“Revolution in the Making” Abstract Women Sculptors Become Change Agents II

“Revolution in the Making”

Abstract Women Sculptors Become Change Agents II

Hauser Wirth & Schimmel recently hosted an astounding exhibition,

Revolution in the Making:
Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947 – 2016.

Shinique Smith in the “entry” passage….macro to micro views.

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Commissioned. Compelling. Commanding.

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Please don’t ask why, what, how…

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You tell me…

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The Angels are in the Details….

Isn’t it Always that way…?

The Transcendent World of Agnes Martin

The Transcendent World of Agnes Martin

“When I think of art I think of beauty. Beauty is the mystery of life. It is not in the eye it is in the mind. In our minds there is awareness of perfection.
Art is the concrete representation of our most subtle feelings.
My paintings are not about what is seen. They are about what is known forever in the mind.” — Agnes Martin
LACMA (The Los Angeles County Museum of Art) hosted an exhibition of the paintings of the extraordinary artist Agnes Martin which closed in early September.

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Martin seemed to have painted her way though tremendous challenges into the realm of tranquillity. Her art was healing, for her, and for many of us who are privileged to view it.

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Although her work truly has to be seen live and in person to appreciate its indefinable combination of rigor and sensuality, I share here a few images of this true original.

Untitled #12

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The Sea

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i am looking forward to reading the first full-length biography of Martin:

Agnes Martin Her Life and Art by Nancy Princenthal

“Over the course of a career that spanned fifty years, Agnes Martin’s austere, serene work anticipated and helped to define Minimalism, even as she battled psychological crises and carved out a solitary existence in the American Southwest. Martin identified with the Abstract Expressionists but her commitment to linear geometry caused her to be associated in turn with Minimalist, feminist, and even outsider artists. She moved through some of the liveliest art communities of her time while maintaining a legendary reserve. “I paint with my back to the world,” she says both at the beginning and at the conclusion of a documentary filmed when she was in her late eighties. When she died at ninety-two, in Taos, New Mexico, it is said she had not read a newspaper in half a century.”

Incredibly intriguing.

As are these paintings.

Moses @ 90: Inspiration

Moses @ 90: Inspiration

The extraordinary artist Ed Moses is showing recent works in the former Santa Monica Museum of Art in Bergamot Station. He is 90, and I was told that most of the works on view were done in 2016.

          Now that’s an inspiration.

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Moses seems to continually reinvent his oeuvre, breaking new ground with unexpected juxtapositions of color, form, materials, dimension, and use of shapes and space.

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web3He works in series…huge gestural paintings that seem to leap off the canvas, yet retain molten centers of passion and energy.

web2  He breaks into the paint, using a “secret sauce” that makes it crack when “activated’ by applying another layer of paint over the dried layer of what sounds suspiciously (to my decorative painter’s ear) like crackle glaze, or at least shellac or white glue, both of which can crack through wet paint laid over it. The effect is stunning.

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web5Fun house mirror? After a fashion. This room is a whole installation of reflective metal, painted and cracked pieces, and applique, which combine to transform the world into something never seen before.

web12The distorted head silhouette appears to be a repeating Moses motif…showing up in painted dialogue,

web8and appliquéd onto other wild pieces like these screens stenciled with delicate wallpaper-like florals and punctured by squiggly worm-like cut-outs.

web9On some pieces the head shapes are partially cut out from the surface in concert with the other cut-out shapes and lines,

web7Here shocking yellow cut-out squiggles are sliced with blue. Determinedly undulating,  they seem to be trying to subvert the gray and lacy ivory butterflies and blossoms of their riotously bucolic  environment. I mean…background.

These stunningly inventive works don’t need to come alive…they are alive.

And happily, so is the prolific and endlessly creative Mr. Moses.

And A Ribbon Ran Through It 4

And A Ribbon Ran Through It 4

The French Link stitch can uniquely engage the ribbon in fun and functional ways.

The French link is a beautiful binding that links signatures (gathering of folded pages or sections) and creates an open spine book through which a ribbon can weave.

WEB3Covers transformed with decorative paper, chain link stitch above and below the French Link stitch which is sewn over the ribbons.

WEB1 WEB4 WEB5 WEB6Fun book for preschooler with foam sheet pages, Eco-fi felt covered covers, and thick ribbons for durability. Extra cuts in the felt allow the ribbons to weave through the front and back covers, adding visual interest and texture.

WEB1 WEB2 WEB3 WEB4The “Honey Bear Brown Book”! Ribbons used for closure ties and detailing, as well as under the French Link stitch.

WEB2 WEB4 WEB7Using ribbons here for closure ties, under the French Link stitches, and to create the first letter of the young recipient’s first name.

WEB1WEB2WEB4WEB5The imagery on the ribbon supports the “outer space” theme of this book, while the double closure ribbons flow and waft.

WEB1a WEB2 - Copy WEB3 - Copy WEB5 - CopyThree French Link stitches over ribbon creates greater stability. Matching closure ribbons add a touch of whimsy.

WEBa“Humble Materials” sample, practicing the French Link stitch. I often love these models or samples…perhaps because they are done in the spirit of exploration, learning and discovery and feel free and inventive.

Here’s to learning, invention, freedom, with a bit of whimsy thrown in for good measure!

In my book, the French often know how to do this best. Go for it…The French Link Stitch! Use those ribbons!

And A Ribbon Ran Through It 3

And A Ribbon Ran Through It 3

“The Orange”

WEB1Pages created of  single folded sheets called “bifolia“.

WEB2Meditative pose..

WEB3Folded arms.

WEB4Ribbon slipped under stitches.

WEB5Each bifolium stitched to spine, and covers and spine stitched to felt, which hinged covers to spine and allows book to open.

WEB6Covers are textured with crumpled repurposed tissue that once separated metallic leaves, and Mod Podge.

WEB7Layered textures, patterns and colors. Ribbon used as a visual accent inside as well.

WEB8Ribbon “gesture” changes the look and feel of the piece.  Above, serious, sober, quiet.

