Hi Everyone! Not being able to go outside much during March through October, my atelier becomes my playground. Recent days have shown me that I feel most comfortable in uncharted waters, creating new things. I have been experimenting and working my way forward. The Girl and Her Cat are also making their way through The North to the harbour for their journey onward.
Hand binding my sketchbooks
One of the recent finishes was me rebinding six of my sketchbooks. I don’t care for ring-bound or vinyl-covered books. Since I am a book binder, I got to work.
You know my weakness toward this moss-green colour. That sketchbook is still mostly new, but the blue-grey one is completely full.
It has my sketches, notes, and paint recipes, just to name a few. Some of the drawings, like this one of my beloved kitty, are very personal to me.
I absolutely LOVE these two colours. A lot of my paintings have a mix of them, often as backgrounds. The green sketchbook is new, the blue is a playground.
I try out new colours and techniques in the blue one. Seeing this painting reminds me of that wonderful December evening when I was painting it surrounded by my loved ones.
The original book came with a vinyl cover, which is not my favourite. It was also really hard to keep flat, making it difficult to draw or paint in it. The book was from a well-known company, but I was disappointed with the binding.
I started systematically disassembling the book with a pair of scissors and a knife. I find cloth-bound books to be very special. I bound this one with black cloth.
I took all the original stitches out and restitched the book. It stays completely flat now, while I draw or paint in it. My dear husband also loved the newly bound book. As the original book was a gift from him, it was good to see that smile on his face. I did talk to him before ripping the book apart!
At 9in x 12in, this is the largest book I have bound until today. Fabric used for book covers is specially lined. I made this book cloth at home using one of my favourite fabrics. I am actually looking forward to making more custom ones.
I use this sketchook for architecture drawings. I thought a book cover with clocks would be perfect, as stories often live on though architecture, making them timeless. This is a drawing that I couldn’t bring myself to touch for a while, but I think it’s time to continue the journey of this painting again.
My sketchbooks have been there for me through the happiest and saddest of my days. So, it’s no wonder that I want to wrap my ink-and-paper friends in lovely covers. My sketchbooks always seem to take me where I need to go instead of where I want to go. That is how The Girl and Her Cat came into my life.
The two of them are now collecting a few more stories from the distant and enigmatic lands of The North before they head off on a new adventure. This particular blue book is one of my big favourites. I mixed mythology and my own travels to create brand-new stories.
Please click on the image thumbnails to see the pictures and read about their wanderings –
Angel of The Night
I was inspired to paint her from the story of mythological Hel. However, I always love a little twist. The Girl and Her Cat met this much-misunderstood gentle angel. They also learned that she is the one who sets the souls as stars in the sky. That way no one is ever truly forgotten.
The Benevolent One
This mighty dragon likes to help lost seamen. I think most dragons are quite benevolent. Not at all how the books describe them. How about you?
The Solitary Sentinel
Of all the paintings in this book, this one best embodies my short time in Svalbard. I love how they are amicably curious and not threatened by each others’ presence.
I love to travel to new places and experience the diversity of our planet.
In the words of Lord Byron –
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar;
I love not Man the less, but Nature more.
Until next time,
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