Monday, July 17, 2017

Poem excerpt on inside page

The inside cover pages of notebooks are always precious spots to decorate--with words, with tape, something that sticks. It's the first thing I flip to, and for that I want something that holds special meaning.

I absolutely adore the poem "The Tent" by Naomi Shihab Nye, and so I decided to write down an excerpt. It's beautiful and a work you want to remember.

The Tent
Naomi Shihab Nye, 1952
When did hordes of sentences start beginning with So?
As if everything were always pending, 
leaning on what came before.
What can you expect? 
Loneliness everywhere, entertained or kept in storage.
So you felt anxious to be alone.
Easier to hear, explore a city, room,
mound of hours, no one walking beside you.
Talking to self endlessly, but mostly listening.
This would not be strange.
It would be the tent you slept in.

Waking calmly inside whatever
you had to do would be freedom.
It would be your country.
The men in front of me had whole acres
in their eyes. I could feel them cross, recross each day.
Memory, stitched.  History, soothed.
What we do or might prefer to do. Have done.
How we got here. Telling ourselves a story
till it’s compact enough to bear. 
Passing the walls, wearing the sky,
the slight bow and rising of trees.
Everything ceaselessly holding us close.
So we are accompanied.
Never cast out without a line of language to reel us back.
That is what happened, how I got here.
So maybe. One way anyway.
A story was sewn, seed sown,
this was what patriotism meant to me—
to be at home inside my own head long enough
to accept its infinite freedom
and move forward anywhere, to mysteries coming.
Even at night in a desert, temperatures plummet,
billowing tent flaps murmur to one other.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Making a watercolor chart for Cotman paints

I thought it was about time that I put together a watercolor chart for my Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolor paints. Mixing colors and painting small squares took a little while, but was enjoyable. 

The set that I usually use is the Cotman sketchers' pocket box, which consists of 12 half pans. However, I used and swapped out two of the original paints. My set is now comprised of:

lemon yellow hue
cadmium yellow hue
yellow ochre
cadmium red pale hue
rose madder hue*
phthalo blue
sap green
viridian hue
burnt sienna
indian red*
burnt umber

*did not come with original set

Below is the scanned color chart. 

I don't know about you, but I always find the mixing and blending of colors to be so fascinating. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Unboxing of Midori Traveler's Notebook black passport

My black Midori traveler's notebook in passport size came in this week, so I thought I would share the unboxing with you.

My standard sized Midori has been with me for over a year, and I've been able to use it to document travels and daily life, both through paint and words. I had wanted a passport notebook due to the small size, as well as the fact that I could use it as a wallet on trips. Unfortunately, it was too expensive for me to purchase for a while. When I found it on sale, I jumped at the chance to purchase it.

Before I go on--please disregard the yellow paint stain in some of the photos. I thought that just about anything could be wiped off my kitchen table, but apparently that isn't the case.

Here is the usual packaging. An extra red elastic and instructions written in Japanese were included in the brown cardboard box. The notebook cover and blank refill came enclosed in the cloth bag.

I can't wait to start using this notebook and seeing it wear over time.