Monday, June 10, 2019

different Journal Style for me....

I usually work in two journals that have been around for several years, just drifting and dreaming. One has song lyrics integrated into the image and one has quotes, words, thoughts on the pages.   I sort of accidentally started this new book by thinking that I had, and was carrying along if I move, a bunch of little pieces of random paper that I like but have not fitted into one of the sort of planned journals.

I started making sort of pages, different sizes etc and then ended up with a bunch of glued together page starts that I had no place to put. So... I sewed them together using an accordion folded spine, and ended up with a journal.  I have since painted and glued and made marks and by no means does it feel "done" but I thought some of my viewers might like to see where it is now.

First one cover:


and the binding:

Then an assortment of pages:






Pages are a variety of sizes, so often the edges of previous pages show when the journal is open.  I am liking that, and trying to find ways to incorporate the edges without actually working on them, just letting them show. 





There will probably be more on this journal as I go along. I posted a couple of these pages on Instagram and will probably use that venue to mention when I add some here.



Sunday, April 7, 2019

Next Steps

I have lived in New York City since 1989.... that's a long time! I have WANTED to live in New York City since I was 8 years old.  I remember standing in the middle of a big sidewalk... probably Lexington Ave in the 40's and saying... "This is the best place to live forever."  And it is.

I have lived in 4 places in the City, each one better in some way than the one before and I am going to do some documentation of all that here off and on.

The reason for the trip down memory lane is this... I passed my 70th year a while ago.  I am still walking with the dogs almost every day for 2 miles at a pretty good clip.. we pass people. But I know how old I am and it seems to me that it is time to gather the wagons.... at least some of the wagons.

My kids live in Austin TX.  I have been there a couple of times but not in the last 10 years.  They are pushing me to come there "while you can still make your own friends and do art things and be yourself."

I can see the logic.  I have pondered it, struggled with it and resisted it... but it does make sense.  I know the kind of things I do.. collage, art bookmaking, pastels, a bit of painting etc. are done in Austin.  I have the links to the Austin Book Arts Center  and I know there are other places too. I know I can do this, but it does seem like an enormous challenge for me and for the menagerie.

SO I made a book to document it and to keep me moving toward it.  I originally felt that I was aiming for selling the co-op here in November - ish of this year but I now am thinking that April - ish of next year is better.  There is a lot to do and I am not going to let it be my sole focus for that time because there is this city I love and I am going to do some things I want to do one more time. I know I can come back.. but it isn't the same and I want to eat at certain places and visit certain places and document those too in my book.

OK. I loved Rebecca Makkai's book The Great Believers.  It was one of my favorites this year from my bookclubs.  I made the book for the next part of my crazy life out of the cover from The Great Believers.. I should say that the book fell apart while my friend was reading it, and she gave me the cover as a joke. I am going to mostly be writing, I think, but who knows.  On Instagram I have put some photos of the book I made, and sent people here for the reasoning behind the book.  I am adding a few photos below of the book........  I kept the title part of the cover and worked around it.  There are 7 folios each with an assortment of paper types and the cover of each folio is a piece of gelliprint paper that I liked.

"We were the great believers. I have never cared for any men as much as for these who felt the first springs when I did, and saw death ahead, and were reprieved—and who now walk the long stormy summer.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald, “My Generation”" is the epigraph for The Great Believers

I hope this book does not only document a long stormy summer.....
....














Friday, February 1, 2019

Clean and clear

This page set has been on the blog before, but since the poor blog has been lying about unused for so long, I figure everyone who has either seen it already or will remember it gave up on me a long time ago.  This is the second in my Instagram experiences..  This was a photo I took of a photography friend a zillion years ago.. maybe 35 or so... and used as the source for an image transfer.  The rest is collage and this is a point in the book where one page is the back of the previous spread I showed here and the right side is the back of the next spread, which I think is a 3-fold page.

I liked the circles.  I ALWAYS like circles..


This is the full spread, circles and all. All my pages are pretty spontaneous, I do NOT plan ahead, though I think about how to do that. This set of pages took maybe a year overall, but I think it is done. I build imagery up, take some out by painting over it, collage on top of them, and in this instance I did a Matte medium image transfer from a photo I shot years ago and always liked. 


Right side, some of what shows through is the paint samples on the original page. I liked the look and never quite covered them up. The bottom left is a set of 3 postage stamps that I liked.


The graphic is a piece of found printing, not sure where I got it, and I just used the circles and went off on my own. 

The summary pic will be on Instagram in a few minutes. 

Saturday, January 26, 2019

closeups of a long term project...

Several years ago... seriously, can I start that way?... I think I have to... I made a Coptic stitch journal out of paint sample sheets.. the kind you get at the hardware store and they are tri-fold or even quatra-fold.  I overpainted them with gesso and with gouache and whatever I had around, and let the rectangles of the paint samples show through and just went ahead and sewed.

Every now and then on Instagram I show some page samples and I thought this might help me revive this blog.  Just because people are not blogging does not mean I should stop and besides, I am a long form kind of person, so this is a page spread from the Big Blue Book.


This is the full spread, it was a quad to start with, and I stitched the Coptic attachment through the center, so it folds out to look like this. 


This is the left side


Left Center


Right Center


Right Edge

The drawing is one of many I saved from my days in classes with figure models, and the rest is paint, stencils and collage from a variety of places.  I like the way it flows across the page and I have decided it is "done" .... for me that means it is time to leave it along and let it fly by itself. 

