Accordion Books · Book Art · Book Artists · Drawings

Drawing On Health

Italian Parsley

Every few days I wander into the North Main Gallery in Salem, where my hanging books are displayed until September 3.  Each time the exhibit looks different to me.  As Ed Hutchins and I were working together to hang the show it was hard to have any idea of what I was looking at since the pieces we were hanging were so freshly finished.  I imagine that this is true of anyone who creates something: that it isn’t until there’s some distance from the finished piece that it can be really seen by the person who made it.


I am relieved to say that I love the look of the show. The majority of the pieces are works that I think of as Drawing On Health, which refers a preoccupation pf mine, which is to stay healthy.  This is a joyful interest, one that celebrates living.  The attention that I lavish on to the herbs, fruits, greens, and veggies is meant to help me hold them more closely in my being. I hope this comes through and resonates, too, with the viewer.

I love Kale

Drawing these plants somehow makes me like them more.

After seeing the drawing above my friend Sarah told me that she thought that kale, which is quite nutritious, could save the planet because you can pick it and pick it and it keeps producing more and more: an interesting theory!

My favorite piece is nine panels long, dedicated entirely to blueberry season. Blueberries have a special nook in my heart, and I look forward to going to the local U-Pick places to load up for the winter.

Blueberry Season

Summertimes I would visit relatives near Scranton, Pennsylvania.  During blueberry season Uncle Lou would drop off me and Aunt Jane on a mountain top, where we would pick for hours. If the crop was plentiful my aunt would be overjoyed…I can still hear her repeating, over and over “Look at these berries! Look at these berries!” Then we would take those berries back to her lake house where she would make the most wonderful blueberry buckle on the planet.

Here’s a look at my wall of the gallery. The hinges between the panels are designed so that the they can spin. I used some different materials for the hinging, but most of them are cords which I dyed and knotted like this:

Knot In Color

Another wonderful facet to this show is an exquisite gem of a catalogue, designed by Ed Hutchins and Joe Freedman. Here’s a peek at the catalogue:

I have a number of copies of these that I am happy to share for the asking: leave me a comment here asking me for one and I will  get in touch with you, off-blog, you to ask for your address.

20 thoughts on “Drawing On Health

  1. I love the blog and the idea of hanging books. I would very much loke a copy of the catalogue. I can be reached at PO Box 142, Waverly Pa.
    Maria Wilson
    Executive Director Waverly Community House
    F. Lammot Belin Arts Scholarship


  2. I would love to have one of the catalogues for the show. Here, we have been eating grilled kale – on a cookie sheet on the barbecue with a small amount of oil and garlic if you like, or kale chips. Tear up kale, toss with a small amount of olive oil or spray with Pam olive oil and cook in the oven or microwave until crisp. I like them with salt on them. Kids even love them.


  3. Hi Paula- Teaching two weeks of camp at Hildene. Exhausting, but lots of fun. We are making sketchbooks tomorrow and will make your origami pockets to tape inside the covers for keeping our treasures.
    I will make myself a note to come see your book exhibit in Salem – how exciting!!
    I’d love a copy of the catalogue. Maybe we can get together and you can give it to me in person. 🙂 Hope you’re having a great summer. I’m freaking out a little since jamie leaves in two weeks for college and then David and I will be all alone!
    Hope to catch up with you soon
    Take a peek at by new website and blog if you haven’t already.


  4. This show looks so very interesting. I live too far away for an “in person” visit so I am glad to be able to drop in and see the goodies online. I came here by way of Joanne Renbeck’s site and I have a couple of Ed Hutchins books. And, it is nice to meet you too! Great projects and I like your hanging panels – a good way to add dimensionality to your work and involve the viewer.

    I would like to have a copy of the catalog if they are still available. It is most generous of you to share.

    Karen in Texas


  5. Hi Paula,
    Your lovely hanging books have inspired me to adapt your idea for a future health lesson with my students. I think that a copy of the catalogue would motivate my students! Thanks for sharing.


  6. Hello Paula,

    I heart your website, your work, teaching techniques and instructional pages! Thank you for sharing your brilliance. I would love a copy of the catalogue for my and my students inspiration, similar to Tammy and I am in Texas, similar to Karen.
    Thank you!


  7. Hi Paula,
    Have just found your website and am truly delighted and inspired. I love Ed Hutchins’ work and that of Carol Barton. We were lucky enough to have them both visit Australia at different times over the years and I have loved their workshops. One of these days I may get to the US and do a “Book Arts” tour….One day. Anne in Melbourne, Victoria.


      1. Hello again Paula, say hi to Ed from me, if you see him. And save me one of your catalogues… I’ll pick it from you when I get to do my “Book Arts” tour of the US…(in a year or two) LOL.
        In the mean time, I’m going to the Victorian Bookbinders’ Guild tonight for a BBQ and some paper marbling fun. Have a great year of making books and stay in touch. Cheers from Anne Newton (Parkville, Victoria.)


  8. If you have any ideas/resources to share, we’d appreciate it. I started the group for my son, now 14, because there weren’t in origami “clubs” in our city…. Pity is that I’m not much of a folder, but I am working on being able to make simple books so I can teach my students. I found great photos in a book by Weiss for a “folded book with pockets” but there aren’t enough clear instructions for me to follow… Thanks for taking the time to make your blog…. It’s inspiring.


    1. HI…If you scroll down the sidebar of my blog you’ll see a drop-down bar for CATEGORIES…click on the “how to” category: this is how I’ve organized my simple-to follow tutorials. THere’s plenty there to keep you and yours busy! Good luck!


  9. If you still have any of the books available could I please have one. I have just started doing book arts in Bermuda and I love your site for inspiration and all the tutorials and information is a tremendous help. Thanks


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