Koch, Maryjo. Vintage Collage Journals: Journaling with Antique Ephemera. c.128p. index. ISBN 978-1-59253-576-7. pap. $24.99. Quarry: Quayside. 2009. illus. CRAFTS
This book is for the creative journal writer on making one’s own journals using scrapbooking materials and techniques. Koch (Vintage Collage-Works: Artful Ideas with Antique Ephemera) combines paper ephemera with drawing and calligraphy to create handmade journals. Projects are similar to those in scrapbooking guides, but the emphasis on journaling may attract a new audience to the craft. -- Library Journal, February 15, 2010
About the Author
Maryjo Koch (Santa Cruz, CA) is a popular and highly regarded naturalist painter and collage artist who has authored and illustrated over a dozen books including the best-selling Bird Egg Feather Nest. She began teaching nature painting at both the California Academy of Sciences and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and now conducts painting and collage workshops at her studio near Santa Cruz. Her work has been exhibited in natural history museums nationwide, and her paintings and prints are sold in galleries and specialty shops throughout the United States and Japan. Her artwork has also been featured on fine housewares products and on gifts and stationary by retailers such as Chronicle Books, Marcel Schurman Fine Papers, Smith & Hawken, and The Republic of Tea, and The Nature Company. Visit her website at www.kochstudios.com.
Maryjo Koch is a natural. The naturalist painter has authored and illustrated over a dozen books, and her paintings and prints are sold in galleries and gift shops nationwide. Her artwork has even been featured on fine houseware products and on a variety of stationery lines. Maryjo's natural habitat and home is in Santa Cruz, California.
When I first saw the title, I was not crazy about using the antique or vintage images for my visual journaling projects unless they related to a specific event or experience. As I looked at some of the beautiful illustrations done in watercolor, I experienced some sort of déjà vu and I wondered why. I now realized that I had gotten two or more of the author's series of art books relating to nature & wildlife a while ago.
Her journals are full of fantastic illustrations, beautiful handwriting, and well-composed & seamless arrangements of collage elements. Four types of journals are explored in this book with some of the processes and techniques explained in detail: travel, food & wine, nature & garden, and family keepsake. Maryjo's style is consistently the same throughout the book.
The primary focus of this book is on collage and painting techniques for journaling purposes. Of special interest to me are two of painting techniques from this book: 1.painting spotted egg image on paper with gouache; and 2.using a scumbling brush for page edges. In many of her journal pages, the artist used different collage elements such as napkins with vintage images, postcards, stamps, cancellations, flowers, birds, menus, wine labels, and music sheets in such a way that it is almost impossible to see the seams. Some of them are available as clip art (seven pages) at the end of the book for personal use.
Also contained in this book is a brief tutorial on pressing botanicals. Although there are many beautiful drawings, handwriting and watercolors shown on Maryjo's journal pages, instructions were not provided as they were beyond the scope of this book. But Maryjo did a great job of making the collage elements and hand-done illustration blend together. If one is looking for ways to achieve the vintage look in the journal pages, this book is indeed full of various collage, blending and tinting techniques.
This is a book I keep within arm's reach. It is brimming with beautiful artwork and outstanding photography - just looking through the book is sheer pleasure. Even though the title is "Collage Journals" I think this book would be an excellent addition to any collage artist's library, even if one is not interested in journaling.
Ms Koch provides much direction throughout and though these are not stepped out tutorials with photos. they are quite clear and easy to follow. Among the techniques she covers are image transfers, scumbling and tinting journal pages, flower pressing and collaging with paper napkins to name just a few.
I love this book and with each perusal I find myself loving it all the more. It is exquisite. If you love MaryJo Koch's work you will not be disappointed. If you love a Victorian-style approach to collage you will be thrilled.
The ideas help me when I am stumped and ideas for where to purchase antique ephemera was very helpful. The ephemera included in this book can be cut out or copied and used. This book is eye candy and a great resource.