Saturday, 31 May 2008

Lindsay's Book Arrived!

And it got here safe and sound, decorated cover intact and all! I like the map theme - makes me want to get into the car and drive. Thanks for the note, too, Lindsay! I already know what my addition to her book will be - my imagination was spurred the moment I saw her work. First, though, I've got to get my own out the door. I have an envelope addressed and ready to go to Lor Lor but am thinking I need another day or two on it before getting it into the mail. On my third entry in the book it finally feels as though I'm really getting into uncomfortable terrain - but I've stretched so much now I think I pulled a muscle. Lot's of paper towel and fixative (how I hate the stuff) later there may be some hope for it - we'll see. Having fun, though, and I'll keep plugging away at it.

Label Idea

6.5" x 4"
Original Pastel
Casey Klahn

his may be a bit like herding cats, but I'm going to try something.

Okay, you cats, let's think about our tags on posts. I suggest we tag each post with the originator's name and the theme of their Moley. Vivien just finished working in Gesa's book, which has the theme of Lines & Lineage. I had to go back to Brian's post of 22 May to get that theme.

How about writing a Tag like this: Gesa's Lines and Lineage Moley? Mine would be: Casey's Freedom Moley. Then, I'll go into the settings and open a label function so we can quick reference them. Of course, the poster's name is embedded already. It has just been too long since I played Bridge, and my brain won't sort these things anymore!

Just by way of keeping you up, I have been deep cleaning the trailer/studio for the past three days. Yesterday, I enlisted Lorie when I got to the framing room, which is her baby. Ug! I reckon there's still a couple more days of this before we can get started on the season's framing projects.

Don't worry, though. The good news is my big desk is now free to draw small things on, including the little Freedom Moley. And it is sitting there, begging me to mark in it. But, today the family and I will go to Spokane to visit the ArtFest, which I am playing hooky from. See my report about the fair and my recalcitrance at either the Endless Summer Art Fair, or at The Colorist in the next few days.

Love to everyone.

Nearly ready to travel again!

Ok - this is a fragment of where Gesa's work overlaps and I continue the marks and incorporate them into my work - but differently ...

that's all you get to see until Stephanie sees it!

Page 2 was absolutely relevant to the STRETCH theme - it got overworked, reworked, changed drastically ...... it was a risk. something a bit outside my safe zone and looked like a total pigs ear for a lot of the time! I hope I pulled it round. You'll have to wait and judge :>)

Stephanie you'll have to hurry with mine as this one will be winging its way to you soon :>D


Thursday, 29 May 2008

S-T-R-E-T-C-H !!!

Strive for emotion
Take risks on each piece
Revisit, reassess, and rework
Embrace failure as well as success
Take, absorb, and incorporate feedback
Challenge personal habits and convention
Have an idea, then allow it to evolve on its own

So there's my theme - I'm doing a lot of the revisiting and reworking on my initial sketches but will have to "Let go" (too bad there's no "L" in "stretch") if I'm going to send them off to Lorraine anytime soon. Feel free to suggest an alternate phrase for a letter if you can think of something better. I think I'm going to stick to the basic black for my cover, although the covers others have made are wonderful.

Works in Progress

Hi all! We returned from Vancouver late last night and had a very nice time. I figured I ought to post something at long last so here's a photo of my travel kit along with the new sketchbook. Most of the drawing I did was from the terrace of our hotel room - from the 24th floor we had stunning views of the snow-capped mountains and of English Bay. We got out of the city on a couple of days and into the mountains, including a drive to Whistler where we did some black bear watching in the meadows below the ski runs. Sketching on the go during these trips was tough with rain clouds threatening and with wife, in-laws, and aunt in tow. I took many photos, though, and look forward to working with these as references. Finally, after some trepidation, I took a deep breath and began working in the new sketchbook. I'm hoping to get it into the mail and off to Lorraine on Saturday.

By the way, this is the "light duty" set I carry when we travel by air, which is why it doesn't look like it has gotten too much use and abuse. The pastel pencils are antiques and are packed in a cardboard box that doesn't panic the security people at the the airport x-ray machine in the way that my large tin boxed set does. These little boxes of Conté carres (a hard pastel) are a perfect size for slipping in a pocket and don't create a whole lot of dust. The box at bottom is a standard landscape assortment, the other is a mix of colors I find useful to have along for the ride. Also posing for the photo is a pad of my favorite Magnani Velata paper (actually, I like the handmade variety even more), my eraser, and some stumps and paper towel for rubbing and blending. Now back to work on my sketches!

