I’ve been looking for a reason to use some of the gold leaf that I’ve had laying around for almost a year. It combines well with lots of base colours, like black (which is complicated because a really saturated black will likely bleed through my paper), red, blue or green. I chose green simply because it’s a less commonly used combination. This idea turned into doing a vintage field journal theme, which is another thing that I have been wanting to do.

One issue I found with using gold leaf is that it scans really poorly. The gold turns into a solid black instead, so I’ve had to do some post processing on some of the images on this page that include it. I hope it looks convincing enough!

The flowers remind us
why the rain was necessary.

This month’s quote is widely attributed to a person named Xan Oku, and while they have a few other inspirational phrases attributed to them, I haven’t been able to confirm that this is an actual person. I’d love to be proven wrong in the comments below though if you have a good source!

The capitalised J on the title page is actually another wish fulfilled, as I’ve been wanting to use this font from the ‘Romain du Roi‘ typeface for a while. It was commissioned by Louis XIV in late 17th century France as the new official typeface to be exclusively used by the Royal Print Office and has a really interesting history attached to it. If typography is something that interests you, I encourage you to read about it on this course website by Andrea Herstowski, an associate professor teaching visual communication design at the University of Kansas School of Architecture & Design.

After playing around with it last month, I wanted to try another format for more integrated spreads combining my trackers with my dailies. For this version I decided to leave space – which I left unstructured for an organic feel – on the left page for writing my daily summaries while including the trackers on the right page. By doing this I will be able to continue enjoying my art every day throughout the month, since I have to flip back and forth to get to my trackers. I’m looking forward to it!

Magpies are a part of my life every day, as I feed my cat outside and they’re cunning little thieves. stealing his food from right under his nose! I’ll include some context and a little video at the end of this post.

This painting of a magpie straight up intimidated me for two days after sketching it. Overcoming that and seeing a passable result gives me a lot of pride and a sense of accomplishment, even if I had to basically repaint it two times ha!

It seemed fun to include some actual organic materials in this theme, so I added the feather on the previous spread and some dried clover here. I’m not sure that I won’t regret this in the months to come, since it does leave a bit of a bump in the paper, but hey – it looks nice and adds some authenticity to the theme!

While I included a bunch of information about each subject on the pages, I can’t promise that all of it is entirely accurate. I am enough of a nerd to do a deep dive for accuracy, but not enough of a perfectionist to make an entire study of it.

Now for that context and video I promised. I put part of my dog’s food out in the garden so he has to work for it and keep his little pea brain exercised. The cat got jealous, so now some of his breakfast goes on the table. The birds in the neighbourhood got wind of this and have learned that my cat poses no threat to them. They even peck at his tail sometimes to chase him away from his own food! It is often a flurry of crows and magpies in front of my windows during feeding time, but this time I caught a peaceful scene, bonus dog included.

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