Keeping a Watercolor Diary

This week, I show you my Moleskine Watercolor Notebook and share a bunch of art journaling ideas for watercolors.

Art journaling with watercolors. By Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her Moleskine journal, full of ideas!

I call my sketchbook a watercolor diary because it has become more than just storage of watercolor sketches. I have recorded many everyday moments and memories into it, and it has become a companion that is always easy to pick up and spend time with.

Watercolor Diary – Watch the Video!

I have included a lot of sample pages in this blog post but watch this recording of a live broadcast to get more out of them!

About 17:30 I talk about daffodils, but I mean dandelions, sorry!

Watercolor Diary – Sample Pages

Here are the pages of my art journal showed in the video.

Familiar Place

Watercolor art journal spread by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Long Path

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Everyday Observation

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Story of a Flower

This should read “Dandelion”, not “Daffodil”!

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

This Place Looks Like That Place

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Inner vs. Outer

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Travel Memories

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Inspiring Cultures

Watercolor art journal spreads by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Souvenirs from the Land of Imagination

Watercolor art journal spread by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Trip to the Museum

Watercolor art journal spread by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Organizing the Order

Watercolor art journal spread by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Abstract Garden

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Flowers in the Wind

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Abstract Buildings

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Kneeling Down, Looking Up

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Image Collection

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Focusing on the Air

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Watercolor Collage

Watercolor collage by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Making a Pair

Watercolor art journal spread by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Crazy Journaling

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Watercolors and Colored Pencils

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Rainy Day

Rainy Day. Watercolor art journal spread by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Morning Dew

Morning Dew. Watercolor art journal spread by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Take Yourself on a Picturesque Watercolor Journey

My class Watercolor Journey is especially for you who admires traditional watercolorists but who wants to be more loose and contemporary in your approach.

Watercolor Journey, an online watercolor art class by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet

If you find sketching, perspective painting, careful shadowing and copying boring, but want to learn tips and tricks to let watercolors do half the work for you, you don’t want to miss this class!

Connect the dots between watercolor techniques and creative expression – Sign up for Watercolor Journey!

Moleskine Watercolor Notebook as a Watercolor Diary

Moleskine Watercolor Notebook as an art journal. By Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

In 2015, I recorded one of my most popular free videos called Farewell to Summer with Watercolors. At that time, I was practicing basic watercolor techniques and wanted to see how they would fit with the process of following a reference photo.

Paivi Eerola and her watercolor painting.

Now when I am preparing for the new class Watercolor Journey, I went to my archive and looked at that piece again. I was interested in the actual location more than the techniques – how our front garden had changed during the years and seasons, and also: how it’s going to change as we currently have big plans for the garden.

Moleskine Watercolor Notebook as an Art Journal

Moleskine Watercolor Notebook as an art journal. By Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

This spring, I have realized that there can be a straight-forward but hooking connection between watercolor painting and memory keeping. I picked up an old Moleskine Watercolor Notebook and started making little watercolor sketches that record either the outer or the inner world. This kind of creative play between the reality and the imagination make the most out of watercolors and their many techniques.

Moleskine Watercolor Notebook as an art journal. By Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

My watercolor diary – as I now call it – is not just a technique sketchbook. It’s a nonlinear expressive journal that is sometimes very grounded, other times more other-worldly. I have a couple of rules that I try to follow on every page:
1) Don’t pencil-sketch the page before painting.
2) Get creative and let loose in one way or another.

Live Broadcast – Keeping a Watercolor Diary

Next week, on June 13, I am showing this small art journal and sharing some ideas on what to put on the pages. Come and join this live broadcast, save your spot here!

Keeping a Watercolor Diary, a live broadcast about creating art, June 13, 2018

Watercolor Journey – Early-Bird Sale Ends on June 10th!

Before we meet, do sign up for my new class Watercolor Journey before the early-bird sale ends on June 10th (midnight, PDT)! Watercolor Journey is especially for you who admires traditional watercolorists but who wants to be more loose and contemporary in your approach. If you find sketching, perspective painting, careful shadowing and copying boring, but want to learn tips and tricks to let watercolors do half the work for you, you don’t want to miss this class!

Watercolor Journey, an online art class by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet

Connect the dots between watercolor techniques and creative expression – Sign up for Watercolor Journey!

Find Your Art Journaling Inspiration!

Art journaling inspiration by Peony and Parakeet

After stretching my limits at the last blog post, I felt the need to go back to basics. I picked my Moleskine Watercolor Notebook and made three spreads by just answering the question: what does continually inspire me?

The short answer is: I am constantly inspired by the history of decorative art. I believe that it’s important to respond to the question on a general level like this. If you only list specific artworks and other artists, there may be less room for personal interpretation. If you define yourself too tightly through others, you can find it hard to figure out what to create next and how to find your personal style.

My Art Journaling Inspiration Sources

I am constantly inspired by embroidered fabrics and wool rugs from the first half of the 20th century.

Art journaling inspiration by Peony and Parakeet

I am constantly inspired by art glass, fabric prints, and the way these characteristics are seen in today’s street fashion, especially Japanese street fashion.

Art journaling inspiration by Peony and Parakeet

Art journaling inspiration by Peony and Parakeet

I am constantly inspired by Russian decorative plates, European Art Nouveau and the way they combine drama with natural colors and shapes.

Art journaling inspiration by Peony and ParakeetArt journaling inspiration by Peony and Parakeet

Even if I don’t have the ability to paint decorative plates or the looks to wear Japanese street fashion, I can use them as a constant source of inspiration. I can let them show in art journals and other artworks, often in a way that is less literal but still obvious for myself.

The history of decorative art fills my mind with values that I can resonate with. They are understanding nuances, focusing on details, telling stories that last time, uplifting people with beauty and spirituality and integrating production with technology. It may not be the whole big picture of the subject, but it is how I look at it. That in turn, inspires me to create art, to blog and to deliver new techniques and workshops.

Let art journaling make you happy – fill your pages with subjects that truly inspire you!

Monthly art journaling inspiration: Sign up for Imagine Monthly!