Jacob's Blue Moustache, New Work, A Blast From The Past, Phyllo, and Spring Market

I met Jacob and his mom in the market enjoying the spring day and some ice cream.  He very kindly let me take this picture of his fabulous blue moustache.  It made my day.  


In 1907 Dr. Duncan McDougall of the United States did a scientific study to identify the weight of a human soul. Although his results were inconclusive, due to a very small study group and weighing inconsistencies, his paper on this subject was published in 1907 stating the human soul weighed 21.3 grams. I am currently reading about Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Life As A Work of Art by Rüddier Safranski. Goethe was an individual who talked about and believed in the internal world of a human, which I relate to the characteristics of the human soul. Anaiis Nin also talked about her internal world and called it her Spirit House. A quote by Audrey Hepburn on the soul:

"The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years."

I found this information intriguing and started to ask myself if my soul weighed 21 grams, what would it look like, feel like and how could I portray it. While working on another piece, I started looking at the milkweed pod and the seeds that are expressed from a split pod. I also started asking myself about my soul. Words that came to mind were core, warmth, energy source, passion, intuition, spirit, voice, identity, essence, bright, love, beauty and truth. All of these influences culminated in the making of 'This Woman's Soul' as an artist's book. This three-dimensional artist's book includes text which has been written on parchment and speaks to the nature of the soul resting below in a glass structure. In life, the human soul is buried deep within an individual, expressing itself through the human form, where the soul is housed. In this piece, I have stripped away the human form to give a visual of what I think my soul would look like if visible to the human eye. 


For a very long time I have wanted to learn the art of illumination and calligraphy.  After an extensive search, over many years, I found an artist specializing in these art forms, in France, willing to teach me.  This required submitting a proposal for a grant to do this.  In discussion with the artist he said I needed to create the pictures I wanted to illuminate, prior to starting the training.  Inspired by La Machine, that had visited the city, I wrote a story about goodwill and created the pictures to go with it. Unfortunately, I was not successful in receiving the grant, so I decided to complete the book in my own fashion.  

This is Hordra, a cross between a horse and a dragon, flying over Globetrost, the village she is responsible for protecting.  

This is the fly leaf.  I followed lines in a suminagashi marbled page, and then painted it with water colours 

The first page with an illuminated H.  I used imitation gold leaf and water colours. 

This is Izzy, the Web Spinner, spinning her poisonous webs over the Globetrost castle. 

The illuminated I for Izzy was painted with water colour and imitation gold leaf. 

I illuminated all the text pages with the same pattern.  

This project was great fun to complete and although I didn't have the specialized techniques to complete it, I am happy with the final results.  I will be binding it this weekend. 

I also started a new decorative calligraphy and illumination class at the Ottawa School of Art, so my next books will incorporate these new techniques.  


In 2015 I responded to an artists' call which was from a gallery on an island.  In the spirit of a water surrounded piece of land I created Water, an artist book with a water theme.  I found a beautiful piece of stained glass that looked like rippled water and used it for the covers.  

I marbled (suminagashi) the pages, to look like navigational maps for sailing, and hand set wooden and metal letterpress letters, to describe water, in the first person. 

Other pages were laminated roasted seaweed with photographs of water.  

This is one of my favourite water photos.  It is a reflection of fall leaves and it is very difficult to distinguish actual leaves in the water and the reflected leaves. 

I made a padded cradle to place the book on when being viewed.  This is one of my favourite pieces in my collection. 


I mentioned in my last post that I was taking a cooking class, adding new recipes to my tired and old regimen of recipes.  The last class was on hors d'oeuvres and I created some at home.  They were delicious.  


May 4, 2019 10:00 am to 3:00 pm 

I will be at the Beechwood Spring Farmer's Market with my books, cards and bookmarks.  It will be held at the New Edinburgh Seniors Retirement Residence at 35 Beechwood Avenue in Ottawa.  Hope to see you there. 


Ottawa School of Art Boutique, 35 George Street, Ottawa. 
Ottawa Art Gallery Gift Shop, 50 MacKenzie King Bridge, Ottawa 

You can contact me directly as well at: bbinder999@gmail.com 

Wishing you all a pleasant spring...ing into a gorgeous summer. 



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