Another page (unfinished) of the portfolio project

C – Connect. Unfinished page of the portfolio project, showing how weights have been added to monoline forms.

I’ve been so enamored of the pencil since Amity Parks’ workshop. I’m starting to think about moving back to the wet stuff. I still like drawing the letters, though; I may take that back to gouache and sumi ink.

Art books online from the Guggenheim

Solomon R. Guggenheim collection of non-objective paintings : on exhibition from March 1, 1936 through April 12, 1936

The Guggenheim has put online more than 200 books about modern art! You can download most of them in a variety of formats: ePub, Kindle (MOBI), PDF, plain text, and more.

There are a lot of books on Kandinsky, some Klimt, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, a great catalog on Jenny Holzer … and some great Guggenheim collections.

Check the whole list of offerings from the Guggenheim at

Portfolio project

Remember this post? wherein I claimed to be making progress. Hahahahahaha.

I’ve scrapped those pages, and the minuscule progress I’ve made since then, to make it a pencil-only portfolio. Here are two completed pages. We will make portfolios for our projects in August, so I really do have to get cooking on these. 

Portfolio project – B is for Balance
Portfolio project – J is for Juxtapose

Mystery (bookbinding?) tool

I came across a drawer full of these next to bone folders, awls, and other bookbinding tools. Does anybody know what this is?

Update: I posted this question to the Book-Arts-L and immediately got the answer: it’s a scalpel handle. So now I know. I just happen to have a scalpel blade.

More pencil work … after Amity

I’m loving my new pencil journal. Here’s a page I started right after the workshop but just finished yesterday morning. Really, the lines are straight. It’s just that the page was folded back and set on a cushioned chair.

Using Amity’s method (sort of) of trying out layouts, and then laying out the text and executing it in pencil

A Sharp Pencil and a Keen Eye

That was the name of the two-day workshop that Amity Parks taught to Big Sky Scribes weekend before last in Great Falls. Focused on pen techniques, it was a jam-packed but easily digestible workshop.

I came home inspired to start a pencil journal similar to the ones that Amity showed us. Here are the first few pages of mine:

The title page of my new Moleskine journal for pen exploration.

A page of pressurized capitals, done partly during lulls in opera chorus rehearsal, and partly in my studio the next day.

A tipped-in page of a many-layered experiment in various pencils, graphite powder, water brush, erasers … and a couple of markers. Fun stuff.

Baltimore and book arts

Through a post in the Book-Arts-L listserv, I recently discovered that something interesting things have been going on in Baltimore regarding artist books. This article in HUB, the Johns Hopkins magazine, describes an interesting class, “Paper Museums: Exhibiting Artists’ Books at the Baltimore Museum of Art”, which led to an exhibit from the collection of artists’ books at the Baltimore Museum of Art. This exhibit, entitled Off the Shelf: Modern and Contemporary Artists’ Books, opens tomorrow, and I wish I could see it.

Many of the books are collaborations between authors and artists –between Guillaume Apollinaaire and Raoul Dufy, between Stephen King and Barbara Kruger, between Joan Miró and Paul Élard. This article has more detailed information about the pieces in the exhibit. Unfortunately, there is no catalog. I asked.


Daily lettering

Looking back, I see that much of my daily lettering has been some form of bookhand, fairly small. Even writing small, there is plenty of opportunity for variation. But I’m going to go big for awhile, and see what happens.

Paper stuff

Modular Marimba – one of many awesome paper models by Dan McPharlin

I love paper modeling and this guy Dan McPharlin does it right! He says, on his website, “… the Analogue Miniatures series was my attempt to pay tribute to early synthesizers and analogue recording equipment. Rather than replicating existing machines, the focus was on creating a revisionist history where analogue technology continued to flourish uninterrupted. Each piece was hand-made from framing matt-boards, paper, plastic sheeting, string and rubber bands.” See them all together in a 36-photo set at Flickr.

“Analogue Miniatures 2” by Dan McPharlin

via Strictly Paper