MCBA Visual Journal Collective

The Minnesota Center for Book Arts Visual Journal Collective meets 12 times a year on the third Monday of the month, from 7 to 9 p.m. at MCBA. (See their website for directions.)
The Collective is part of the adult workshop and program offerings at MCBA. Meetings are free and open to any adult who is interested in keeping visual journals. All skill levels are encouraged from beginner to life-long journal keepers. See the bottom of this post for a list of meeting topics.
Suzanne Hughes (sznnhghs at gmail dot com) is the volunteer coordinator for this group. Please email her with questions about the group or suggestions for future meetings.  As of October 2013 Roz Stendahl will become our coordinator emeritus.  As the founder of our group, she will continue to be involved in meetings and projects the group is involved in, as a participant rather than as the leader and coordinator.
Suzanne maintains a Google group, the MCBA Visual Journal Collective on Facebook,and a Flickr group all of which you are welcome to join. The main function of both Google and Facebook is to remind members of upcoming events and to announce last minute changes and rescheduling due to weather. The Flickr group is new and a way for us to share photos from meetings as well as journal work between meetings, along with questions about techniques or mediums.
If you would like to be a member of the Google group please email a request to Suzanne at sznnhghs at gmail dot com.  You may request to become a member of the Facebook or Flickr group from within each of those platforms.
(Note: the usefulness of the Yahoo list has been evaluated and it is being phased out and replaced with the new Google group.  The Yahoo group format has had many glitches as of late and I felt that I switch to the Google platform allows us the same sort of email list and reminders as the Yahoo groups with less issues on the technical side.)
As volunteer coordinator Suzanne also organize the meetings. Looking to the membership's talent, expertise, and interests to provide topics for the meetings as well as volunteers for brief presentations. Past program examples include our annual portrait party (pairs sketch portraits of each other and the entire group creates an editioned photocopier book of the results for everyone); landscape drawing tips from a local landscape artist as a lead-in to summer vacation; State Fair sketching prep; State Fair Sketch Outs; and the showing of book arts related films such as a watercolor portrait demonstration by artist Mary Whyte, and the documentary "1000 Journals Project."
The group also devises and executes collaborative projects such as an Altered Book Journal Round Robin, an ATC Directory, 2011 Box of Journal Bits Exchange, a journal zine project zine exchange and our 2013 Not-So-Blank-Page Project.
Meetings include discussion and sharing of current journal work. To read about past meetings and view photos and sketches from the meetings click on "MCBA" or "Visual Journal Collective" in the category cloud found in the right column of this blog (many past meeting can also be found at the same links on Roz Stendahl's blog Roz Wound Up).
We are an eclectic, curious, and welcoming adult group interested in sketching and observing our lives. Come and join in the fun. 
Upcoming Meeting Topics for 2013
(Note some meeting topics may shift due to availability of speakers; check back here for more details.) 
Please read the blurb for each meeting thoroughly to learn if there is any supply costs or any need to bring special items to a particular meeting. Most meetings are free with no supply costs. Please watch the regular blog postings for last minute changes to topic or speaker. Join the Google Group for updates as well, or the Facebook page.   
OCTOBER 21, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Monoprinting with the Gelli Arts Gel Plate
Twin Cities artist Briana Goetzen will be on hand to demonstrate the great fun that can be had printing with this printing plate. (So easy you can do it at home without a lot of fuss or space.) After her presentation attendees will have a chance to pull their own test print. More details to come. (We'll of course share journals at the end of the presentation, so we can keep current on what everyone is up to.)
NOVEMBER 18, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. 
We will carve a small relief block (stamp) from a journal sketch or image.  Participants will use a small (2x3) block of an easy to carve material using an image from a journal or sketch to create and carve a relief block.  With the stamps we will create multicolor watercolor prints on paper to trade and share with the group of participants on hand.  Plan on bringing about $3 to cover the cost of paper and printing materials, along with your image, and watercolors.
DECEMBER 16, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The Not-So-Blank Page
Whether or not you participated in the nine-month long collaborative project—Our custom Smash journals "The Not-So-Blank-Page-Project"—you are cordially invited to meet with us tonight for a fun "simultaneous" viewing of all the pages. We'll see what a page was like originally and then we'll see what each member of the project did to that page. It will be a fun evening with surprises! End the year by being inspired by creative responses to the not so blank page. You'll be all set to jump into your 2014 journal.

Note: If you have a topic or know a presenter, write to for a form to fill out.  

View Information about Past Meetings If you would like to see what we've done at past meetings go to the category cloud in the right column of the blog and click on "Visual Journal Collective" or "MCBA." Additional posts at Roz Wound Up will announce the meeting (typically with samples of the speaker's work) along with posts that provide a wrap up of what was presented (typically with more samples and also photos of the members enjoying themselves!). Come and join in the fun.
If you would like to be invited to the Google group (to receive email updates on meetings and details about on-going projects) please send your email address to with the request. The list is pretty quiet so you won't be receiving a lot of emails each day—maybe only a couple each month. But through it you'll also find out how the traveling projects are going and any special events like group paper purchases. You can also join the group's Facebook page to learn of any last minute meeting changes due to weather.