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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!!
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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.  

 

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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. 

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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!

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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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February 26, 2013

Quick Sketching

My friend Kathy made this cute little leather book for me and for the first time I have a sketchbook with me at all times.  The pages are 4.5 in high by 3 in wide.  I carry one ballpoint pen with the sketchbook and try to do quick sketches on the subway or bus.  The stops in the City are very close together so each sketch needs to be done in 1-2 minutes - or your subject gets off or is obscured by the arrival of new passengers.

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Here are 8 recent drawings:

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February 22, 2013

Elephant Experiments

I don't work in a series very often, primarily due to boredom.  But I still have some tools and mediums, purchased in the past, that I want to try in my elephant series. 

Elephant #13:  Elephant #12, posted previously, was drawn with a dip pen and India ink.  Today I tried a ruling pen and FW acrylic ink on Fabriano Artistico 140 lb Soft Press watercolor paper for Elephant #13.  I was able to move the ink with water in areas that weren't completely dry.

I used the ruling pen with thickened black procion MX dye on fabric several years ago and I really liked it.  Today I found it hard to prevent a few big ink drops with the acrylic ink - a much thinner liquid.  Practice and more practice would be necessary if I were to use the ruling pen again this way.

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Elephant #14:  On Wednesday my art buddies were here to play with Gelli Arts printing plates and acrylic paints on paper.  One of the prints I made with white and black Liquitex Basics paint and smooth, slick copy paper was perfect for an elephant collage.  I thought I was going to use paste paper for the collage, but made a last minute decision to go with the more textured "Gelli" print.

I looked at Eric Carle's book The Very Hungry Caterpillar and a reference book entitled The Art of Eric Carle to look at his technique.  And then I found several wonderful tutorials on his website and a single page PDF with instructions to create a collage.  PERFECT!  He paints tissue paper with matte medium and acrylic paints and uses them as his palette.  He doesn't make paste paper as I originally believed.

My process:  I traced the FW acrylic ink elephant #13 to use as my pattern, and then cut each elephant segment through the tracing paper with an x-acto knife.  Each segment was cut out sequentially and immediately glued in place with a UHU glue stick using the tracing paper for placement.  At the end I added eyes and some detail with a dip pen and India ink.

Here is my Gelli Art print after I cut out each of the segments.

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And here is my elephant collage.  I'm thrilled with the results!

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