Playing workshop catch up! The photos here are from the Collage Cafe workshop I held at Stage Dor on November 13th (my apologies for there poor quality). One of my altered book students brought her husband to participate. In spite of Barry's initial misgivings ("I'm not creative", "I'm a klutz when it comes to art"...etc.), he soon got into the swing of things and later told me he had a surprisingly fun time. After Barry completed his spread and looked it over, he realized what the images were referring to a pivotal moment in his life, and shared this with us at the session's closing show and tell.
Judy's Pocket Spread
I always find it interesting the variations on my exercises that people come up with. Such is the creative process! I showed people in this workshop a simple pocket construction. Passing by Barry's wife, Judy, I saw that she had placed a beautiful woman in an evening gown under her pocket. She hadn't glued it down yet and I said wouldn't it be great if you could bring her train around the front of the pocket. She figured out how to do this and her spread became a striking creation.
Tip-ins are a lovely way to add interest to your altered book spreads. Here I am showing you three examples. These spreads are color and materials charts that I created for my students to become familiar with different types of media you can use in book alteration, and how each one is affected by the surface paper. One side of the book page is gessoed, the other is plain. I draw horizontal lines and then within each space use a different type of media (acrylic, fluid acrylic, watercolor pastels, etc.). In the tip-in above, I used a transparency print out of a photo I took in London (it was a poster on a Metro wall). I applied double-stick tape to the page first running the tape right up against the gutter, and then pressed down the edge of the transparency. The transparency can be lifted up to view the media sample beneath it. Transparencies are cool to use because they allow you to see the text and the color underneath it.
Tip-In: Greeting Card & Masking Tape (Front Side)
Tip-In: Using Masking Tape (Back of Card)
In this second example, I tipped in a colorful greeting card by running Japanese masking tape along both sides of the card. The masking tape overlaps onto the page (close to the gutter as possible). On the back of the card I added a photo of my cat Angelina and me -- kind of a similar feeling and color palette the greeting card. This is a very crude way of making a tip-in -- but it works! Just make sure to stick part of the masking tape onto the book page.
Tip-In: Between Two Ripped Pages (Front)
Tip-In: Greeting Card Between Two Ripped Book Pages (Back)
The third tip-in example is done by ripping out two book pages, but leaving each one at least one inch wide. You tip-in your picture, card, photo, or tag by gluing your chosen item between the two torn pages. This was a greeting card that seemed to work with my mermaid theme.
Another Express Yourself! collage and altered book workshop successfully held at Once Around in Mill Valley. There were 7 attendees, including a family of three. I was a little nonplussed when the daughter of one of the attendees turned out to be 8-10 years old -- I was expecting a teenager! But after my initial reaction, I figured I used to teach young children how to ride -- how much more difficult could art be?
Sam at Work!
Sam's Piece Close Up
As it turned out, not much more! And what beautiful artwork Sam created! I stuck pretty close to my 2-hour lesson plan...I just gave the class -- and me -- extra time for clean up and show and tell.
Further adventures with the online course I'm taking from L.K. Ludwig....This was a color photo I took of my cat Angelina between the bars of an iron gate in our front yard. Angelina is contemplating some mystery as cats often seem to do. I adhered pale pink tissue paper to the photo with matte medium, then after it dried added a top coat of matte medium. I have never fooled around with color pencils, so this was a stretch for me. I think I would have freaked out if I had started with a black and white photo. I took pencils and scribbled here and there, added some oil pastels, and some iridescent chalk. I tell you, it's hard to color a white cat. Her ears weren't a problem -- they are pink -- but the rest? I ended up giving her a grease mark on the top of her head. She would not approve. And the side of her face looks like a dirty white pumpkin. Definitely not a gold star. I have to read L.K.s notes on coloring a bit more. However, all in all I like this technique, and am spured on to continue experimenting.
Opening night for "Under Cover" -- a Don't Quit Your Day Job dansicle I'm performing in for the next two weekends. I am in seven numbers -- SEVEN -- I can't believe I've made it (almost). The past month has been something out of Job's journey for me -- one obstacle after another. First getting sick with a flu virus from hell, then a lung infection that took me out of dancing for over 4 weeks. Major drugs that wiped out any endurance, memory, and motor ability that prevented me from remembering choreography, reduced me to a quivering mess of helplessness. Yukkk! The loss of a relationship that I don't think I'll ever get over. SOB! Major anxiety and wondering if I'd ever be healthy again. Then computer issues (aka pestilence) -- ants literally set up residence in my printer and my wireless router became the ant nursery!!!! No joke I lifted up my scanner bed one morning and it was like I was looking into an ant farm. Kind of fascinating in a very gross way. Unfortunately I had to replace both (I squished too many ants in my printer mechanism and I shook the router for hours and there was still egg larva pouring out of my router so I finally gave up on that). Now my DSL modem has been down for a week, resulting in even more of a delay in my posting my Daily Journal Pages and my experiments from the online courses I'm taking. I've been derelict in a million other ways. But in spite of a horrendous month, life continues...the show goes on...the spirit ressurects the body...and somewhere joy still exists. I'm living testimony of that -- ants, asthma, Alzheimer's -- I'm getting back on that horse!
This is an experiment from an online course on photo manipulation (by hand) that I am taking. I took a photo from one of my trips to Mexico. Using a white china marker I blanked out the background in the lower portion of the gate. I like how it acts like a bit of wax paper covering a store front -- you can see something on the other side -- you just don't know what it is. Then I took a yellow china marker and colored in the middle section of the gate (originally white in color), then I took the red china marker and an orange waxy crayon and added more color the top and bottom portions of the gate. I went over everything with a graphite pencil (before adding color, and after), added the collage element last, blending the edges a bit with the white china marker.
Welcome! My Mane Blowing in the Wind is a visual showcase of my art, oriel pendant necklaces, and creative musings. I have danced toward and away from art for the past 28 years. Much of the moving away from was due to what I guess you could call "artistic paralysis": I heard the muse but went internal with it instead of externally expressing it through art. But somehow my art keeps emerging and recently it seems to have taken on a life of its own. This blog is a record of that discovery.