Friday, June 29, 2012

Book of Dreams Ist pages complete!

In our last episode, we saw what we thought was the final version of the 'floating girl' spread.  Sadly, I was mistaken about that- or, sadly mistaken, as my mom used to say.  I realized that the white specks I was seeing on the photos were at least partially caused by little tiny spaces where the colored pencil wasn't covering the oil-based ink of the monotype beneath it.  So, like an idiot, I repainted the entire figure,  except for the dress. That set me way back, because I was never satisfied, and therefore kept painting over what I had already painted over... Finally, I just said to myself, Stop now before you go crazy. And the surprising part is- I actually did.  Stop, I mean.  (Crazy is a whole other can of worms, which I won't go into right now.)

Now I'll go back to what I did before that, in real time.  Prior to and partially during the work on the monotype part of the spread, I had to prepare the pages in the book onto which it was going to be glued.  On both sides, I stuck the first 3 pages together to create a thicker, sturdier surface to attach everything to.  (I could not yet glue them to the book cover because I knew there was going to be stitching.)  I laid the monotype down to determine where its placement and drew around the edges so that I would know what portions of the pages would be showing when the whole spread was assembled. After gluing down some collage elements such as vintage book pages, maps, and sewing pattern pieces, image transfers of the same cuneiform letters I had used on the front cover were added.

left side collage

These were followed by the eggs, which had been printed on tracing paper.  the paper wrinkled when I tried to glue it into place, but I liked the effect, so I left it. Lastly, the stitching was done.

right side collage

right side detail

 After finishing the stitching, I glued the left side page to the back of the book cover.  I also used some book-binding tape in an attempt to further strengthen the attachment of the pages to the cover.  (You can't see all of that here.)

 At that point, it was time to glue the monotype (floating girl) into place.  But first, there were a few more details to take care of- just little tweaks here and there.  The only change of note was the addition of the feathers...

which were generously donated by my friend's pet parrot.  So here's the final version...

I think...                                           

What do you think?


  1. I think you are giving away a lot of free secrets in this post! I also think the final result was worth all the craziness - and the less said about crazy the better - as I always say, beauty like madness is in the eye of the beholder!

  2. Thank you, Deb; and twice thanks for reminding me about beauty and madness.

  3. Absolutely agree with Deb - this piece is a beauty. And the collage on the sides - knockout! -sus

  4. i don't *think*, i KNOW i love it, sharmon!! just perfect... xoxo

  5. excellent, as usual, Sharmon. I love the way the collage pieces and the trees frame the picture, almost like looking at a theatre stage.

  6. Sus- Thanks for the lovely compliment.

    Lynne- so glad you came by, and I love that you love the piece. thank you1

    Whitney, I see what you mean about the 'stage' effect, though it wasn't consciously intentional. glad you like!

  7. je pense..ich denke.. i think.. super!

  8. I think it's a wonderful composition. The collage elements on either side perfectly bracket the beautiful and mysterious painting and add to its symbolism. I like how the feathers add depth, suggesting another plane.

  9. Pura- Thanks so much. I'm glad you stopped by.

    Elfi- Thank you...Merci bien...grazi! :)

    Thank you, Lynne. I like how you describe the composition- lets me know how others see it. sometimes you're (the artist) so close you can't tell, you know?

  10. Definitely worth all the hard work! The green of the parrot feathers is striking. Beautiful!!

  11. the wrinkles in the tracing paper... and the stitching... and the over painting... and then those fabulous feathers falling, truly make this a dream space to ponder, I want to see it in real life and feel the delicacy of the textures. Thank you for sharing your process in such wondrous detail, you are a total inspiration on so many levels - in the dreaming, the layering, the composition and the masterful draughts(wo)manship!

    1. thanks, Mo, for those very kind words. Sharing my process, I think, is important, because we can learn so much from each other- as I did from your process post. Personally, it fascinates me to learn how other artists work- a bit of artistic voyeurism, I guess. I don't feel like an inspiration, but I do feel honored by the compliment. xxoo

  12. Oh!!!! I think this is beautiful, so lovely and dreamy. And the feathers. You have captured such a magical feeling here. I hope you are having a wonderful summer! roxanne

  13. Thank you, Robin. I'm sure you noticed I used my daughter's photo as a model again; those photos have a strong emotional connection for me. I really want to move on from this project, though; I feel like I've been working on it forever!

  14. adelaide seo

    I love the way you present and shown how the girl fall down. It looks like she is just floating. Really a stunning work. Good job.

  15. Mo- I so appreciate your sweet words.I'm glad you like it, and I wish you could come see it in person, too.

    Roxanne, thank you so much! I hope you're having a great summer also. xo

    mischy- thanks for stopping by!


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I'm happy to reply here, but may not always have time for individual emails.