Last spring I learned how to make a book in an 'art journaling' workshop. I was feeling a little stale in the studio, so I took some good advice from my friend Julia and tried out a new medium. Disclaimer: I am not good at the whole measuring and neat stitching thing. I admire those who have the precision to craft beautiful bindings, mine remain utilitarian at best. What I did find was that working in a book format really opened up some new directions in my own work. First of all, work in a book is probably never going to be work on a wall, so it takes down the barriers of what might be shared with an audience-more on that later. It became for me a place to try some new ideas without committing to stretching canvases and preparing surfaces for paint. My work felt immediate and fresh, intuitive and experimental. I liked that. Here I could combine observational drawing, printing and transfer techniques, painting and stitching. I have kept up with the practice of working in a book in my studio throughout the year. So far I have filled two books and have almost completed my third. Here are a few pages from that first book.