September Book Of The Month – Coastal Walk

This Coastal Walk book is produced on one of the Seawhite Concertina Sketchbooks (currently on Amazon for 14.99) which are so popular now. It is basically an A5 size, double sided book made of cartridge paper, hard backed with a cardboard sheath. The style of the book allows you to work over pages in a continuing design, but if you wanted to work individually there are sixty four separate faces – so in other words, a lot of paper to fill! I have been saving mine for a while, but during the last few months felt it was the ideal time to begin adding layers and images to the book. As the SW Coastal Path is ever present in my work, despite not stepping a single footstep on it this year, I thought the book ought to follow my favourite theme. So it is mostly sea, sky and beach with all the usual coastal flora added along the way.

Sometimes there is a suggestion of the sea in the background, as in the image above. I initially put some colour onto the large expanses of white paper by printing with sections of textured wallpaper.

I used a mixture of commercial stencils (pebbles) and my own stencils to layer up the pages, sometimes using the paint quite thickly as in the example above. Carefully chosen shop bought stencils can look good, particularly when they are layered over other backgrounds, as in the example below.

I rather like the colours above – the bronze works well with the blue, but it doesn’t really reflect the colour scheme of the rest of the book.

I also made good use of some of my funky foam stamps – these sea holly ones have served me well as I made these about five years ago! As long as you occasionally go back over the details of the stamp with a biro they seem to have a very long life.

This is my sea lavender stencil but using the negative image – I sometimes think this is more effective, particularly if you want your plants to be clustered.

Having so many pages to play with gives plenty of opportunity for a range of techniques and colour variations. As well as the stamps and stencils, used above, you can see I also sprayed some brusho, using the little spray bottles that can be purchased from Superdrug.

The three pictures above show little abstract pieces that look like mini landscapes – I rather like the colours and the patterns of the paint.

Finally, the pictures below show some of my prints with actual plant material. I picked some dried seed heads from the garden, flattened them very inexpertly (trod on them!) and then pressed them into some thick paint. I did use a roller to go over them, which smudged them and pushed out the paint in an interesting way, but I liked the effect. I also laid them onto the paper and spray misted them to leave a negative image. With a bit more care and planning I think the printed flower material would be worth trying again.

Although both sides of the book are now coloured and stamped it could be that the project is not finished. It strikes me that I could still add to it – keeping to the floral theme. The book, when folded, does still fit in the cardboard folder – but it is very difficult to get out! I haven’t stuck any additional papers on to the pages (what a good idea!) but I think it would then make it too thick to hold in the folder, but a nice wrapped cord could be added to hold it all together. I can thoroughly recommend purchasing one of these books as I now have lots of design ideas to translate into stitch.

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