will remember that her art supplies were lost in transit and she had to depend on the kindness of her co-workers. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

I am still not on the computer much these days because of a family emergency. I did want to let faithful readers of this blog, however, have my last page spread so they can know how things turned out or "stopped." And I want to tell you that I will be announcing the winner of the contest later today (I hope) or in a post tomorrow. Thanks for your patience, everyone who participated. The judges were prompt in their process, but I have just been slow at the computer.

So in this post you'll see the final page spread in this book, which I completed on April 30, at 7 a.m. because I was actually anxious to finish the book and the project, because I had a lot of work looming that would break into my free time. I think the writing will be readable if you click the image to view the enlargement. If you can't read it, give me a heads up and I'll post it another time when I'm near the computer.

Again, I want to thank all of you who have either participated in this year's event or have watched and enjoyed while others have. I'm hoping the last group will be convinced to join in in 2010!

Watch for the contest wrap up coming soon.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The April 29th Page Spread in Roz's 2009 Fake Journal

Above: the April 29 page spread from my 2009 fake journal. I used Ziller Acrylic ink with a dip pen and Schmincke pan watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

I have had to be away from the computer the past few days, so here is the next installment for folks reading along in my fake journal. I'll try to get back on the blog tomorrow and post the last page spread so you can have some "closure." I also hope to hear back from the judges about the contest on Monday. I'll post the results after the winner is notified.

Because of time constraints I'm not going to type the text from this spread, but I think it should be pretty readable on the image if you click on it. If you have been following along and can't read it write to me and let me know and when I'm back at the computer consistently I'll post it.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The April 28th Page Spread in Roz's 2009 Fake Journal

Above: the April 28 page spread from my 2009 fake journal. I used Ziller Acrylic ink with a dip pen and Schmincke pan watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

You might remember that I mentioned taping a show called, "Morphed" on National Geographic Channel. It was about how turkey's came from raptors. This was something I commented on back on my April 21 page spread and when I saw the show come up in the next week or so I was pretty interested. Well I watched the show last night and it was worthless! And boring. One paragraph of information that they kept beating into the ground and then showing computer animation of past animals and repeating and repeating after each (frequent) commercial break (through which I fast-forwarded to save some time).

The really sad thing was that the turkey was little in evidence and when he was it was only a large Tom strutting about with full presentation of tail feathers. They never thought to show the hen who STILL looks exactly like a raptor! (See my April 21 sketch if you don't believe me!)

So the only thing I got out of this show was a weird dream last night that the oxygen in the atmosphere was getting used up (part of the show had been about low oxygen levels and the mass extinction of the large dinosaurs) and we had until December 15 (!). It was a vastly scary and entertaining dream and this morning, after I got over my initial irritation with the show's producers I realized, hey, that would be a great idea for a fake journal: the earth's atmosphere is going and we have limited days left! It could be fun to find out what a journal keeper would note in those circumstances.

So I guess I got two things out of the show. But don't bother watching it!

Below is the text from today's page spread.

09.04.28 7:30 p.m.
The cardinal pair were busy in the compound grounds today. The femail had an air of satisfaction.
Sunny, 61 degrees F. and cloudless. Stunningly beautiful today. I spent it riding my bike back and forth between old Hwy 5 and the derelict Ford Plant. With the wind, against the wind, with the wind again. Over and over; finally back to the compound. Lou keeping up…despite his Bob Hoskins physique.

This morning I held Chuck's hand. His breathing was shallow…difficult. "Never give up," he said, squeezing my fingers firmly. "Tell my boys…" he paused. "Everything," I said. He nodded ever so slightly. Then he was gone. I could see the clock on the bedside table—9:53.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The April 27th Page Spread in Roz's 2009 Fake Journal

Above: the April 27 page spread from my 2009 fake journal. I used Ziller Acrylic ink with a dip pen and Schmincke pan watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

One of the most serendipitous experiences of this year's fake journal for me was the way birds presented themselves at the most opportune time. Just when I needed a "literary" symbol up pops a crow, after weeks of not seeing any. And so it goes…

The text for this page spread follows.

"One crow sorrow…"
7:00 p.m.
Shocked. Unprepared. I thought I would never see another crow—decimated in 2002. Suddenly here was one on the crumbling river road wall where I sat waiting for turkeys, hoping, with Lou who felt sorry for me. He came out with me tonight out of pity, but he keeps his distance. When the crow flew off I found a dead bunny on the other side of the wall. At least Lou can verify the sighting.

This morning the doctor tested my eyes. He had to be here for Chuck so everyone's physicals were moved up. I needed new glasses—happily a high priority—my eyes belong to the state.

This afternoon I sat with Chuck. He's worse if that is even possible. It doesn't matter it's not transferable through contact—no one but the meds will see him—no one but me. We chat, when he isn't sleeping restlessly. And I started reading him "Great Expectations," which seemed a happier choice than "Moby Dick" the only other book I could find.

"Never apologize for your genetics," he said to me.
Lacking a superstitious nature the crow would only amuse Chuck.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The April 26th Page Spread in Roz's 2009 Fake Journal

Above: the April 26 page spread from my 2009 fake journal. I used Ziller Acrylic ink with a dip pen and Schmincke pan watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

This is probably one of my favorite page spreads from the 2009 fake journal. I love the looseness on the verso page and I really like the detail with looseness of the recto page sketch. I am enjoying the exploration of color, still trying to find what paints in the Schmincke pan group I have will work for me. That and happy paper resistance accidents are what I love about this field book. Revisiting any subject matter over and over, in our real journals or in fake journals, can help us observe more clearly.

The text of the page spread follows.

Verso page labels top to bottom:
Tilt to head

Head on they seem impossibly wide

There's a dark split running down the neck feathers

Walking away

End feathers higher on this receding leg

The feet are very strong looking with thick toes

4th toe

Fourth toe held over pad of foot and not clearly visible in the sketch.

09.04.26 4 p.m.

Overcast, the ground is damp from the storms early this morning
Recto Page:
10:30 p.m. I sat with Chuck last night and he seemed better. Today I joined up with Lou's crew and went to the firing range to keep up the skills Chuck insists on. Lou is pretty intense, but there is a lot of joking in his people too. Alec was talking a mile a minute. In general people just left me alone. This afternoon Lou sat with me and Morgan so we could sketch turkeys outside the compound. The doctor was checking out Chuck.

