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.
Pocket-sized cloth-bound books made by me are available in my shop
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.
A Page with all the paintings from the Distant Pages book
Until next time,
I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page. Please pay a visit to some of them.
John's Island July 26, 2022 at 10:24
Hi Soma –
I just wanted to let you know how lucky I feel to have you keeping an eye on John’s Island. I love the comments you leave for me. They make my day! Recently you told me that seeing my pictures taken while on my daily walks inspired you to your own daily walks and then running again regularly. That is the kind of comment that keeps me encouraged to keep blogging! Comments from you mean more to me because I’ve seen what you do with InkTorrents. You are simply an amazing artist and you have discovered a wonderful way to share your creations. I just spent a few minutes browsing around InkTorrents. What a great idea and accomplishment with Simple365! That actually gives me a new idea for my blog. I think I will start including, in my posts, images that make me happy … not necessarily taken on my walks, but perhaps things I have in my collections. I collect vintage travel memorabilia, vintage postcards, and fountain pens. I better not go on here too long. Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate all you do. Take good care and stay happy! John
Debbie July 19, 2022 at 05:58
binding your own books…is there anything that you cannot do?!?! your art is all so beautiful, i think the latest polar bear may be my favorite!! i am crafty, not artsy…you my friend are very artsy!! wonderful work, i enjoy my visits here!!
Connie Griffin July 18, 2022 at 19:08
Great set of drawings, I just love your dragon with the roaring sea behind and dark stormy sky!
Nikki - Notes of Life July 17, 2022 at 08:57
Wonderful artwork! The wire just gets in the way with a wirebound book, doesn’t it?
Michelle July 17, 2022 at 07:27
Your fabric bound book is absolutely beautiful, Soma!
RachelSwirl July 16, 2022 at 11:55
Loving the polar bear picture, it’s so sweet! Thanks for linking up and for sharing with #MySundaySnapshot.
Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs July 16, 2022 at 08:21
Just wow! You are so talented Soma, I am in total awe. The book binding is brilliant and you know that I absolutely love your artwork, it’s fabulous.
Love the poem by Lord Byron too.
Keep being awesome! x
Sarah MumofThree World July 15, 2022 at 22:54
I am so impressed with your book binding skills! It’s great that you can get the books to lie flat now.
I absolutely love the painting with the polar bear.
Jill July 15, 2022 at 06:50
Your work is so beautiful and so nicely done. I may have said this before…I can’t even draw a straight line. (It’s a true statement)
So I really appreciate your work.
Angie July 14, 2022 at 19:45
Soma – You have a beautiful eye for color! I really like your painting of the leaves – the 3D nature of it stands out! Glad you are finding ways to fill your time while it is tough for you to go outside! Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday!
Sallie (FullTime-Life) July 14, 2022 at 12:43
I truly enjoyed the mix in this post. I had never given book-binding a thought and found it so interesting to learn a bit about. It seems to utilize your creativity, your artistic talents, and your patient craftsmanship.. What a joy it must be to accomplish binding a book so perfectly beautiful for what is (or will be) its contents. As always I love your art and hearing about your travels. And your philosophy. Thank you for sharing it all.
Peabea July 13, 2022 at 15:01
Linda Calverley July 13, 2022 at 11:39
Lovely paintings and books. I’m taken with the dragon. I find it really annoying when painting books won’t lie flat, you did a good job altering your awkward one.
Sharon Wagner July 12, 2022 at 09:13
So many journals, so little time! I love your poem too. I am still working on my book cover. I’m starting over yet again.
riitta k July 12, 2022 at 07:16
So you are book binder – a skill I don’t have any idea of! All the sketch books look really beautiful, I can understand that they are your treasures. The dragon is stunning and the icebear with the girl and her cat a beautuful & peaceful work of art ❤️