The circle accordion is my go-to book structure. Last weekend, having freed up some time, finished up some obligations, I thought I would dive into the next big thing or rework the old thing. Except I really didn't have the energy to rev myself up. I knew that painting paper would relax me, and I had written a poem recently that I could think about while I painted. Of course, my vision changed completely once it became ink and water on the page, but just committing to the idea got the project going.
I began by making two brushstrokes/puddles of clean water, then added ink and salt and water spray much like I did here, but constrained this time to the puddles. (You can see the technique, "Wet-on-Wet" in Painted Paper: Techniques & Projects for Handmade Books & Cards on page 37.)
After letting it dry, I painted around it. Went back in with acrylic gesso, scratched into it ("Gesso and Sgraffito," page 67), and highlighted certain edges with the gesso. It certainly wasn't a painting of clouds anymore; it looked more like plants.
I cut the painting into strips, then folded them for the Circle Accordion (page 119 in Making Handmade Books: 100+ Bindings, Structures & Forms and page 126 in Painted Paper). I attached the strips with self-adhesive linen tape, and wrote the text with a pen dipped in black acrylic ink. The pages tend to become more interesting when certain colors or different elements appear. It is much easier to paint when you know it will be cut up. You can even plan for it.