Friday, January 25, 2013

Artist's Book of Monotype Prints

I unearthed a group of original prints, all of which have been exhibited with some success, then came home with me to rest in a portfolio under the worktop in the studio.  Creating a book of them seems like a good way of being able to see and study them again, and share with friends who are beginning to show an interest in the emerging collection.

This group is all monotypes, that is single impression prints.  And this is where I can't resist leaping onto my soapbox to remind everyone that a print is an original artwork.  When you make reproductions of your work, those are reproductions.  They're not prints!  even giclees are really reproductions, not prints, no matter what lovely support they're printed out on...  Okay, climbing down again now...
Night Cafe, cover
Abstraction, rocks
Fear Figures

In the Conservatory

Second Fear Figures
Woman posing
Woods, Night
Wild Birds.
Here I made five signatures of two prints each, buttonhole stitched each signature, with a different shade of gold, orange and yellow, a sunny range of colors, then tied top and bottom of the ends together in a knot at each end, then twined the ends around the stitching until they finished up in another knot.  This may be the finished product, not sure if I need to create covers for this collection, but we'll see. Right now I like opening it with Night Cafe.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Artist's Hand, book of ink drawings

I've assembled last spring's EDM drawings into a second book, which I've called The Artist's Hand, the name of the cover drawing.  This whole book is drawn on mulberry paper, including  the covers front and back.  I assembled it in a series of signatures each with two drawings, attached with strips of mulberry paper which becomes invisible in place.  Then I stitched each signature with a herringbone stitch, leaving long tails. Then I stitched through the covers in two places, sliding the floss through the herringbones, and finishing with a knotted end.  This way, once again, the book opens flat to see the drawings.  These are all musings on what's around me, my own hand, the workbag, the washing machine, the bookcases, the cherry tree branch outside the window,just everyday matters, which are full of significance if I pay attention to them.

I'm seriously thinking that this is a way to go this year, to assemble the work I like enough to keep and display, into artist's books.  Then I can discard work I don't think enough of!  just think of all those drawings and paintings you have, hundreds of them, in the studio, just lying in portfolios, well I have anyway.  This might be a good destination for them.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Great Reveal -- the EveryDay Matters book of paintings and drawings

Here's the first of the two books, the paintings and drawings I did on Arches hotpress paper last Spring, using ink, wash, Caran d'Ache crayons, and whatever mood struck me at the time!   I edged all the paintings with transparent duct tape, the kind with a filament running through it, very strong, then stitched each page with blanket stitch, leaving long tails at start and finish, which I then braided and knotted to fasten all the pages together.  This method allows the book to open completely flat on each page so that you can easily see the painting. 

The book is titled EveryDay Matters Spring 2012, and the back cover is a self portrait, which I thought would be a nice addition, given that you usually get a pic of the author on the back cover of a commercial book!  As to the destination of this book, not yet decided.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Two Kinds of Magic

As I was working in the studio today, I heard either Penn or Teller, never know which name is which, on radio talking about how during his magic act, he offers to show the audience how he does the magic, but if they don't want to know, they can close their eyes until he does the actual trick.  He says that there seem to be two sorts of audience for art: one absolutely does not want to know what went into it, just wants the output, and the other is fascinated by the workings behind the scenes.

He describes his art form as the unwilling suspension of disbelief. Which occurs to me now as another version of Picasso's comment that art is a lie that tells the truth! I've rarely bothered to do work in progress shots, since for me art is so fast and furious that I can't stop to take pix in medias res, so to speak.  But today it happened that I was working on artist books, a sort of dull bit, the idea having been digested and now being executed, over how to put the pages together.  So I thought it was a good time to indulge anyone who likes to see items in progress, and here's the current state of the studio.

I'm creating the two books I mentioned ages ago, wrt the EveryDay Matters website I take part in.  I made drawings and paintings almost daily last spring, with the intention of creating books from them eventually.  Eventually is now here, and I figured out the logistics of attaching the pages, and creating and attaching the cover, so I'm involved in doing that.  There will be stitching and adjusting and more fun before it's done.

Here you can see the stages of the pages and the covering of cardboard to make covers, using mulberry paper, same as I used for the drawings themselves.  This book will be titled The Artist's Hand, and the hand drawing will be the front cover.

Here are the sets of pages, with an applied margin of mulberry paper which I'll use to stitch them in sets of two then in the whole group.

And the worktop, carefully kept neat so as to keep the glue where I want it, and not on the pages
The other is the series of ink and wash paintings on hot  press paper I made more or less alternately with the mulberry paper work.

  Either back or front cover, not sure yet, will be a rather anxious self portrait I made through two mirrors -- self portraits tend to be very intense, because the artist is engrossed in the work, and can't be looking cheerful at the same time! I really want to give a shout out to all the artists and blogistas who gave me their reactions to the parts of these books as I produced and showed them in here and on EDM. Very helpful responses, for all kinds of reasons, thank you.