My intrigue with artist’s books goes back to the second grade, when I fell in love with my teacher’s grade book. It was a truly magical book with multiple interior pages of different widths.
All our names were entered down the left hand column. Each interior page flipped to show our grades for a variety of subjects, the column of names on the left remaining constant. The beautiful Miss Monroe entered marks in blue, red or black ink, creating a random pattern of visual interest. The weight of her entries made an impression that created depth to each page. I was truly enthralled.
No other book I experienced had any handmade marks –books were stored on shelves, pristine and sterile. It was sacrilege to make a mark in a book, except for the teacher’s grade book. When ever my BF and I would play “school” I would always start by making an elaborate grade book, with pages of differing widths, filled with columns and rows. Heaven!
I seldom make a model book – I may as well just make another book. But I knew a model would help to test the weights of different papers and how they interact with one another. I used tape to secure the papers since this was only a model. But now I like the model book, so I may add content and hope the photo quality permanent tape will hold for sometime.
To add interest I used some of the paper I do warm ups on when I am starting a studio session. My warm up papers are like a sketch book of ideas. I hang a large piece of light weight paper on the studio wall so I can work on ideas in larger format. I also practice making gestures and marks.
I like a lot of things about making art. I like to work with my hands. It’s something that occurs right here, right now somewhat within my control. I can’t have much of an effect on world peace, but I can make art.
Do you know what I mean? I work out thoughts and responses to being human, especially the parts for which I can’t find deep enough words.
I like to see what happens when I create. I’m just so curious about the whole process. I’m always finding new ways of doing things. One day I may make marks with a stick dipped in paint, and the next day I may use a razor blade to scratch out lines and marks. Curiosity is real fuel for studio time.
When it comes to art, I get to do it my way, and create my vision. No one else is making the decisions, or setting the course. It’s all mine. As said in Art and Fear – art is about “a rolling tangle of choices.” We have to make our choices. And then roll with it.
What are some things you enjoy about making your art?
Speaking of rolling tangles of choices, my new life coaching for artists web site is up and running. So I’m offering a new session of the popular course for artists called Re-Fresh Your Creative Practice. The dates are Tuesday, November 2nd to Tuesday, December 7th. If you like you can participate in a complementary call to find out more about it on Tuesday, October 6th. Head over here and also sign up for my newsletter to find out more about it. The next time I offer this course will be June, 2011, or thereabouts.
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