Thursday, March 16, 2006

Altered Book Cover

Sunday, March 05, 2006

New Work in Small Board Book

Pages one and two: the first of three completed spreads. This was a little difficult to scan--hence the blurriness--because of the dimensional nail on page two.
This set of pages is understated in terms of color and simple in layout compared to the two sets that follow. In this way, it feels only remotely related to the next spreads.
The backgrounds of these pages are from wallpaper samples. The little hands were punched out of rusty red samples. I snipped the small gold leaves off of one of my ankle bracelets. Why arrange them in three's? (Good things come in three's? Bad things as well?) The two "statements" are from a vintage/antique parlor game where a zany story is built from slips drawn from a box, and the rusty nail is quite old and real.

Is there story continuity? Not exactly. Perhaps a spider web thread of one.
This little AB was my first creative work after my father's passing. I was happy to be doing anything at all creative and enjoyed the process.

I like the liveliness of this spread, the strong contrasting colors, the stillness/groundedness of the left side (again see three's in the flowers?). I like the bit of kinetic energy on the right side that leads (or will lead) into the next spread.
I was doodling in a magazine and painted the face with white acrylics, tinting it with colored pencils. The blue strips were made from a hunk of a gradient blue magazine clipping. I clip colors and shapes when I'm looking for something meditative to do.
I sometimes have little patience for glue. Most of this book was assembled using two-way tape.
I have a fondness for black and white stripes and checks. I almost always cut off the little striped postage blocks (or whatever they are called) found on mail in subscription cards. The stripes at the bottom of the right page came from a few of these "postage blocks."

At pages seven and eight the subject has "arrived" so to speak. The earlier pages were part of a journey. That said, two spreads remain to be created: the set preceding these pages and the final set that follows.
I am not pleased with the gold paper I chose for the background of these pages. It's too flimsy and thin. I can, however, always create these pages again. The beads at the bottom of the picture on the left page are not as dark as they seem here. The colors are reminiscent of the blues and greens of water, and I like the weight they lend to the bottom edge of the picture.
The chain that dangles from the right? Another unwanted ankle bracelet put to better use.
To give some perspective on the size of this little book, the red backgrounds on these final two pages were painted on playing cards.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Art Journal Collaboration...

I am soon starting a collaboration with a fellow artist in Virginia on a pair of art journals that emphasize infusing each day with art and and incorporating it more fully into our lives. I'm very excited to see she's begun working on the first page!

Carole and I have talked a bit and clearly being creative daily means a lot to both of us. Each of us are doing our darndest to incorporate our passion for creativity into our lives personally and professionally. (As a matter of fact, you can take a look at her zine Paperpourri.) Art is more than just something we like to do--it's something we need to do and love to share!

It's always nice to run into kindred spirits and share the journey...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Altered Journal - First Paintings

Rubrum Lily and two cats. Watercolor.

Altered Board Book

My first altered board book was a birthday gift to my Lover.

I chose this book (it is about 7"x7") because it had six tabs that run down the right hand side. (You can see them in the first and third photos.) I used each tab to hint at spread content. I applied fresh background papers to page so I didn't need to sand or prime/gesso. I purchase most of my board books at a local discount store. They often have unusual shapes and sometimes windows and pockets. And when I find a shape I like, I stock up.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A New Aggressor Type: The "Victim"

I know someone exactly like this. Her ability to control everyone around her and then construe events to make her appear to be a victim was simply amazing and quite a thing to watch.

It would take several meetings with new people before they became aware and recognized what was actually happening. Initially, she was very convincing.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Altered Journal: Violent Sheep

I have found journaling in existing books very handy to do in the car, waiting rooms, all sorts of places where I don't have a lot of time or room for pens, watercolors or supplies. There is something spontaneous about it--in the moment. But I have to laugh at the expressions of people observing me as I desecrate a perfectly good hard covered book. They are priceless.

The photos here are of raw journaling. No planning. No direction. Not meant to be pretty. Akin to an idea generating process called clustering where each single idea or word generates other thoughts, other words about an issue, like branches of a tree, each reaching out and away from the original single thought or word toward some new idea... This spontaneous play of words and ideas is just a beginning. Gathered together into some kind of sense, the journal entry to the right comes together something like this:

Move on, in, over, inside--slowly. Teach a lesson.
I shake. Shudder. Sigh. Hostage?
I exhale again and again. Emotion. Discomfort. A flood of feelings.
A willing hostage. Sacred. A prisoner of desire.
A flood of passion. Denied. Diffused. But not disguised.
Released and built again. Foreboding. Impending.

I anticipate: Command me.

I am having a little trouble veering away from the subjects of the books I journal in and, as a book collector since my childhood, I have more than my share of books to alter. Tyranny of the Meek:Violent Sheep by Michelle Cole (1980) is basically about a culture of passive aggressiveness and lends itself well to entries about power struggles of both a positive and negative nature, lovely conning personality types, and about a rather unsavory ex of mine.

In the future, I'd like to take a book and pull a theme or story from it that has absolutely nothing to do with the book's original premise. That would be a challenge.

These particular entries, which are pretty straightforward, barely embellished and not by any means considered finished, suggest an enticing play of power rather than passive aggressiveness:

Take the wool from our eyes:

Thousands of scenes create possibilities. Offering a chance within minutes an opportunity to express.

The Gauntlet, larger and more complex. Increasing control at the hands of god; not the monster.

Something else happens. Something more than control.

An Altered Journal

This site will feature my journal posts, and I promise to experiment. It won't all be pretty, but journaling and art fill a need it me that I can't go without feeding.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Cajoled, Won Over, Stunned and Horrified

I'll pull some of the text from here and edit it a bit:
Betrayal is an act of violence
They violate the trust placed in their hands
Morality rots before one's eyes.
Love is the Ultimate Weapon.
I was cajoled. Won over. Stunned. Horrified.
Subtle ways to oppress and manipulate
They deny, distort and rationalize the cruelty they feel: elaborate rationalizations.
Violence we cover up, justify and deny.
One of the most effective ways to justify violence is for persons to convince themselves that they are even greater victims than the persons they are victimizing.
By amplifying their own oppression, people can persuade themseves to do almost anything to anyone.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Journal Painting

Painting: "Primal"