WEB9Here, flirty…coquettish…ready for anything!

WEB90Ribbons folded into interior, slipped under inside stitch.

WEB91Gold leaf…shock top…juxtaposed verbiage creates text tension.

“Unfolding”

WEB1Old World Art” metallic leaf packing repurposed into folded pages stitched together like multiple signatures.

WEB2The orange of the repurposed tissue and strips of ribbon sang together.

WEB3Pages unfold and create sculptural spaces.

WEB4Flattened…

WEB5Bound back…open spine.

WEB6The ribbon eventually was adhered…the color was fun to play with.

“Open Book 1”

WEBc“Arms outstretched”…

WEBdPolka dots…

WEBeAnd more polka dots…

“Open Book 2”

WEBhInside

WEBijpgOutside

WEBjjpgDots in a row…

And a Robbin Ran Through It.

And A Ribbon Ran Through It 2

And A Ribbon Ran Through It 2

The ribbon is a line, a shape, an adornment, utilitarian, a communicator of color, a texture…and strangely, emotional. Ribbons can even become anthropomorphic…(more on that in a subsequent post).

The following are all “signature” bindings.

WEBkRibbon becomes closure and design element.

WEBpWEBrRibbon integrated into book structure: held between cover boards and that which covers them.

WEBtWEBvTied and untied. Tried and untried?

WEBf WEBg WEBhClosed, open and seen from the back..

WEBa WEBb WEBc WEBdOpenness, step by step.

WEBi WEBjThe colors and patterns of the ribbon become integral to the design of the whole.

use of ribbon can engage the viewer, user, handler, of the piece…tying and untying, opening and closing, and where does the ribbon go when reading, writing or drawing in the book, or even “just” perusing it?

Something so deceptively simple becomes a source of mystery that continually changes.

Like Life.

And A Ribbon Ran Through It 1

And A Ribbon Ran Through It 1

WEB3Beyond adornment…ribbon can add mystery, privacy, secrecy…to a piece. When tied shut with a ribbon, an extra effort is required to open the book, and plummet its depths.

WEB5Side bound.

WEB1WEB2Front and back.

WEBaSingle signature with stitched ribbon.

WEBbSingle signature with glued ribbon and stitched edge.

WEB2Front and back inside cover ribbon framing.

WEBaRibbon closure with button and and stitched buttonhole.

WEBdWEBeRibbon embellishment.

WEBa1WEBcHyper ribbon embellishment.

WEB1Tied ribbon, woven ribbon, glued ribbon.

WEB1WEB2WEB3Woven and wrapped ribbon with repurposed felt button closure.

WEB1WEB2Accordion book ribbon ties using two ribbons.

WEB1Accordion book ribbon closures using one ribbon.

WEBfWEBeAccordion book ribbon glued under cover adornment.

WEB4WEB5Fan book ribbon ornament.

Hand-i-Work: Making Books

Hand-i-Work: Making Books

Picturing Bookmaking…the work of our hands.

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Saying goodbye to summer 2016 “Wonderland: The Book Makers’ Studio. Cherish the memories!

Until next year…walk in peace, and make books…read them too!

Bookmaking: A Handy Form of Expression

Bookmaking: A Handy Form of Expression

A Picture Poem giving new meaning to hand work…handiwork…the work (play?) of our hands!

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These students HANDle the form well!

Bravo!

A Visit to Wonderland: The Book Makers’ Studio

A Visit to Wonderland: The Book Makers’ Studio  

Five weeks of bookmaking with students aged 5-10. An incredible opportunity to witness and nurture creativity in action!

WEBaTaking an existing book and altering it.

WEBdSome students had no problem cutting right into the book…(a paperback)…and others were more hesitant.

WEBeSome students think of books primarily as a space for their many writing ideas….

WEBfand others are focused on the visual, enchanted my the material possibilities.

WEBaGiving new meaning to the term “Getting Your Ducks in a Row”…

WEBbAnd the story idea…: “A Bunny With Fairy Wings”


WEBd  Re-purposing tags as flags in the flag book.

WEBe - CopyThe purple tee-shirted bookmaking sistahs!

WEBg - CopyConcentration. Beginning to write after creating a glittering border.

WEBh - CopyBook End (table end) inspiration.

WEBaHandmade Portfolios using hanging file folders and shoelaces.

WEBi - CopyPortfolio, and the joy of glittery stickers.

WEBjCreating dimension with “pom-poms”.

WEBkBead embellishment

WEBmTreasure hunting.

WEBnOur piece of heaven: the supplies table.

WEBbSketch book…

WEBcWorking in a single signature book. Why use one pencil when you can use three?!

WEBaCreating scrolls…an ancient book form. We added wooden dowels later.

Thank you for visiting our summer wonderland: The Book Makers’ Studio. You can always create your won…with whatever you have on hand to create with!

 

F451 Alive and Well at Beyond Baroque…

F451 Alive and Well at Beyond Baroque…

I had the opportunity to participate in LA Marler‘s Big Read in LA 2016 “F451” event at Beyond Baroque in Venice, CA.

She created a “type-in”…with a concurrent exhibition of works relating to the themes explored by the great Ray Bradbury in his masterpiece “Fahrenheit 451”

WEBaLA Marler Type-In welcome.

     WEBb    The show was held in the Mike Kelley Gallery , and featured a signed typewriter belonging to beloved actor Tom Hanks.

WEBdTom Hanks typewriter and the works of  Scotto Mycklebust, LA Marler and Shepard Fairey.

WEBcc The Tom Hanks typewriter.

WEBeThe works of Debra Disman, Nancy Sadler, LA Marler and Kim Abeles.

WEBmLA Marler with one of her signature pieces.

WEBnLA Marler and photographer supporter!

WEBqThe work of LA Marler.

WEB2“Faber’s Book” —Debra Disman.

WEB4“Been Burnt B4” —Debra Disman.

WEBggThe work of Debra Disman, Robby Conal, LA Marler.

WEBvRobbie Conal…how topical.

