Books are my friends. I have, quite literally, hundreds of them. Perhaps even thousands…I treasure them all.
It is rare for me to destroy a book. In fact, the only reason I do is because the book serves no purpose any longer. Encyclopedias and Dictionaries are both excellent examples of books which no longer serve their purpose.
I was recently given an extraordinary set of encyclopedias from my dear friend, Laurie. These are fascinating and very old. There is artwork with these pages which is frame-able. I have not been able to bring myself to begin using these encyclopedias for art journaling yet. I do, however, have a set from the ’80’s. These came from my aunt and uncle. These encyclopedias I have no problem destroying. The information is obsolete, the pages are simply text and photographs-not art work, and the covers are plain and uninteresting.
In other words, perfect for art journaling.
I have used the pages for collage, paintings, lettering, beads and much more. Often I go over them with gesso first, letting the printing show through, and then paint or draw something over top. It gives a nice, soft look to the paper. And one encyclopedia can give you several hundred pages to work with.
A great source for these old books is Goodwill. I don’t know about the ones where you live, but here hard covered books are each .75 cents. For less than a dollar you can have hundreds of pages with which to create. If you prefer, you can even use the book as is. Fill the pages between the covers with whatever art journaling inspiration you can think of.
My pages are quite large, so I ripped them in half. I’ve been painting faces, flowers and abstracts on these pages using the most inexpensive paints I have. They are laying all over my workroom drying even now. Once dry, I will file them in the appropriately labeled file folders for future projects.
Another idea for these pages is to use them as techniques samples. Try out a technique on a page or two to see how it goes before you put it into your art journal. Practice on these pages and if it turns out well, add it to your art journal. If not, pitch it.
Or roll the pages into cone shapes and glue to a foam core circle. This circle can be any size you wish. I have made these in very large sizes, leaving the very center empty and filling that with flowers. Turned out beautifully and I have given them as gifts. Or make small ones for your Christmas tree and put a photo in the center.
To be honest with you, when I can make something from either free or really cheap stuff-it just makes my day. Old encyclopedias are a wonderful resource.