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All four of us have our own art journal. It’s a place to do stuff that gets kept. (I must admit that pretty much all other children’s art gets binned…eventually. Some of it gets displayed first.) It’s a place to try out different techniques and see how they work. It’s a place to have a record of the different things we’ve tried. I try as much as I can for the children to use each page in order, and to add the date to whatever they’ve done. But I don’t always manage either.

We first started them before we moved here (though starry girl only got her first one about eighteen months ago I think), though I haven’t really set a time that we do them. Often they are forgotten for a while and then we have a rush of doing loads of things in them. Whenever I suggest them they are greeted with enthusiasm by the children, and they do like to go back and see what they’ve done.

We don’t do themes or prompts for them – just everyone does what they feel like at the time. Sometimes I will have an idea for a medium, which we all use, but more often than not it’s whatever is normally around. So pens, pencils, paints, collage, washi tape, stampers, stencils, etc. I try to mix it up a bit so we’re not always doing the same, but that’s also nice to see how they develop over time.

I often do abstract patterns, or doodles, along with writing how I’m feeling at that time, my plans and frustrations. Personally I find it a useful way to release my creativity and do something just for the fun of doing it. I keep meaning to do it more frequently. Though, again, that goes in fits and starts.

Writing this has reminded me that we should get them out again, so there’s a plan for the weekend – to all draw together!

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