Polar bear watercolour painting @ InkTorrents.com by Soma


Polar Bear Svalbard watercolour painting @ Inktorrents.com by Soma


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



Hand bound sketchbook @ Inktorrents.com by Soma



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.




Hand bound sketchbook @ Inktorrents.com by Soma



You know my weakness toward this moss-green colour.   That sketchbook is still mostly new, but the blue-grey one is completely full.




Hand bound sketchbook @ Inktorrents.com by Soma



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.




Hand bound sketchbook @ Inktorrents.com by Soma



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.




Hand bound sketchbook @ Inktorrents.com by Soma



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.  




Hand bound sketchbook @ Inktorrents.com by Soma



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.




Hand bound sketchbook @ Inktorrents.com by Soma



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!




Hand bound sketchbook @ Inktorrents.com by Soma



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




Hand bound sketchbook @ Inktorrents.com by Soma



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.



Distant Pages


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



Hel the angel of the night watercolour painting @ Inktorrents.com by Soma



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



Polar Bear Svalbard watercolour painting @ Inktorrents.com by Soma



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.



50 thoughts on “Onward

  • 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

    Beautiful art.

  • 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 ❤️

    1. A ShutterBug Explores July 13, 2022 at 11:16

      Oh I treasure your sweet on comments about my Angel gone ~ And Angel of the night helps me feel better knowing she and my tother Yorkie ( had Zoe for 14 years) ~ are now stars in the sky ~

      Your artwork is so divine ~ another treasure ~ thank you for being you ~ Xo

      Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,

      A ShutterBug Explores,
      aka (A Creative Harbor)

  • Anne July 12, 2022 at 05:53

    I love that you are a book binder, I remember when I worked in a library I used to enjoy taken the ‘broken’ books over to the book binder to be fixed and stay and watch them work for a while. I love your art as always but I really love your polar bear, he reminds me of Iorek Byrnison from His Dark Materials. He was the King of Svalbard in a different dimension.

  • Linda July 12, 2022 at 04:31

    Thank you for sharing your post with us at To Do Tuesday!

  • A ShutterBug Explores July 11, 2022 at 16:27

    Polar bear is awesome ~ your artwork is divine ~ Xo

    Thanks for your supportive comment about my losing Angel ~ I am lost.

    Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  • image-in-ing weeklly photo linky July 11, 2022 at 12:25

    I love your new creations! You do beautiful work.
    Thanks for linking up at

  • Linda July 11, 2022 at 11:30

    Lovely journals. I”m making a stitch journal right now. Visiting from Mosaic Monday

  • Susan July 11, 2022 at 10:57

    Your talent never ceases to amaze me. I am glad the little girl’s and her cat’s adventure is continuing. Looking forward to the next leg of her journey.

  • Alison Hall July 11, 2022 at 09:59

    A wonderful post Soma! I really love your beautiful watercolours of ‘The Distant North’.
    We have been experiencing high temperatures here in the UK, and I’m spending lots of time in my art room, it’s the coolest room in the house, in every sense ;-)
    Keep well,

  • Mary July 11, 2022 at 06:14

    You are so talented with your sketchings, your bindings, your stories and your inks/paints. I do love your choice of the clock fabric. It make for a gorgeous sketchbook. I’d love to watch you create one.

  • Valerie-Jael July 10, 2022 at 11:29

    Your Art is, as always, beautiful, and your book binding talents are extraordinary. It’s always a pleasure to visit your blog. Hugs, Valerie

  • Kim Carberry July 10, 2022 at 10:29

    How exciting to be experimenting and trying new things. Lovely to see what you have been getting up to. x

  • NatureFootstep July 9, 2022 at 16:17

    Hi, what a wonderful post. Lots of great art and I love the Girl and her cat. And to create all the wonderful books. You must have many of them. I am impressed. And a bit envy too. :) Your fantasy world is so friendly and wonderful .

  • Yvonne July 9, 2022 at 15:10

    Your journeys, whether real or imaginary, fill your journals so beautifully. The ending reminds me of the time, on the Caribbean side of the Isthmus of Panama, we spent the entire day with friends. Everyone went swimming, but I walked along the shoreline for several miles collecting sea shells. It was a magical moment in time. Love your stories. Am impatiently waiting for my journal to arrive :)

  • Amy Johnson July 9, 2022 at 05:54

    Such beautiful art work! My favorite is the bear.