This evening I was shocked to see how bad Chuck was. He'd been vomitting [sic] and his fever was still too high (103). He's having trouble breathing. I sat with him for an hour until the med tech kicked me out.

We had a good talk though…slow. "You're like a little dog who things she's a big dog," he laughed, coughing, struggling for breaths. He was talking about Ken Darling's fire riot. "Don't change." I don't like him talking like that—it's so final.

[label] One decided to stare at me off and on for a short while. They have impossibly large eyes.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Telling a Story or Not in Your Fake Journal (and Roz's April 25th Page Spread)

Above: the April 25 page spread from my 2009 fake journal. I used Ziller Acrylic ink with a dip pen and Schmincke pan watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.Something always happens when I keep a fake journal, it starts to be a story of some sort. It Starts in the middle of things without a lot of background and lead up, but then something typically happens part way through the month. By the end of the month there is some sort of change has occurred or in process. Often there is a definite sort of end, actually written on the page, or implied by what is written on the page.

I enjoy this aspect of the fake journal. I think it is that Dickensian part in all of us that wants the world to be connected, coincidences meaningful and linked, an overview of understanding possible. I find that usually by April 15 I see where things are going and write a couple notes down to myself. I still go about letting things happen and drawing whatever comes up, but if I can get some of those points in the plan into the journal I feel pretty happy. That certainly happened this month. (One thing that popped into my mind about my journal's author was the knowledge that she had arrived in Minneapolis after loosing a working partner in Chicago, and this gets referred to a couple of times in her journal. This spread is one of those times.)

For other folks (and at least on one occasion for me) the point of the fake journal is in part to have even more chaos. To embrace the chaos of life, its randomness. The beauty in this approach is that people are getting a greater comfort level with the chaos in their own lives and it can be a month of ephiphanies about how they live their lives, what is truly valuable to them, and how they might want to journal in the future.

However you embrace the fake journal I hope you find new methods and approaches to incorporate in your regular journaling.

The text on the above page spread follows.

Across the top of the page
Verso (label)

taller space but legs all hidden
Recto (top)
09.04.25 4 P.m. Bald Eagle!! On an old lampost on the edge of the old freeway 94 visible just outside the compound. I was told as a child these were extinct. I never thought I would see one—almost didn't catch it but it turned its head at the exact moment a ray of sunlight hit it—brilliant, unmistakable, incredibly large! Even Lou was excited!
Across the base of the spread:
Chuck collapsed last night and is in the infirmary—at least we have one. It was hard watching Gordie ill and dying in Chicago with no medical help—except me, "the first responder." It's how I got assigned to the field in the first place—first responder status.

The med tech—Joe—doesn't know what's up with Chuck. A doctor will arrive tomorrow—high fever, stiffness. It's serious. I'm scared. I keep thinking "he's strong," but I've seen that doesn't matter much ultimately.

Everyone is treating me like a pariah, but Lou suggested Fleck and I come along with his team today—crows and songbirds at Witch's Hat. Afterwards he sat with me while I sketched outside the compound. He seems to know I have to keep busy.

I'd love to get on the old highway—with my bike, glide down the empty spaces. Trouble is the freeze thaw cycle has left them full of potholes + cracks. And then Chuck gave me a lecture when we got the bikes about problems with sniper fire from scavengers wanting our gear.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Everything Is Grist for the Fake Journal and a Look at Roz's April 24 Page Spread in Her 2009 Fake Journal

Above: the April 24 page spread from my 2009 fake journal. I used Ziller Acrylic ink with a dip pen and Schmincke pan watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Note: If you are reading my page spreads in order this is the SECOND post for today and you'll want to read the other post first.

Whether this is in a fake journal or not I will always remember this bird and this day. I was returning on my bike from a lengthy ride, tired of fighting the wind, and this female just swooped along side me. I had to stop and sketch. (I used those sketches to make this page spread because I didn't have my fake journal with me on my bike.) I was fascinated with the way the bird kept hopping vertically and clinging to the bark of the tree that was right on the parkway edge. She was totally unconcerned that I had stopped and was watching her. There is something very joyous about the red cap of a Pileated Woodpecker, but watching them work (eat) is a marvel as well.

On this day I also noticed that there were about 6 houses for sale along the River Road (Minneapolis) and then Mississippi Blvd (which it turns into in St. Paul). This is the largest turnover I have seen in decades and I think it's indicative of the economic situation. This translated, in my fake journal, into abandoned houses. Everything is grist for the fake journal.

The text of this spread follows, Verso to Recto, top to bottom.

8:30 p.m.
one was subdued today and Chuck was esspecially quiet. (His left eye and cheek are horribly swollen but he told Roger he was good to go so we went back to Hidden Falls to look for more geese.

On the bike ride home this afternoon this female pileated woodpecker swooped out of one of the abandoned houses on Mississippi Blvd. That dipping strong swoop that woodland birds h. She was parallel to me for a short while. I had to stop. Chcuk let me sketch her while Fleck took lots of photos.

Because of the fire pit and problems last night there is a two-city wide kerfew [sic—curfew], but even at 4:30 it was already abandoned—empty on our route.

Chuck begged off a sketch session tonight so he could rest. Rather than go out with Lou or Hopper I just did paperwork and worked on my geese illustrations.

Pileated (symbol for female) woodpecker

Brown-ochre tones in the forehead and along top of the beak.

09.04.24 4:30 p.m.

A little bit of white ticking on the breast feathers on the side of the breast.

Withdrawal and the April 23 Page Spread in Roz's 2009 Fake Journal

Above: the April 23 page spread from my 2009 fake journal. I used Ziller Acrylic ink with a dip pen and Schmincke pan watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Looking at yesterday's post, before putting this post up I was struck with how much I enjoy having that grid pattern from the paper behind my sketches. It just seems yummy to me. Maybe I'm easily amused. I wish I could get the paper in large sheets. I would mount it on mat board and use it for large paintings. I'll have to look into that. I'm still having withdrawal from my fake journal. This is something that you will need to deal with if you were keeping a fake journal daily (or almost so) and have stopped at the end of April to return to your regular journal. Hang in there and keep working in your regular journal.

