Saturday, October 17, 2015

Binding Random Pages

My completed September sketchbook.
My September sketchbook is full and bound. On the front cover is one of my favorite traffic circles, the one with three maples that turn at different times. That choice was a no-brainer because I wanted the cover to signal the change in seasons. But when choosing a sketch to put on the back cover, I was torn. I really wanted to feature a sketch from my Urban Couches series, but I also wanted to include the roofers who were working on our neighbor’s house because I had so much fun sketching them in action. I couldn’t choose, so I decided to put one of the roofers in as a corner inset.

A single folded sheet of dark blue-toned paper
captured the lunar eclipse.
As much as I enjoy hand binding, I occasionally start thinking about how much faster and easier it would be to buy readymade sketchbooks. Most sketchers are satisfied with them; why can’t I be? But then something always happens to convince me that nothing will make me as happy as hand binding. September’s case in point was the total lunar eclipse. I wanted to sketch the moon on dark paper, but I knew I wouldn’t need a whole toned sketchbook, so I just grabbed a single piece of dark blue paper and folded it in half.

I inserted the folded sheet into one of the
signatures before binding.
If I used readymade sketchbooks, that single loose and random sheet of blue paper would have remained so – loose and random (and therefore probably eventually lost). But because I bind my own, I simply inserted the folded sheet into the chronologically appropriate signature and bound it in along with the rest of the pages. Nothing lost or random, and even the chronology was maintained.

I wish I’d had some loose sheets of gray toned paper that I could have used instead of the Strathmore toned sketchbook I took to the Museum of Flight when Don Colley was in town. Now those sketches of planes are randomly stuck in that toned book with a few equally random life drawing studies from a couple of years ago. Can you tell that randomness annoys me?

The eclipse page is bound into the rest of the sketchbook in perfect
chronology, and all is right with the universe -- at least as far as
my September sketchbook is concerned.
I’m really not as compulsive as I may sound when I talk about stuff like randomness and chronology. For example, sometimes I deliberately skip a page so that I can use a full spread on the following page, and then I go back later to fill the skipped page. (And I do that without developing a tic.) But I admit I’m slightly thrilled when hand binding meets my needs so ideally.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Tina. I'm something of a chronology fanatic as well, which is a real problem when facing the toned paper dilemma and my penchant for wanting several sizes of paper available. I just finished another Stillman & Birn sketchbook and it's just basic black, no topical nuttin :-(

    While not perfect, I work front to back in my sketchbooks and end up with several spanning the same time frame. That bothers me a bit but it solves the multiple size demands I have. For different papers I also have 8 1/2 x 11 portfolios (w/clear plastic sheet holders) that also run chronological. Anytime I need toned paper, thicker watercolor paper, or whatever, I just use a single sheet and that drawing goes in the portfolio. --- Larry


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...