  • Eileen July 9, 2022 at 02:49

    Hello Soma,
    It is amazing you are binding your own sketch books. They look great, I like all the colors and the one with the time pieces.
    Your sketches are always beautiful. I love the dragon and the polar bear with the girl and her cat. The words of Lord Byron are lovely.
    Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, enjoy your weekend. PS, thank you for leaving me a comment.

  • Heidrun July 8, 2022 at 23:15

    Amazing. I enjoyed reading. And thank you for the interesting Informations.

  • Lavender Dreams July 8, 2022 at 12:15

    What a treat to get to see pages in your journal! I love your art and storytelling. And how wonderful to have these hand bound books. I can sew together little booklets but nothing like these. You are amazing!

  • Linda July 8, 2022 at 09:19

    Soma it is delightful to read the posts of a person who derives such pleasure in doing things like book binding! I love intense little tasks like that, and not many people understand the satisfaction it brings. I enjoy clicking on your pictures and the ongoing story and am happy about the mutual amicable curiosity portrayed with the bear. My only impression of dragons is with Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion in Game of Thrones. They are not at all benevolent but they are loyal to their mistress/mother!

  • Rain Frances July 8, 2022 at 08:58

    Soma you are so talented! I love that you bind your own sketchbooks, they all look lovely. Those leaves look as though they are jumping right off the page, great shading effect! They really look 3D!! Your paintings and drawings are gorgeous, I do love how you drew the polar bear!! ♥♥

  • Dixie July 8, 2022 at 08:57

    Beautiful art, Soma.
    What a wonderful job you did on the book covers.
    I, too, love the moss color sketchbook.

  • Gillena Cox July 8, 2022 at 05:55

    Luv the soft colours in your polar bear drawing

    Thanks for linking to Arr For Fun Friday


  • Joanne July 8, 2022 at 03:20

    What beautifully bound books you made; I’m not a fan of spiral bound books either. My favorite new page is the polar bear! I just love polar bears. We used to have one at a science center nearby and I just find them fascinating.

  • Sue July 8, 2022 at 01:08

    It is wonderful that you can re bind the book to a cover you like and get the books easier to use. It is wonderful to see your beautiful art, love the polar bear. I think dragons are gentle too.

  • Bill July 8, 2022 at 01:03

    Never knew you were a book binder, I love your work so detailed.

  • Juliet (craftygreenpoet) July 8, 2022 at 00:46

    Your bookbinding is lovely, such pretty books! I love your art too, especially the drawing of your cat.

  • Veronica Lee July 7, 2022 at 20:22

    I love your art.
    The polar bear is ADORABLE!

  • Carol July 7, 2022 at 16:20

    I love your polar bear and the dragon – wonderful!

  • Carola Bartz July 7, 2022 at 14:40

    I am amazed by your art – “beautiful” doesn’t come close to it. These paintings and drawings tell entire stories. Your sketchbooks are lovely, I love that they lie flat, but it sounds that you put at lot of work into creating one. I can understand that they are very special to you.
    Thank you for your kind comment on my blog.

  • Andrea Priebe July 7, 2022 at 12:24

    You talent is overwhelming and that you can create your own books … I wonder if you ever publish. I am new to your site and thought this is only my second visit, I feel I know you through your art … you are an amazing talent, Soma.

    Andrea @ From the Sol

  • Divya July 7, 2022 at 10:36

    The books look so neat!
    And I love the polar bear — it looks so cute and cuddly. <3

  • Nicole/DVArtist July 7, 2022 at 10:23

    Ohhh all of your art is so fabulous. You have a true talent. I hope you join me in with Friday Face Off. Have a wonderful day.

  • Kathy July 7, 2022 at 06:42

    Good morning, I love your art very much and I find the book binding very interesting too. So glad you shared with us

  • Karen July 7, 2022 at 06:12

    do you sketch your drawing first and then paint it – or just sometimes using different methods depending on what it is you are drawing? I am thinking about what to practice on in the sketch book I got from you and I think I have it down in my mind now what to try – now to take time away from the quilting to try sketching a little bit which is something I have always though about doing but never get around to it.

  • Christine July 7, 2022 at 05:43

    Gorgeous pages Soma!

  • Erika N July 7, 2022 at 04:11

    Your art is amazing. I love the latest with the polar bear. I love the scale too, because I know how big polar bears are. Sadly I’ve only seen them in a zoo like setting. I enjoyed your post and your art. hugs-Erika

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