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May 9, 2017

Making a New Sketchbook for Venice 2017

I love to make watercolor sketchbooks and I frequently recycle an old book for travel sketchbooks - usually one that costs only $2 on the outside carts at The Strand bookstore in NYC.

I made a travel sketchbook that I loved for our 2012 Venice trip.  The entire process is explained in photographs at this link. 

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2012/01/making_a_watercolor_sketchbook.php

I searched for 6 months for another book to recycle for an upcoming Venice visit and finally settled on this one.  It is a Kate Spade book on "Occasions" and I was able to save two folios about celebrating Anniversaries to incorporate into my new book.  I finally chose it because of the price ($2), size, the condition of the cover, and my approaching vacation deadline.  I think I will always love my "Italian Dreams" Venice sketchbook more, but look forward to using this one too!

The Cover: 

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The End Papers - which make me think of Venice's Carnivale: 

OcassionsEndPaperSIZE.jpg 

There are 36 140lb Fabriano Artistico Soft Press pages inside.  This is a Maurice Sendak Illustration I painted from Mickey in the Night Kitchen which I like to have on the title page with my name, address, and contact information in case my sketchbook gets lost.

MickeyintheNightKitchenSIZE.jpg 

I also try to include a few of the folios from the original book I'm recycling.  Here is one part of each of the original Folios that I incorporated into the sketchbook: 

Anniversary Gifts: We've been married so long that our anniversary gift is on the bottom of the other half of this page!

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Wine is Devine:  In anticipation of many lovely afternoons sitting on a canal or in a campo in Venice.

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May 2, 2017

2017 Remains of the Day Book

I took Mary Ann Moss' "Remains of the Day" online class many years ago to learn another technique for making books.  She has an online class that is self-paced and you really can make your own book after all of the videos. 

http://rod.dispatchfromla.com/ 

The books have a fabric cover, and random types of paper - including pages from brochures, calendars etc.  I use fabric pieces for the cover (cotton and silk) that I've dyed in surface design workshops, or at home, and usually select one piece of fabric and then build the colors from there. 

This is my 2017 book - closed and open to show the cover.

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I decided to use my first book to record NYC art adventures with friends, and I'm shocked that I now have 6 finished volumes.  This year I actually debated whether I wanted to continue this series, and finally decided that I love making the book, and enjoy reliving our many museum exhibits and gallery visits at the end of the year. 

Here are two early pages from the 2017 book.  I have photos of my friends, from the art at exhibits, and even copies of our artwork. 

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There are flaps on many of the pages, covering additional photos, and pockets attached to other pages to hold photos and random ephemera.

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These are the 6 previous books - all full and now fat! 

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November 14, 2016

Kraft-Tex for Mixed Media

Kraft-Tex is a combination paper/fabric product and like Ultrasuede, it doesn't ravel.  I took a half-day class with Australian Quilt Artist Cecile Whatman and had an opportunity to try it with many media.  Cecile brought a book she made, using Kaft-Tex as the cover.  It is a sturdy product and she said the book cover was simple to make decorate, and machine sew.  It is currently available in natural, white, black, gray, and brown and is distributed by C & T.

She used a tree stencil and dilate acrylic spray for the overall design.  The purple/blue square is painted and embossed Kraft-Tex, and the black images and text were transferred with TAP (see previous blog post). 

 

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When Kraft-Tex is washed it becomes more like a leather, and it is softer and can be used more like fabric.  This is a piece that I washed by hand and dried twice and you can see the difference in the texture.  Cecile once washed a piece with 20 of her regular washes.

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I spent our "playtime" trying many media on sample size pieces of Kraft Tex. 

 

1.  Blue acrylic stencil images, then gold Lumiere Acrylic painted over a Gelli plate and combed before printing.

AcrylicGelliPlateSIZE.jpg 

 

2.  Stencils sprayed with dilute acrylic paint (2).

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3.  Gold Lumiere acrylic paint on a Gelli plate - then lifted with a rubbing plate before printing. 

