Currently Browsing: July 2009 32 articles


Profile Friday: Exquisite Journals of Wendy Hale Davis


Above: "Fruition" a handmade journal by bookbinder and visual journal artist Wendy Hale Davis. (©2009 Wendy Hale Davis). The cover leather has been dyed and the two insert images are gouache.

I know some amazing people and Wendy Hale Davis is amazing on so many points I could go on and on about. I have listed her in my blog roll, but I wanted to draw her bookbinding and book arts work to your attention. She keeps the most amazing visual journals, and has for her adult life. I have had the good fortune to page my way through them—she marries a non-fussy calligraphic hand with visual delights. For me her books are like modern illustrated manuscripts. There is a designer's eye actively working on the page layout. There's an artist's hand creating the illustrations. And there is a humanist writing down the moments of her life.


Stabilo Tone (AKA Woody) Zoo Tests


Above: The Lesser Kudu at Como Zoo and Conservatory, St. Paul, MN. Stabilo Tone (Woody) sketch on "The Great Canadian Sketchbook" paper, 9 x 12 inches. (There is some deliberate smudging around the face, he has a bit of a double chin thing going on.)Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Since Sunday of this week I have been posting about Stabilo Tones, a now defunct art product—giant, fat watersoluble wax crayon in a wooden pencil body—that I love, but which is now available in only 12 or so colors as "the Woody." (And those colors do not include the grays I was using to draw dogs with earlier in the week! None of my favorite colors, except a dark blue and a purple have survived in the slimmed down line).


Keeping More than One Journal at a Time?


Above: practice sketch using Stabilo Tone (one of the gray pencils) in a Kunst & Papier soft-covered sketchbook. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Paws on Grand is this coming Sunday and I wanted to get in a little dog-drawing practice (since I don't have a live-in life model any longer). But I also was wondering what medium I would use and what paper. So I got out the Kunst & Papier soft-covered sketchbook I tested and reviewed in June (item D in the photo of that post).

It's a nice size page (8.25 x 11-5/8 inches). Since I have all that page space and have been writing about and using Stabilo Tones I got some of the gray ones out and started sketching dogs on "Dog Whisper." (Man I miss having a dog around the house!) I did 12 drawings in an hour and 20 minutes, with the drawings taking about 5 to 7 minutes each and some down time in between each sketch.


Fun with Finches Part 3


the third finch sketch in my three bird series. Initial sketch in dark blue Stabilo Tone left dry, on Lana Aquarelle 140 lb. Hot
Press watercolor paper. Then I decided to add some additional colors; read below. (This journal is 5.5 x 6 inches, so the spread is 11 x 6 inches.) Click on the image
to view an enlargement.

More fun with big fat
crayon pencils. See the July 26 post for a description of how I'm
working this series. No water added here either. Again I liked the line
quality of my initial sketch and then I decided that I would fill in some color, smoothing the strokes out with my fingers in some areas (beak, cheek). 


Fun with Finches Part 2

Left: the second finch sketch in my three bird series. This guy wasn't angry, it's just once you get that fat pencil tip in there to make a line…well, remember that discussion we had about quitting while you're ahead? Dark blue Stabilo Tone left dry, on Lana Aquarelle 140 lb. Hot Press watercolor paper. (Journal […]


Fun with Finches Part 1

Above: Journal sketch of a finch using Stabilo Tone (a dark blue) dry, and then rubbing on Brilliance Moonlight White stamp reinker with my finger. Check out the paper watermark in the lower left corner. Fortune reads: The fortune you seek is in another cookie. My hands are demanding a rest from typing so I […]


Paws on Grand: Sidewalk Pet Portraits!

Left: Click on the event poster to view an enlargement. Mark your calendars right now. As part of the “Paws on Grand” celebration which runs from noon to 4 p.m., on August 2, on Grand Avenue in St. Paul, I will be sketching pets at Wet Paint on Grand Avenue. NOTE: Pet sketching will run […]


Profile Friday: A Peek into Justin Terlecki’s Travel Journals (and Prints)

AtradioMUMBAI  Left: A street scene in Mumbai, India, from Terlecki’s 2008 travel journal. Tradio marker. ©2008 Justin Terlecki. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Twin Cities artist Justin Terlecki keeps travel journals. Some of his travel drawings have inspired new prints. His newest print “Bandra, Mumbai” (which appears at the end of this post) and five other prints from the last three years will be displayed at the Highpoint Center for Printmaking Cooperative Exhibition. The opening is July 31, from 7 to 9 p.m. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

Justin is one of the working artists on the sales staff at Wet Paint. He has helpful suggestions and information for artists shopping in the store, because he works with the materials sold there. While I knew that he made wonderful prints, I first learned that Justin kept travel journals when I happened to walk into Wet Paint one day shortly after he returned from a trip—I got to see the travel journal in person. Few things are as enjoyable as looking through someone’s travel journal, seeing the sights through the artist's editing eye.


MCBA Visual Journal Collective: What Happened in July



Above: watersoluble colored pencil journal sketch of the crowd at Lake Harriet Band Shell ©2009 Roberta Avidor. Read on for more information about Robert and her artwork.

Monday night was the July meeting of the MCBA Visual Journal Collective. Nineteen journal keepers gathered to share work, ideas, and inspiration. The goal for the evening was for each person to bring artwork that derived from journal work. Wow. I have only one regret. I didn’t take photos as people were talking. I did, however take some notes which I’m going to share with you now, so that you can get a taste for the meeting. (I’ve also asked attendees if they post images of their work on their own blogs or websites to send me a link, and I’ll update those at the end of this post. I've provided links to websites or blogs of the artists involved, when I've known of them.)


Speaking of Stabilo: Stabilo Tones, Now Defunct or Are They?

071008RevMorePurpleCr Left: “Painting” of my favorite Australian Shepherd bitch Reveille, 4.5 x 7 inches, on Folio Antique White. (The muzzle and chest white in this image are the paper showing through.) Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Writing about Stabilo All yesterday made me think of another product of theirs that I love (and actually use quite a lot): Stabilo Tone. The sad thing is these watersoluble wax crayon pencils are no longer made—or have they been resurected.

The Stabilo Tone were (and are for me, because I still have a set of 50 and a set of 10) fat wood pencils filled with a wax crayon center that could be used like a watersoluble oil pastel, a dry waxy colored pencil, or even encaustic! I loved these pencils. I continue to use my stash, mostly for paintings. I find them a bit too messy for work in my journal: the opposite page will get some rub off.

I never did a lightfast test on this product either! I also didn’t have huge expectations, and used them only on personal pieces I wasn’t going to sell. But I do long for a product like this that is lightfast and artist quality, and STILL AVAILABLE.

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