 NOW... I am referring people from Instagram over here.  The one thing IGram does that I like is it lets people comment easily. .... SO if you came here from IGram you can comment here or there, but let me know what you think.  I have a lot of "finished" pages that are sitting around and I thought that I might start showing some of them like this if this works.  Talk to me !!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Putting Journals Together Part 1

A very long time ago.... back when I first retired from having to work outside the house every day, I did two things.  I got a dog....

And then I encountered a book that really changed how I thought about how I wanted to spend my "retirement". 

Lk Ludwig has an interesting do it yourself approach to photography, book binding and collage.  I loved this book and still go back to it first when I am looking for ideas.  NOW... does she give instructions for exactly what I am doing? Nope, but she gave me some ideas and I sort of went with them. 

I  built up a collection of 4 collaged "books".  I started doing them in 2014, I had some decent paper and I made 4 pamphlet stitched books. I didn't work in a straight line through the books, but I did finish one before I did the second and I did date them as I went.  I am slightly notoriously slap dash, but dating things that I am working on is one of my main rules. 

These are the covers.  The books are about 4" by 6" and contain generally 25ish pages.  Not all the pages are the same size, there were some leftover bits of the same paper that I just bound in as they fit. I will do some content pictures and there are some earlier in the blog that I will link to from each book that was covered here.. 


Number 1is dated June, July, August and September 2014.  At that point I realized it was going to take longer than I thought and I stopped using months and began using month ranges and years. 


Number 2 is dated September 15 2014 and continues to February 23, 2015. 


Number 3 runs from February 25, 2015 until May 18, 2015.  The last pages are here. and the same applies, you can page back through a number of the pages, although they may look different now.


Number 4 is the last one, dated May 19, 2015.  I finished it last year in November 2016, and I documented it here on the blog.  If you want to see other pages, just click on previous and work your way back. as I documented a bunch of this book as it was then. The first pages are here.My nature is that I never think something is ever really done.  I know I worked in all of these books for at least another 2 or 3 years. As of 2017, however, there were no more empty spaces or places, and I began to think about next steps. I also started working in my big huge collage journal, and it was taking a lot of my thought.  So I began to consider how to keep these from getting lost. 

I will post the process with pictures over the next week or so. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Log Cabin Knitting

In case anyone who loves knitting hasn't noticed (what rock do you live under????) Mason Dixon's Ann and Kay are talking about Log Cabin knitting and pushing the boundaries.

Well, Log Cabin and Ball Band were two of my favorite things in their first book... and lots of my knitting life has been spent knitting log cabin stuff.

Start by understanding that I have enough sock yarn in a HUGE variety of colors and I will NEVER be able to knit all those socks.  And, I started just knitting one sock in one colorway and then the next sock, often a different pattern, in a different color.  That left me with a lot of half balls of colors, and there are only so many pairs of sneaker socks (whatever they are called... you know what I mean) that one can wear.

SO I am now showing you pictures of my last 3 log cabin slightly larger than lap blankets.

This one started out as a scarf, so the center part the is yellow at the start was fairly long before I tired of it. ... So I bound off and picked up along the long side to make a larger square and log cabined (do you suppose that can be a verb?) from then on.  I just used one ball until I got tired of it, hunted around for something else I liked and continued until I decided it was time to turn it, bound off, picked up across the piece and kept on going.   SO. It is a log cabin, but since no measuring took place it is a log cabin INSPIRED piece, I guess.


 This is the same piece but it looks so different when the intro piece is vertical, so I shot it from the other side so you could see it.

This is actually the first one I did. It might have started as a washcloth in the Ballband Pattern.  I have a couple of those out of this fine cotton. I had several cones of it and I loved working with it. .. anyway.. I launched into log cabin and kept the Ballband pattern, and changed it slightly here and there. 


This is a bit of a closeup so you can see the patterns..


Finally, this is the last one I kept. (I also made one for my best friend as a sort of wedding present).  I tried to do some increasing around the edges with this one, why I do NOT remember. I don't recommend it.   I wanted a frilly edge for some reason...do NOT be deluded into thinking that is an improvement.   But you get a sense of how ANY color can be worked in.  I heard Kaffe Fassett talk once and he said.. if it looks like the color you just added doesn't work, ADD MORE COLORS!... or words to that effect.  He is, as usual, right.  Several times in all the colored ones I would start thinking oops!  and I made myself keep on.. and it resolved itself.


Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Black and White Class...

As I said yesterday, I am taking a class from Jane Davies.  It is the third online class that I have taken from her and I have learned a lot from each of them.  What is great about her classes that I have not seen in other online classes that I have taken is that she comments on every single thing posted in the class space and the posts are thoughtful and helpful, not just "attagirls".  She has a structure for the class and it moves you through a series of steps and you end up knowing more than when you started. I know I said similar things yesterday, but I decided that some people might only look at today, so Jane gets two posts... VBG!

SO, these are a couple of the class products. Nothing is ever finished that is done to meet the class requirements, but a couple of the things I did this time I found interesting, so here they are.  The class is totally Black and White.  The BEST class was 100 drawings on cheap paper, which was SO much fun I would almost take it again.. still might.  This one was shorter and more structured and really focused on the process of making black and white abstracts.