Polar bear watercolour painting @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

Onward

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,
-Soma

 

 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them.

 

 

 

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Blue dragon watercolour painting @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

Little Stories – Little Inspirations

Blue dragon watercolour painting @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

Hi Everyone!  Unlike this peacefully sleeping dragonling, I have been a busy bee in my atelier for the last few weeks, playing with every single principle of art that I love.  Summer continues to be an indoor time for me, while The Girl and Her Cat cat continue their adventures through the distant lands of the North.

 

 

The Artist Apron

 

 

A few months ago, I asked my friend Mary if she would be willing to make an artist apron for me.  I was overjoyed when she agreed.  She also suggested that we do an exchange instead of my paying her for the apron, which was extremely generous of her.    I made her knitted mitts and hats.  I will share those another day.

She not only found the perfect shade of olive green which I requested, she also paired it with wine red and made a reversible apron for me.  She even monogrammed my name on it.  It is such an honour to wear the apron when I work in my atelier.

 

 

Refurbishing the Scroll

 

Soma @ InkTorrents.com

 

 

I love playing my violin.  I had been looking for a violin scroll shaped hook and found one recently.  The original finish on it was abysmal.  While my husband sanded and painted it, I worked on staining the wood with my homemade black walnut stain.  Now it is ready for me to hang this beautiful apron when I leave the atelier at the end of my workday.

 

 

My Play List

 

With the apron and my favourite music on, I get lost in the little world that is my atelier for hours on end, playing and experimenting.  Thanks to Linda’s To-Do Tuesday link-up and my little play-list, I have been making good progress.  Too many to share in one post, so I will write about them incrementally. 

 

 

Handmade sketchbooks @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

I am hand binding all of my store-bought sketchbooks, then I will add some designs on them. So much nicer than the commercial spiral bound or black vinyl bound books.

 

Finished –

  • Hand bind my sketchbooks – 4 – Finished
  • Make book cloth – ( Was not on the original list ) Finished
  • Block print – carving flowers – Finished 

New and In Progress –

  • Indigo leaves printing – Made progress
  • Hand bind my sketchbooks – 2
  • Block print flowers on different paper
  • Kitty blankets – Made progress
  • Sew flower blocks for Garden Path quilt – Made progress
  • Book binding – Make journals for everyday notes
  • Block print – Sailboat

 

 

Language of the Rising Sun

 

Snow in Japanese Kanji @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

One thing you probably would not guess about me is that I play video games and I often listen to video game music while I work.  In recent days, playing one of the games inspired me to learn Japanese.  I have always had an interest in linguistics.  After learning a couple of modern languages and Latin, I wanted to learn something completely different.  Japanese is quite difficult, but it also has been fun so far.

 

 

Distant Pages

 

While I am studying the language of a distant land,  the Girl and Her Cat continue with their adventures of visiting the northern lands and collecting stories.  This set of of paintings is possibly my most favourite in this book.  I mixed inspirations from my own travels and mythology, and created new stories.

Please click on the image thumbnails to see the pictures and read about their wanderings –

 

 

 

The Runes

 

Blacksmith's knife with runes watercolour painting @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

I painted this little blacksmith’s knife after my own that I picked up in Sweden.  Mine is a plain black one, but I couldn’t help engraving the Girl’s knife.  I also made a red sheath for her so she doesn’t accidentally hurt herself.  While painting the set, I got the idea of using runes for protection.  When the dragonling charmed her knife and the sheath, the runes appeared.

 

 

Viking axe watercolour painting @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

I wanted to draw an axe of a woman, and slowly a story formed.  This one belonged to a dauntless giantess who helped protect and build.  The engraved snowdrop flowers were her ward charms.  The compass on the poll showed her the way.  The same runes from the Girl’s blade appear on the axe too.  I wonder if a dragon was involved in the making of the Shadowcaster.

 

 

A Little Dragon

 

Blue dragon watercolour painting @ InkTorrents.com by Soma

 

I love dragons is an understatement and I love this little dragonling.  He is really sweet and friendly.  Like all children, the Girl and Her Cat and the dragonling became fast friends.  If you were wondering, his mother ended up helping the Girl and Her Cat on their journey.

 

Here are the previous posts where I shared The Girl and Her Cat stories from Distant Pages book –

Near And Far

Curiosity And Creativity

 

 

Until next time,
-Soma

 

I am linking up with the linky parties on my Events And Links page.  Please pay a visit to some of them.

 

 

 

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