The bite of need to do the fake journal came today on my bike ride. I was returning home along River Road (the road runs along the Mississippi River) and saw some crows mobbing a Bald Eagle over the Franklin Avenue Bridge. It was a fabulous sight to see the brilliant white cap of the eagle darting and weaving to avoid the intent black swarm. On any day this April I would have spent some time drawing and writing about it in my fake journal, letting it be something that my author saw in her day.

Today, I'm just mentioning it to you all and then getting busy printing 150 prints for an upcoming art exchange—so it's a good thing I don't have to do a fake journal page spread today!

I hope your day was filled with real wonders that you were able to record in a journal of some sort!

Here is the text for the above image:
Note: I'm starting at the top of the verso page and transcribing the entire related text across the two spreads. Below this I will put the labels and bottom of the page notes from first the verso and then recto page. It should be clear.
10:30 p.m.—We're all back safe—more or less. Chuck has a black eye. We were returning from H. Falls when a woman came running down one of the cracked side streets picking her way through the weedy asphault [sic] yelling!! There was a fire in the corner park an old Ronald MacDonald statue from the children's hospice there seemed to be standing guard—colors faded, arm broken off.

Chuck got out in front. A small crowd was milling about. Then's when Ken Darling saw us. I recognized him from the posters and was going to call Chuck's attention to it be [sic—but] I could tell by a look Chuck already knew. We'd been told to watch out for Darling—he's the last of the neighborhood watch—a diehard.

He came charging at us and literally bounced off of Chcuk who'd got off his bike. Then on the rebound Ken made the mistake of grabbing Fleck—who immediately crumpled, whimpering. I don't like to be hit either, but it if it going to happen anyway give as good as you get—so I dropped my bike and stomped on Ken's foot while he was kicking Fleck with the other one. Boots always trump sneakers. Ken fell back two steps screaming not in pain, though is face showed it, but about there not being enough bat houses in the area. He cocked his arm, ready to punch me. "Take care of us not the damn birds," he shouted in my face. That's when Chuck got between us and was all over him. Free for all—with the fire stragglers joining in. Ken pulled a knife on Chuck who got him down on the ground just as a guard unit showed up. (Fleck had called them!) They bundled Ken into a jail van—he was screaming about flu, warm temps, and mosquitoes, as they dragged him to the van. Some guards stayed behind to break up the crowd and clear the pit. We stayed to assess the damage. We found 31 partially burned birds—12 turkeys, 5 downy woodpeckers, one male cardinal, 7 crows, 5 pigeons, and a ROBIN!!

The guard science officer said he'd send us a report but he would bet they were all trapped or poisoned. It's what Darling does….Now they have him on assault with a deadly weapon. They were jubilent [sic].

[Verso bottom]
09.04.23 7 p.m.
Hidden Falls 73 degrees F. with storm clouds and no storm. My ink is congealing on the pen nib! I love this neckline view. I'm sure I have enough details to use it for Fleck's article illustrations.

wide stance

[Recto bottom]
look at the level angle

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The April 22nd Page Spread in Roz's 2009 Fake Journal

Above: the April 22 page spread from my 2009 fake journal. I used Ziller Acrylic ink with a dip pen and Schmincke pan watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Well there may not have been a lot of dogs in the alternate world the author of my fake journal was living in, but in my life there was—one small Jack Russell Terrier-Mix type dog, feathered out and looking hypothyroid-ish, but sweet and eager nonetheless. It would have been odd indeed for me to finish even a fake journal without one canine in it. By April 22 my real life was impinging in the most seamless way with the life of the author of the fake journal. I have to say that today two days out from the fake journal I am missing it mightily.

The text on the page spread reads follows.

Verso, top to bottom:
We got geese. River Flats and Hidden Falls. Fleck and I prefer H.F. as it's larger and provides more species. A tactical nightmare for Chuck.

After a day of sketching geese and helping Fleck at H.F. I have zero inclination to be shut in with the others. Chuck came out here to the vacant lot with me. How grand to spot a dog—so rare in any urban area effected by the 2005 urban die off. Ownerless dogs rounded up and euthanized. Holistics crusading with their "no safe dogs" laws. I always believed people—wherever they were would have dogs despite the Holistics. Perhaps we're living in a sorting out period. Yet here comes this little hypothyroid-looking Jack Rus. Terrier mix out of the shrubs—contained in a cloud of white feathery fluff! No contact of course, but I had to sketch him as he searched about in the failing light. It's hard some times to remember the familiar shapes. Some corps members still have dogs at home but he's lucky Michelle is no longer with us.

09. 04.22 8 p.m. 56 degrees F calm after another blustery day.

Recto top to bottom:
Topline visible but then there is feathering all over the body and beyond.
The topline.

Lots of feathering on the legs.

All this feathering around the body is bad enough but on the feet you can't see where the structure is!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy Serendipity and Roz's April 21st Page Spread in Her 2009 Fake Journal

Above: the April 21 page spread from my 2009 fake journal. I used Ziller Acrylic ink with a dip pen and Schmincke pan watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Note: Over the next few days while the judges are deciding the contest winner I am going to be posting more than one of the remaining pages in my fake journal. I'll still be posting them in order so people who want to read along can, but if you come to the blog late in the day, check to see what the first post of the day is so that you don't miss any of the entries if you're reading along.

Keeping a journal opens you up to serendipity. Things happen and you notice them because you are alert and looking about. Your brain is actively searching for the things you've set it to look for and great connections are made. (It's another reminder that positive thought does have benefits. We can set our internal mechanisms to look for the fabulous.)

When I did the above page spread I was struck with how the turkey I was sketching looked like a raptor, something out of Jurasic Park. There is the same tilting of the head, the elongation of the neck, the strutting. This raptor vibe is mentioned in the text.

Well a couple days ago one of the science/history channels put on a show called, "Morphed" and it's about how turkeys developed from dinosaurs. Of course this is something people have been writing about since the 1890s when people started looking at the fossil record more closely, but on another day, if I hadn't been sketching and thinking about this topic the previous week I might have just skipped over the commercial for that show. As it was I have taped it and will watch it soon. New information? Old information? I don't know, but it will be interesting to look at. Journals give us a way to have on-going conversations with the world about our many interests.

In this fake journal text I also make use of what actually happened to me—mentioning weather and wind conditions I experienced on my bike. You don't have to create all new details in your fake journal. Try skewing things only slightly, exercise becomes work-related for the journal's author.