WEBuKim Abeles, one of our most endearing LA-based visual artists.

WEBzKim Abeles and the wonderful actor Suzanne Voss.

WEBi Kim and Suzanne comparing notes.

WEBxSandy Bleifer‘s piece.

WEBkSandy with her piece.

WEBlLouise Ann (LA) Marler “womans” the silent auction table.

WEBoAppreciation and

WEBpLaughter…

WEBrThe work of Debra Disman and Nancy Sadler.

WEBtNancy Sadler‘s piece.

WEBs The work of New York-based Scotto Mycklebust

WEBwThe inimitable Shepard Fairey shares the wealth.

Thanks Louise…for putting this all together!

“Fun With Flags” (No- it is not a Big Bang Theory episode!)

“Fun With Flags” (No- it’s not a Big Bang Theory episode!)

“Fun with Flags”…flag books and found writing that is…please peruse and enjoy. The following were created as samples for teens in an alternative school where I spent an academic year as resident artist.

What magic 2 covers, and accordion spine, and assorted “flag” pages can create when coupled with the imaginative power of the human spirit.

WEB1Vision Book

WEB4Passion

WEB5Radical Humanity

WEB2Take action Like Nothing Else

WEBnA Million Exciting Things Are Happening

WEBn2Interior Dialogue

WEBbThis is PHENOMENAL marvel

WEBcInterior Dialogue Phenomenal

WEBdTogether We Can Change This

WEBeExpress Yourself

WEBn1In Fusion

WEBn3SAVE THE POWER OF HANDS-ON

Published in: on July 8, 2016 at 7:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Color In Mar Vista

Color In Mar Vista

Discovery! Painted utility boxes in Mar Vista on Venice.

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And a two-story mural.  Just marvelous. Venice near Sawtelle.

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Flags and Found Fun at the Fowler

Flags and Found Fun at the Fowler

WEB4aIt was a joy to teach aFlag Books and Found Writingworkshop at the Fowler Museum at UCLA last Saturday.

WEB3Participants created the Flag Book structure (invented by master Hedi Kyle),

WEB11after perusing plenty of samples,

WEB13experimenting with color, and expressing their own sensibilities.

WEB5Then filled their books  with “found” writing, and images,

WEB7garnered from myriad scrap, recycled and repurposed print media. assorted papers, drawing and writing materials, and their own creativity.

WEB10They played with pattern, texture, shape, font, similarities and contrasts.

WEB9pgThere were many surfaces of each book to consider adding content to.

WEB8pgEach student displayed an individual approach to color, collage, layering, placement of images, and use of text and image in their books.

WEB12Indeed.

WEB14This student cut letters out of paper patterned with…letters. (words),

WEB15integrating color, pattern, text and imagery.

WEB16They were focused!

WEB17This artist used the program from the museum about the current José Montoya show…re-purposing it for her book!

WEB18We used beautiful wooden tools designed for ceramics work, as our “bone folders“, to make our folds crisp, and “smooth” the process along (!).

WEB6This adventurous student even took off with the accordion folding technique, creating a second accordion fold book.

I was thrilled to hear what some of the participants felt about our workshop…

“….I really feel I have learned something useful. Thank you for offering the workshop.”

 “I enjoyed the flag bookmaking class very much. ….each of us produced something totally individual yet with the same format…. More, please!”

Yes, more indeed!

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homage to downtown los angeles

the many textures of frank gehry’s disney hall and environs…

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textural treasures revealed…

A Taste For Texture IV: HAPTIC

A Taste For Texture IV: HAPTIC

I have a passion for texture…don’t you?  Ideally texture you can actually touch and feel, but visual texture too. Texture, the quality of the tactile, “HAPTIC“…these inspired this body of work.

Working with the “HAPTIC“…hungry for texture, and working in layers, in Book Form.

This post is the companion piece to this one…and focuses completely on the use, meaning and essence of the term “HAPTIC“.

So enraptured by “HAPTIC“…that I was compelled to stitch it over and over, creating more HAPTIC on the pages of these conTEXTual Flag Books.

HAPTIC 1

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HAPTIC 2

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HAPTIC 3

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Do we ever have enough HAPTIC in our lives?

The feeling of feeling. We so need to feel, I think.

I mean, I feel.

Mock-ups and Murals…

Mock-ups and Murals…

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It was great fun to teach a “mock-up to mural painting” program at the Montana Branch Library in Santa Monica this past Saturday.

We called it a

MONTANAmuralwkshp06_2016

and attendees looked at a number of my live and in-person mock-ups (to-scale miniatures of planned murals), and images on my site of the finished murals.

Artifactory Studio

Artifactory Studio

Oshun Center

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Planning for Elders in the Central City

Artifactory Studio

Artifactory Studio

Exterior Mural done on fence 2 stories up, seen through kitchen window.

Artifactory Studio

Artifactory Studio

Garden mural done on patio fence.

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Artifactory Studio

Living Room Wall Mural

We talked color, scale, technique, and then they painted their own mock-ups on project display boards. Big Fun!

The results were magnificent.

Each participant expressed her own style, color personality, and visual story.

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WEB6What a privilege to work with these artists, and watch them express themselves in paint, color, line shape and imagery.

Gratitudes!

A Taste For Texture III

A Taste For Texture III

I have a passion for texture…don’t you?  Ideally texture you can actually touch and feel, but visual texture too. Texture, the quality of the tactile, “HAPTIC“…these inspired this body of work.

Working with the “Haptic“…hungry for texture, and working in layers, in Book Form.

The messaging, or text on these Flag Books was added later, and will be featured in another post.

WEB1In this flag book, the covers surfaced with soft, crumpled paper (rice paper? Don’t know- the paper was given to me-) and adhesive. Hemp cord was sewn through awl-prepared holes, then knotted to create another layer of texture over the initial resurfacing. The back  and inside covers are stitched with no knotting, creating a flatter layer of texture over the surface.

