Art journaling has been on hiatus for 2 months due to our friends travel to Mexico. After taking this much time off, I was curious if we would pick up where we left off, or if I should go back to having a model to follow.
I decided to see where the group wanted to go and offered the suggestion that we journal about our pets, and of course, the girls focused in on rabbits and guinea pigs!
Each girl took their own unique approach. Lilah and her friend pulled out manga books and created a manga unicorn and a manga rabbit. Grace and her friend took out the colored pencils and combined their drawings with collage. Two other friends ripped pages out of a dictionary and drew rabbits in Sharpie marker and colored them in with brightly pigmented Sharpies and sealed the page with Modge Podge.
Often, as was in the case this week, the art takes over our time. The girls spent about 2 hours working on their drawings. By the time they finished, there was not much time or energy left for writing. The words come later.
For me, art is the inspiration for writing. I consider art journaling part of our writing curriculum. I realize that journal writing is not the same as a 5 paragraph persuasive essay or a research report, but the thoughts that are captured in the pages of their journals are the seeds for future writing projects.
The personal feelings that Grace and Lilah have about their rabbit is a beautiful compliment to the research that they have already done about rabbits. In fact, Grace used both her personal reflections and her research to begin a new realistic fiction piece of writing that is clearly based on her experiences of having to research and present information on things that she would like to have. It is a funny piece of writing and I am enjoying reading it as it develops.
Because we are three different families with three different educational styles and philosophies, not all of the children are writing in their journals. For some of the girls it is a place for art. This is certainly acceptable but it does change the focus of our group from art journaling to art creating.
Because I love the journaling piece so much, I am thinking of offering a 4 week series like I did last summer to the greater homeschool community so that my girls and I can have the experience of both art and writing in one session.