Tree Book Art and Painted Bark-like Covers

I'm putting together an exhibit in my mind, one based on inspiration from trees, and I decided I needed another three-dimensional object, which turned out to be (surprise) a book. In reality, it is a surprise to me since I haven't really been focused on making books regularly. The last books I made were more sculptural, which I wrote about here, and this one is similarly structured, using the Coptic for Single Sheet or Boards binding as well.  I actually had to reference my own instructions, which are here.

Here is the book, Then There Is the Scar.  It is 3.75" x 5.5" (9.5 cm x 13.3 cm) when closed. Instructions for how to make the covers follow. I made it a little tag, perhaps like a specimen or herbarium tag, from printmaking paper and a circle of book cloth to indicate that it is really an object.

There is a single poem within, written with Calli black ink and a dip pen.

Instructions for Bark-like Covers

Materials & Tools: Museum or book board; art knife; a selection of brushes such as small flat-bottomed stencil brush, large flat, small flat, small pointed or extra small pointed; black acrylic paint, raw sienna acrylic paint, burnt sienna acrylic paint

1. With an art knife cut random gashes in museum or book board. Peel out the centers. This is like making a recess, instructions on page 217 in [Amazon link] Making Handmade Books.

2. With black acrylic paint, paint over the board with a dry brush. Do not add water, or if you do just use a tiny bit: too much water will warp the board.

3. Using a combination of raw sienna and burnt sienna acrylic paint, brush over the board, making sure to cover the highest ridges.

4. Using the black acrylic paint and a small brush, either flat or pointed, paint the interior gashes. Touch up the board with the siennas again, if desired.

5. Paint the edges and the reverse side of the board so it does not warp. You can use a tiny bit of water here.

Finished board

Tu B'shvat, the Jewish New Year of the Trees, is February 6, this year of 2023.
So many New Years! Kinda nice to keep celebrating.

And not just in my head: watch for my tree art exhibit at the 
Albany Branch of the Alameda County Library in July, 2023!