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.

7 comments:

Simona Cordara said...

Amazing work!!

margaret said...

such a talent you have with the pencil and brush, good to see it as a work in progress and now look forward to seeing the complete books

SpinningDownUnder said...

Congratulations! Looking forward to seeing the end result of all this creative activity! Sometimes we just have to let things mature inside us before we can finish what we set out to do. This is obviously the right time to make these books, neither too early, nor too late, and they will come out just as they are meant to be: beautiful!

rebeccastahr said...

These are wonderful! I love watching The process and look forward to seeing the end results.

Mary Walker Designs said...

This is a perfect way to start the new year. I agree there are definately two mind sets I'm glad we're on the creating side thanks for sharing with SMWYG!

Isabelle said...

hello boud, i wish you a very happy new year.

Dan Kent said...

I love the tale and quote that begin this post. This is a wonderful project, and I am on the process side. You are so creative. I like the varied approaches to your self portrait in the last few posts.