Monday, 20 January 2014

May the Trail Begin

The new sketchbook exchange project is getting underway with all participants now in receipt of their Stillman and Birn Zeta series sketchbook. Everyone has been busy decorating their covers, end papers and title pages with all manner of styles and mediums, making each sketchbook a little more personal. Already I have seen beautiful work in pen and ink, graphite, colour pencil and even a spot of gilding going on, so each book should be an absolute joy to get hold of. The blog is also getting underway too, with new updates on progress being posted frequently. Remember the shortcut by clicking the logo in the sidebar.

For my end papers I have used a couple of really beautiful botanical prints rescued from a book found by a friend in a skip. The book was just a beaten up and well read novel but those little gems were just sitting there and are perfect for my sketchbook. Normally I wouldn't sacrifice books, but I made an exception here and they do make the most perfect addition, in my finest 'Womble' attitude of reuse and recycle.

Snowdrop watercolour alongside a rescued print

For the title page I wanted to evoke something of the sketchbooks and diaries of the past. Hand rendered lettering, typography and calligraphy are a passion of mine since art college, so I had to include some lettering somewhere. A lovely and generous friend likened it to the Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden, which she thought was very elegant. A fine endorsement. I just hope my contributions to all the sketchbooks can be just as fitting. Snowdrops painted in watercolours sit alongside the lettering with a couple of stylised little bees welcoming you in on the page, and I already have an idea for the first double page too.

Says it all really as to why I love this book
Humour and exquisite detail combined

A page of vegetables from, 'In and Out of the Garden'

Looking at the sketchbooks I have in my book collection, I am drawn to the beautiful illustrations from Sara Midda's beautiful editions of her Sketchbook from Southern France and garden sketchbook, In and Out of the Garden. from the outside, you immediately know you are in for a treat. Inside, her books are just as exquisite with Sara using humour and skill to capture all of life and create unique little vignettes with watercolour and beautiful, carefully rendered lettering. Something I hope to continue in each of the exchange sketchbooks.

From the cover, you know you're in for a treat

Why I love lettering
One of Sara Midda's stunning sketchbook pages

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