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April 3, 2012

The End of the Old, the Beginning of the New

I finished my last sketchbook with two pages of heads drawn during classes at Columbia University.  The first page was done on a paper napkin with a ball point pen while we discussed Chekhov short stories.  The second page of sketches are of Professor de Bary, a very elderly Emeritus Professor of Chinese Studies - who is incredibly sharp.  I loved the opportunity to draw him while he appeared to be asleep, but he remembered more of the panel discussion comments than I did when he lifted up his head.

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I barely finished making my new watercolor sketchbook in time to continue with my daily sketches.  The bookcloth was made with soy wax and a potato masher as resist and thickened Procion MX dyes.  The sketchbook is a 6 signature book with Fabriano Artistico Soft Press 140 lb paper and Canson Mi Tientes end papers.

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The first page is a drawing of my watercolor palettes.  I have fun starting some of the sketchbooks with my paint palette even though I add and/or change paints infrequently.

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March 18, 2012

Gwen Diehn's New Book

I was thrilled to receive my advance copy of Gwen Diehn's new book, The Complete Decorated Journal.

In 2003, I bought The Decorated Page and fell in love!  I always wanted to keep a travel sketchbook and she introduced me to the concept of an "illustrated journal."  I then bought The Decorated Journal when it was published, and over the last 6 years reread both of them several times, and filled over 50 sketchbooks. 

Gwen was asked to combine the books and add new bonus material, including 13 Artist Profiles, and I was thrilled when she asked me to be in one of the profiles.  We started a conversation several years ago through the Everyday Matters Message Board and I now sketch with her several times each year when she visits NYC.   My inclusion in her book is so meaningful to me, because without her books, I might never have walked this pathway. 

I'm including scans of the front and back cover, and my Artist Profile as an early peek.  I'm not aware of any other book that provides so much information, inspiration, and color photos of many artists' journal pages.  And there is a wonderful section at the end about bookbinding and making your own journals - from the simple to the more complex.

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Thank you Gwen. 

March 9, 2012

The Museum of Modern Art Print Studio Ended Today

I am very sad that the Print Studio ended today.  It was an amazing resource for artists/visitors and each of us felt that it was the perfect environment for artistic play.  The Reanimation Library provided the inspiration.  The images that were available in the 35+ shelves of books stimulated so many ideas and the copiers, scanners, and computers with Photoshop software permitted artists to experiment in many different ways. 

I made my eighth 8-page pamphlet book on Monday - this one entitled The Mystique of the Alphabet.  On Wednesday I decided that it was time to do some drawing - and made a book with figure illustrations for me to draw.  On Thursday I added collages to the altered book that I started in the workshop they had several weeks ago.  New friends were made and I shall miss them as we begin withdrawal and catch up on the rest of our life.

Here are the pages from my book entitled "Draw Me."

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February 8, 2012

Watercolor Sketchbook Tutorial

I recently posted a 4 part tutorial on making watercolor sketchbooks from old books - recycling of orphan books to give them a new life. 

The tutorial is in 4 parts, in order to cover the procedure in depth.  Rice Freeman-Zachery did a Q and A with me about bookbinding and making my sketchbooks, and I now realize that it would be nice to have one blog post with links to all 4 sections of the tutorial.

Making a Watercolor Sketchbook:

Introduction to Tutorial:  Selecting a good book to recycle.

Part 1:  Removing the old page block, tearing down watercolor paper and making new signatures.

Part 2:  Creating the new page block.

Part 3:  Casing in - gluing the new page block into the old book cover.

There is a bookbinding category in the column on the right side of the blog page, under the Archives list.  All of my watercolor sketchbooks, recycled and made with original covers (including book cloth covers I made), are tagged in that category.

 

 

February 7, 2012

MoMA Print Studio and Another Collage Book

I spent the afternoon at the MoMA Print Studio again today,  

When I arrived, I selected six books from the Reanimation Library, and made some color copies of interesting photos and illustrations.  At that moment I had no specific creative ideas, except to make another small pamphlet book.  While I was looking at my copies, a paper mask ink drawing from Joseph Leeming's book, Fun With Paper, made me think of Venice - and I was inspired to make a book using colors and images that remind me of our visits.

The books I pulled,  making an average of 3 copies per book, were:  Hornung's Handbook of Designs and DevicesTalk With Your Hands, Interior Design, Stage Make-up, The Printed Picture, and Fun With Paper.  The images that I used from last time were from the book The Story of Writing.  It amazes me that such random and quickly chosen illustrations/photos can inspire creative ideas on such a different topic.

I had enough random images to use when I combined these copies and I happily tore paper and glued it in place for the next two hours.  The only new image I copied while working was the photo of Venice on the last page and that came from a book entitled Around the World in 2,000 Pictures.  

I used ink, stamps and watercolor pencils over the images after everything was glued in place and stitched the two folios together using linen thread and a pamphlet stitch.

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