Help ma Boab!'s awfu', awfu' wee!
Have I got the correct sketchbook - 9x14cm?

I'm posting to let you know I'm not sitting here doing nothing, by the way.
I ordered my moleskine sketchbook last Wednesday and opted for "Standard Post" which although not guaranteed did say I should recieve it between 3 and 5 days. Eight days later my internet supplier says it was despatched and is with Royal Mail. Since it didn't show this morning I went into Glasgow and bought one from a bookshop, and it's tiny! So much for the grand ideas of expansive savannah's and stampeding wildebeast, I'd be lucky to do a drawing of one of their back left hooves! My other grand idea may equally be a non starter - the theme I really wanted to do was 'The Dance' as an expression of life and movement linked to music. Yesterday I was whiling away some time making these preparatory sketches in an A4 pad trying to scope out one aspect (formal, but exquisite ballet) but now I have a major re-think on how this can translate to miniaturisation:

Now I can hear those of you who may be uncomfortable with drawing figures groan "Help ma Boab, I hope he changes his mind!" Have no fear you either take up the challenge and do what you do, or you just ignore it and do your own thing (hopefully with reference to some form of dancing). Or you treat it more abstractly and move sideways to explore the music as Paul Klee did.
Whatever, I need to decided quickly or I'll be at the coo's tail as usual!

Landscapes arrived on my mat

Landscapes by Vivien

And here it is, from Vivien. Isn't it just fantastic! I can smell the rapeseed just looking at it. I have promised myself not to work on it until the end of June because I want to put as much thought into it as I did when I started my own. Thank you so much Vivien, and for the notelet too.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

mine is flying today :>)


Gesa's book arrived this morning - how fantastic! on my day off as well so I could enjoy looking at it.

I love the quote and the way she's related the work to it - I'm not going to say too much so's not to spoil it for the next recipient but it's a great mix of media that integrate wonderfully. A technique that looks so much easier than it actually is. It was great to see your work IRL Gesa.

Now I have to live up to it ...

Meanwhile, my moley flies this afternoon to Stephanie

think Fields of Gold .........



Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Genesis teaser....

Here's a glimpse of my Moley from a few days ago. I've worked over this since so it won't be as Casey sees it when it arrives, but I couldn't resist posting this. It'll be parcelled up this afternoon and posted to America.

And I've written the order of the exchange in the inside cover to keep track of where it's going, and I also made some notes on the back of my painting about what I had in mind at the time. Please feel free Casey, or anyone else, to draw over and amend my painting as they feel fit.
It was a lot of fun to do and it's given me ideas for more art projects in the future. Now I need to ponder local landscapes for when Vivien's Moley arrives. I'll wait to see what she's done already before I get too set in my mind about it though.
This is sooooo much fun.

All dressed up and waiting to go!

Hi Everyone...

I've made a cover for my moleskine with the theme and some ideas on it, and like Linday I'm not worried if it gets messed up as it travels around to you all.

I've also made a pencil sling; I make one for each moleskine I use, it means you always have a pen or pencil with your book. I plan to make one for each book I receive but if any of you want one I'll gladly make you one or send you instructions to make your own, they're dead easy!

My moleskine is all dressed up and will be in the post to David on Friday.



Saturday, 24 May 2008


... it looks as if I'm first?!

My Moley is wrapped up, ready to go to Vivien with the post on Tue after the Bank holiday.

Suddenly it became all very clear what's gonna go in.
So: as sneak preview is this one here... but no worries, it won't be a spoiler.

Moley Exchange, Gesa's #1, Detail

Have a great weekend!

PS: I just realised that the title probably won't make all that much sense... it's the German for slow yet persistent giggling... the sound's more like a heeheehee in English, or thereabouts...

great ideas

Those moleskines need a few drawings adding :>)

I like the ideas that people have come up with - mine seems very ordinary in comparison!

All sorts of great ideas to work with here.

I will get mine done this weekend. With Bank Holiday traffic and rain I'm not planning on going anywhere! but I wish I was here:

New Moleskine Trousers Arrive!