Here is the text on this spread:

Well I'm glad I wasn't assigned the turkey population! After a full day drawing geese and ducks down by the river at Hidden Falls I can hardly concentrate on the shape of this raptor cousin, let along focus on the pattern and color of its feathers. Pedaling back in the 25 mph winds with 40 mph gusts (almost constant) didn't help either.

I was glad to be greeted by feeding turkeys outside the compound. And even happier when Chuck suggested I sketch before dinner. I'm still persona non grata around here.
09.04.21 4:30 p.m.
What is she looking at? This Hen outside the compound was constantly looking up into the sky.

The April 20th Page Spread in Roz's 2009 Fake Journal

Above: the April 20 page spread from my 2009 fake journal. I used Ziller Acrylic ink with a dip pen and Schmincke pan watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

One of the happy "accidents" of doing the bird sketching theme of my 2009 fake journal is that I ended up with some fun sketches like the gull walking towards me (bottom left-hand page) which I am intent on using in a finished painting. Just like our regular journals fake journals can provide more reference material for our artwork outside the journal. It's still about observing, seeing, noting details and gesture.

The text on this spread reads:

Verso (top to bottom):
The pages of this journal are now so bulky they are hard to hold down while sketching.

Sprinting across the cracked tarmac

Leading edge on ground and this portion up [refers to bird's foot]

They are walking away today—or so it seems

Head shape works

dip about to raise wings


09.04.20 2 p.m. Target Parking Lot

Recto (labels, then text):
Brow has slight overhang from this angle.

ack too short

tail doing something odd


Stretching a wing

head down and turning away
sense of a brow here too

8:30 p.m. Last night there was a lot of anger—again directed at me. Others wanted the chicken dead. whether they agreed with Michelle's actions or not (and Hopper did!)

Chuck played his harmonica last night in an impromptu concert with Fleck on guitar. An obvious attempt to diffuse the situation and distract everyone—but hey it worked. Chuck also got us assigned to Target today so I could draw more gulls. And it's away from everyone else. Fleck has been taking lots of photos and today was no different.

It took me a while to warm up—I'm still stunned by Michelle's action—but I got some good final sketches on watercolor paper by the end of the day. Roger was pleased.

It was only in the low 50 degrees and overcast (morning rain) but still comfortable to sketch.

Michelle had been transported out on helicopter by the time we returned.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I Finished My IFJM Journal for 2009

Above: my fake journal kept to celebrate International Fake Journal Month 2009, finished today, the book contains exactly 30 page spreads, one done each day in April. This photo shows how the Alvin Field book pages warped and responded to the dip pen and watercolor attack! Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Well, it's over. For me anyway. Other folks have about 4 more hours until the end of IFJM. If you are new to this blog and wondering what the heck IFJM is go to the right-hand column where it says, "What is International Fake Journal Month?" and click on the link in that paragraph. Read other early posts for more details and suggestions on how to keep a fake journal (or any journal for that matter). See my posted page spreads.

I will continue posting the remaining page spreads over the next few days as we count down to the end of the contest. (The judges need some time to look over the entries, deadline for which is tomorrow at noon.)

I would like to take a moment to comment on how it was to work in this Alvin Field Book—I loved it!!!!

It's sturdy, tough, and resilient. It isn't made for acrylic ink and watercolor, but it took them just the same. I loved that the pages buckled and curled and that they make a delightful crinkly noise when you turn them.

There were a couple draw backs. Because the paper is water resistant painting in watercolor on them isn't the same as other papers. You can however, if you're mindful of your drying times, still glaze colors on if that's your thing.

Another drawback was that the acrylic ink didn't always dry before I got to the watercolor application. So there is some bleeding of the ink. That doesn't bother me.

Still another drawback, the early pages, which have been pushed together in my hand when I've been drawing in the later pages, have started to have areas of spots and smudging, where the ink and sometimes the watercolor, rub onto the previous page. I think this gives those pages a great patina, so I'm fine with it. But there really is no way around this because the pages warp so much that holding them closed and still means they are going to rub against each other in ways that stiffer pages wouldn't. (Everyday, before I started the next spread, I would scan the previous page spread so I do have a record of the pages in the condition they were when completed, perhaps this helps me be OK with the patina?)

This is something to keep in mind should you decide to work in this type of book with these materials.

I have to say I loved it so much that I am going to miss it. I'm going to go into withdrawal tomorrow when I'm not walking around the yard or the river flats looking for a bird to sketch, spilling acrylic ink all over myself (my clothing did not fare well with this year's choice of art materials!!!).

I want to thank all of you who participated, even if your participation was to simply read along and enjoy other adventures vicariously. Maybe next year you'll get pulled in! I hope so. There is a lot to be gained.

What's left: well in a about a week we'll have a contest winner. I'll announce that here. Over the next few days I'll post the remaining pages in my journal. Then I imagine the blog will go pretty quiet until March of 2010 when it will be time to design new buttons, select a new book, find a new author, and start the process all over again.

If you end up keeping your fake journal over the next few months, or you happen upon this blog and start a fake journal before April 2010, let me know. I would love to hear about it.

Thank you all for taking this journey with me.
Now, for me, it's back to my real journal.

Who Is Budgie Marsh?

Above: fake journal work from Janet Hedley examines the life of Budgie Marsh. ©2009 Janet Headley.

Janet Hedley wrote to say that this was her first journal e
ver! Way to go Janet, jumping into a fake journal to start things off! She had the following comments about her pages:
I loaded up my Lamy pen with Lexington Grey Noodler's Ink and using a journal that I bound myself and was afraid of using—didn't want to mess it up—I just dove in. I found I really like pen and ink on 90# Fabriano Hot Press paper. I tried things I have trouble with like perspective. I used materials that I was unfamiliar with, but purchased at the recommendations of those on the Everyday Matters list. Those would be the pen, a Niji waterbrush, Albrecht Dürer watersoluble colored pencils, and Neocolor II crayons. I found I enjoyed using all of them, but need to get more control with the Niji.

My real name is Janet Hedley, but I took on the fake name of Budgie Marsh. I have had so much fun doing this and have delighted my friends and family with the adventures of Budgie. The best thing for me was breaking out of that idea that everything I did or attempted had to be perfect. After all, I didn't care how Budgie performed. I found out that, when I looked at her work dispassionately, I wasn't critical of her work as I am of my own. This whole exercise was very freeing for me and Budgie plans to continue even after April is over. She's probably going to adventure all over the world. Why not?

