Thursday, July 31, 2014

Art Journal with Contents Part 3

This page was originally blank on the left side and had a half face print on the right.  I dabbled about with the face print, and at one point had a butterflyish drawing on the cheek and it bothered me ... too easy.  I am having a big discussion with myself about not using things because I can or because they are there.  Learning to look for the things that fit, not always the easy thing.

The circles are from a wrapper on a gift from Japan.  I liked the sketchiness of the script.

The other side is an orchid leaf that has been hanging around for a while, getting more and more beat up, which is when I really like them the best.  The embossing is from the top of a can of sweetened condensed milk that I bought in Chinatown.  When I popped the lid I looked at it and saw "longevity".  So I saved the lid, and embossed it onto a piece of watercolor paper..
There is a bit of smeary charcoal in there also.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Art Journal with Contents Part 2

 Turning the page leads to this page.. The Volkswagon van in this picture was the second car I ever owned.  This is one that parks on my street every once in a while and every time I see it I smile.  So I finally took its portrait, since there don't seem to be any pictures of my long ago van in my albums anywhere.  Mine went through 4 rebuilt engines in the years I owned it, I would be driving along and all of a sudden there would be a bang and the whole weight of the van would drop onto the rear wheels.  I would drift to the side, hop out and go back there to open the engine cover door so that the inevitable puff of smoke would be let out and the soul of the engine would ascend to wherever they go.  I would get a ride home, call my shade tree mechanic and he would pick up the van and put in another engine and off we would go.  I loved that van.......
This is another page with a small page on top of it, and I turned this smaller page into a window and cut out the panes.  This is the spread opened out.

The van page close up

and with the window over it
The other side of this page is a collage of some plant material, orchid leaves and petals mostly

and with the window open over it:

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Art Journal with contents

I have been working away at this little pamphlet stitch journal.  I talked about it earlier.. It is based on pages that I printed with my gelliplate that did not achieve "keepability".  I call them failed, but it has been pointed out to me that others might consider them fine, it was just that they didn't suit me when I pulled them... (thanks Dorothy)

So I folded most of them in the middle and stitched them together.  I am nearly done with the first little journal, I intend, when I have filled several to rebind them together as one, but they are easier to find unintimidating if they are short, so short they are.

I thought I would record a few pages over the next few days... so here is installment one.  I do NOT have a cover yet, so we start with pages 1 and 2:

Printed papers with collaged material, washi tape, builder's scrim, dried plant material (orchid leaves), a bit of stenciling, acrylic paint, metallic gold and flat.

The second set of pages are these:
 There is a flap of a shorter page between these two pages.   It is one of several smaller printed papers, that I made ages ago and added to the mix when I made up the books.  The flap on this side includes the Browning poem Pippas Song.  I thought the name was Pippa Passes, but maybe that is wrong..
 Page 3 without the flap
 Page 3 with the flap on top of it
 Page 4
Page 4 with the flap over it.

The pages interacting with the flaps have been a challenge at times, not always a big success, but interesting to play with none the less.  

Monday, July 28, 2014


I'm spending a lot of time lately thinking about how words and imagery relate...


They are very important to me, but not as individual "things". They are important as they relate to each other, bounce off each other, interact and modify each other.  A well constructed sentence is a thing of beauty and a well constructed paragraph will stop me in my tracks.  A paragraph that I read more than once, a page that I copy or notice for itself, that is why I read.  It doesn't matter so much what it is ABOUT.. see the picture below.. but how it tells what it is about and on how many levels it conveys its intent.

I tore this out of the New York Times a while ago and it has been kicking around in my "things I don't know what to do with yet" assortment.

If you can't read it, it says:
"An adult alligator, which can easily weigh 500 pounds or more, has a brain that can fit comfortably in a teaspoon.  When alligators do something, which is not often and usually involves seizing and dismembering food, thinking does not much enter into it."

I don't even have a clue what article this was in, I don't know who wrote it, I only know that when I read it I instantly tore it out of the paper and kept it.

Words, sentences, paragraphs.......

Friday, June 27, 2014

Art Journals considered

There are a lot of ideas and implementations of Art Journals, as many as there are people making journals I would bet.  I have at least 4 different journalistic things going on that can be described as art journals and in addition I have a "line a day" journal and generally do about 2 pages a la The Artist's Way, so I do not live an unexamined life by any means.

