Over the hills and far away


Is this a book or a paper sculpture? When I was making it, I was thinking of it as a book, and there is a story to be found for anyone who looks, which is where the title comes from, but it is certainly not a book in the conventional sense.

It started life as a drawing. The paper was prepared with a random loose watercolour wash in a sepia or tan colour then blots of liquid pencil added. Scrunched plastic wrap was pressed on top then weighted for a day or so. Once it was dry I started to draw into it, using a fine pen with water based ink. Some of the lines were forced to bleed with a wet paintbrush, and then red ink was brought in. As so often happens with my work, it was then set aside while I decided what happened next. Eventually cutting up and folding seemed the best way to make use of the imagery, and as a result of binding the pieces together with multicoloured cord it turned into a star shape. The final touch was the plaited strap so that it can be hung up to gently turn in any passing breeze. It is a miniature, measuring 10 cm across and 5 cm high.

Below is first the complete drawing, on A3 paper (the cutting lines are marked, as I forgot to photograph it before I drew them in) then there are two details.

Overthehills1web overthehills2web overthehills6web

And finally, swinging in the breeze!


Author: anna warren portfolio

I draw, I paint, I am a printmaker. Always searching for the interesting detail in the world around me.

23 thoughts

    1. Karen, Liquid Pencil is a graphite paste. It can be mixed with water and painted on to paper to get a graphite look with a painting technique. I don’t like using it like that though, I prefer the random results of using it in blobs. I have used it quite a lot in my abstract drawings as it gives me a starting point to work from. If you feel like going back to some of my older posts I used it in Drift and the last couple of little books, and Elemental. I’m glad you can see the miniature world, the piece really needs to be held in your hand to see the detail properly!


  1. The cutting lines add to the feeling of cartography – but once you don’t see them any more (in the finished piece) the piece has a different feel to it…in a way … more mysterious…as the eye can invent all sorts of stories in the shapes.
    The piece is a mix of organic intuitive drawing – taking on a life of its own on the page – plus precise construction. With a construction like this it is nice the way light and shadow play a part in the finished product. What a lovely life story this piece has.


    1. Thank you Julie, I love your thoughtful take on my work. I hadn’t thought of cartography, but you are right. There are all sorts of stories in it, they surprise me too! I like the extra dimension that shadows can bring to a work.


  2. Oh so nice Anna! I feel like I’m looking into a different world, something growing and spreading, creating new colonies that are taking on different forms. Organic, microbiology, unique! Well, that’s the response from the science end of my brain! ;D


  3. Really nice work! It reminded me of an artist (whose name I can’t remember unfortunately) who made these kind of abstract drawings in those Japanese foldable Moleskine notebooks. Very sensitive drawings! (I do have pictures, if you’re interested…)


          1. Hi Anna, today I got a reply from the museum where I saw this work. Apparently the work is a collaboration between the artists Felix Waske, Jean Willi and Evru. With a result like this, i would like to collaborate with another artist as well! 😉 Have a great weekend!


            1. That’s fascinating that it is a collaboration. I will definitely follow these people up and find out more. Collaborations can be great ways of developing ideas, even internationally. Hmm, makes me think!


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