Anemones

Anemones

Crow

Crow

Pen and ink sketch of Canada goose

Pen and ink sketch of Canada goose

Pen and ink sketch of crow

Pen and ink sketch of crow

I’ve decided that if I am going to commit to becoming an artist, I need to give even a little time each day to making drawings or paintings.  So I will start by using a paperback book as a sketchbook, something so portable that I can have it with me and available to pull out and make a quick sketch in odd moments.  To keep it even more simple, I will just use a black ink pen for my drawings — no color or pigments.

Small ambitions are about all I can commit to right now.  I will keep this project light-hearted, more in the nature of doodling away in idleness than anything more serious.  The book has 168 pages, and I plan on drawing on the right-hand pages only.  My hope is to have filled the book by the end of the year.  And to have cultivated the good habit of taking time each day to spend on something important to me.

I like the theme of the book I have chosen, In Praise of Idleness by Bertrand Russell.  I will inevitably read a couple of pages each day as I add my drawings, and perhaps this exercise will give me something to think about as I work.

I expect the book to become well worn as I handle it in the coming days.  It already has a coffee stain on the edge.

 

Book spines on my bookshelf

Book spine art had not really crossed my consciousness until I read Jessica Pigza’s blog post about her project to select 10 favorite books spines from the New York Public Library collections for an article in a zine called Afterzine. 

Let me introduce you to Pigza, an amazingly creative woman who is also a rare books librarian at the New York Public Library.  She calls herself “The Handmade Librarian,” and she has her own blog — http://handmadelibrarian.com/.  Among the amazing things she does is facilitate Handmade Crafternoons at the library, a DIY forum for bringing together working artists, crafters, and library patrons who use the library collections for inspiration.  For example, Denyse Schmidt, one of my favorite quilters, was invited to host a free Crafternoon program last December.  How cool is that!! You can find out more about the New York Library programs at http://www.nypl.org/blog.

I’ve long had a trip to New York City on my personal “bucket” list.  And when I do finally get there, I will definitely check out a Crafternoon event at the library!