Journal To Discovery

It never occurred to me many years ago to keep a Journal, not a Diary, but a Journal of thoughts and ideas. It would have been great to be able to delve into now to see what sorts of things I was thinking of way back when.
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The idea to keep such a thing only started to enter my thinking around 2010. I started a small one for photographic ideas that I would definitely need the use of Photoshop to engineer as they were moving towards ‘Conceptual Photography.’ I would write a few brief notes and then do basic drawings or a sketch. Ironically, these days I seldom use Photoshop, but that’s for another article…

At my core I am ‘an ideas person.’ I have a lot of them and sometimes the phrase, ’shiny object syndrome’ comes to mind. Through 2003 – 2009 I was traveling 4 hours return by public transport to work in Sydney, Australia, was in two Photographic Societies, on committees and had lots of things on the go. Over the years, I have many ideas and some of them have progressed but many are still there, waiting…

In 2008 Toastmasters arrived in my life and I was being exposed to new things, ideas, people. Evernote became my ’Typed Journal.’

I began to revisit Sketches (that were not connected with Photographic ideas) which led me to keep a related Sketching journal, which led to me completing a basic Drawing course. Up sprang another type of Journal!

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Drawing led to me wondering if I could Paint? Up sprang a small Painting ‘Journal.’

In August 2013, I started writing Poetry, so yes, enter my Evernote Poetry Journal. Two years ago I realised just how much I was missing the ‘actual act of writing’ and so I bought an A5 journal that I handwrite poetry in. As I was halfway through my 4th poetry journal, a thought came to mind… Instead of having all these different Journals, why not combine them?
Research began on what type of journal to buy? This went on for a few weeks…

I ascertained it had to be able to be good enough quality paper to be:

  • Written on using a Calligraphy (or similar pen)
  • Able to withstand Watercolour and Acrylic Paints
  • Sketched or Drawn upon

As I found out, there is a whole industry devoted to Journals/Journaling. Here is one of the links that were indeed very helpful to me, as I hope it will be for you.

The next decision was, ’should I buy a ready-made’ product or make my own?’

I decided to go the ready-made route. I feel that my next one will be one I make myself. It sounds like fun!

The Journal I have chosen to combine all my Artistic, Writing & Poetical ideas is an A4 Ivory paper journal.

In this Journal, to my Heart’s content I can:

  • Write Poetry
  • Write small articles
  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Sketch
  • Formulate Ideas
  • Paste photos

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As I get on in years it is going to be so much fun delving back, re-engineering ideas and seeing what thoughts and ideas I have had. When I am no longer on this Earth the Journals will be left to relatives/friends who I know will appreciate and gain enjoyment from (and who knows) may progress some of the ideas and be inspired to record their own Artistic Journey.

Do you keep a Journal of your Art, Thoughts & Ideas?

If so, what do you use? I would be interested in hearing about your Journal of Discovery!

As for me, I believe I can hear my Journal calling me… Bye for now.

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Express Them I Must!

Addiction

My Photographic Journey – Part 1

People find their paths into Photography in many different ways.

For some it is by virtue as a camera as a present; others are enticed by one of their peers; some choose it as a career.

Many years ago (while I was at school) I was building Airfix model plane kits and I used to stick them to fishing wire that I had strung across my bedroom. If you were taller than say 6 feet/185cm, you had a problem…

I then thought how cool would it be to photograph them so I bought some blue cardboard, held it up in the background and fired off some shots with a Kodak Instamatic camera (110 negative) size to try to make it look like they were flying.

Throughout my youth I used to take photos (on a couple of different cameras) on the Kodak Instamatic, an old Box Brownie or a Polaroid Instant Film camera. The photography bug was ‘nibbling me’ though at that stage it had not ‘bitten’ me.

When I was 19 (1982), the Family moved to Leumeah (60km SW of Sydney, NSW, Australia), and not really knowing many people in the area my brother & I joined a Church Youth Social Club.

We had so much fun on the outings, picnics etc I decided it was time to buy a better camera, a Canon AF35M Autofocus compact camera, purely to record the fun times we were having.

The camera lens had a thread on the end and I enquired what that was for? Question answered but the salesman said you could do much more with an SLR. ‘A what’ was my response…?

That day in 1982 my world changed forever and for good! I started saving for my first SLR, an Olympus OM-10.

The real journey had begun…

Awareness + Personal Vision + Imagination

One of the things that happened when I first started using a camera to explore the world was that I started to become more aware of what was around me. Initially, this was only on a conscious level. Gradually, over time I trained my eye to seek out things that which20130529-000021-1 others would walk straight by. This now happens on a subconscious level.

Coupled with this is my sense of humour, so that when I was walking along a pier and saw these boots, awareness & humour combined to form a memorable image for me.

This is one of the wonderful things in life. We each have our own personal vision of the world. Our personal vision is shaped by our environment, our beliefs and influences.

In picking up a camera, a paintbrush, a pencil, clay or other artistic media we can express, through our imagination that which others cannot, i.e. our personal view of this world.

Awareness, personal vision and imagination. Three important tools to communicate your message.

David Johnson
October 2016

Awareness

“Look at everything always as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time: Thus is your time on Earth filled with glory.”
Betty Smith – A Tree Grows In Brooklyn

Handrail Design
Photo by David Johnson

Take the time to walk around your local area.

Photographing in the early morning or late afternoon can often reveal very interesting things. There are shapes, textures, lines and forms that reveal themselves to you if you remain aware…

Objects that we humans pass by every day not giving them a second glance, hold beauty, hold interest and stories. Human stories.

The shapes and forms are often made by humans to serve a purpose, a function and they do this effectively. I have attached one such image that I discovered.

By isolating it from its greater surroundings, but including those in close proximity an art form is created. This is a handrail at McDonalds in Camden NSW. Often used. Seldom appreciated.

If you haven’t done it lately, take a walk with a camera through your local area. I have no doubt that you’ll be surprised at what you find!

David Johnson
October 2016

Styles, Schools and Movements

One of my favourite books on my Art shelf is “Styles, Schools and Movements” The Essential Encyclopaedic Guide to Modern Art by Amy Dempsey.

Commencing with Art in 1860 to the present day, it explores 100 styles, schools and img_5984movements in depth and contains a brief description of 200 more.

Each chapter includes a headlining quote from an Artist which offers food for thought, a detailed analysis on the ‘style, school or movement’, example images, references to key collections and books for further reading.

I find it an absolute delight to ‘dip into’ and it provides a great deal of inspiration for my own Art, Poetry, Writing and Photography.

I have the First Edition. A link to the Second Edition can be found below. Enjoy!

David Johnson
October 2016