Main
Page 1 of 20

January 26, 2019

Making a Watercolor Accordion Sketchbook

Accordion Sketchbook with Fabriano Artistico 140lb Soft Press paper:  I made 3 of these and used them for sketching during NYC Urban Sketchers meetings when weather permitted.  This is one of those three.

IMG_20190124_100145070SIZE.jpg

 

I am teaching a friend from NYC USK how to make books and last week, in lesson 4 - (first 3 lessons: pamphlet book, double pamphlet book, recycled book) we made accordion books using Fabriano Artistico 140 lb soft press watercolor paper.  We tore two 8" strips from a 22 X 30"sheet of paper and glued them together with a 1/2" flap.  The pages are 8"H x 7" W for a full length of 56".  I used paste paper I made previously to cover the binders board that I made while she was following along.

IMG_20190122_110250536SIZE.jpg 

January 3, 2019

Art Progress 2018 and Art Goals for 2019:

January 4th is the 12th Anniversary of my Blog, and I like to review my progress and goals for the next year at this time - an activity that was first recommended in an online art group when I first starting blogging. 

AxelPaintbrushGoals400.jpg 

My main goals are to develop better drawing and painting skills on paper, and dye-painting and surface design on fabric.

1. Take Classes to Keep Me Inspired and Motivated:

Progress: I took classes for 2 semesters this year at Fashion Institute of Technology (Comic Book Illustration and Figure Drawing), Sketchbook Skool (Whimsical and Watercolor Rules) and Sketchbook Revival - a 28 day online class with 28 artists. I also took several half day classes, including a sculpture class at MoMA and several textile surface design classes at Quilt Festival.

Goals:

Take classes in the Spring and Fall Semesters at FIT and online classes in Sketchbook Skool (Drawing People and Travel Journals are planned). 

Participate in Prime Time classes at MoMA, when available, and other short classes planned by Urban Sketchers.

Look for other classes, either online or locally, as they are announced.   

2. Maintain a Community of Art Friends

Progress: I continued to sketch with Urban Sketchers, Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup Group, and Battery Park City Figure Al Fresco when my schedule permitted. In addition I attended many local museum and gallery exhibits, and art auction previews with my artist friends.

Goals:  

Schedule art adventures throughout the year - to include museum visits, gallery visits, Master Drawing Week gallery hop, Art on Paper Exhibit in March, and Christies and Sothebys auction previews.

Schedule regular sketching events in NYC - Urban Sketchers, etc. 

3. Deliberate Practice: Planned activities to practice specific skills

Progress: I had a Colles wrist fracture of my dominant hand in March and drawing with my non-dominant hand became my major "deliberate practice." I was born with a deformity of my non-dominant hand and doubted I could draw.  But I filled one entire sketchbook with pen and ink drawings and did many line of action figure drawings after breakfast, becoming somewhat ambidexterous. Urban Sketchers had a 30 day direct painting challenge in June and I loved painting without any pencil or ink lines. 

Goals:

Continue the Line of Action Drawings regularly - Art After  Breakfast. My main goal for 2019 is to draw as many bodies as possible, when moving, including dance and sports. 

Participate again in the June Urban Sketchers Challenge: Daily direct watercolor paintings.

Draw from my imagination at  least once per week - in my special sketchbooks.

Continue to draw hands and feet in a dedicated sketchbook at least once per month.

Finish my Axel and Alice illustrated story that I couldn’t finish in my FIT Illustration Class because of my wrist fracture.

4. Bookbinding

Progress: I made cased-in 140 lb watercolor sketchbooks for my daily sketching, two recycled books with watercolor paper (for summer travel and a trip to London), and assorted pamphlet and double pamphlet books for special projects. I am also teaching a friend how to bind books and so far we have made 3 book structures (pamphlet, double-pamphlet, and recycled watercolor sketchbook).

Goals:

Learn to make at least one new book structure this year - a month of researching the structure and methods, then make at least 2.  Several years ago I did this every month for 8 months, and loved it.

Continue to make my daily and travel sketchbooks, and watch for any new bookbinding classes in NYC.

Continue monthly bookbinding lessons with my friend. 

Study historical paste paper designs and make a new batch of paste paper. 

5. Special Project Ideas: I like to remain open to new challenges, and this list will shrink and grow as the year progresses.

Progress: I wanted to learn how to draw on toned paper and watched videos and selected and tested a variety of black and white pencils before my wrist fracture.  I also made a toned paper sketchbook and then decided to delay this project.  Just coping with the difficulty navigating each day for 6 weeks in a cast, plus rehab for several months was enough to keep me challenged.

Goals: 

Learn how to draw on toned paper.  