WEB4The flags are textile remnants glued onto the accordion spine embellished with raffia,  a bead, a tiny ribbon and stitching with linen thread and hemp cord. The spine is an accordion-folded piece of heavy drawing paper designed for pastels.

WEBaCrumpled tissue paper fragments were adhered to these covers, which then painted and varnished. Sewing thread was used to create the stitching through holes punched with an awl, creating the pattern and texture layered over the surface. The single strip of cloth and button were sewn on with the same thread.

WEBcThe accordion spine, made from folded tagboard, was textures with tissue and adhesive like the covers, and the fabric remnant flags were adhered with adhesive.

WEBbThese cover boards were textured with crumpled brown paper, and adhesive, then primed, painted and varnished to achieve a sense of solidity. The repurposed envelopes were added before the painting process, their flaps punctured with a sewing needle, with hemp cord tied through each flap. Stitched and tied bands of texture were created through stitching and  knotting hemp cord through holes prepared with an awl.

WEBeThe reverse side of the knotted stitching, and an a pieces of ribbon add layers of texture to the inside covers. Flags are textile fragments that look like sample swatches, and are stitched to the accordion spine with linen thread and hemp cord at stress points.

These books become “standing” sculptures. Small in scale, but emanating meaning, feeling, and the “Haptic“…I hope. The feeling of feeling. We so need to feel, I think.

I mean, I feel.

Under the Red Read Canopy: The Big Read at Los Angeles Central Library

Under the Red Read Canopy: The Big Read at Los Angeles Central Library

On Saturday, May 21, 2016,  The Los Angeles Central Library held a “BIG READ” Festival, and bookmaking was a part of it!

WEBaCome one, come all.

And they came

WEBbBright-eyes youngsters

WEBtwith a merry heart…

WEBcElders and medical students,

WEBdYounger sisters and older after school enrichment providers.

WEBeFamily groups,

WEBfoverflowing  with talent!

WEBgThey cut,

WEBhlayered,

WEBiglued,

WEBjAnd made amazing use of the wondrous materials provided.

WEBlThe beautiful cover stock was filled with snowy pages,

WEBkand the pamphlet stitch was taught.

WEBmFathers helped their children,

WEBnand big brothers videotaped the process.

WEBoThe results were as varied as the participants.

WEBpEach maker has their own design sense, color preferences, material attractions.

WEBqAnd they expressed them,

WEBrdisplaying their creativity, imagination and aesthetic proudly through their books.

WEBs  They worked with a love, and a devotion,

WEButhat was a joy to behold.

Thank you.

This one is for you, Vic.

This Big Read Workshop is dedicated to art angels Victor Brown and Debbie Josendale, in blessed memory of Vic Brown.

Thank you.

“Reining Men’s Fashion”: The Texture

“Reining Men’s Fashion”: The Texture

The LA County Museum of Art (LACMA) has a sumptuous show entitled, “Reining Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715 – 2015“, on view through August 21, 2016. See this show! You will be enthralled and astounded and richly gratified by colors, fabrics, shapes,  patterns…and…textures!

I am fascinated by the use of texture, materials and the relationship between the two.  This show has some intriguing examples of such relationship.

WEBaSilk ribbons used to bundle cigars, transformed into a jacket.WEBb

WEBcEmbroidered hats, inspired by the “Fez“, apparently.

WEBdShowing the tailoring as part of the design…style which utilized rusticity  in the service of elegance.(Or is it the other way around?)

WEBeExtraordinary application of pearly buttons on garments…inspired by the “Pearly Kings and Queens” (The “Pearlies“)

WEBfGreen brogues, anyone?

Repeat: don’t miss this show. At the very least, it is pure fun, but so much more than that. not that fun should be at the bottom of our list of what to love in an exhibition, or anything, for that matter.

You will see here that fun, intrigue, history, sociology, costume and visuals are all intrinsically entwined.

And who would have it any other way?

A Taste for Texture II

A Taste for Texture II

I have a passion for texture…don’t you?  Ideally texture you can actually touch and feel, but visual texture too. Texture, the quality of the tactile, “HAPTIC“…these inspired this body of work.

 Inspired to create a series of textural, textual, and textured Flag Books, I used a series of simple techniques to get the “haptic” feel I craved.

i think texture is like that. We crave it. The sense of touch is elemental. Primal. it is not enough to see or hear something we are drawn to.  We are compelled to feel it…one way or another.

web5I used torn scraps of tissue paper applied with no other then Mod Podge, to create the texture on repurposed cardboard.

web1The collaged strip of patterned paper is stitched with jute cord, which also holds a piece of repurposed bead necklace which is strung onto it.

web6The flags are cut from a stiff window shade-like material, and they are attached to an accordion folded spine, repurposed from a brochure about Richard Neutra‘s VDL House. The spine is covered with transparent fabric ribbon. The text: “A STITCH IN TIME SAVES 9“, is, yes, stitched on to the flags with hemp cord.  It is also the name of this piece.

WEBaaFor the piece, “Narrow Bridge“, a similar process was used, with collaged images on the front, punctured by slightly uneven stitches that add another layer of both visual and tactile texture to the surface of the front and back covers.

WEBdThe repurposed cover boards were were textured with torn tissue paper, and adhered with Mod Podge, and a thinner tissue was used to add solidity, strength and presence to the tagboard accordion spine.

WEBfThe same window shade-like material was used for the flags, which are stitched (embroidered?) in linen thread with the text, “”The whole world is A narrow bridge The important thing is not to Fear“–the essence of which was penned by the great Reb Nachman of Breslov  The inside covers are collaged with fabric scrap.

WEBb“Thin Ice” wears its title on its back cover. The repurposed cover boards are textured with crumpled scraps of brown paper bags, adhered, once again, by the inimitable Mod Podge. The accordion spine was textured and strengthened with torn tissue fragments, and the entire surface was painted in shimmering washes of silvery metallic paint.

WEBaThe front cover is stitched with a sort of maze, all stitching done with the thread pulled from the detailing on a decorative pillow that had seen better days. (Saved the pillow, repurposed the edging…)

WEBeThe text, or, messaging, “if you are going to skate on thin ice, you had better be able to walk on water”, is stitched to the flag pages (made from the same type of window shade-like material) with metallic thread, or cord.

