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March 11, 2013

March Bookbinding Adventure

This year I am challenging myself to research and make a new book structure each month. In January I made two Coptic Books, in February I made a leather long stitch book, and this month I made a flag book.  Previous books made can been seen in the Bookbinding Category on the right side of my blog when you scroll down.  
Flag books were introduced in the 1970s by Hedi Kyle and it is said to be the "most influential structure in the world of contemporary bookmaking."  I personally love to see the flags flutter into place as the book is opened and the spine is extended.
I just took a one day Paste Paper class with Lynn Gall at the Center for Book Arts and decided to use pieces of my paste papers to make the flag book - covers, end papers, and flags.  Now I will have a book of samples to play with because I decided that I loved making paste papers for bookbinding!!


March 9, 2013

Elephant with Tsukineko Ink

I've been hibernating, recovering from my latest grandchild-transmitted viral infection, so I added another elephant to my series.

Gwen Diehn was visiting NYC this week and our group visited Galleries in Chelsea to see exhibits from The International Print Center, Jim Dine, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Faith Ringgold.  I came home with no drawings, so today I'm posting one more in my elephant series. 

Elephant # 16

This Mom and Baby were sketched with Tsukineko All Purpose Craft Ink that I used in a workshop with Judy Coates Perez to "paint" on fabric.  The bug on the cover of my recent coptic book was painted with the ink, mixed with aloe vera gel. The ink comes in many colors and is water-based, and non-toxic.  I was generous with my lines, but still was shocked at how heavily pigmented and watersoluble it is.  All of the color in the painting was moved from the inked lines with water - and I had to be careful to get the light color gray on the baby elephant.

I paused the PBS Nature episode Echo: An Elephant to Remember to get this image.  The link is in my last entry and for reasons I don't understand, I can't insert it here too. 

This concludes my experiments with the inks and pens that I have in my stash.  I need to keep digging to see what other rarely used supplies I have to make at least 4 more in the series.  



March 5, 2013

Elephants by Sydney and Grandma

When our grandchildren were visiting for the weekend, my grand daughter Sydney painted one the Beanie Boo animals - an elephant.  I'm trying to work with her on "drawing exactly what she sees," and drawing the trunk was hard because it was protruding toward us.  But I love the character of her elephant and the creative painting!


My most recent elephant was drawn and "colored" with only a black Neocolor II watercolor crayon.  And I think that I still have more unused or seldom used tools or media to try. 

Last week the PBS show Nature had an amazing one hour program about a matriarch elephant named Echo.  There are so many wonderful babies that are part of the big family and now I need to sketch several generations.  It was beautifully filmed and Echo and her family were followed for 35+ years. 

The link is to the full online video episode and I recommend it to everyone.  The image below was drawn by pausing the video and sketching from it and in the process I fell in love with elephants all over again.



March 2, 2013

3 Drawings for Grandchildren

Neither my husband nor my own children ever open my sketchbooks and I doubt that any of them ever look at my blog.  But my grandchildren love to find their toys and can usually remember how to find the pages.   It is so nice to have them show interest, that I try to add sketches on a regular basis. 

I took care of Charlie, our youngest grandchild, several weeks ago.  While he was happily sitting in his infant seat - babbling and smiling, I sketched the dangling toys.  Then he became grumpy and I never painted them. 


On another day, I was playing with his older brother, 3 year old Zachary, and he showed me his big cloth bag of wooden animals.  He requested lots of animals for his birthday last year and my daughter-in-law found some wonderful wooden animals from Australia.  I asked Zach if I could draw the elephant and he told me that he liked the "gray" animals best.  There were 3 gray animals total - so I had to draw all 3!



This weekend we had 5 of our grandchildren for a sleepover and Zach brought 6 Beanie Boo stuffed animals to sleep with.  Six year old Callum was busy working with me on drawing exercises from Mona Brookes book, and inspired this drawing of the Beanie Boo lion.  Before the weekend was over even Sydney sketched and painted the Beanie Boo elephant, but I forgot to scan it before she took it home.



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