Saturday, 14 July 2012

Notebooks and thoughts

Work table in my caravan studio today
It's been another marvellous studio day - another eleven dear visitors and only one day to go. The sun shone, and my dear husband (recovered from his trauma of yesterday's visit to the dentist) brings us tea on the terrace - actually the table alongside the caravan in the yard; herbs alongside however. I should be in the upstairs office catching up with work, but am denied access as R. is lying on the floor! Not another scare (see my Wild Somerset Child blogpost of last night); no, he's taken two of his computers apart and hasn't sufficient room on the desk for all the tools and components. So I go back to the caravan and pull out some of my current notebooks. I seem to be working in four at the moment; they overlap and to a certain extent duplication occurs.

In progress - begun when I was ill in bed in January and the pen I used
was not waterproof - the page looks as though I had accidentally
dripped tea onto it; the ink has smudged.
 (more painting tomorrow)
Not all pages were written today; I went back to those that needed painting. This is how I usually work - I always write with a Uni-ball Signo 0.7 gel pen which is waterproof once dry and so perfect for then infilling with watercolour paint or Neocolor II water-soluble crayons. Except that I prefer with the latter to blend them with a cotton-bud and matte gel medium (Golden).

So the pages jump back a bit as I had forgotten that some had not been finished. This page was prepared before we went to Germany a month ago, and described the supplies I think are needed when travelling light. I had forgotten to paint the page - and in actuality never did do what I had planned; the trip was just too jam-packed with press activities. Though I did sketch people which is something I have never done and was so absorbed I forgot to be afraid of doing so! Mind you, I was also half-listening to what we were being told by our German tour guide hosts and I should have been paying more attention to what they were saying.

I have plenty of material to complete my German Travelogue, but it won't be for a while yet as we are off to Ireland in a couple of days - and thus another travelogue.

I turn the page and there is the next 'Random Jottings' to be completed. This from only a week ago and actually written in the Caravan Studio between visitors. I sketch what I see - one of the box-containers covered with furnishing fabric, in which I am exhibiting some of my Notebooks. I know when anyone has looked at them, because they are not in the same order. Interesting to see which books have been opened. They date back to the 1960s (words only, then).

And I love the paper in these Random Jotting books, and whenever I see them on the shelves at WHSmith, I have to buy more. The paper is cream and smooth and not art paper at all, but accepts ink readily from my pen (no wonder I write so much!) and watercolour too. Using my tiny travel paint box (Winsor & Newton) - I've drawn it in the page above. Not artist quality, so the colours tend to be somewhat muddy, but I use them dry-ish, and deliberately mix on the palette and let the colours meld. This is NOT watercolour technique and would no doubt be frowned upon by real artists, but I don't care, and love my flawed pages as they are.

Working in my notebook today in the caravan
(I didn't know my husband had taken this!)
Although I have been working in FOUR notebooks today, these are only two of them, for the ink is still wet in the others and today's pages are only half completed. And oh, I am in such a turmoil! For I cannot quite decide how to handle the trip to the Island of Ireland, our 'Celtic C' tour (the article for which is already entitled 'Magic in the Air', or similar. What do I take? What might be the format of a finished travel journal? Thoughts are on the page in progress; and - following on from all the amazing comments I have received on Warwickshire Open Studios and our cosy caravan as an exhibition space - well, I feel as if I have been propelled into space and back again, and all that I have done, and been, will re-emerge in some new fashion. First I must re-focus my office space, then my underground workroom and that under the eaves in the roof. Then there's the house, the garden, and just that little thing called WORK. Though that predominates, as it must, for without that, nothing else could exist.

P.S. Click on any image and it should re-appear at enlarged size.


  1. Thanks for this inspiring post! It is encouraging me to get back to my daily journaling. :)

  2. Thank you for sharing your pages with us. We can't be there for your open studios so photos are the next best thing.