Art Journal Memories

I am joining Cathy (Wander Essence) in her new “art journal invitation”

“ART JOURNAL” INVITATION: I invite you to post a journal spread on your own blog about your travels. You can do collage, watercolor, acrylics, stamps, drawing or stencils — whatever art form your heart desires.  These are my first art journal spreads and drawings, so I can only hope I’ll become more creative as I practice and play. I invite you to do the same!

I am taking you back nearly 3 years when I first got the urge to start keeping a journal. We booked into a 7 day art tour in the red centre of Australia, a magical place. If you would like to see more photos and my account of that time go here.Sunset at Glen Helen gorge with the reflections in the Finke River. Gorgeous.

It was a huge learning curve. We used water colour paints, a medium I had never used before. And drew and painted “plein air”, another thing I had never done.001_5184x3888

So armed with a small box of Winsor & Newton water colours, water brushes, pencil, rubber, waterproof pens and small sketch book, and of course a hat and sunscreen, I was ready and rearing to go

We worked in A5 size sketch pads, another challenge, condensing this awesome scenery into such a small scale. I was quite tentative. But as the days past I slowly felt slightly more confident.

I will show you the journal pages, but looking at the paintings now, with 3 year hind site, I think the paintings lack a finished look. But they bring back vivid memories of those 5 days.  I actually took a years absence from blogging in 2017 so I could spend more time with my art.bird videos art journal 004_4954x3174

3 years later and I still haven’t finished this yet. Now I have this Coronavirus enforced free time I think I may get round to finishing this. I have the photo to jog my memory.bird videos art journal 006_4724x2927ormiston gorge pc 083_4000x3000Here’s part of the group of 12. I notice in the above sketch I have called the trees Red River Gums, they are actually called river red gums… Oops….bird videos art journal 005_4552x2838This was a magical place to stay. The dinner was a delicious home cooked buffet, and next morning a full buffet breakfast to set us up for the day of painting.bird videos art journal 008_4872x3048ormiston gorge pc 095_3000x4000At the end of each day we would gather around for a show and tell and be given an evaluation of our paintings.bird videos art journal 007_3957x3301bird videos art journal 009_3134x4967All good things come to an end, and this was the last place we stayed before heading back to Alice Springs.bird videos art journal 010_4642x3003What an amazing 7 days. I was hooked on painting and art tours and have since been on another 2. But our next adventure was a camping tour to see Uluru. But that will be another post.


There are many different ways to keep journals, mine are fairly minimal. But Cathy has a great style of recording so much detail, go here to see her post. Maybe you will be inspired to start a journal, maybe now you have time you can record the things around you. I would love to see more bloggers journals.


  1. It must be so satisfying to be able to paint and draw, Pauline. I can look at my photos but they’re the work of a few seconds. These are chapters in your life, and beautifully recorded. Love your paintings of the red river/river red gums 🙂 🙂 Stay safe and happy this Easter! Smiling to myself- I managed to stay away from blogging for 2 whole weeks!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s a wonderful way to capture your memories, and I love seeing your art journals! I may buy a small watercolor journal and paint a few of my London photographs…someday. 😀

    The thought of doing an art tour is neat. I have a couple of watercolor tours on my bucket list. I hope one day I actually get the courage to go on one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Do go on a tour Deborah, they are so much fun. If you look closely at the show and tell pages you will see we are all at different levels. I worried that they would all be professionals and I would be intimidated, but that certainly wasn’t the case.. I have another 5 day workshop booked and paid for in mid July, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will still go ahead.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As I have said before, you are a very gifted artist and to put it all together in a traveling journal is amazing. To read where you have been but to see it….well, that is like icing on the cake. Do take care and be well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful. I love the sketchbook idea and that you were part of a group. This is inspiring, one day when I’m back in nature, I’ll have to take up this idea. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your journals so much, Pauline. I like how you paint plein air; I would love a relaxing holiday like that where you just stay in one place and take the time to draw and paint while immersed in the surroundings. Also, I like that you just pick one focal point and concentrate on that in your drawings and paintings. I did all my journal spreads only after I returned home (except for the notes, which I took while traveling), so I didn’t have time to sit and focus on one area. I think being in a natural place, rather than in a city, is more conducive to sitting and drawing for long hours.

    As always, your journals are an inspiration; they make me want to take a vacation where you just stay in one place, immerse yourself in that place, and draw away. I’d probably get frustrated because my drawings never turn out as I’d like, but it would be fun to try. Thank you so much, too, for the link to my post. Happy Easter, my friend. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the lovely and encouraging comments. Sitting and sketching makes me absorb the detail, it is a very satisfying hobby. I also think that going back to your photos when you get home and capturing them in a sketch is as good as revisiting the place. I have another 5 day watercolour workshop booked and paid for in July. I do hope it does not get cancelled as I’m really looking forward to it. Hope you are having a peaceful Easter take care and stay well and busy with things you enjoy 🤗


      • You’re welcome, Pauline. Like I said, I am inspired by your art, and I hope to do more in the future. I really hope you can go on your July watercolor workshop. I know it will be disappointing if you can’t. Thanks for your good wishes, and a belated holiday to you too!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. You really are far too modest Pauline ! Splendid art journaling. You’ve such an eye for detail and colour choices:) I hope everyone keeps yo the rules and all can soon return to some kind of normality . You must be soo keen to get down to that oh so close ocean near to your home asap xxx Poppy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Poppy, lovely comment. We are allowed to go out and exercises I regularly walk to the beach, but we cannot sit, stay or sunbathe and, of course, keep “social distancing” and only be on your own or with one other person. It is perfect beach walking weather at the moment too.


  7. I came back for another peek Pauline Lol … these are so lovely ..
    Your little group there looks very happy and relaxed , I do hope your art school won’t have to be cancelled , I rather think not as the situation in Australia does seem to be much further ahead and more controlled than here in the UK . It’s all pretty quiet around here but I think many folk are being somewhat tested by the lockdown conditions . Anyway here’s to a more ‘normal’ for us all x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Coming back for a second look is such a compliment Poppy, thank you. I’m really keeping my fingers crossed that the art retreat goes ahead in July. I’m actually enjoying this shutdown, an opportunity to finish off some of the many unfinished art projects lurking in my cupboards, and spend more time in the garden. How are you coping? Are you being creative? I do hope UK improves soon, it is heartbreaking to see all the sadness the virus is creating. Hopefully a vaccine will be found soon. Hope you are keeping well.


I would love to hear from you, leave a comment and we can start a conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s