I just have to say that I love the name Budgie. I used to have a budgie (budgerigar) when we lived in Australia. I love that someone has that for a name. I was looking forward to seeing the adventures of Budgie Marsh when Janet originally wrote to tell me of her fake journal. I'm thrilled that Janet has been able to take risks (vanishing point indeed!) and enjoy the freedom. Janet wrote that she is hoping that by this time next year there will be more Budgie adventures and even a blog! I hope so. I'm glad it has been a good leaping-in point for Janet!

Below: Two additional selections from Budgie Marsh's journal, artwork ©2009 Janet Hedley.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Peek in Diana Oakley's 2009 Fake Journal

Above: A page spread from Diana Oakley's 2009 Fake journal, which includes expressive art with written entries. ©2009 Diane Oakley. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Diana Oakley sent in the above excerpt from her 2009 Fake Journal. You can visit her website to see more of her pages and read more about her process. Read about the interesting approach she has taken in her fake journal, in her own words:
I decided to keep a journal of the flip-side of my world: dreams, daydreams, and everything running through my head. I'm writing it down as if it is real. Makes for some really eclectic reading. The drawings are random too and follow no theme.

I'm using pencil and watercolor pencil - dipping the actual pencils in water and drawing with them. It's going well. I have to make sure I write my dreams down right away or I forget them. I was translating some of the journal last night on the page I set up for it and was surprised at how many of the dreams I had already forgotten.
Diana has given herself a great opportunity for freedom with the use of random drawings following no theme. I love that she is using her actual dreams. She will get the added benefit of having them recorded at the end of the month.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The April 19th Page Spread in Roz's 2009 Fake Journal

Above: the April 19 page spread from my 2009 fake journal. I used Ziller Acrylic ink with a dip pen and Schmincke pan watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Fake journals, just like regular visual journals, can provide the opportunity to experiment with materials. I've used Schmincke pan watercolors for decades, but never as my primary, day in, day out, palette. My color choices with this palette are similar to my main watercolor palette (which consists primarily of Daniel Smith watercolors and some M. Graham watercolors), but there are some differences, nuances. There are some colors that are hold overs from before my last major palette overhaul in 2003. (After that overhaul I created smaller palettes to carry with me, but those smaller palettes were based on my selections for the 2003 palette.)
Click here if you would like to see a PDF of my palette selection process. When you arrive at "Leisure Reading" click on "Adding and Deleting Pigments…" under the "Educational Content?" heading.)
One of the benefits of using the Schmincke pan watercolor palette for this year's fake journal is that day after day I've had to confront my color choices and rethink them. The process can be most readily seen when looking at the turkey sketches that appear throughout the fake journal (April 1, 4, 10, 12, already posted; and 21, 26, and ??—there are 3 more days—of drawings not posted yet). These drawings provide a record, interesting to me of my search for the correct mix of blue for the turkey heads. It is also a record of a lot of looking in different types of light, from different distances, and my wavering on whether, after all local color was the right choice. Perhaps next year the idea of local color is something my fake journal author can address?

The image in today's post from April 19 is actually the sister post to the image in yesterday's post (April 18). On two separate days I deal with the idea of shadows on white feathers using different selections of color.

See how much fun this can be? And you didn't believe me!

Gulls and Canada Geese also have repeat appearances in this year's fake journal and they too show me a record of what I'm playing with. Since the author of the journal is someone who is painting and sketching birds the WHOLE day, only warm up or cool down sketches appear in her personal journal and she is happily unfettered by the need to get things down exactly. She will write notes to herself about spacing and sizing and color, but the impression I get is of someone who is much more fussy in her "real" artwork, the work of her daily life. (Perhaps I needed also to keep her "work journal" as well as her personal journal!)

At any rate, those are some quick thoughts on my Schmincke pan watercolors and their use in this year's fake journal. I think testing something out over several consecutive days is always the most efficient way to establish pros and cons, good points, bad points, artistic felicities. What more pleasant way to accomplish this than in a fake journal? So much more accommodating and inviting than a workbook of charts. (Though I have to say, one of my colored pencil students once informed me that she loved making charts and indeed her workbook backed up her statement—the most lovely, artful charts you could ever imagine which still yielded all the "required" and desired information.)

Colors on my Schmincke Pan Watercolor Palette
Note, this palette is the only one I have that still contains a cadmium paint—I don't use cadmium colors much at all. I also don't normally work with this many colors; but all these colors fit nicely as half pans in a small 3-3/4 x 5 inch Schmincke box which I adapted to hold 4 rows of pans instead of 3. When I travel I like to have more colors along with me because I don't know what I'll find. It gives me different options. I have to say I prefer using my smaller palettes with fewer colors, but then they are so small I can have them always with me (about 1 x 1.5 inches). In general I prefer to use colors that are made with single pigments.

Titanium White, Lemon Yellow, Aureolin Modern Yellow, Translucent Yellow, Indian Yellow, Titanium Gold Ochre, Yellow Ochre, Translucent Orange, Burnt Sienna, English Venetian Red, Vermillion, Cadmium Red light, Permanent Carmine, Deep Red, Purple Magenta, Madder Brown, Manganese Violet, Dark Indigo Blue, Delft Blue, French Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Helio Blue Reddish, Helio Cerulean, Helio Turquoise, Cobalt Turquoise, Phthalo Green, Zinc White
To see a chart of this palette click here.

Here is the text from the page spread featured above:

Verso to recto:
09.04.19 7:20 p.m. [side label]

I'm still not calm. It's 9:30 p.m. now. I was sketching the neighborhood chicken after dinner. Two head studies done. A quick body sketch because of the way she was holding her foot was just finished. Up comes Michelle, at my side, about 10 feet away. She shoots the chicken, literally to pieces, feathers floating up and away. The bulk of the body limp when moments ago she'd been looking at me with coy eyes. The noise had been so sudden, so loud. And then silence. I guess when I threw down my sketchbook the wash around the body sketch smeared all over my hand because the teal blue and the black ink was [sic] all over Michelle's collar where I grabbed her. Later Chuck told me he couldn't hear what I said to Michelle—and he was right there—his hand on her gun hand. Lou walked her back into the compound and Chuck took me for a walk. He didn't try to talk 'til we came back.

Now that it's over all I remember is what I was thinking while I was sketching the hen—"I haven't had chicken since I was a child. I miss it."

