Saturday, August 22, 2009

Old Town Bluffton - An Illustrated, Hand-built Journal

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In May of 2009, Old Town Bluffton was celebrated by plein air artists taking part in the Bravo Event 'Art in the Park. For one week, artists were found around Old Town painting different scenes.

I chose to create an illustrated, hand-built book. The May River was my main theme for this watercolor journal. I was able to paint plein air for two of the spreads. Due to rain, the other two (Boundary Street and Calhoun Street) were created in my studio. I worked from photographs displayed on my computer monitor.

The finished Concertina Book is bound with a hardcover featuring hand-painted paper in the colors and design of water. The inside covers feature the same acrylic ink and pattern used for the cover. Two sets of pages have their edges bound with embroidery floss to match the colors of the cover. For the closure I used hand-painted thread elastic and 2 shell buttons.

While the majority of the book was painted in May, I just finished assembly last week. I wasn't quite sure what to use as a closure. The original plan was to use ribbons but, I knew I'd get the chance to peruse JoAnn fabrics when in NY. I couldn't believe it when I came upon shell buttons that matched my colors!! I'm glad I waited :)

As an extra special touch, I included a pocket in the back of the book that holds a small written journal containing notes I kept while painting plein air.

The book can be displayed as a sculptural piece as it is sprayed with Krylon's UV protectant. The ultimate would be to display it under a small plexi-glass cube. This one-of-a-kind 'child' of mine is looking for home. For more information, please contact me at pjbartstudio-at-hargray-dot-com.

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