Color the Emotion

Pick a few colors and create without stiffness.

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!

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12 thoughts on “Find Your Art Journaling Inspiration!

  1. thank you again paivi for another inspirational post — I love reading your posts and the way you look at things makes me start to think in a somewhat different way (sometimes) lol — looking forward to learning about mini classes and hoping to take the liberated artist next year also — absolutely loved inspirational drawing — so happy I met you in 21 secrets joanne

  2. Hi Paivi! Loving your posts. The mini classes sound intriguing. Will be purchasing the watercolour 101 next month! Take Care and Thank You.

  3. I love, LOVE the blending of deep thought, research, close and constant observation, and vivid color in your work.
    I so much appreciate the care you take to help your readers deepen the thought process behind art, as well as the skills and eye that helps us make authentic art, even if it’s only in a personal journal.

  4. I love this blog page. … and I watched your Conversation with Connie Solera in 21 Secrets this week- SO inspiring. You ARE a pioneer in so many ways. By the way, icon painting classes here in Sydney, Australia, got me on the road to freedom many years ago. Best wishes, Anne.

  5. Hi Paivi!

    Just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate this wonderful website and your art. I get your newsletter, and I enjoy it very much. I recently pointed my sister toward this site, and she loves it as well. We both hope to take one of your classes in the future.

  6. Hi Paivi,
    I recently became fascinated with Art Journaling after seeing it on Pinterest, then also found your fabulous pages which led me to your blog. I am not an artist and cannot draw a straight line but was completely overwhelmed by your beautiful art. I bought and downloaded your Watercolor 101 video but have not yet attempted to try it out, as I mentioned I cannot draw a straight line.
    Wondered whether you would be doing the Inspirational Drawing course again, maybe next year perhaps it’s something I could cope with.
    Just finally, I also watched your Put Thoughts and Feelings into your Art video on You Tube which was totally mesmerising and just wondered if I could ask you what was the music playing while you painted, not the opera La boheme but the orchestral music. I look forward to receiving your newsletters (I have subscribed) and will say cheerio for now from Sydney, Australia and thank you Paivi.


    1. Jane, thank you for your comment! Inspirational Drawing would be perfect start for you, I have just set the preliminary dates for the spring workshops, you can view them at:

      The music on the video is bought from I think they compose the music themselves because I haven’t found their pieces on any general music sites. The song is called Burning World. It is one of the songs that really resonate with me too and I feel that it is so well connected to my visual aesthetics.

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