When Chuck and I got back from our walk there were a couple feathers clinging to the underside of the hedge, and some maroon black spots in the dirt.

Chuck and I filled out breach of protocol reports and an endange[r]ment complaint. She's being evaluated.

[label] curious, tilting her head.

International Fake Journal Month is Winding Down

Above: the April 18 page spread from my 2009 fake journal. I used Ziller Acrylic ink with a dip pen and Schmincke pan watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

There are 4 more days (if you count today, and today isn't over yet) left in IFJM. I've said it before, and I'll say it again (OK, maybe I won't say it again, as time is really short now), there is still time to keep a fake journal.

Take a lovely sheet of watercolor paper and tear it down into halves or quarters. Take one piece of that, fold it in half and you have 4 pages on which you can sketch and paint. On the 30th when you finish the fourth page you can cut and fold a colorful cover out of cardstock and sew or staple them together down the center.

Simple isn't it?

Also, you still have time to enter the IFJM contest.

Several people have written to me to tell me they are keeping a fake journal, but they haven't told me if they are posting it, and if they are posting it on their blog or other internet site they haven't said if they want to enter the contest.

If you are posting your fake journal somewhere else and would like to enter the contest without posting here you can certainly enter simply by sending me a URL to your post. Just sent an email to me at rozjournalrat@gmail.com with the subject line: IFJM Submission. Your URL for your image should be in the body of the text.

The contest deadline is May 1, noon (CST).

Here is the text for the April 18th entry in my fake journal:
Verso to recto with main text entry, followed at the end with transcription of labels:
09.04.18 7:30 p.m.
Sunny with cloudy periods, 70 degrees F and breezy.

Now I've really done it just by sitting here on the fence. I was hoping turkeys would strut by—out of the bushes comes this domestic chicken. I suppose it's some sort of Bantam…I don't know anything about chickens—and then there was Lou just getting back with Morgan form theri asig[n]ment (Minnehaha Falls) and he started tsk-tsking as if the chicken's appearance were my fault. Michelle suddenly appeared telling everyone to get inside. If I hadn't been blocking her line of fire she would have shot it. Chuck stepped in to remind her of protocol. She stomped off to find Roger and I kept sketching. Bell and Ted finally joined me—but from a more distant vantage oint—sketching and taking photos.

She's way too tame and well fed to not be an escaped domestic. An illegal. I guess that does scare me, because we don't know to whom she belongs. Who's out there breaking the law?

Michelle just showed up with Roger in tow. He said let it be. For now. No feeding it—as if that would happen with this lot! A reprieve for now. (8 p.m.)

[labels; left to right]
lovely rivulets of shadow cascading down her neck.

Yellow orchre [sic] and orange tinges in the white feathers.

bend here under cover of feathers.

great thick pale yellow white legs ending in thick "ankles" and fat toes.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The April 17th Page Spread in Roz's 2009 Fake Journal

Above: the April 17 page spread from my 2009 fake journal. I used Ziller Acrylic ink with a dip pen and Schmincke pan watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

I'm fascinated with the feet of Canada Geese, and I've allowed my fascination to spill over and become one for my fake journal's author. Sharing some likes and dislikes is a simple way for me to let my real life feed into the fake journal, making the latter easier to keep up.

It's down to the wire now. I have 5 blank page spreads left in my fake journal—one for each remaining day in April. Later this afternoon I'll take a few minutes to do today's page spread. I've been keeping my time involvement down in the 30 to 50 minute range. The most time is spent on the text because my life is always filled with birds. Friday I was surprised by a Pileated Woodpecker on my bike ride—that event made its way into my fake journal, but more on that when the page comes up chronologically. It is always good to be open to any sketching possibilities. Visual journaling keeps you alert to your surroundings for "raw material."

Also, on this day I had a headache that was quite severe and this got folded into the fake journal. Sometimes the fake journal is a good place to escape from such realities, but on other occasions if it means giving up working on a project or working on the project at the best level you can, I think scaling back your expectations and doing "parts" is preferable than taking a pass. Afterwards it also feels better to push through the physical impediment.

While there are only 5 days remaining in International Fake Journal Month, it still is not too late to keep one. A five-day journal can be a wonderful experience. Consider stepping in to try it out, to prepare and plan for next year perhaps?

The text of this page spread reads:
sharp angle where these join
near leg
thinner profile to far toe
There's a flatness to the foot as it flops onto the ground taking major contour shapes from it.
Close alignment at base—pigeon-toed.

O9.04.17 4:30 p.m. East River Flats on Bike again.
April snows in Colorado today 12 inches! Here it is 70 degrees F. with sun and a bit of a gusty wind.
This afternoon we were given a half day off to explore on our bikes…get used to them. Fleck is greatly subdued, and staying eactly where Chuck wants him. Fleck's natural fears, put aside by the enjoyment of being out yesterday are now back in force. I helped him fill out some of his charts. Then he took photos while I sketched. I've had a headache all day so I focused on parts. It's all interesting. I'm hoping we get our assignments in the next couple days. I'm getting a bit claustrophobic at the compound.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Look into Trudi Sissons' Fake Journal

Above: A page from the 2009 fake journal of Trudi Sissons (©2009 Trudi Sissons). Click on the image for an enlargement. Read below for additional information.

Trudi Sissons wrote a couple days ago to tell me she had just stumbled upon this blog and immediately sat down to participate. I love to hear that!

Here's what Trudi had to say about her process:
I have had an 'alter ego' for a few years now. Her name is 2 and she is the artist in me wanting a simple life with two dresses - thus the name of my blog - Two Dresses Studio. Two summers ago, I completed two workshops (no pun intended) with Nick Bantock on Salt Spring Island. He taught me to let go of my 'inner critic' and I have done a paragraph or so about the death of the IC (as in "iK') But, I realized he'd been born again when I read through some of your posts, so I thought I must have a little talk with IC.

I wasn't prepared to take on a bird, but I loved your 2009 IFJM journal, so I started with watercolor (H20 Twinklers) and mapped out a feather. My IC was alive and well, and initially even bigger than I ever recall. But slowly, Two got the best of him and eventually, the brush moved outside the lines and complementary colors went the way of the dinosaur. Well, even the feather morphed and up popped Mother Earth. You never know when you let yourself go!!!
Trudi has posted another page to her fake journal at the web link I've provided above. You can also see her photography and collage work, plenty of fun things to look at and be inspired by.