Good advice, I think, for any of us…

A Taste For Texture I

A Taste For Texture I

I have a passion for texture…don’t you?  Ideally texture you can actually touch and feel, but visual texture too. Texture, the quality of the tactile, “HAPTIC“…these inspired this body of work.

Why do we have a craving for the tactile? It must be primal…the sense of touch that nurtured, warned, indicated and comforted as we evolved through our lives, and the eons.

WEBa“Singed Pages”, Front cover. Repurposed journal, tissue paper and adhesive used to create the texture, transformed with layers of paint and varnish, metal fleur-de-lis, gold thread for binding.

WEBd“Burnt Edges”, Interior / text block. Paper pages singed, bound as a single signature with gold thread.

WEB1“Mariposa Series 1”, Front cover,  Found board, tissue paper and adhesive used to create the texture, transformed with layers of paint and varnish,gold string, metal butterfly sewn with gold thread.

WEB2“Mariposa Series 1”, Interior / text block. Butterfly punched shapes, pastel paper pages bound as multiple, connected signatures with gold thread.

WEB1“Mariposa Series 2”, Front cover. Repurposed board, tissue paper and adhesive used to create the texture, ribbon, transformed with layers of paint and varnish, metal butterfly sewn with gold thread.

WEB2“Mariposa Series 2”, Interior / text block. Unfolding pages created from gold leaf packing, butterfly punched shapes, open spine, multiple signature binding, hemp cord.

WEBb“Mariposa Series 3”, Back cover. Repurposed journal, tissue paper and adhesive used to create the texture, transformed with layers of paint and varnish, metal butterfly sewn with gold thread, multiple signature binding sewn with gold thread.

WEBc“Mariposa Series 3”, Interior/ text block. Butterfly punched shapes, rice-style paper pages cut into repeated butterfly shapes,  bound in  multiple signatures with gold thread.

WEBh“Mariposa Series 3”, “Spinal view” with front and back covers. Multiple signatures with gold thread.

WEB2“RedJewel”, Front cover.  Repurposed journal, tissue paper and adhesive used to create the texture, transformed with layers of paint and varnish, Antique button and multiple signatures sewn with gold thread.

WEB4“RedJewel”. Interior / text block.  Rice-style paper pages cut into repeated heart shapes, bound in  multiple signatures with gold thread.

WEB1Prepping repurposed journals, using torn, crumpled tissue paper adhered with layers of adhesive to create texture.

WEB2Slowly re-purposing gutted journals, adhering pieces of torn tissue paper over the surfaces of the inside covers, revealing fragments of writing beneath.

This work, with all of its patient processes, is a labor of love.

It has to be!

 

The Big Read in LA 2016: LAMAG WORKSHOP

The Big Read in LA 2016: LAMAG WORKSHOP
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Please join us at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery for a free family art workshop as a part of the Big Read Program, celebrating the book Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury.
“ARTIST’S BOOKS: SYMBOLS OF PERSONAL EXPRESSION”
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with Guest Artist Debra Disman
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Saturday, April 30th
Drop-in between 12:00pm – 3:00pm 
Participants will create a mixed-media artist’s book inspired by their imaginations and personal
stories.
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All ages welcomed.  No reservations necessary.  Supplies provided.
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AT:
4800 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles 90027
323.644.6269   Facebook
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The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts  in partnership with Arts Midwest.
Sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), City of Los Angeles.

Siting Santa Monica: The Door I

Siting Santa Monica: The Door I

WEBfA beautiful old door, touched by time…discovered on a walk in Santa Monica.

WEBgAdorned with peeling layers of paint,

WEBcand metal details,

WEBathe doors swing open beneath foliage, elaborate carving, and a lantern-like light fixture.

WEBdThere is the sense of time gone by,

WEBeand the entrance into a magical world.

WEBfWho knows what is on the other side?  Lives being lived, no doubt.

Wave your Flag!: Teens Create Flag Books in Honor of The Big Read

Wave your Flag!: Teens Create Flag Books in Honor of The Big Read

As a program of The Big Read in LA, 2016, I taught a flag bookmaking workshop at Verduga Hills High School. The Big Read book is Ray Bradbury‘s “Fahrenheit 451“, in which firemen light fires to burn books, instead of rescuing them from the flames. Although published over 60 years ago, the book remains uncomfortably relatable to present day issues. Even prescient at times.

Conducting the workshop with the teens was great.  I loved it, the students loved it, the school librarian loved it, and the classroom teacher loved it.  Here are a few images of what the students made.

WEB10Students had a choice of “flag” pages: rectangles of uniform size, cut from tagboard in an array of bright colors, repurposed library return cards offered up by the school librarian (treasures!), pieces of  sketchbook covers, and  one off items such at the card above, painted in black chalkboard paint and adorned with red letters and numbers.

WEB3Students used a variety of materials to create layered meaning through text and image.

WEB1They mixed it up, playing with pattern, visual texture and color in their compositions.

WEB8A curated selection of quotes from the book were available, and a number of students used them in their books.

WEB7These young artists had the passion!

WEB6They spoke their hearts.

WEB5“Meaningful elements remind us to live”

WEB2“Pura Vida” = Pure Life.  Setting the intention?

WEB12The color combinations were striking, and students had the chance to see first had how the red accordion spine looked different pared with green….

WEB11and blue. This ambitious young artist reassembled the words that had been cut from this sketchbook cover, to striking effect on his book.

WEB9The Flag Book is a potent vehicle for personal expression, allowing for visual and verbal content on its numerous surfaces, places and spaces, in the form of writing, drawing, collaging, note taking, photographs, and combinations of any and all of these.

Once makers see and experience the possibilities, they are off to the races, their creativity limited only by time and space.

Let the flags of your own creativity, ideas, thoughts and feelings wave! Ray Bradbury did.

