Saturday, September 15, 2007

I've started ANOTHER journal...

I bought this book in Firenze (Florence, Italy) on my last day there last year. To be honest, I found Firenze a bit of a shock. So old, the streets so narrow and twisting, the architectural and artistic 'icons' all squashed into the tiny Medieval space. I guess it was my Australian sensibility kicking in, but I had expected to be able to stand back and look at the sites, but in Firenze the only way you get to see anything is by looking up, or so it seemed to me. We were staying right in the heart of the old city, a stones throw from the Duomo. Our street was incredibly narrow but our hotel was fabulously extravagant - perfect for Firenze.But, back to the book. I have always loved the fleur-de-lis symbol. I really wanted a full-on Firenze souvenir with it on. But I couldn't choose. I left it, thinking the perfect souvenir would present itself to me, but on the last day I was still undecided although I did know it needed to be something in leather. I had seen a book like this but with an attached cover. I liked it, but knew the 'pressure' of what to put in it would be too much for me and I'd never use it. Then I found this one with a reusable cover. I could replicate the book itself with my bookbinding skills later. The pressure was off. I could write or draw in a book that could be replaced with a new one in its fabulous cover. "I'll take this one!" (My Italian is nonexistent.)But, up until last week I could never bring myself to use it anyway! I have many journals in current usage, but the temptation is always very strong to start another. I love books! I started this one off with writing down all my most recent 'ideas'. (I have a lot of ideas. I often don't write them down which is always a mistake.)Then I began to be a little disappointed with the black writing on every page, no colour, so I thought I'd try a quick sketch to see how the paper held up. It's not designed to be a sketchbook.I'm surprised how much I like the format of the book. It is a delightful size. It's thick, has substance but isn't too big. It's light and robust and the paper is lovely to write and draw on in spite of its thinness and slight translucency. I'm looking forward to seeing "lived in" signs on its leather cover. It will only help to make me love it more.

Post edited 17.9.2007
I've realised I can claim the mozzie coil drawing as EDM Challenge #59 - Draw a sign of spring.
And I can claim the apple one as EDM Challenge #24 - Draw a piece of fruit.
And the herbs as EDM Challenge #136 - Draw something that's alive.
Yay! It's good to be getting some more challenges done!


Jenny said...

Your new sketchbook is wonderful. I've had one of those leather covers for probably 40 years. Dark green, tooled leather with touches of gold and including the fleur-de-lis. I stuck a paperback book in it and put it aside. Recently, with my renewed interest in drawing and painting, I've been considering it as a possible holder for a handmade sketchbook. The cover will hold pages in the 8.25"x5.5" range, 8.25"x11" opened. Your sketchbook may spur me on to make my own sketchbook.

Jan said...

Jenny try it. I think you'll enjoy it. Mine is quite a bit smaller. The book inside is 9cm x 12cm x 2cm (spine thickness). Which is about 3.5" x 4.75" with a 1" spine. I'm really surprised how much I like it. I think it must be my 'perfect' size. I'd never have guessed.

Jenny said...

Jan, though I would prefer a smaller size, I'm beginning to do a few things larger than my small Moleskine. I'm considering Raffine paper for the pages. I like the paper for now, and it's not as expensive as Fabriano or Arches. It will be my first try at book binding, so if I make a mess, it won't be an expensive mess. *lol*