GoldRubbingPlateGelliPlateSIZE.jpg 

 

4.  Stamped, then Inktense pencils - leaf painted with water mixed with textile or matte medium diluted 1:5 to make the color permanent.

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5.  Center image made with Shiva oil paintstick.   Then the piece was foiled using the following adhesives:  Adhesive thread, Misty Fuse pulled apart slightly, and Bonash adhesive granules.

ShivaPaintstickFoilSIZE.jpg 

 

6.  My watercolor paints - painted on and then dripped. 

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The Kraft-Tex comes in rolls that are 1.5 yds long and 18" wide. 

 

October 22, 2016

Barcelona Travel Sketchbook - 1

We returned from Barcelona this week, and I wanted to start posting some of my travel sketchbook pages.  Today I will post recurring features that I make part of each of my travel sketchbooks.  Then as I finally paint the rest of my drawings, I will add them to my blog.  I have photos taken of the site for each ink drawing, so I can remember the colors.  My husband is very patient, so I always have 15-20 minutes to do a drawing on site, but I don't want him to wait while I paint.  Sometimes I paint during lunch, or a late afternoon glass of wine.  But this time I returned with more unfinished pages than usual.  This plan will help me finish a travel sketchbook that I really enjoyed making, otherwise I may get busy and forget about my overall plan. 

I always draw Mickey in his bread dough plane (from Maurice Sendak) on the title page for overseas trips, and I add every piece of information I can think of to make sure a lost sketchbook will be returned to me.

MickeySIZE.jpg 

Before we leave I create a calendar on several pages, so I can fill in our activities at the end of each day.  This is an example from 3 days. 

DailyCalendarSIZE.jpg 

 

I also make a series of 2 X 2 squares that I can fill in daily, adding some image that will allow me to remember a highlight of the day.  Here are the squares I painted during the entire trip.

BCNGrid1SIZE.jpg BCNGrid2SIZE.jpg

A View from our hotel window.  I am far behind in Liz Steel's Buildings online class, but wanted a quick sketch of the top of the back of this beautiful apartment building in Eixample, Barcelona. 

GardenViewSIZE.jpg 

April 15, 2016

Abstract Painting and Surface Design

When I restarted drawing, and learning about watercolors, I was most interested in documenting my life by drawing and painting in sketchbooks.  I've now filled over 100 since 2005 and I love how much I remember about events when I browse through them.  This semester I'm taking an abstract painting class using acrylics, at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and was attracted to the course just to shake up my painting - not to switch my focus or medium.

Our first painting was "non-objective" meaning that it was not based on anything in reality. 

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2016/03/my_fiirst_abstract_and_acrylic.php 

The second painting was "objective" meaning that the artist begins with some images from his/her environment and then proceeds to abstract the image.   I like grids and quickly sketched a media wall in front of me as I sat reading. 

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My first painting in the course was in cool colors and I wanted to make this one in hot colors - and I added layers to the 16 x 20" canvas panel over 3 weeks.  This is my finished painting.

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After I completed this painting I quickly painted some of the things in our class studio - a stool, a high chair, an easel, a ceiling exhaust fan, and a wood stand that holds our paints, palettes etc.  Many of my classmates used the studio as their inspiration and I decided to try it as well.  I painted multiple layers on a 9 X 12" piece of watercolor paper, and this is the result. 

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I dye fabric for a variety of projects, including bookcloth for my handmade watercolor sketchbooks.  Most of the fabric designs are abstract, and it took me weeks to realize this similarity to my painting class.  This is my newest watercolor sketchbook - made with a piece of fabric that was tightly rolled and tied in a knot before soaking it in an equal mixture of red and black dye stocks.  The design and colors were a complete, and wonderful surprise. 

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I designed pen pockets for my sketchbooks this year and distribute Sewing Instructions if requested on my blog.  I have enough dyed fabric that I can make pen pockets to blend with the covers, and I'm able to use a similar color pocket with the new sketchbook. 

This is the new sketchbook and pocket - and below this photo are others that I made for prior books. 

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Please leave a request for the pattern PDF on my blog. 

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