My blog pal Wendy has just written a post about art journals. She's a big fan - as am I. Kinda.
I always feel wierd about other people's art journals/visual diaries/workbooks. They are often great to look at, but if they are made for looking at, it puts them more in the realm of scrapbooking, to me. And I am snobby about scrapbooking (in the sense of using stuff from a Scrapbooking Shop) - that is NOT art.
If an artist is working in their journal and thinking "how will this look in my blog?" or "how will this look in an exhibition of artists journals?" then it just doesn't seem like my idea of art practice. There should be hard graft, invisible and unrewarded. There should be other opportunities spurned, dogs unwalked, phones unanswered, stretching not done, TV shows missed and lost forever, while you work, and work and work. Eventually you have The Piece, which you present to the world, (the phrase 'begotten not made' has sprung to mind).
I always look enviously at other people's journals, and I guess maybe this is the voice of jealousy. Why isn't my journal so funky and scrappy and cool? Why don't I do little watercolour portraits of the people on the train on the way to work? Oh, I walk to work, that would be why. And I can't stand having anyone watch me draw.
There are two artists I can think of just in my own family who will probably scoff at my preciousness.