The Letterarian

Artist. Keeper of letters…








©Jacqueline Harris 2019

“a picture snowing”


Happy Holidays to All!

Copyright ©Jacqueline Harris 2018



We finally had some snow falling here yesterday… So very exciting to see the snow fall and settle on the branches in the forest!
I love the effect too of bare branches in the colder seasons — like spontaneous bursts of calligraphy writing itself at infinite angles in the atmosphere…constant state of communication!

Copyright ©Jacqueline Harris 2018

eye in the sky

eye in the sky

We are having a long run of cold arctic temperatures which can make for some fascinating skies. I took this photo while en route yesterday…
“eye in the sky”
You don’t often see one of these looking down at you at two in the afternoon!

experimenting with original work

Experimenting with digital filters on one of my original prints.
From the Dream Sequence I, l’enchantement de la femme noire book.

Dream Sequence I, detail – Version 3




voices mingling
reaching out
across a painted bridge

opening wind

whispering leaves


©Jacqueline Harris 2016

The Book of Laughter


Happiness is elusive.
Just when you think
you’ve got a good hold of it,
it slips from your grasp.

And yet,
it’s as free for the taking
as the air that we breathe.

I can hear it laughing.

©Jacqueline Harris 2016
The Book of Laughter Artist book, hand lettered, bound, printed, and embossed. Edition of 4.


Night & Day books

Chasing natural light and shaping shadows with my books Night & Day I and Night & Day II.

Artist books. Night & Day I and Night & Day II. ©Jacqueline Harris 2016

Paper Universe

Paper…it is a universe within itself… As handlers of paper we respond to how it feels, looks and responds to our touch, to its weight, by how it moves and how it sounds when it moves, how it bends, and how it can flap about when you animate it, or how serene and beautiful it may look when it hangs from a wall or falls from a book… This list can go on and on. Besides the amazing things that artists can do and say with this fine medium for expression, paper can say a whole lot without having anything said on it.

These are elements I was exploring when I developed the following three book works which were created specifically for a Canadian group exhibition that showed in 2011 called “Bound by Nature, An exhibition inspired by nature, landscape and books,” curated by Canadian artist Deborah Danelley.

With “Memoir, a book of sand” I was interested in exploring texture and containment, light and shadow, and the metaphor of moving through time with the eye travelling across the length of an image, a book. Taking the memory that time places on us and containing it in this form felt like a natural thing to do…

“Memoir, a book of sand” 2011 Book cover/box: 2 3/8″ h x 4 1/2″ l x 3 7/8″w (h 6cm x l 11.5cm x w 9.8cm) Fine Japanese St. Armand papers mounted on board.
A concertina book structure with an inkless embossed print mounted and bound on fine handmade Japanese papers. Book opens up to approx. 106 in. (269 cm) Text contemplation by Jacqueline Harris. Photo credit: Nicole Coulson.

Poem text:

a mark in time…

this is the mark
time places on us

it is a memory
in the sand

Detail of “Memoir, a book of sand” Digital text in pigment ink. Photo credit: Nicole Coulson.
Detail of inkless print in “Memoir, a book of sand” Inkless print hand rendered onto paper from a long plate made up of acrylic mediums on board.


The next set of books “Night & Day I” and “Night & Day II” is an example of how papers can speak for themselves…

“Night & Day I” “Night & Day II” 2011 Matchbox books bound with Arches and fine Japanese papers.
Detail of “Night & Day” books.
Detail of “Night & Day I” Text digitally rendered in pigment inks and composed by Jacqueline Harris.
Detail of “Night & Day II” Text digitally rendered in pigment inks and composed by Jacqueline Harris.
Detail “Night & Day I”
Detail “Night & Day II”
Details of “Night & Day” books.


“Dream Sequence I, L’enchantement de la femme noire”
In this work I was exploring size and the concept of the “unfolding” element of a narrative. I also wanted to feel physically engaged in the handling experience of reading a book with such wide pages…you have to use your whole arm to turn the pages, and I found this very engaging as a reader.

“Dream Sequence I, L’enchantement de la femme noire” 2011 This “book” is bound in a handmade box. To provide an idea of the scale of this book, dimensions are: h 18.3 cm x w 64cm x d 1.2cm; h 7.2″ x w 25.2″ x d .47″ (book closed up)
Detail of “Dream Sequence I, L’enchantement de la femme noire”

Building a visual narrative is like building a poem. Thematic elements and motifs occur and recur throughout the piece, building up rhythm and harmony. I wanted to retain such a feel with the method of printing and gilding, and so devised a way to apply the gold in the work in the manner of the pochoir method of the forest and dame noire.

Inside detail of “Dream Sequence I, L’enchantement de la femme noire”
Narrative consists of Pochoir print and 23kt gilding on Rives, mounted and bound on fine Japanese and St. Armand papers. w 186.6 cm; w 73.5″ (book opened up) Photo credit: Nicole Coulson



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