Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Spread #3 of Book of Dreams

I have finished the third, and last, spread for the Book of Dreams!  (You can see earlier stages here, here, here, and here.)  This page is almost purely a monotype, with just some added watercolor pencil here and there to darken or blend the different areas of color.

 I'm still not sure that it doesn't need to be darkened a bit more, but I think I'll let it rest for a while until I can decide.

Here are few close-up details:

Unfortunately, I haven't quite solved my binding issues.  The structure of the book is actually similar to a child's board book, which I believe, in bookbinding parlance, is called a drum leaf binding

 Because mine was not done in the proper order, it is a bit wonky, but "live and learn", as they say. Thanks to Mo Crow for the link, and for all the other instructions and suggestions. 

 When I got all of the pages glued together, I discovered that the spine of the original book was only a tiny bit too small.  So, since the spine doesn't serve a structural function in this case (the end pages are glued onto the covers, not the spine), I think I may be able to do a cosmetic fix by just sewing on a strip of something(?) to hold the edges together and make it look better.

And then, I'll need to do something with the back cover, so stay tuned for more disasters and discoveries!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Small Taste of Summer

I've been stuck inside most of the summer, but I still managed to catch a snippet of it here and there, and thought I'd share a few tasty bits of my summer with you.

azalea after the rain 

 Well, okay, I had to throw in a little slice of Spring, too; I wouldn't want you to miss anything.  We had a very early warm spell in March, and everything bloomed at least a month early.

By the time I photographed the magnolia, the blossoms were already losing their petals.

cherry blossoms

Have you ever seen a dogwood so full of blooms?

Geese- everywhere I go, still! What do you suppose it means?

Our big excitement this year was that my husband got bees!  

They're already making honey- what amazing creatures!  They pollinate our fruits and vegetables, so we need them, if we want to eat.  And I, for one, like to eat...

 ... especially when the food comes from our backyard garden.

In recent years, I've seen no honeybees at all in this area, and the lack of honeybees is a global concern.  To read a short article on Colony Collapse Disorder, click here.

The rest of the summer so far has been HOT- just humid, steamy, sweaty, nasty, and uncomfortable...

... which makes it seem like not such a bad thing to be stuck inside!  I hope you are all having a great summer.  I'm going to get back to work now, so I can show you the progress on the Book of Dreams.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Book of Dreams middle pages + Uh-Oh

The second, and center, spread of my altered book Book of Dreams is finished.  (Click here, here and here to see earlier parts of my process.)  I'm pretty satisfied with the outcome of the pages, though I did struggle for a bit.  I regret to say that I didn't photograph earlier stages, due to the fact that I got carried away and forgot, but also because it was just too embarrassing at some points- it will have to remain my deep, dark, secret.  Kidding, of course, but it really was that kind of "what was I thinking?" ugly that you just want to forget!

Anyway, here it is:

2nd spread of Book of Dreams
ingredients: monotype on Rives BFK,image transfers, mica, metallic ink, ink jet prints, map fragments, Derwent watercolor pencils, Caran D'ache crayons, artist pens, feathers, stitching

However, I have encountered a major problem.  Leave it me to do things bass-ackwards and try to make altered books without really having much knowledge of bookbinding technique. So, here's what happened. 

I think I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that the binding of the book was in bad shape.  I also took out a bunch of pages to make room for the paintings.  Right now, the first 2-page spread is glued to the front cover.

But here's the real problem (well, one of them): When the book is open flat, the painting fits perfectly.  But when you try to close it...

not so much.  And here's the other issue... The spine of the book is very thin.  I thought that if I took out most of the pages, it would be big enough to contain 3 spreads.  But now I'm thinking...

not so much.

So, what to do?  Right now I'm considering gluing the pages together, kind of like a board book, then cutting the spine in half down the middle, and sewing a wider spine from another book onto it to hold the 2 parts together...  I dunno.

But it's been one of those days, anyway, if you know what I mean.  Have you ever started to shake a bottle of ink, thinking the top is screwed on... but it's not?

Who knew I looked so good in bronze?  This is the only way I'll ever have a tan, but it would definitely take a much bigger bottle to do the job!

Hope your day is going better than mine...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Short Interruption

Well, it's not really much of an interruption, since I'm still working on the Book of Dreams, and have almost finished the second page spread.  I had this little collage- which I had just about given up on- laying around the studio, and suddenly got the urge to finish it.  Perhaps I was inspired by a movie I watched about a week and a half ago, called "Capitalism: A Love Story."  If you haven't seen it, I'll just say that it's essentially an explanation of the hows and whys of the big financial crisis and bailout.  It could also be because of (almost constant) news that the stock market is very unstable, and well, you get the picture, right?   And I think it definitely has something to do with all the eggs in my recent work.

The piece was going to be entitled Extra Blame, because of some of the text on a vintage book page, but in the end I decided to call it Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Basket.  Come to think of it, that would also be a good title for one of Lynne Ciacco's weekly maxims, wouldn't it?  (How about it, Lynne?)
So here's the collage; enjoy!

Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
ingredients: image transfers, Chinese hell notes, vintage book pages, map scraps, inkjet prints, metallic ink, other ephemera, watercolor pencils, artist pens

In addition, I wanted to mention that Mo Crow has posted a bit about her process on her wonderful illustration blog, It's Crow Time.  She has also posted some links to process-oriented posts on other blogs.  These are well worth checking out, as are her amazing drawings.

I will be posting the next section of Book of Dreams very soon, so be sure to check back.

Happy Fourth of July to all my American friends!