The Long and the Short: Two Concertina Sketchbooks

Remember my daisies in a concertina sketchbook from June? Well, it’s a format I’ve been playing with on and off over the past wee while. I came across a description* of a concertina sketchbook as a sketch that flows into a painting that flows into a sculpture, which I thought very apt. I am enjoying the tactile interaction of the format, holding it in my hand, turning over the pages, the sense of a story unfolding.

Shorter makes it easy to stand on a shelf, to display like a piece of sculpture. This four-page one features a Minch seascape, on 350gsm paper, with a cover made using some of my splatter fabric.

This is one, the pocket size from Seawhite, was done using pencil only, sitting in a friend’s garden. I did ponder adding some colour to it, especially the blue of the shed, but have decided I like the simplicity of the pencil, letting it be a story in line only. I am still fighting the need to add a note on it about the shed being a tiny one, it’s not a normal-sized shed I’ve drawn totally out of proportion.

*Source: “Ann Cowan creates the most beautiful A5 concertina sketchbooks. These are unique in character as sketches that flow into paintings that flow into sculpture.” Smithy Gallery, Instagram, 11/11/2020

2 Replies to “The Long and the Short: Two Concertina Sketchbooks”

  1. Hallo
    I love your concertina books and I am researching how I could do one in little oil paintings – its a work experience piece for my college course. I have taken photos of my bus journey to college and have created little abstract paintings. I’m using oils as it is a medium I wanted to explore and work with an artist with for my assignment. I thought of making a book from canvas material and priming that to paint on.

    1. Sounds like a fun piece Janet! You can use oils on paper, just prime it first to stop the oil seeping out. The only issue I can see is the length of time oils take to dry, and inadvertently closing the pages with still-wet paint. Or maybe even opening and closing the pages deliberately to get paint to transfer… A book from canvas should work well and I’d think primer would make the pages stiff enough to hold their shape. I’d love to see where you go with this!

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