...and they are a perfect fit, but I'm a bit disappointed only one leg is concertina'd:

Friday, 23 May 2008

Lindsay Here Saying Hello

Hi Everyone and I'm glad to be making my first post. Here is the cover for my moleskin and my theme is right on the cover: Maps and Destinations. Casey, I glued on the keys with modeling paste. In my experience that stuff sticks forever and ever. The paper is put on with yes paste, but I might just stick it on with modeling paste too. I really don't much care how battered the thing gets in travel. It will just look like a nicely aged person....real!

I'm looking forward to seeing your beautiful journals in the mail soon!

Thursday, 22 May 2008


I think it was Brian or Casey who used the term "kill the precious thing" so I thought I would make this post to put a mark on the page so to speak. The longer it goes on I feel more intimidated by the blog without me making a posting and introducing myself.
So this is me, above, enjoying the delights of a Spanish tapas bar last week. (I promise not to post any more mugshots so you can all relax now!)
As I am still in holiday mood having not quite landed yet and trying like mad to extend my vacation by blogging about it, it's only today that I've really got down to reading what others are saying about the exchange and your thoughts on themes for your moleskines.
It's fascinating!
I like Gesa's thoughts on lines and lineage. As an erstwhile architect I spent all of my working life creating lines which had to be exact. Today I try to be a bit more relaxed and allow the lines to wander a bit! And I am also very interested in ancestors and antecedents.
Lorraine's Closeness strikes a chord with me especially in relationships: there is more to bind us together than keep us apart as someone more profound than me once said.
I love landscape and the sea and spend a lot of my time out there getting to know it better. So Vivien's theme of local landscape fits nicely with my own enjoyment of the outdoors.
Stephanie's Genesis is such a powerful theme, initially overwhelming, but when you think about it fundamental and very simple. I hope I can do it justice!
And Casey's 'Freedom': A terrific subject but also with a dark side - the lack of freedom that all to often prevails. It will depend on what sort of mood I'm in to decide which will be expressed. And that might depend on how my football team is doing at the time!
As for my theme? I don't know yet although I am attracted to the idea of simply responding to the artwork of the previous artist. I'll no doubt change my mind and come up with a theme when my new moleskine book arrives which hopefully will be very soon.
Right, I've blethered enough for now, and my task is done - the page is well and truly marked and I'm rarin' to go. Only thing left to say is thanks to Stephanie for initiating this exchange and bringing us all together. You have done a great job!
Hasta la vista

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Lines, linings and lineages

... is the theme that I've been thinking of for my beautiful little moleskine.

FPP#3 Detail 1
Found Paper Project, Book #3, Detail

Why? Partly the format of the book, as Steph illustrated a couple of posts earlier; but to a larger part my fascination with the former. Lines: seemingly separating, clearly demarcating, lines do much more, don't they? They connect, they unsettle and set apart at once. Linings and lineages are thrown in for good measure: don't want to be too prescriptive, so a couple more associations are very welcome.

It's a fascinating thought, eight people who work very differently together in eight books, at different stages, different responses and interaction. I am sooo curious and excited.

Other than the theme I haven't thought of what that could mean for my first sketching in there. But I'm sure I'll figure it out.

My most recent inspiration is the collage I did for the Found Papers project: the lines are made by fumage: candle smoke onto a taped off area; so: there's lots of possibilities of what can go in the little moleskine.

I've also introduced the swap over at Paint & Pastel: here

My Theme: Freedom!

Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!

For a full, multi media post on the theme of Freedom! in my Moley, I've put up a pretty messed-up post at Pastel.

Freedom, baby!

Here is my theme.

Hi Folks

I thought I would share my theme with you all. In a way its similiar to Vivian's (Hi, I like your flowery meadow this morning by the way)

My theme is Close, as in close by, close to your heart, close up, close friends, close to home, "Come closer, come closer" said the spider to the fly, etc.
In a way I hope we all become close through taking part in this exchange.

Anyway, I'm off to make a pencil sling for my moly and a dust cover.

Back soon

I've made it here!

The blog is great :>)

it's a really lovely way of keeping everything together and sharing

I'm not used to working as small as this tiny moley so it's going to be a challenge! I have a love affair with huge sketchbooks - one of my favourites is an A3 landscape format that's about 3 foot across when opened!

I think I'd like a local landscape theme for my book but don't feel you have to stick to it if you aren't comfortable with that - just do what you like :>)

I was attempting to do my maths and there are about 32 pages including the inside cover at the back - so I make it that we cover 4 pages each? - then the book comes back to the originator at the very end?

