I believe I may have found the perfect altered journal book for me. From sewn binding to content to size. I love the way the cover feels in my hands, the slickness of the pages, and the sound they make when they receive gesso or acrylic - which they hold quite well. It's an old book about trees, but it even says "A Studio Book" on a page in the front... and that's exactly what it has become - practice pages for the studio.
Funny thing is, I had bought this book awhile ago to just rip out collage elements for other journals... but I sort of fell in love with it, and wanted to smear paint and mark graphite in it, to lay thought-free expression next to tree roots and branches. I even smacked that white paint over the black with a stick and vigor - it reminded me of working with clay - more embodied, less predictable, resulting in touchable texture that mimics some obscure snippet from nature.
The pages above feel like a warm-up for fresh landscape, complete as is. The book feels like the perfect accompaniment to my painting practice (I almost always have a journal next to me when I paint).
I'm feeling all sorts of curiosities about what this book seems to have evoked in me - exploring the language of visual abstraction within color and marks that dance between restraint and spontaneity, simplicity and rawness.
I find myself taking full, deep breaths when I work from this energy.