I’m going travelling with my friend BB who i have known since the 1970s when we worked together in Christchurch in New Zealand. Yes, the place where the earthquakes were.
At Easter I made a largish Coptic bound sketchbook for each of us, using my own paste paper for the covers, and Canaletto watercolour paper for the signatures. Then I made an ox plough book for BB from Fabriano Hot Press paper, using some Balinese fabric I had turned into book cloth. I had previously made a reverse piano hinge book from this book cloth and I found there was enough left to make a book for BB too.
We are going to Bali in June and I can’t wait. This will be my twelfth visit to Bali and I am looking forward to seeing my friends there. It will be a bit of an adventure though, because we are going to Lovina Beach, up on the north coast where I haven’t been since the1980s. We are staying at Rambutan Boutique Hotel. If you look at the photos on Tripadvisor, you will see that there is enough to sketch without leaving the gardens. It’s at Kalibukbuk. Don’t you love the name of the place?
After a few days there we go to Ubud, my second home, and because Ubud Village Hotel is full we are staying somewhere else. That will be a change for me. I have always stayed there since it opened but they are renovating right now.
Then in late August we are going for a longer trip to Europe. Starting in Switzerland, then spending most of the time in Italy and finishing in Barcelona.
Currently I am working on my Indonesian language skills, then after that trip I have to brush up my Italian. As far as getting in shape for sketching, I am planning to sketch some of the Balinese things around my house, starting now.
Finally I got to photograph the book that Julia won, as runner-up. It is made with pages of BFK Rives printmaking paper. The structure is Australian Reverse Piano hinge. That means you can remove pages and replace them if you want to. The pages are held together by a long (yellow) concertina strip of paper that goes through slots between the pages.
The cover paper is, again, my own paste paper. The end papers are my own credit card paper. The colours I used for the paste paper are Matisse Indigo, Cadmium Yellow and Cadmium Orange. Once I had made the paste paper, I made a few different pieces of credit card paper, using the same colours in different ways. I decided to use the bright one without the indigo because the cover is fairly dark. You’ll see that I also used one of the other ones as part of the little collage I made to indicate which is the front.
The book has six signatures of two folios each, and is six inches high by about eight inches wide. Julia is coming to get it tomorrow and we’re going to Hoochie Mamma’s for lunch.
When I made the giveaway book for the 500th post, I was also making a sketchbook with toned paper for myself.
I decided to cover mine with itajime paper as I hadn’t done that before. I’ve used itajime on boxes, and you can see some on the first box I ever made, here. That box has been sealed with shellac whereas these have been sealed with matt varnish.
The Japanese paper I used to make this itajime is very robust, but still needs a sealant. I had hoped to use varnish and keep the white white, however somehow the grey board underneath showed through. As you see, it didn’t really show on the boxes and I’m not sure why. Maybe it was just more obvious because of the larger area. So if I wanted to make another one and keep the whites, I would cover the grey boards with white paper first. I used shellac to seal the covers and that gives it all a golden glow and gets rid of the grey.
The top photo is the right way up – how I plan to use the book, whereas the second photo the book is upside down. I decided before I cut the paper for the covers that I liked the way the design tailed away to a dot, and that would be the front. The solid stripes will be the back of the book, and that way I will always know the front.
I still have a couple of EDiM sketches to post, but I thought we’d have something different today.
I am entering in this swap and I have to make 6 pages, 4″ x6″. I have to decorate the back as well as the front. Well, as you know I’m also a printmaker. A while ago I sorted out my failed prints, proofs and just prints I generally didn’t like, from the good prints, in the hope of finding a project for them. Well, I found one.
I got a bunch of prints and Gelli printed layers right over the top of them. The back of the print has become the clean paper I am going to sketch on. It’s BFK Rives paper, which is my favourite paper of all. There are some interesting embossing marks from the plate’s edge on some of them. Most but not all were solar plate etchings. I did the Gelli printing before cutting to size, and before any drawing. I did my best not to smear any paint on the clean paper and that worked fine. I then cut to size. Jeepers they are small!
I made nine of them, (three in each picture) and that allows for less successful things to happen on the other side without it being a crisis. Most, though not all, of my prints were marine/industrial subjects. This is not what you’d normally choose to go with my chosen theme for the swap – tropical plants, but I think it makes it more edgy, and that’s what we’re aiming for, right?
It’s a bank holiday Monday today and still mostly dark at 8.30 am. It’s bucketing with rain again and I expect it will be as cold. Yesterday I completed two of these pages. I was going to make them totally unrealistic, but somehow I wasn’t in the mood and it seemed that actual tropical plants are as weird and strange as anything I could make up.
Not sure if I will do more today as I might start to make the sketchbooks. I also have to prepare for the demo I’m doing at The Art Scene on Thursday.
Oh yes, Cockatoo Island for the fourth time in 3 weeks. It was the 35th Worldwide Sketchcrawl and guess who nagged to go to Cockatoo Island. Every time I go there I see more things to sketch. Winter will soon be here and it will be a bit cold out there.
About a year ago I made a little sketchbook especially to draw pipes. There are amazing ones at Cockatoo Island and also at the Powerhouse Museum. The book stayed empty till Saturday but now I’ve started to fill it. I got the idea from a page in Keys to Drawing with Imagination: Strategies and Exercises for Gaining Confidence and Enhancing Your Creativity where the author adds to a pipe drawing on three occasions. You can see my review of the book when I first bought it here.
My plan is more to overlap and really fill the book in the way I have done with this drawing of cranes. For consistency, I’m drawing all the pipes as grey, except for where they are painted. There are some amazing almost new ones in bright colours outside the pool where I go to swim, but I need to get there very early to get a particular car spot to be positioned to draw them. These pipes were very rusted in actual fact. I don’t plan to put in a background – just maybe more pipes.
It was a foggy morning when we started out. The airport was closed and I did wonder about the ferries. However it turned out very warm and clear. I sat in the shade to draw all of these, and often out there in the middle of the harbour it can be chilly with a breeze blowing. Not on Saturday, when 30 sketchcrawlers roamed the island.
So this is my book. It’s a concertina, made from Fabriano Hot Press paper and the cover is metallic paper with laser cut cogs stuck on.
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My current sketchbook is very close to full. As I did last year I’m going to use a smaller sketchbook in May. My current one with the blue paste paper cover is a case-bound book made with Como paper. The size of the book relates to the division of the large sheets of paper when I made it. Como paper is very heavy cartridge paper – like the paper you use in your printer but much much heavier, 210 gsm.
My new book had the pages torn to match the size of the covers of this old book. It is Canaletto paper, 300gsm, smooth. It is a watercolour paper and very robust. It was coptic bound, then the spine closed in with leather. I think it gives it a suitably retro look. I’m looking forward to starting this little book, though the small size will drive me mad. I keep wanting to draw bigger than the page no matter which book I have.
This year in May I am going to allow white space to work for me.Elizabeth Perry‘s blog, Woolgathering inspires me. I always fill the page. So this time I am going to go minimalist, while also trying to keep the materiality thing going. I also plan to set a ten-minute timer on my phone. So we will see what I have in my sketchbook by May 31.
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