Friday, March 27, 2009

Shades of Grey

I'm taking another online class (I know, I'm addicted to online classes, but they're so fun and I learn so much from them). This one is called Shades of Grey, and it's being taught by Pam Carriker. You can see a description of it here (scroll down a bit - it's the third class listed).

If you've read my blog for very long, you'll know that I've been interested in art journaling for over a year, trying several different ways of doing it, not completely happy with any of them. Well, I think I've finally found a way that I really like. What appeals to me so much about this is that it combines doodling with lettering, and I love both. The first journaling I did involved drawing actual objects, which I'm not all that good at. I know enough to know that drawing is a skill that can be learned, and I could learn it if I devoted enough time to it. The problem is, I'd rather quilt than learn to draw.

I've tried other forms of journaling too; mainly painting and collage. The painting is fun, but not exactly portable. Plus it's messy and it takes up space on our dining room table. My DH doesn't complain, but still . . . And somehow, collage just doesn't seem very meaningful to me. I save things, thinking I'll put them in my journal, and I usually don't.

But recently I started playing around with Zentangles, which you can see here (I'll post some pictures of the ones I've done when I have a chance). I really like doing them, and I figured out what it is I like - it's just pattern, and you can do any pattern you want. You aren't trying to make it look like anything - it's just decorative. So this journaling that Pam is teaching in her Shades of Grey class is similar, with the addition of lettering. It can be words you write yourself, like about the day you've had or your feelings or whatever you want to say. Or it can be a quote, or words from a song or a poem, or whatever. I also happen to love quotes, so this seems perfect for me.

And here is my first original page (I did another page first, but I basically copied one of Pam's pages with a few minor changes of my own):

I really like the way it turned out. We're using Pitt Artist Brush pens in shades of grey for this class, but I will probably add color to some of my pages too. And I'm using a Moleskine Sketchbook, which is great. I may also make my own books in the future, since I have the Bind-It-All.

As always, you can click on the page to see it larger.


Bonny said...

This turned out very well! I like the tonal variations. It's not just simply black and white, but it's a nice change from colour, too.

freebird said...

I guess there are just endless ways to use the zentangles! I never thought to use it as a whole journal page but yours turned out great. Journaling is so attractive but just how to do it so it clicks with you can be difficult, I know. I have the bind it all now too. Used it for a calendar for my daughter at Christmas time but not for anything since. Rather expensive for one item so I guess I'd better get busy.

Zeborah Loray said...

I love the shades of grey Pitt Pens.
I like the look of your page too.
I'm beginning to think the real reason I can't get into journaling is that I HATE my hand writing. LOL
I do envy you your skill with this.

Anonymous said...

Oh Cheryl ... how interesting your page is and the info on this class you're taking. You are so very talented ... and you've got such a great eye for detail. Thanks for sharing with us.

mo said...

cheryl, your page is wonderful. i love the whole zentangle concept, and you did such a great job with it. the shading on the scrolling really makes it pop. to me the page is fine as is, 'cause i love b/w pages. but i also like your idea of adding a spot of color to other pages. it'll be fun exploring all the possibilities ;)

and thanks for sharing the link to the class page, i've bookmarked it so that when i'm ready for another online class (taking a break right now) i'll be sure to sign up for the "shades of grey" class.

bubblemunch said...

It's a great page. Doodletastic!
I particularly like how you've given depth to the scroll work - really stands out.

maggi said...

Just love the Shades of Grey pages. Have you anything in mind for the Zentangles?

Linda said...

Hi Cheryl,

This is Linda Epstein from the Calligrafun class. I've been looking through your blog, and you have many interesting subjects. I especially have enjoyed looking through your art journals. I've been attempting to do some art journaling also, but I don't quite think I have the grasp of it yet. As I have the time, your blog has been giving me some ideas of what/how to do it. In the future, I think I may take the "Shades of Grey" class too. Anyway, if you wish, you can e-mail me at Thanks for posting your work and being such an inspiration.