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Artist's Journal Workshop: Creating Your Life in Words and Pictures Paperback – June 27, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: North Light Books (June 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440308683
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440308680
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Cathy Johnson has written 35 books on art and natural history. She has been a contributing editor, writer and illustrator for The Artist's Magazine, Watercolor Artist and Country Living for over a decade, and was staff naturalist for Country Living. She has a popular group blog called Sketching in Nature, She also teaches online workshops at and runs blogs at and

More About the Author

Cathy Johnson, sometimes known as Kate, has worked as a naturalist, writer, and freelance artist for the past 30 years, and was staff naturalist and contributing editor for Country Living magazine for 11 years. She is a contributing editor to the Artist's Magazine and Watercolor Magic and has had a regular column in Personal Journaling magazine, where she wrote on a subject she feels passionately about -- realizing the importance of creativity in our lives. She has written and illustrated -- her own work and that of others -- for a number of national magazines, including Science Digest, Harrowsmith Country Life, Sports Afield, Country Journal, Muzzlelader, Women's History, Early American Life, Sketchbook, Woodworker, Woman's Day, Threads, Mother Earth News, National Wildlife Magazine, Sierra and others. Her writing and artwork have been included in a number of nature anthologies and art books.

She has written and illustrated 34 books, and contributed to a number of others, working with a variety of national publishing houses. Those include North Light/F&W, Time/Life, Sierra Club, Random House, Scholastic, Globe Pequot Press, Gibbs-Smith Publisher, Tehabi, Van Nostrand Reinhold, Walker Publications, Prentice-Hall Press, Penguin, Stackpole and others.

Many of these books have been published in editions overseas, as well, in Russia, Japan, Holland, France and England.

In 1993, she founded her own small publishing company, Graphics/Fine Arts Press, which primarily offers books of interest to the reenacting community or others interested in history and material culture.

Her paintings are included in a number of private and corporate collections in this country and abroad, including Hallmark Cards, Inc., Kansas City, MO; F&W Publications/North Light Books, Cincinnati, OH; Early American Life Magazine, Harrisburg, PA; The Kansas City Life Insurance Co., Kansas City, MO; and Newcomers Funeral Home, Kansas City, MO.

Her original jewelry has also found its way overseas, to Scotland and Great Britain, and is included in the Images of the Archetype Collection in Glasgow, Scotland..

Her green man and fantasy paintings and sculptures are currently in a one-woman show online at

She is a longtime member of the Author's Guild and the Costume Society of America. She was chosen Conservation Communicator of the Year by the Burroughs Audubon Society in l987, and won the Thorpe Menn Award for Creative Writing (AAUW) for The Naturalist's Cabin; Constructing the Dream (Viking Penguin) in 1992.

Her website is

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 118 customer reviews
Great book, very informative and inspiring.
Suzette R. Levette
The ideas are numerous, and I'm having so much fun sketching in my "journal" and learning to watercolor.
Betty J. Nye
If you are new to art, art journaling, or journaling in general, I highly recommend this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

146 of 151 people found the following review helpful By Parka TOP 50 REVIEWER on July 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Length: 0:55 Mins
Artist's Journal Workshop is a wonderful book for anyone looking to start a sketch journal. It's a 144-page paperback with beautifully laid out pages.

It's packed with lots of tips on finding ideas, and from there, you can discover which style suits you. This book really brings across how fun sketching can be.

There are 27 artists who share their sketch pages in this book. Some of them are Danny Gregory, Nina Johansson, Liz Steel, Lapin, Cathy Johnson herself, of course, and many more. They also share their insights.

Since this book is about journaling, the examples are mostly about illustrating what you see. It can be drawing people, places, animals or food. It's very inspiring to check out all the artists' work, even the seemingly mundane stuff look interesting when illustrated.

Highly recommended, especially to sketchbook lovers.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful By MJB on July 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book gives any journal keeper or wanna be journal keeper some great ideas to help inspire you or figure out exactly what you want to do with your sketchbook journals. The book includes suggestions for travel journaling, daily journaling, nature journaling, spiritual etc and not just samples of what others have done, but questions for the reader to explore and think about to help develop individual journaling that means something to you. I especially love the "Try This" exercises the author included in each chapter such as "describe your day," "abstract the scene," "travel-record the details," "sketch family mementos," "map family moves" and lots of other fun ideas to explore.

While showing some useful, beautiful and inspirational examples of ways other experienced and talented artists have kept journals, Ms. Johnson's book expands on the examples and gives tips for developing content as well as some guidance on materials that are easy to use and portable. She presents things very simply for beginners, in a completely non-intimidating way. However, those who have some art experience will appreciate the fact that she didn't over do the "how to paint with watercolors" section, but rather includes a discussion on how to use a variety of materials that work together and are easy just to throw in your purse or art bag. I haven't ever used colored pencils or acrylics because they seem too complicated of a medium to work properly for me, but after reading her suggestions I may experiment with some of these other mediums for fun in small sketches in my journal.

Ms. Johnson's book is easy for anyone at any level to use, skim it for ideas or read it cover to cover. It's a beautiful book and one that is clearly going to be a new classic on the topic of sketchbook journaling.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Leslie on July 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm an avid sketcher and am always on the lookout for another book on sketching and art journaling. Cathy Johnson's "Artist's Journal Workshop" is not just more of the same - it has so much more content than any other title on my bookshelf, and the pages are loaded with inspiring artwork showing a wide variety of techniques and styles. I loved every page! I enjoyed it so much that I wanted the experience of reading it to last, so I rationed the pages and only allowed myself to read a few every day. As I saw the end coming closer, I kept thinking, "No, not yet!" When I read that last page, I did something I've never done before - I turned the book over and started again at the beginning! I'll be rereading this book for years to come and learning something new in each reading, I'm sure. I'm already putting into practice some of the great ideas presented in the book. THANK YOU, CATHY!!!
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 24, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was exactly what I hoped it would be and more. She is inspiring and encouaging. It also has some of my other favorite artists in the book. I will go back to this book over and over again. Every single page has something beautiful on it. I highly recommend it. Pam
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By DianaD Artist on July 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am addicted to thumbing through art books for inspiration and to provoke me to DO ART! Usually I get a book, look at all of the photos and how-tos and then add it to my collection for future reference.
Yesterday I received my copy of the Artist's Journal Workshop. The photos are amazingly inspirational & provoking. What truly has me shocked/delighted is the written content.
I read Cathy's introduction and became hooked.... reading EVERYTHING! I soaked up more and more outstanding and practical tips & discussions. This may be a truly life-altering book for me. Having always, as an Artist, intended to keep an Artist's Journal, I now feel I have the tools of knowledge to make this a part of my everyday.
You can get hundreds of books to discuss materials and beginner techniques, this is a book that goes into the heart of the person who desires to make this practice of Art Journaling a very real part of their life.
From simple doodles to elaborate renderings of moments in time, you can start right where you are now, with what you have. Pack a ballpoint & little notebook, or take your art studio with you! This book will inspire you to start and provoke you to make it your own.
Thank you Cathy! This is my favorite art book of the hundreds I own! Easily.
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