 

 

 

“A Book of Ours”: Stan VanDerBeek at Black Mountain Collage

“A Book of Ours”: Stan VanDerBeek at Black Mountain Collage

Stan VanDerBeek at Black Mountain College…at The Hammer Museum‘s “Leap Before You Look” show.  Wordplay…humble materials, engaging imagery…”A Book of Ours” is a must-see…as is the whole show.

“We do not always create ‘works of art,’ but rather experiments; it is not our intention to fill museums: we are gathering experience.” Josef Albers

Check it out.

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Painted Pages: Reading Color I

Painted Pages: Reading Color I

Denim, acrylic paint, hemp cord, board.

Multiple signature binding, each signature composed of a single bifolium.

Cover imagery created by students unloading their paint brushes on to the denim surface, at the end of a class where they painted their own canvas book covers. The resulting painting was ‘captured”, adhered to boards, and used as the collaborative cover of this book.

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And a river ran through it. The End.

For now…

Leap Before You Look: The Poetry of Pottery at Black Mountain Collage

Leap Before You Look: The Poetry of Pottery at Black Mountain Collage

The Hammer Museum near UCLA in Los Angeles has an eye-opening show, entitled “Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-1957”. Black Mountain Collage was  an experimental school founded in 1933 in Black Mountain, North Carolina near Asheville.

Apparently a a magical place where art and creative endeavors played center stage, Black Mountain was influenced by the educational principles of functional psychologist .John Dewey. Many of the school’s students and faculty were or  or went on to become prominent and even famous in their respective fields, such as visual artist Robert Rauschenberg, composer John Cage and dancer/choreographer Merce Cunningham. many of them worked together and influenced each other during or after their tenure at the School. which closed in 1957 after only 24 years.

Below are some highlights from the pottery shown in “Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-1957”.

ENJOY!

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Booking Cubism: Making a Picasso-Inspired Flag Book

Booking Cubism: Making a Picasso-Inspired Flag Book

Inspired by the innovative artist  Pablo Picasso  and the  Cubist   style he pioneered with Georges BraqueCREST Enrichment students from kindergarten through 5th grade made Flag Books, and added special features (literally, features!) to reflect the fractured faces and images which dominated Picasso’s oeuvre during his Cubist period.

WEB3AI took photographs of the students faces, sized them, and printed each out on a page of blank white mailing labels. Students were then able to peel off different parts of their image, and put them onto the flags in their books. This young artist adds color to the black and white photographic images she has arranged in her book.

WEB4BAbove, the photographic portrait printed on the labels may be providing guidance to this young artist as she works on her Frida Kahlo-inspired self portrait.   Here the young artist can see her own rendition of her portrait, as well as the photograph of her face printed on labels. Her flag book is seen to her left.

WEB9a1This proud young artist shares his finished flag book, front,

WEB9cCback,

WEB9b1and center.

WEB3Parents and other family member joined us for our “Last Class” event of the session, and helped adhere the “portrait” labels to the flag book kinetic pages, which move from side to side when the book is pulled opened and pushed shut.  The flags make a satisfying flapping sound, too!

WEB9bThis devoted young artist displays a stunning sense of color, as well as design!

WEB6bHere, father and son work on the first grade student’s flag book, together.  What could be better?!

To Build a World…Inspired by Louise Nevelson

To Build a World…Inspired by Louise Nevelson

WEB1What a wonderful experience to introduce young artists to the wondrous wood work of the artist Louise Nevelson…and what better way than for them to create their own (mini) wood sculptures!

WEBaWorking on simple cardboard bases, students worked with an assortment of new and repurposed wood objects, in a variety of shapes, thicknesses and sizes.

WEBbPlaying with shape, space, form, pattern, dimension and design, they arranged their chosen pieces into sculptures (“built environments”), and secured them  using “tacky glue“.

WEBcSome used aspects of symmetry to create harmony and balance.

WEBddSome built their pieces up,

WEBfinto elegant and contained structures,

WEBhsome out, into strong, repeating patterns,

WEBeand some built up and out producing a magical sense of movement that is a joy to behold.

WEBgThey used the color, texture and utility of the materials to establish strong compositions, sustain visual interest

WEbiand just plain have fun!

It was beautiful to see them build….their worlds.

Gratis Louise Nevelson.

Keeping the Faith: Inspired by the Storied Quilts of Faith Ringgold

Keeping the Faith: Inspired by the Storied Quilts of Faith Ringgold

WEB2I recently led elementary school-aged students through a project inspired by the storied artist Faith Ringgold, progenitor of the art of the “Story Quilt

WEB9Students used pieces of “eco-fi” (made of recycled plastic bottles) felt, upon which they built their “story”, using pieces of cloth/fabric/textiles, ribbon, more felt, “pom poms“, feathers, fabric tape and so forth. All materials soft fabric or adornment materials.

WEB7Some young artists glued two to three pieces of felt together, some used a single sheet.

WEB1Students learned about gluing different sorts of materials together. How does one glue down feathers to a surface, while retaining their “feather-like” quality?

WEB3Students worked in close proximity at the cafeteria tables where our class is held, interacting and sharing about their pieces as they went along.

WEB4The color and texture of the materials seemed to affect the makers. The young girl above in the flowered dress put her piece to her cheek a number of times, enjoying its softness.

WEB6This young artist displayed incredible patience, cutting and gluing multitudes of repeating shapes onto the felt, bordering them with fabric tape, and even backing the piece with black felt.

WEB8All of the makers displayed relish and joy in the materials, and unbounded creativity. Whether working abstractly or figuratively, the students shared their stories with shapes, color, texture and imagery!

What a JOY!

Inspired by Faith and her Storied Quilts

Inspired by Faith and her Storied Quilts

Teaching a class for the C.R.E.S.T. Enrichment program of Santa Monica entitled, “Making Art Inspired By Great Artists” allows for many exciting possibilities.

The artist Faith Ringgold is a natural for children, as she has written and illustrated for them herself. She created a unique “hybrid” art form she calls the “Story Quilt”, which combines quilting and painting, with a focus on cloth.

