This blog is my portfolio of artwork, a journal about my process of making art...and the things that I have no words for...

*Copyright notice* All photos, writing, and artwork are mine (
© Laura J. Wellner), unless otherwise noted, please be a peach, if you'd like to use my work for a project or you just love it and must have it, message me and we'll work out the details...it's simple...JUST ASK, please.



Saturday, April 04, 2015

The Sketchbook Project 2015




If Not, Winter…This is a one of a kind sketchbook. 




Winter is a joy and a dread—an expected guest that arrives with a smattering of soggy, white baggage as early as Halloween. It’s a howling wind and skies bruised gray, darkness descends with the snowfall—The Winter Solstice becomes blanketed in white unless a warming trend foils expectations—it seems a sickness when there is no snow for Christmas. January, we are wary of the forecasted predictions, lately it is as if someone has flipped the switch to COLD so that by February, we are weary of the bitter Arctic breath. March, for goodness sakes, enough already with the roaring lion! It’s the relentless wind that is maddening. We consider ourselves lucky if there is anything lamb-like about it by the end. Winter grudgingly departs, leaving behind its “dirty laundry”, the ice crusts of soggy snowbanks, flattened debris, and mud. Brave little crocuses are, more often than not, smashed to a pulp by more than “a dusting” of snow. In the past, snowstorms have come as late as Mother’s Day. It is agreed that by Memorial Day, it’s safe to plant the garden. 

On full moon nights...the snow is blue and sparkly...
Winter started in November...
and didn't let up. December.
Frost on the windows...Winter Solstice.
Peace on earth. Beware the Pogonip.
Lake Effect. It's only January
The snow squeaks when it's below zero...February.
Damn it's COLD. Is it ever going to end?
We are FrOzen. Bitter COLD...
A Nor'easter. There were night I hoped...
for cloud cover to keep us warm...seeing the stars at night made me shiver
(snowstorm, icy moon)
As a rule, March comes in like a LION...
The first day of Spring...
never mind the lamb, it's taking leave like a stubborn ram.

Winter is a shared complaint—with the first snowfall, driving is a challenge until we get our winter driving “legs” and try to have more patience while on the road. I swear, if we didn’t have the weather to talk about, we’d have nothing to say to each other after the holidays. It’s an ice breaker—we warm toward one another in our commiseration, melting the cabin fever frost and grumpy hibernation hangover... (On March 29th when I bound the book, there were places in my yard that still had 3 feet of snow, today there's still a foot or more here and there, and a fresh inch arrived overnight...it ain't over yet. Not that I'm complaining.)

The cover, front and back
The paintings are composed with acrylic wash on rice paper mounted on the original 100% Scoutbook pages for the Sketchbook Project 2015. Text on white bond paper is adhered with archival paste or ATG tape, and handbound with cotton book binding thread. It may look extremely delicate, but it really isn't...it should hold up nicely.

It was so hard to part with this little sketchbook, they all are...this is my fourth contribution to the Sketchbook Project.

While making it, I wondered how many will catch the "Rudolph" reference in the word FrOzen...and laugh.(My Fred and our son both did, but that's just us, it's what we look for in the beginning of the movie.)

I just noticed this morning that I misspelled "Arctic" in the text on the introduction...oh, well! I can only hope the reader's brain will fill in the missing 'c' (if they take the time to read it)...and I hope they are forgiving if they do find it...

Anyway, I loved making it, and I hope that it will be enjoyed by many who visit the Mobile Library during the 2015 tour, and then later at the Brooklyn Art Library in years to come!

3 comments:

Seth said...

This is gorgeous Laura. I can see why it would be hard to give up. But just think about how many people will enjoy it along the way.

Laura J. Wellner (author pseudonym Laura J. W. Ryan) said...

Thanks, Seth!

Lynda Fish said...

Beautiful! Really captures the best and the bleakness of winter. Thanks for sharing it!