But perhaps the best inspiration from Trudi today is the way she just jumped in and didn't let the internal critic hamper her!

All of us get a little cocky sometimes. We think that we have things under control because we have been productive creatively for long periods. Then we see something, a glimpse perhaps, if not a full-blown situation, which shows us the internal critic is alive and kicking. Don't be discouraged by that quick glimpse, just use it as a check point to do diagnostics and get tuned up again. Silence the internal critic at the first whimpering or needling noise. It's faster and easier than waiting. All the time you gain is time you can put back into your art and life.

Oh, Trudi did one other thing that I have been recommending, she kept her time expenditure under an hour. Don't set out to spend hours and hours on a new project such as this. A missed session will put you overwhelmingly behind.

Remember, 15 minutes, even 10 minutes a day. That's all it takes.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The April 16th Page Spread in Roz's 2009 Fake Journal

Above: the April 16 page spread from my 2009 fake journal. I used Ziller Acrylic ink with a dip pen and Schmincke pan watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Well, in the page spread above my journal's author gets to deal with geese, one of my own personal favorites. While there are some geese back from their wintering grounds, I'm sad that the fake journal will end before the glorious time of GOSLINGS. This is one of my REAL favorite times of the year, when down-covered drumsticks march across the river flats in rowdy groups, protected by doting parents, aunts, and uncles.

Remember, if you count today you have 7 days left of IFJM and that is plenty of time to create a slim but interesting fake journal. Think about it.

Here then is the text for this page spread.

Verso page:
09.04.16 5:15 p.m. East River Flats, checking out reports that some Canada Geese had returned.

This one just stood and stared at me for the longest time.

There is an impossibility about the neck.

striations in the gray breast feathers.

Recto page:
9:30 p.m.—We got bicycles today so we can start going out to our assigned research "plots" (when they get assigned). Chuck suggested we pedal down to the river flats before dinner, to start to acclimatize—adjust. I haven't been on a bike for 20 years but it all came back—ending with the scary slide down hill to the flats entrance. Fleck yahoo-ed the whole way and kept riding up the next hill past the entrance. Now I've seen Chuck pissed off and it isn't pretty. We have to all be together.

The good news is there were a few Canada Geese at the flats. WIth luck there will be a flock to study. We might even get the assignment. I love these dinosaur birds!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Anne Bray is Working away in Her Fake Journal

Above: a page spread from her 2009 altered book fake journal. ©2009 Anne M. Bray. Click on the image to see an enlargement.

Anne M. Bray has written to say she is still working away in her fake Leonard Cohen journal.
"I" [meaning her journal's author] am using mostly colored pencils now, they work very well on the book's cheap paper (which is just like newsprint). This one is the 12th spread wherein I draw a map. Maps and charting my drive have become more important, now that I'm traveling in areas unknown.
I haven't been able to journal every day, but am doing a lot more visual journaling than ever before. It's also a great way to read Leonard's poems.

There's still time for you to have a bit of fake journal fun!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The April 15th Page Spread in Roz's 2009 Fake Journal

Above: the tax day spread in my 2009 fake journal. I used Ziller acrylic ink and dip pen, with only a smidge of Schmincke Pan Watercolors.

A good friend wrote to me today and asked said, "Why fake journals, it doesn't compute for me?"

It was a serendipitus note because today was the day I was scheduled to put up the fifteenth page spread in my journal: April 15, 2009—Tax Day. (Even in the alternate Minneapolis that my journal author lives in there is of course death and taxes.)

I had tried to explain to my friend, "What's the point? Why? Why anything in art: because you're drawn to it, because you have to, because it's fun, because, just 'cause." And I went on to explain some of the other points I mentioned when I started this blog.

But one thing I omitted and didn't realize until I posted the April 15 page spread. I hate April because of taxes. I hate the paperwork, I hate everything about it. I'm the type of person who likes to finish things well in advance of deadlines yet
I have learned to live with a man who likes to do taxes at the very last moment. In the past if you were to turn on the news April 15 you would typically see Dick right there at the post office at 10 p.m. in the video of people posting their envelopes. Happily, just as I have adjusted, he's adjusted a bit too and now he's typically done before dinner time.

Because of the stress of April (if you don't work for yourself with a business that has many many jobs through the course of the year, sale of artwork and books, and teaching, you cannot believe the paperwork and I keep current all year long) I have always had special projects in April so that I can move from work right into a very intense and demanding, yet fun and engaging project. One that can be interrupted often to answer questions as required, or provide additional copies of some receipt or other. (Interruptibility is key, but deeply engaging at the same time.)

One year I wrapped various body parts in sculpting wire and attached them to boards to make a series of self-portraits in 3-D. Other years I would do a daily series of paintings. But since 2001 it seemed simplest to just shift my fake journaling to April.

Some people might find that adding another task to your day makes this month even more stressful, but I find that the additional task helps me focus all my work better.

So there are many reasons I like to keep fake journals upon occasion, but April offered an additional appeal. And of course I love any excuse to have buttons and t-shirts.

There are nine days left for people containing their fake journals in April. I'm off to do today's entry. If you haven't started yet and want to give it one last sprint there's still time. Why? Just 'cause.

For people reading the text on my pages, the spread above reads:

Verso to Recto:
Another day close at the compound. Roger has been making assignments. Nothing yet for me, Chuck, and Fleck.

Funny how some things never change. Tax Day. The mood is subdued. I took advantage, before coming here, of the corps' accounting network. I'm filed. Several folks here were up late last night doing paperwork. And Chuck was one of them! In an unguarded moment he let slip that he has two sons (5 and 8) and a wife in Seattle. Why she doesn't file I don't know. The courier comes at 8 p.m.

Michelle said she'd baby sit me while I sketched so he'd have more time. Frankly she frightens me with her gung ho attitude. I sketched this bunny feeding—inside the compound. A good choice because it was obvious right [a]way she was impatient to be inside.

light hitting the side of the bunny making an edge of brilliantly light fur. This bunny has a split ear too but no myxomata!!?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Question of Historial Fake Journals

Above: this is the page spread from April 14 in my 2009 IFJM journal. I used Ziller Acrylic ink, dip pen, and Schmincke pan watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

A number of folks have been writing to me and telling me that they are keeping historical fake journals. Their authors are living in past times (no one has written to tell me they are writing a future fake journal, but I'm sure one of you is doing that!).

