Art Journal Ideas: Two for the road

art journal ideas | art journal pages | art journal techniques

Next week I will be on the road again for a 5+ hour car trip so I wanted to share how I got my art journal ready for the trip. This article inspires you to create art journal pages for your summer vacation plus includes two art journal prompts for you to try either on the road or at home.

How I prepare the page
I am addicted to this tissue paper by Tim Holtz.

First, I like to add lots of layers for visual interest. My go to are bits of scrapbook paper, but I am trying to move away from that since I feel that the art belongs partially to the artist who designed the scrapbook papers. I also like to add vintage piano music, thin layers of patterned napkins and also tissue paper by Tim Holtz {Melange Tissue Wrap by Tim Holtz Idea-ology}

Add personal touches


flower art | orange flower art | watercolor paintings by #schulmanArt
You can collect the 
original watercolor 
of orange begonias or 
collect an 
affordable fine art print

I also added small prints from my watercolor paintings. You can see the orange begonias which are from this watercolor painting. I also like to unify the different scraps with smears of paint, and for this job I either use cheap craft paint, or a touch of fluid acrylic which I love because although they cost more, they are transparent. You can add any imagery you like whether it is a photo, a picture you see in a magazine or something else. I try to avoid pictures from magazines or other artists’ art since they are subject to copyright rules… For you, this won’t matter unless you plan on publishing your art or offering it for sale like I sometimes do. {you can own a print from my art journal– they are listed with my other inspirational art on etsy}

art journal ideas | art journal pages | art journal techniques

Follow my progress on the road

For these two pages I have no idea what I am going to do yet… I may come up with the idea on the road and will be posting works in progress photos to my instagram, twitter and Facebook accounts so follow me on whichever of those social media platforms you like the best.


art journal ideas | art journal pages | art journal techniques

Prompt: What made today special?

For the next two pages, I have an idea that I want to share with you. Last week, my daughter and I drove up to Tanglewood in the Berkshires which is a famous outdoor music festival. The drive took us about 2.5 hours from where we live and since I had to do the driving I didn’t think to pack my art journal (mistake)

art journal ideas | art journal pages | art journal techniques
a watercolor print of Yo Yo Ma is image on
facing page.. embellish or leave it? 
That is the question.

Although we arrived with plenty of time to spare, had a nice picnic before the concert (which was Yo Yo Ma) the concert start was delayed by half an hour because they said some of the musicians were stuck in traffic. The woman next to me grumbled that those musicians should be fired since there are plenty of talented unemployed musicians and we both wondered if the tardy one was Yo Yo Ma. We had a nice chat and it turned out she just retired from teaching elementary school music and I had brought my daughter whose career goal is to do just that. This stranger (whose name I never learned) also went to one of the conservatories that my daughter will be applying to in the fall.

List Idea: Looking for Harmony

Anyway, besides that five minute chat, my daughter was busy ignoring me on her iphone and I found myself doodling on the program. I started the page with my “one little word” for the year which is “Harmony” and decided to make a list of all the things that day that added harmony to my experience. In other words, how was this day special?

art journal supplies | mixed media supplies | discover more on

All I had with me was one of my black signo pens. This is a great pen but all pens struggle on writing on a glossy surface, like these programs or washi tape. At home, I adhered the page to my journal using matte medium ( never cheap glossy products that will make your dry pages stick together) added the same elements as above, some Acrylic fluid paint and then ( this is important) added clear gesso on top. The clear gesso has grit in it to “matte-ify” the glossy page and facilitate writing. I can’t wait to fill this in but I decided to wait until the car trip. I will be sharing my finished pages when I get back from vacation.

On the facing page, I started with a print of my Yo Yo Ma watercolor painting which you can collect from etsy. I actually have a few of these prints lying around since I am very picky about the quality of prints I send out to my collectors and having “hoarder tendencies” I don’t like to throw out my rejects ( thinking I can use them for future projects, or even give away) I am not sure what if anything I want to do with this second page. I may add a quote, or leave it as is. What do you think?

Prompt: Where in the world are you?

art journal ideas | art journal pages | art journal techniques the next two pages, I secretly removed the map of New England from the family Atlas book. When questioned by my daughter and husband where I got the map I claimed I “just had it” (which is true– “Tell the truth but tell it slant” as Emily Dickinson said) Again, I had to put clear gesso on top of the glossy pages.

I have a few ideas for this prompt… at first I would just do the “license plate game” and make a list of license plates we spotted…but as I thought about it I wanted to relate more to the picture so I think I am going to make a list of all the cities we pass through on the way. Again, I will be sharing my progress photos on social media. Your comments there are always appreciated. I may not respond to every one of them, but I personally read each one.

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I’m Miriam Schulman, your curator of inspiration.

I inspire art-lovers to reconnect with their creativity and profit from their art. Whether you paint simply for the joy of it or you’re serious about selling your work, and you’re ready to stop putting yourself on the back burner...You're in the right place. I've done it and I can inspire YOU how to do it too.

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