Art Journaling for Teens & More!

The Teen section of the library is one of my favorite places to be; it has great fiction, some heartbreaking memoirs, and an informative non-fiction section that all too often gets overlooked. However, starting in August, at the Hopewell Branch there is a new Teen Group gathering to combat that! Art journaling (for ages 12 and up) will be meeting once a month to explore creativity, inspiration and mixed media art!

Some Art Journal pages made at the Hopewell Branch
Some Art Journal pages made at the Hopewell Branch

The practice of Art Journaling has been around almost as long as art itself, and nary has a place seemed more fit to host such a gathering as the library! With large Art, Art History, and Art Tutorial areas in the library branches’ nonfiction stacks to choose from, teens have the opportunity to churn out something expressive!

The materials used can be anything from magazine clippings, paint, charcoal, string, and even makeup! Creations are often highlighted with excerpts from their favorite books, songs, or poems, making these journal pages truly unique and something to cherish for a lifetime! While many art journals are completely free form and absent of themes or guidelines, others choose to use their journals to chronicle major life events, record dreams or thoughts, or even immortalize their hobbies like gardening, cooking and other creative pastimes.

If you think Art Journaling could be for you, check out the 700’s section of your branch’s nonfiction collection for inspiration or, for more information, check out these links!


Some great Young Adult Art books available for check out!

These are sure to help you get started with your own Art Journal!

Art Journal FREEDOM: How to Journal Creatively with Color & Composition by Dina Wakely
Art Journal FREEDOM: How to Journal Creatively with Color & Composition by Dina Wakely
Color is all around us and we often find ourselves drawn to particular combinations or arrangements. But how can you effectively and artistically capture those eye-catching compositions in your art journal?

It's true, art journaling has no "rules" and is a safe place for free expression of your one-of-a-kind life. But knowledge is power and knowing the "rules" of color and composition gives you the freedom to use and break them willfully to create the effects you want. Dina shares these principles in a fun and approachable way with dozens upon dozens of unique journal pages to show you just some of the many possibilities.

200 Projects to Strengthen Your Art Skills by Valerie Colston
200 Projects to Strengthen Your Art Skills by Valerie Colston

Challenging tutorials, 35 imaginative projects to complete, and tips from professional artists introduce beginning students to the building blocks of art. This profusely illustrated book teaches serious beginners the fundamental skills of graphic design as an introduction to their formal study in fine art, illustration, computer game design, interior design, animation, and virtually all other avenues in the visual arts. The author advises on setting up a proper workspace and assembling the needed materials--everything from sketchpads and paints to affordable computer software.

What It Is by Lynda Barry
What It Is by Lynda Barry
How do objects summon memories? What do real images feel like? For decades, these types of questions have permeated the pages of Lynda Barry's compositions, with words attracting pictures and conjuring places through a pen that first and foremost keeps on moving. What It Is demonstrates a tried-and-true creative method that is playful, powerful, and accessible to anyone with an inquisitive wish to write or to remember. Composed of completely new material, each page of Barry's first Drawn & Quarterly book is a full-color collage that is not only a gentle guide to this process but an invigorating example of exactly what it is: "The ordinary is extraordinary."

Journal It!: Perspectives in Creative Journaling by Jenny Doh
Journal It!: Perspectives in Creative Journaling by Jenny Doh

Journaling and collage come together in Journal It!, where 19 mixed-media artists showcase their signature techniques, tips, and creativity boosters. The featured work ranges from lettering expert Jill K. Berry's beautifully calligraphied travel journals to Jeannette Sclar's whimsical gardening books, and the techniques include everything from toner-based transfer to stitching with fabric and paper. With over 200 inspirational photos to guide them, even beginners can create works of art right from the start.

The Complete Guide to Altered Imagery: For Collage, Altered Books, Artists Journals, and More by Karen Michel

The Complete Guide to Altered Imagery: For Collage, Altered Books, Artists Journals, and More by Karen Michel
A wide range of techniques borrowed from both traditional and digital art has recently begun to blend into one art form, known as altered art. The Complete Guide to Altered Imagery is the only book currently on the market that provides fascinating tips and creative ideas solely focused on this new form of art. An in-depth discussion of manipulation techniques is supplied, making this an essential handbook for all artists and crafters looking for creative ways to alter and enhance various types of imagery in new and traditional ways, and then to integrate this altered art into their work.

If you think you may need a little more inspiration before getting started on your own, or would rather just appreciate the artwork, these titles are a must see!

How to Survive Modern Art by Susie Hodge
How to Survive Modern Art by Susie Hodge

Modern art arouses many different responses. Suspicion, controversy, and misunderstanding are among the most frequent. But it doesn’t need to be like that! Here is a clear, accessible, fully illustrated introduction to what can otherwise seem like a daunting subject.

With sections that cover the major movements and artists in the history of modern art as well as introductions to its major themes, together with suggested ways of looking at modern art and tips on where to see it, as well as a glossary of key terms, How to Survive Modern Art is the ideal book for anyone wanting to come to grips with this fascinating subject.

The Art Book
The Art Book

Winner of the Illustrated Book of the Year award in 1994, The Art Book has been an outstanding success and has become a well‐known landmark in the art book world. An A–Z guide to the greatest painters and sculptors from medieval to modern times, it debunks art‐historical classifications by throwing together brilliant examples of all periods, schools, visions and techniques. Each artist is represented by a full‐page color plate of a definitive work, accompanied by explanatory and illuminating information on the image and its creator.

Chuck Close: Up Close by Jan Greenberg
Chuck Close, Up Close by Jan Greenberg

Through interviews conducted with Close as well as an analysis of his technique, acclaimed authors Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan explore the ways in which an artist's life and work intertwine. Close's remarkable larger-than-life portraits are the result of a carefully constructed system that finds its roots in both his struggle to overcome severe learning difficulties as a child and immense physical challenges later in life. With full-color reproductions of Close's work as well as additional material on portraits and portraiture, plus a glossary and bibliography, this is an engaging and accessible study of an extraordinary artist, the subject of over one hundred one-man shows, including a retrospective exhibition at New York's Museum of Modern Art.

Egyptian Art
Egyptian Art by Jaromir Malek

From the geometrical precision of the pyramids to the golden treasures found in Tutankhamun's tomb, the art of ancient Egypt has an enduring capacity to attract and intrigue. These remarkable works of art are the concrete expression of the ancient Egyptians' way of life and their attitudes to religion and the afterlife. In this clear and comprehensive introduction, Jaromir Malek deftly traces Egyptian art from its prehistoric origins, through 3,000 years of astonishing achievements in the era of the pharaohs, to the conquest of Egypt by the Romans.

Whether you are a seasoned art enthusiast, or just looking to dabble in a new hobby, come to Mercer County Library System and see what we have to offer you! Education, Inspiration, and Imagination await!

-Amanda Jacobsen

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