WEBjStudents aged 5-9 worked with pre-cut pieces of Eco-fi “felt (made from recycled plastic bottles), and developed their scenes or stories by adding cloth,pom poms, ribbon, leather, textiles, feathers and fabric tape.

WEBiMany of the students chose to glue pieces of the felt together, to create larger works.

WEBdAlthough some look abstract, each holds a story that expresses aspects of the maker’s experience. The piece above holds an ice cream cone, and later pizza was added!

WEBbWhen I asked the talented young artist why she put a dollar sign on the piece above, she shrugged and said simply, “I don’t know.” Somewhere in there, is a story!

WEBaThis young artist kept putting her piece up to her cheek, enjoying its tactile softness.  She said it depicted a “state”.  Did she mean flag?

WEBfWEBgWEBe1It was fascinating to see how several students used pieces of the same textile or cloth.

WEBhThe piece above is actually backed in black felt, and the six-year-old artist framed it with a border , hallmarks of Ringgold’s “Story Quilts”. This first grader’s old’s patience in piecing together all of the felt rectangles, (which she also cut out), is stunning, as is the finished piece!

As all of the “Story Quilts” are.  Inspired, and inspiring!

Sending Bookish Love

Sending Bookish Love

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I led an hands-on Envelope Bookmaking workshop for families, at a building owned and operated by The Community Corporation of Santa Monica, or CCSM.

WEBfParticipants learned to make a concertina or accordion fold,

WEBggand attach it as pages to their envelope covers.

WEBiiThen came the fun part…

WEBhEMBELLISHMENT!

WEBaaMarkers, stickers, collage, ribbon…this is a mixed media project.

WEBcThis artist displayed not only a wonderful color sense, but tremendous patience, as she cut and glued on paper triangles mosaic style to her envelope cover.

WEBbb   This artist became absorbed in her writing.  Who is the lucky recipient of her efforts?

WEBd     The sky is the limit…or should we say the stars…

WEBeeProudly displayed…A very special Valentine, or some kind of communication.

BRAVO!

 

Reflections on Calder at LACMA

Reflections on Calder at LACMA

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has a magnificent selection of outdoor sculpture, and one of the most enticing, is Alexander Calder‘s Three Quintains (“Hello Girls”), (1964), an amazing example of  his “stabiles“.

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Installed in the reflective pool in the Director’s Roundtable Garden, these wonder of these remarkable works is amplified by their softly rippling reflections in the water.

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These reflections enchant,  reflecting the ethereal yet whimsical wafting of movable parts through the space above.

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Kinetic yes, but in such a peaceful, natural way that one feels part of their creator’s universe and the universe they reflect in the viewing.

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Walking through the wafting air, by the rippling water,  amidst Calder’s gently moving creations may just help us to feel closer to our own creative force and a greater part of our own universe.

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Let’s celebrate one of LA’s treasures, a movable feast for the eyes, soul and spirit.

Beautify This

Beautify This

One a recent walk,I  found myself at Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica, awestruck by a magnificent mural on the wall of a pho restaurant… Bowl Kitchen.

WEB4The mural was done through an amazing organization called Beautify Earth.

WEB5Specifically, “Beautify Lincoln

WEB2The cafe boasts a garden in the back with seating…

WEB3Flanked by the magical mural…by “John Park Art“…as I understand it.  Bravo!

 

 

 

Siting Santa Monica: Architectural Variety is the Splice of Life

Siting Santa Monica: Architectural Variety is the Splice of Life

An informal romp through  the Pico-Lincoln neighborhood of Southwest Santa Monica yields glimpses of  architectural treasures of all sorts.

WEBaAlleyways across the board in Santa Monica yield moments of contemplation and surprise, like this wall crawling with red blooms, reminding me for all the world, of Southern France.

WEBcFantastical decorative gates are another Los Angeles hallmark, and Santa Monica is no exception.Here an image that has become “au courrant” among the holistic set.

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WEBeGlass bricks, metal and stone flanked by green combine to elegant effect in this vertical structure.

WEBiI wondered if this brilliant yellow and white building was live work space.

WEBjIt looked to be designed with a nautical feel, appropriate to its location in the beach town of Santa Monica.

WEBgVariety is the spice of life, and here in Santa Monica, architectural styles run the gamut. Here we have a study in yellows: bright yellow on the modern, multi-unit building, and earthy ochre yellow on the small neighboring house.

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WEBfVoila, a beautiful ad hoc complimentary set up!  Starring the complimentary pair of purple and yellow hues, opposite each other on the color wheel.

WEBkFinally, another pastoral scene that one sees often in Santa Monica..an outdoor dining set up, in an enclosed area that is right off the street! Santa Monicans, and Angelenos in general love themselves some hedges, fences, plants and gates to create privacy, but true to theatrical form, often right off the busy sidewalks outside their homes! What else would you expect in this glowing and glittering home to the entertainment industry?

Lucky for us, the setting in these parts here has its pastoral side…and a great deal of variety, which makes for some rewarding walks for the  flaneur. Big Fun, and a visual feast…or is it a movable feast?

Let’s get walking!

LACMA Treasures…California Dreaming

LACMA Treasures…California Dreaming

A Sunday visit to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art yields up varied treats for the heart, mind and soul.

WEBa“ANGER” (My husband said he loved this piece and that it reminded him of me. Hmmm…)

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A Klee beauty….WEBcUntitled“,  (1929), Paul Klee

Living for the Moment: Japanese Prints from the Barbara S. Bowman Collection

“Included are examples of rare early prints of the genre known as ukiyo-e (oo-key-o-eh, pictures of the floating world); superior works from the golden age of that art form at the end of the 18th century by Suzuki Harunobu, Kitagawa Utamaro, and Katsukawa Shunshō; and 19th-century prints by such great masters as Utagawa Hiroshige, Katsushika Hokusai, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, and others.” –http://www.lacma.org/art/exhibition/living-moment-japanese-prints-barbara-s-bowman-collection

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Here comes  the monk….