International Fake Journal Month was originally conceived to celebrate and facilitate the creation of fake journals in the month of April, in the present year. This construct was hit upon, simply because it was what I was always doing in my own fake journals at the time.

I see the historical fake journal as a subcategory of fake journals and want to encourage anyone who has a predilection for writing about the past (or future) to keep on writing and drawing.

The point of the project has always been to get people to journal more and with greater ease.
By writing a fake journal in a contemporary setting the originator of that journal only has to focus on his journal author's character and artistic style and it simplifies the process. Adding historical distance, for some folks can be a detail nightmare, requiring research and planning, and extra thought to avoid anachronisms and other such pitfalls in historical work.

But for some people there is great charm and fun in doing the research involved in doing an historical fake journal. Things that would bog down other folks, actually free up the mind or engage the mind of the historical fake journal originator.

There is another advantage that might lure some folks into the historical arena—the shifting of TIME as well as place (or dimensions) gives an added level of distance from the author of the journal. This translates into greater freedom for the historically minded. This actually allows them to create a better barrier against the internal critic that might stop any journaling effort.

So if you decide to keep a fake journal, whether you fall into the contemporaneous or historical camp is simply a matter of how best your journaling impulse will be served. Either way, have fun speaking in the first person voice of your journal's author.

Text on April 14 page spread:
Left to right across the top of the spread:
09.04.14 4:30 p.m.
Must have been 59 degrees F today. Sunny with a slight breeze. I was dying to be outside but after last night's fiasco that was not allowed. Only got to sit on the fence and sketch what came by—so what a delight it should be another confirmed sighting of Robins! Two A breeding pair with luck. They bopped around too fast. I can't get their proportions.

Bottom Verso:
can't see the feet clearly because they are the same gray color of the asphalt.
Roger said that lock down last night was because there were non-registered "transients" in the area. Lou, Hopper, and Chuck went out first thing this morning. Some dead pigeons and 4 dead turkeys—remains in a fire pit on Ontario—no other damage or activity. They cleared it all up. I'm still pissed they didn't eat the damn birds!

Bottom Recto:
angled out flat
longer just off the page
Fleck too[k] a ton of photos of the 2 robins hopping about. 2 witnesses (on the 7th) are great—but headquarters loves photography for sightings of this nature.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The April 13th Page Spread in Roz's 2009 Fake Journal

Above: this is the page spread from April 13 in my 2009 fake journal. I'm using Ziller Acrylic ink, dip pen, and Schmincke pan watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

On this day I stopped to see friends who feed ducks and was able to sketch, thus making my real life meld into my fake journal project seamlessly. (On other days I've had to plan to go somewhere to sketch, or dig out reference sketches to work from.) This page is a very clear example of how the text had absolutely nothing to do with what was around ME at the time, except of course the ducks.

Have fun playing with this.

For people reading along the text on these pages is as follows:

09.04.13 7:30 p.m. Mallards in the vacant lot adjacent to the compound.

Oddly thin and narrow here

black or darkish triangle at tip of bill

Breast has plum tone but is much darker brown

couldn't wait for the was to dry. Chuck insisting I come in now.

dark orange red legs and feet

grass hiding the feet which are moving too quickly

The colors are impossibly graduated. The grays across the back look like a grayscale chart, smoothly blending.

blue accent on wing
It's 8:30 now and I still don't know what the fuss was. Chuck got us all in lock down and he's outside with Hopper and Lou.

There is a navy blue and emerald look to the neck as it shifts colors

Breast mush darker

with magenta and emerald green

with transp. yellow and magenta

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Exploring Orange and Other Thoughts for Fake Journals

Above: the April 12 page spread in my IFJM journal shows some turkey studies. (Ziller acrylic ink, dip pen, and Schmincke Pan Watercolors.) I was working with one of my favorite Schmincke colors: Translucent Orange. Click on the image for an enlargement.

I have been working with Schmincke pan watercolors throughout this fake journal and that has given me time to reconnect with one of my favorite Schmincke colors: Translucent Orange. Just after painting this page I happened to talk to my friend Diane about using this color and she went off to experiment with it on her own. You can read about her experiments on her blog.

One of the opportunities created when you keep a fake journal is the freedom to use new materials, new media, new colors, new papers, new whatever, that you might not venture into in your regular journal. Sure you might take time to experiment in your regular journal, but the fake journal can actually offer an opportunity for intense scrutiny and focus on just a few tools and art materials. (Conversely if you always use the same materials in your regular journal a fake journal can give you permission to let go.)

If you're still on the fence about keeping a fake journal this April realize that there is still plenty of time to turn a fake journal experience into a focused artistic study. Select a slim blank journal of your making or a commercial journal, or take a few pieces of watercolor paper and fold them into a pamphlet book as I mentioned the other day. For the remaining days of April spend just 15 minutes a day as an artist who is experimenting with one type medium, doing color studies, doing line work, whatever.

In those daily 15 minutes put that person's hat on and really run that chosen art material through its paces making charts or making swatches of color or line hatching or whatever. You can throw in a few bits of commentary from your author about why he/she is focusing on the paints, or commentary about his/her life.

This approach will appeal to all those folks whose internal critics are still telling them there's no value in this type of play (or in any play at all). When you finish April you'll not only have a fake journal you'll have a useful reference journal of your 10-day exploration of a new medium or tool.

Have a go.

For people reading the text in my fake journal it reads:

Verso, labels at the base:
There's an olive cast to the brown of their feathers. Trans. Orange and Helio Blue can work into this.

Pinky peachiness to legs
Slightly greater distance between feet.
09.04.12 5 p.m. Sitting on the compound fence
All hell broke out last night at dinner. People shouting about being exposed to unknown "pathogens" (Which I didn't think was the correct way to phrase it—but I stayed out of it completely!) So did Chuck. Alec and Angie were the most insistent and even though I was silent they kept looking over at me like it was my idea to go to the zoo. I've been lowkey all day today—scarce. Chuck and I did target practice. And I got some more turkey observation time in just now before dinner. Everyone else is using their free time to register written complaints—except Chuck of course who's here with me.
Propotions on this sketch work as corected below. Large eye in relation to head. Body angle and carriage like this

Move down. This leg needs to be longer—on same level line from and [sic] toe of rear foot.