Quilt a dye-painted NYC skyline I started 5-6 years ago.  I painted the scene on plain white fabric with thickened dye and now finally will machine quilt it, following the actual structures and black thread to increase the range of values.   

Explore "drawing" line of action figures with my sewing machine and black thread.  I started to explore this several years ago, and would like to play some more. 

Make a scrap Christmas Quilt and use up lots of my fabrics that are leftover from years of Christmas projects.

 

November 3, 2018

International Quilt Festival in Texas

I am going to the International Quilt Festival in Houston Texas this weekend for 5 days.  This is my 33rd annual Festival - and it has grown from several large spaces at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel, when I first attended, to the Convention Center in Houston, occupying 3 floors in this HUGE space.  There are hundreds of Vendors, Quilt, Doll, Clothing exhibits, and lots of classes and lectures - to name just a few activities.  They report 50-60,000 visitors each year from most parts of the world. 

This is where I take classes and keep my textile passion alive.  For many years my classes were devoted to "surface design" which means taking white fabric and converting it into colored decorated fabric using a variety of techniques. 

IMG_20171030_171627827SIZE.jpg 

I use my hand-dyed fabric for many projects, and even make book cloth with it for my handmade watercolor sketchbooks.  I just finished making this book and a matching pen pocket which I now use with every sketchbook when I'm sketching out of my apartment..  

IMG_20181101_064909420SIZE.jpg 

These are the end papers and the back side of the pen pocket. 

IMG_20181101_065045138SIZE.jpg

 

Here are Sketchbooks numbered 29-50, and the new one is #62. I need to do another shelf photo.   I enjoy using these colorful sketchbooks, all with 140 lb watercolor paper that I love.

WCSketchbooks.size.jpg 

I'll be back blogging next Friday, unless I can figure out how to do it easily from my phone.  I'd love to show you the art quilts that can compete with the best of the art we see on paper and canvas. 

September 7, 2018

Recycling a Used Book as a London Watercolor Sketchbook

We are going to London this Fall and I just recycled a London 1960s Photography book to use as my watercolor travel sketchbook.  My daughter and her family lived there for 14 months a decade ago, and I'm finally ready to go back.  But we will miss living in their house with our very young grandchildren on multiple visits. 

I bought a half-price photography book at the Strand Book Store in NYC, removed the original page block, and made a new page block with 140 lb Fabriano Artistico Soft Press paper.  Interspersed with watercolor pages, are photo folios from the original book.  

Front Cover

LondonSketchbookSIZE.jpg  

I posted a 4 part Tutorial about recycling a book to use as a watercolor travel sketchbook in 2012.  This is the link to the process and the book I recycled for a 2012 Venice vacation. 

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2012/02/watercolor_sketchbook_tutorial.php 

 

Front End Paper: I was able to use two of the original folios as end papers, and just glued a decorative strip over the original fold to strength it.

IMG_20180903_125714875SIZE.jpg 

Title Page:  This will be my title page, with a Big Ben collage I made previously using a photo of Henry the VIII.  I will add a title for the sketchbook and my contact information.  I once received a phone call from a museum hours after I left my sketchbook by mistake.

BigBenCollage2SIZE.jpg 

There are 4 signatures each with two folios of watercolor paper and one folio of the original photographs.  Two of the signatures had one folio that is narrower than full size and I will use these for 2X2 square daily drawings, and grid of my daily notes.  

IMG_20180903_125755505SIZE.jpg

This is the example of the short sheets, I didn't want to use only a portion of another full sheet of watercolor paper and actually like having these random narrower pages.   You are seeing the narrower page on the right with part of a London bus photo behind it.

There are 24 full pages and 8 narrower ones for a 10 day vacation. 

IMG_20180903_125728869SIZE.jpg 

I made similar books for trips to Paris, Berlin/Prague/Budapest, Madrid/Seville/Barcelona, Barcelona, and a second one for Venice 2017.   

July 27, 2018

Flowers and a New Handmade Sketchbook

I sketched flowers at Wagner Park last week, but didn't finish painting them until this week.  Every week the blooming flowers change, and I try to capture them in my sketchbook.

Flowers.July18SIZE.jpg 

 

I love having a sketchbook with the paper I like, in a size that I prefer, and started making case-bound sketchbooks 10 years ago. I made a new daily sketchbook this week, using the same method I've used for several years.  It was made with 2 sheets of Fabriano Artistico 140 lb Soft Press paper.  The cover was made using bookcloth from dyed cotton fabric.  On the front of the book is a new Pen Pocket made just for this book. 

IMG_20180726_145458996SIZE.jpg 

This is the full cover:

IMG_20180726_145603658SIZE.jpg 

The inside of the book, showing the end papers and the back of the pen pocket. 

IMG_20180726_145543834SIZE.jpg  

<< 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20