Today, I want to show you a new iteration and talk about what it is and where it comes from.  I have been doing stints of GelliPlate printing.  Not all of my GelliPlate prints are worth looking at for a long time as a single image or as one of a string of images with a theme.  BUT, and this is the sticking point, I can't seem to throw them away.  (Now, there are several people out there who would say I can't throw ANYTHING away, but at the moment I am only looking at not successful GelliPrings OK?)

I also have a lot of Paper.  I am, without question, a paperholic, and I can't get more til I use some of what I have, so I am looking for places/ways to use up my failed prints and other bits and pieces of paper.   Here is what I am doing:
I have made a bunch of pamphlet stitched assemblies of about 20 pages or so.  I have mixed pages that are made up of failed prints with blank pages, and sewed the failed prints right down the middle.

Also, I have mixed pages of different sizes just to add a bit more craziness:

I have done a variety of pages, some incorporating what was printed, some not.  I am just showing a sample here of some recent ones:

Two unrelated prints that ended up next to each other in the "luck of the draw". I added washi tape, color, and bits and pieces of builder's scrim.  (Thanks Gill!  who brought it to me from the UK.  For some reason I haven't been able to find it here in the hardware/home supply stores!  I love it)

 More builder's scrim, a print that I made for a Christmas card years ago and still have some hanging about that I cut up into circles etc. On the right side half page is a page from an old poetry book with the poem "Pippa Passes" printed on it.
A shredded leaf from an orchid, some dried out petals from a flower, paint etc etc etc on a page that originally just had some red strips on it.

the print here was made from a magazine closeup of a face that I made into a stencil.  It was ok, but not special, here there was only half the face because of the stitching holding the booklet together and I added color and collage bits. 

an old photo of Rich's store in downtown Atlanta that i found ages ago and dyed here with shoe dye polish and some white pen for highlights.. 

these are typical, the majority of the pages have some collage on them, some on blank pages, some using the print underneath. 

I find these little booklets liberating in a way, since I can do almost anything on them, and don't feel constrained. Also they are not very big, so they look more like they are almost done than like an intimidating amount of pages just waiting to be filled.  This one, that the pages above are from, is almost filled already and I have only been playing in it a couple of weeks.I have a tendency to think that if I am going to make a journal it has to be exposed spine, lots of pages etc. but these are just a 5 minute pamphlet stitch and they are done.  Later, if I want, I could sew 4 or 5 of them together through the already punched holes and have a larger journal, but only after all of them are filled.  Isn't it fun??

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

shape shifting paper?

This is the second in a run of stuff for which I have only links, no pictures, so I will make it short.  The University of British Columbia has a post here about their discovery/invention/find  of paper that could be shipped flat and with heat applied forms 3 dimensional shapes.

NOW.... what to do with it besides the obvious commercial uses.  Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Sunday, June 15, 2014

How could I have missed knowing about this???

Whole Foods, of all places interesting to start with, has a FREE online magazine, and it is NOT your usual food magazine advertising the store and its deliverables.  The current issue, number 19, is called Art and it is really an interesting read.  Yes, there are foodish themes, but they cast a wide net in their subject matter when including artists and art.  The people it showcases are good at talking about what they do and why they do it. The photography is not glamour shots, but enhances the stories by being both informative and visually appealing.  The videos are well done and not intrusive, if you want to just read the story it is fine and the videos add more.  I am not a fan of all video all the time, so I really liked the format here and the videos were good viewing and well shot.

So far, i have looked at the first couple of issues from the archives, and in the first one there is a story about Julie Green who paints plates depicting the last meals requested by death row prisoners.  There is a great video where she talks both about her process and the WHY of what she does.

The second issue called Senses has a video article about Gerry Leary who is a coffee roaster in Texas, and who also happens to be blind.  He is a good talker and his take on the coffee bean roasting is fascinating.

The issue called Gather has In Living Color, Dyeing with the colors of nature about Sacha Duerr and her dyeing process.  It includes a chart of various plants and how the  mordant used affects the color that you end up with.

NOW.. I am an internet junkie, why did I not know about this little gem of a magazine?  Whole Foods, you do such a good job of publicity, where is the publicity for Dark Rye and why have I missed it?  Ok, everybody, take a look, it will reward you for the time spent for sure...

Other than having about 10 of their great bags in my house and eating their food a lot, there is no connection between me and Whole Foods, except now I am a subscriber... DID I MENTION IT IS FREE? to Dark Rye and delighted to be one.