This is scary - another exchange I'm involved in we are making our concertina books - so the drawing can be done before we add the pages. On this one we're committed!


Monday, 19 May 2008

The posting order....

World map in Mercator projection by van Keulen, about 1720
Okay, Steph here again. Now, we have a bunch of UK based people and a bunch of USA people. So I'll be the one to post out from the UK to the West Coast of America, then the books will work their way east across the US, then over the Atlantic to the UK where they'll do their rounds there. This will cut down on postage costs so we're not sending across the water and back again over and over. It also cuts down on air miles, as I'm quite a Greeny, and reduce the chance of books getting lost in international post.

So, here it is. Are you ready? Deep breath now.......

Brian in New York to Lorraine in County Antrim

Lorraine to David in East Kilbride, Scotland

David to Gesa in Glasgow, Scotland

Gesa to Vivien in Leicester, UK

Vivien to Stephanie in Sunderland, UK

Stephanie to Casey in Washington State, USA

Casey to Lindsay in Illinois, USA

Lindsay to Brian, New York, USA

Yup, that's all eight of us. I won't post everyone's addresses on the blog, instead I'll send a group email to everyone, confirming the list and the last few rules. Ahem, I mean suggestions.

So come on, who wants to work to a theme and who doesn't? I've already started drawing in my precious Moley, I must admit.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Good morning from Steph

genesis ideas
exploding MoleskineI've been making some preparatory sketches on the theme of Genesis for my book.

As I'll be the first one drawing in it I'm collecting images I associate with the creation, the first thing which happens in the Book of Genesis. They range from single cells under the microscope to huge solar systems, complex diagrams of eyeballs and cross-sections of fruit. So far everything is coming out circle shaped for some reason.

Be careful with your Japanese Moleys, guys. They can spring out when you open them up, and remind me of magic books with lives of their own. How easy they'll be to use when drawing plein air I'm not so sure. Also, seeing mine open all the way makes me think how these things will transform from beginning to end, like chinese whispers. Steph x

Hello everyone

Hi everyone. I thought I'd share a bit of my Moleskine with you. It's a bit of a deceiving post, admittedly: my sketches are generally pretty void of people, can you tell?

In the park today
People in the park, pencil in Moleskine, 21x21cm approx

I mainly use Moleskine for my sketches - usually the large sketchbook, but I also have a small one which I carry around with me and with the best intentions.

I'm very much looking forward to the project - and I have excitedly unwrapped my concertine book already and been thinking ever since of a theme.

Thank you Steph for organising and to everone else for contributing! I'm sure it'll be great fun.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Moleskine Biggies

The sketchbook of
Vincent van Gogh (1888–1890)
Kept in the Van Gogh
Museum of Amsterdam

A Moleskine owned by
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Notebook No. 53, June-September 1912,
9 x 13.5 cm
kept in the Musée
National Picasso of Paris

Congratulations to Steph and the others on our new collaboration blog.

I thought I'd add some content by providing this link to my own writings and posts on My Moleskine, and remind the artists that this little Italian sketchbook has some fun artistic history.

In the beginning....

Hello to Gesa, Casey, Lorraine, Lindsay, Brian and Vivien.
I've sent each of you an invitation to post on this blog, but none of you are under any obligation to post, only to take part in the exchange of books itself. By starting this blog (as suggested by Gesa; thanks) I thought it would encourage you all to feel this is your exchange, not my baby.

Before I continue I want to explain that the idea of a Moleskine exchange wasn't my idea, but that of Marty Harris, Minnesota, USA. He set up the first moly_x_project as far as I know and there's a whole host of people on flickr who have since set up exchanges. However, I was nervous of jumping in with people on flickr who I'd had no previous connection with, so I thought I'd set up a splinter exchange, as it were.
I know Gesa, Casey and Vivien from comments we've exchanged over a year or so on each others blogs. Lindsay and Lorraine I met more recently, again through their blogs, and Brian was suggested for the group by Casey.

So, I'm going to wait til Monday to see if I hear back from the other two people who I've invited (Ed and David), and then I'll post the order of the exchange : who mails the books to who. If they join late I'm sure I'll be able to squeeze them in. I'll also mail a few more outline instructions to get us up an running.
I'm so happy that everyone's fedback so far has been so enthusiastic. This is going to be great fun, I'm sure. Thanks again for joining.
Steph aka Yellow