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New Sketchbook

New Sketchbook

It’s so exciting to have a brand new website as a present from Laura for last week’s big birthday! I had no idea she’d been secretly working on it for some time. While she was getting square eyed at the computer screen I’ve been enjoying myself making a new sketchbook. I’ve used recent plant prints together with some pages made last year. The papers are nearly all watercolour 140lb weight as I think they survive the hour of boiling better than cartridge paper.

You may have seen the method I use if you are a regular follower of the videos on Designmatterstv. It’s just a case of boiling a tightly clamped bundle of papers interspersed with plant material in a bath of water, vinegar and rusty objects! I realise that sounds crazy to the uninitiated but the slight unpredictability of the process really appeals to me. The best bit is removing the clamps to see exactly what has transferred to the paper. There are often squeals of delight as all is revealed!

Putting the prints into a book format provides lovely background colours and textures to work into. I am often inspired by nature so it makes perfect sense to me to print from leaves and flowers from my garden and then paint and draw onto the prints with more detail. I always work with birds, insects and flowers that I can photograph or collect each day when I need a visual reference. There’s no deadline  for the work – it just evolves organically. I return to the pages over  time and as the seasons change so does the inspiration. I make one of these garden diaries every year and get much pleasure looking back at them. If I spot an empty space I might work back into it at any time – even years later!

We’re planning to add flip through view of this latest book to the Sketchbook pages of my website soon so I hope you’ll check back if you’d like to see more detail.

Bye for now,