Thursday, June 16, 2011

a young john ~ casein paint, oil pastels, watercolor & gouache, 4" x 6"

young john is on the first page in the book i'm working in now... well, it could be a young john milton. he certainly looks pious enough...

it's a book of milton's early poetry (he was writing when he was a teenager), and the paper in it is fabulous. i can paint with watercolors to my heart's delight and the pages don't buckle. lately i've been putting a thin layer of matte gel medium on some of the pages before i start, but not always. it just depends on what i feel like doing at the time.

i'm taking out every third page (as i go) because i don't want the book to get too thick... i don't think the binding could take that. there isn't a date of publication in it, but i'd say it's at least a hundred years old... there are a lot of old books out there for us to work in!!

sarah is working in 'the saffron sea' now. she's been making me smile for weeks!!



  1. John is quite dashing! I like that I can see his thoughts going through his head. I think he has a secret life, even though he looks quite pious. Something tells me he was a good friend of Andy Warhol's. He works in a gallery and he's one of those guys who doesn't even look up when you come in the door.

    Looking forward to more of Milton's people!

  2. such a pretty book cover
    so long ago and pages that don't buckle, amazing!

    Young John is wonderful, those tiny wings have my heart.

  3. So happy to see young John this morning, first in line in this gorgeous book. You're right, there are many older books out there. It's raining here today... I think I may go out and look for one for myself. You are such an inspiration. Thanks too for the tip of removing every 3rd page. With the older books, is there a certain way of getting those pages out without weakening the binding? Thanks Lynne

  4. oh the cover is yummy... i love the iris..

  5. i'm gonna post the answer to sandy's question here, in case it's helpful...

    ... what i'm doing in this book (to remove the pages) is taking my pocket swiss army knife and carefully slicing the page out close to the binding - but not too close - i leave a little tiny bit in case something is hooked to it on the other side (there doesn't seem to be, but i'm not sure). in a sewn binding i usually take out the centerfolds, but this book appears to use a combination of metal staples and glue, so i'm cutting the pages out as i described. each time i get a book i examine it carefully and then decide which way seems best for taking out pages...


  6. He does have a very peotical and faraway look-ready to create!
    And likewise-smiling that is!
    And I love writing with a paintbrush too.

  7. Happy to meet John and see your new book. Great choice!


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