Thursday, 12 April 2012

Always Open : Pair Journals

What is a pair journal?

This is a book-based collaboration between two people – almost like a circle journal with just two participants.

Each participant purchases or makes a small book, and chooses a theme (or chooses to have no theme) – and the books are then sent back and forth between the two artists until they are full up (or both participants have had enough, whatever comes first :) )

Typically you will start off your own book with a page or two or more of your own design, and then post it on to your partner, who will make some pages of their own but also (and this is where things start to differ from circle journals) they might add something to your own pages.

As the book goes back and forth, an artistic conversation will develop, with each of you riffing off the other, working throughout the book on each other’s pages as well as adding new pages of your own.

You don’t need to complete a finished page every time, maybe you might just start one off, or paint a few backgrounds, or just go back and add new elements to previous pages, or maybe do something a little different, write a poem, enclose an envelope of relevant ephemera for your partner to use, etc - the whole experience should be relaxed and free.

One round you might just make a few small changes because you are busy or not feeling desperately inspired, the next round you might do 4 or 5 full pages because you have the time and you’re on a roll! There’s no right or wrong.

If you’ve not tried this before, I can promise you that you will really enjoy the process.

Oh – and the best bit? No fixed posting dates :) Within reason you can post the books back and forth whenever you like, however it best suits yourself and your partner.

So – who wants to play???

Please add yourself to the list below if you would like to join in – along with your theme if you have one...

Pair 1

1. Sarah (Flo) – bright colours
2. Shirley Dodds - Lots of collage and colour with one word per page.

Pair 2

1. Effie ...typography
2. Irene - new tricks and techniques

Pair 3

1. Nigel - Turn it up!
2. Sian - All Attitude!

Pair 4

2.Sami- Round and round

Pair 5

1. Lorraine (layers)
2. Pat  colour and texture

Pair 6

1. donna louise rodgers - an art hour a day keeps the blues away - just one hour spent 'doing' 
each time we swap
2. Virginia - anything goes - (whatever inspires you at the time)

Pair 7

1. Vicki Abrathat
2. Palma Rea       -       SPICE IT UP!  Include spicey  rich colours  and images.

Pair 8

1. Karen
2. Katie

Pair 9

1.Pam - Anything goes- the lumpier the better!

Pair 10

1. Lou - Freestyle 
2. Sam -

Pair 11

1. Rebecca (Bex) - go wild and crazy and do anything you like. I'm putting my name down BUT I live in France so the postage costs will be higher. If anyone wants to join in but doesn't want to post to France then just start another pair. I will not be offended!
2. Sonja - Anything goes I think for a first attempt. 

Pair 12

1. Darcy
2. Clare 'Gotpaintinmyhair'

Pair 13

1.Pam - Clare has book 

Pair 14

Pair 15 .....

As each pair fills up and gets going, please do post on the blog so that we can all see photos of your journals as they progress

I can’t wait to see the fruits of all these creative partnerships!


  1. Looks good I will have a go but start beginning of May I think perhaps

  2. So glad to be here and all signed in.

  3. I'm up for doing this as well. It really appeals, but I think I'll have to wait until May as well before I commit.

  4. I would like to take part in this one please x

  5. Any clues as to what "turn it up!" might mean? :)

  6. That's for you to decide; heat? Volume? Hemline?!

  7. don't frighten the poor girl off :) :P

  8. Hi Sarah - I can't edit this page so was unable to put myself up at half of pair six - could you do it for me please? My theme will be 'An Art Hour a Day Keeps the Blues Away' each page is a timed hour, no more no less, no need to finish as the next swap offers an opportunity to spend more time on the same page, my partner and I may only get two of my pages 'completed' during the whole thing, but it will be fun to photograph each one hour piece of work....

  9. Yes please, I would like to take part in a pairs journal. 'anything goes, with a little bit of fun from time to time'

    1. Hi Jez

      All you need to do to sign up for things is to edit the post and add yourself to the list - I've done it for you here, so you are now paired up with Karen

      Hopefully you got an email from me recently with everyone's email addresses on so that you can get in touch with Karen and get started?

      If you are unsure how to proceed, just drop me an email


  10. Ive taken the plunge and added myself to pair 9.... now all i need is a partner! will think of a theme...

  11. Hi everyone - I have been in touch with Jez and hopefully we will get started/sending very soon ... looking forward to it :)

  12. Just to let you all know that I'm working on my journal recieved. I'm finding it difficult to find new posts as I'm not getting any notifications to my email. Anyway, having read out recent UPDATE letter, I have spread the word on Facebook.