Suddenly It Is Days Later!

Clear blue skies and frigid weather today.  I came over here to the apartment to work on the piercing of pages and thinking I would bind some of the several books I am sending off to Australia…but I forgot scissors and the covers need trimmed on the board shear in the studio. So that job is put off until Monday when I get better prepared. But so far fifteen books of two signatures each have been pierced.

The 32 lb paper feels luscious. And I like the fine tether line throughout.

Every day I do marks in the book with black ink. For some reason I forgot to photograph the page after the stacked stones using the stippling method….I will show that page next time. But in doing that page and working on a stacked stone fence, I thought of Shel Silverstein. He had such bold black ink marks for his illustrations but something about the stippling of a stone wall reminded me of his work. I shall have to dig out my Silverstein children’s books and see. Anyway I turned that page and decided to just do different stones.

This type of work takes so much time. And I find that working off my lap is not the best way to do it. The slight bounce of the pen on pages makes it more of a short, although very short, line. These stones all look “furry”.

When I was doing wood engravings on hard maple boards I used this stippling technique with moderate success. The finely grained wood block did not bounce because of course it was on a table. The stippling tool could make nice clean pecks into the hard wood. In that case I was creating light with each mark whereas in this marks book I am creating the dark. A very fine point would be best and done on a solid surface. I may tire of this tediousness sooner than I thought.

Here is this morning’s leaf.

On the reverse side of that leaf is another one that I returned to the more bold line work…I will show that one later. So it seems to me now that I prefer the fine lines used like Edward Gorey did.  And I think that is because it seems closer to graphite which is what I am more used to. The stippling might work more like graphite illustration if I had a very fine point. Rapidograph pens are about the only ones they say work best this way…held perpendicular to the page. All other fine points do not like the pouncing up and down. They are made to be used at an angle. Of course there is always the fine dip pens but I would need to work over a table. I will keep going…but I am sensing some boredom creeping in.

Since all the pens sent to me are primarily waterproof, I might just start adding color….maybe.

And today over here at the apartment I worked on two more pages of the fairy book. Only the final two left to go.

I have not figured out what to do with the printed leaf marks on the folded up angled bottoms yet….maybe a whole long row of flowers.

Once I finish the fairy book I have two more from Lorraine down under that have contact prints in them as well. I might be more adventurous and use black pen in the next.

Ellie of my short story is still waiting in the garden for me to get her moving again. I don’t like to spend too much time with these characters that I make up. I think they have a private life that I am not supposed to be snooping into. I wouldn’t want someone following me around to see what I do next, so why would they? I like to think of them as an overheard conversation in a diner. Just enough exposure to make them real and somehow familiar. I don’t think I will follow her into the next day that she has planned. I think whatever she wants to resolve will be done before she goes to bed.

I like her. I would not mind sharing some of her mediocre vegetable soup if invited. Or maybe I could just lean up against a door jamb and watch for awhile. If I do that then I can take it all in, how the house smells, how she slightly wheezes when she bends over, how the mustard and catsup bottles are always on the table with mismatched salt and pepper shakers and the chipped butter plate, how she, like me, does not bother to comb her hair.

I think I hear her calling and now I have to wait until Monday….

Til later…