Bunk's journals

I've kept sketch books/artist's journals for a long time now... over the years they have evolved from straightforward visual recordings of the world around me to records of ideas and projects to more philosophical investigations and musings.

In about 2005, I discovered Lynne Perrella's book Artists' Journals & Sketchbooks - Exploring and Creating Personal Pages (still a wonderfully inspiring book), which opened my eyes to greater possibilities of personal art in a book form. It felt like I'd been moving towards this kind of expression for a while, and then here it was - validation in print of an artform which I find endlessly fascinating.

At this time I had dropped out of a part-time Fine Art degree, and it was my sketchbooks which remined me that I was an artist and kept me creative.

In particular, I love the combination of text and image, the compactness and privacy of a book with the wide-open possibilities of content derived from your own imagination.

I have been running courses in Art Journalling for 3 years now - teaching techniques and hopefully inspiring people to have a go and develop their own voice. As a movement, Art Journalling really has its roots in the US, and I endeavour to bring some of that enthusiasm and vibrancy to people in the UK through evening classes and day workshops.

So what's in my own journals?
Plans, ideas, workings-out, lists, doodles, dreams, writings, try-outs of techniques... here are some pages.

For more examples of Artists' Journals, have a look at these websites:

Teesha Moore
Orly Avineri
1000 Journals Project

Bunk's journal - MA themes: sea, machines, darkness, derelict.

An exploration of the strongest threads in my work at one point during my MA Fine Art: the main 'roots' are 'the sea', 'machines', 'darkness' and the idea of things being 'derelict'.

Bunk's journal - phosphorescent wave

This is a typical 'proposal'-type double-page spread.
Here some of my concerns in the previous image come together.
The idea is for an artwork to be viewed in the dark. A large tray which has concrete pegs in it gently rocks back and forth, moving a shallow depth of sea water, to create breaking waves. Since the sea water is populated by phosphorescent organisms, an eeri spectacle results.

Where on earth did this idea come from, you may ask. Well, I blame JG Ballard, whose haunting tale The Terminal Beach inspired the concrete pegs and whole concept.

The light, by the way, is to give the organisms daylight when the audience isn't there - they need light to photosynthesise, making energy which allows them to glow in the dark.

Bunk's journal - Joe chez les formis

Something completely different...
A typically 'Euro' cartoon postcard found on a French second-hand market.
The caption reads "Joe at the ants' house".
It made me think about the claustrophobia of such an adventure, and hence the kites, whose strings spell out: "the joy of fresh air", "a life of slavery" "the need for authority" and "carried by the wind".

Bunk's journal - black chrysanthemum

A black chrysanthemum... it popped into my head and would not go away. Is there such a thing? Is it from a book, film or comic which I saw but didn't register consciously?
Maybe it's to do with bats, but that's a story for the blog!
Anyway, this one is painted using black ink, one of my favourite materials.

Bunk's journal - biscuit mouse

Biscuit mouse has been cut out of biscuit packaging. He's creeping along, trying not to make a sound... meanwhile, on the opposite page a strange angry mouse has a palm-tree for an arm...

hmmm... "well, Doc, I had a happy childhood, really!"

Bunk's journal - one object away from happiness

One day we were visiting the tip (as we do), and there was this simply gorgeous little kitchen chair. It was unassuming, well-built, and, most importantly, it had miraculously turquoise cushions. I wanted it. I wanted it so bad I couldn't take my eyes off it. I probably could have had it for one or two pounds. But, we were living in a shared house - where would it go? More stuff! So I rationalised my way out of buying it, and it became a bit of a reminder for me about how we sometimes crave material things in quite an unhealthy way!

The other page? Oh, typical arty musings!

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