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A “Floating World” indeed.

Like LACMA…

Happy Birthday SMPL

Happy Birthday SMPL

December 2015 marked the 125th Anniversary of the Santa Monica Public Library. The Library celebrated from November 2015 through January 2016 with programs and special events that “honor the library’s position as a connecting point – bridging the past to the future, bringing community members together, and plugging library patrons into the resources they need to read, connect, relax and learn.”

I was honored to lead a bookmaking program for families and folks of all ages on Saturday, January 12th.

Sat,
Jan 9

 125th - fanbook

Make a Fan-Style Memory Book

Saturday, January 9, 2016 at 11:00 am
Main Library, Youth Activity Room, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard

For families with children and adults. Commemorate the library’s anniversary with a memory book in this craft workshop.

 

Let the fun begin!

WEBi.After folding their accordion spines, participants added covers and pages to create their books.

WEBb.Our first hour was spent learning how to create the book structure and doing so, then…

WEBn.we got to the fun part (well, it is ALL fun…)…what to add to our books.

WEBc.Colorful, glittery stickers were in abundance.

WEBm.The folded “fan” book (which has some similarities to the  “Flag Book“) can stand up on a surface in a star-like shape…

WEBl.so that the pages can be seen from different vantage points, and used to great effect for display. Great for a centerpiece, and to display photos on.

WEBd.Participants enjoyed a multitude of foam sticker letters.  Has spelling ever been so fun?

WEBe.Here’s our line-up of stellar assistants, two library pages (yes, they are still called “pages”,) and a volunteer.  It would not have been the same with out them!  THANK YOU Perla, Keisha and Cassandra!

WEBh.More letter stickers, and a layering of color, texture and shapes creates an elegant cover.

WEBk.This one’s for Mom…(George’s Mom…)

WEBj.The books become sculptural when three-dimensional elements are added.

     WEBo.Proud BOOKMAKERS share their completed masterworks…

WEBa.Displaying an  impressive creativity, use of materials, and sense of design.

WEBg.One appreciative patron took off on the idea of creating a book to commemorate  “her” library…

WEBf.This one may be archived by the SMPL…it’s a keeper.

A keeper of memory, celebration, and possibility.

Like the Library!

Happy Birthday, SMPL!

Master Pho at CAFAM

Master Pho at CAFAM

Having seen the extraordinary show, “Shadow of the Turning“, at the Craft and Folk Art Museum of Los Angeles, we wanted to return the following Sunday, to see master crafts-person and artist Binh Pho wind up the show with a demonstration of his work techniques.

Shadow of the Turning” is also the name of a book, an integral part of the show, written by Pho in  collaboration with writer, curator and  director of the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts in Ojai, CA, Kevin Wallace.

WEB1Pho uses, as I understand it, a dental drill,  to create a delicate lace of designs in this ultra-thin wood bowls he turns.

WEB2He demonstrated his techniques from 1-5pm, in the long courtyard outside of the Museum, attended by dedicated band of fascinated onlookers.

WEB3Pho jokingly explained that should he make a “mistake”, such as making an unplanned cut or shape or edge, he could incorporate it into the design later.  His humor is warm, engaging and infectious, and seems a bit “Zen“.

WEB5He applies a sticky film called “frisket” to the surface of the bowl, through which he cuts designs to create a stencil.

WEB6He then airbrushed color through the stencil design onto the wood surface, using acrylic paints…Golden Acrylics, in this case.

WEB4He worked at a table, outside, in December (LA weather not withstanding) surrounded by his myriad tools and materials, seeming completely at ease, stopping only to crack a little joke, or share a humorous anecdote with the crowd.

WEB7He is based in Illinois, and teaches at, “places like Anderson Ranch.” How lucky we were to have him share  his marvelously imaginative and intricate work with us in person, in conjunction with his show.

Possibly a once in a lifetime experience. (Which seems to happen a fair amount in Los Angeles.) Gratitudes to the CAFAM for making this all possible.

May 2016 be a year of magical possibilities and transformation.  Binh Pho does it his way…we can do it ours.

ArtMobile / MobileArt

ArtMobile / MobileArt

Treasures of the Traveling Trunk I

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Ready for the New Year…2016, here we come.

MemoryMaking Books

MemoryMaking Books

In celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the Santa Monica Public Library, I had the opportunity to lead a bookmaking program at the  Montana Avenue Library, my home branch of the SMPL

“Making Memory Books” was requested… a single signature style book, embellished with fabric.

WEBaLeather, denim, beads, as well as decorative papers and fabric scrap were some of the goodies laid out for participants to use.

WEBcThe signatures were already prepared, with holes punched. Once bound with the three-hole pamphlet stitch, the first and last pages were glued to the inside of the front and back covers, and the book was formed.

WEBiThen, the fun could really begin!  let the embellishment commence!

WEBkPaper, “eco-fi” felt, cloth, lace and leather transformed the book structures into unique works of art.

WEBdUpon request, a square shape was used, instead of the more common vertical  rectangle.

WEBeA mother daughter duo enjoyed adorning their book covers with butterflies.

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WEBfIs this a pink planet, surrounded by butteries?

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WEB2The inspiration for the project was a series of fabric covered sewn book models,

WEB8with cloth pieces applied patchwork style.

WEB1The colors, patterns, shapes and tactile quality of cloth and textiles can evoke powerful memories.

WEB2The effect can be pleasing visually, as well as tracing remnants of life stories barely remembered but held in the body, memory and emotions through the sense of touch.

These books, that may hold memories barely discernible to the maker, can now become the repository of new memories, as scrapbooks, photo albums, journals, or sketchbooks.

What a beautiful gift.

Happy Holidays, and peace and blessings for the New Year.

Building Work

Building Work

In a recent after-school enrichment class, entitled aptly enough, “Art, Artists and Art History”, students created their own “built environments“, then painted mini-murals on them, inspired by artist / muralist Diego Rivera.

WebS.In the process, they learned about color mixing…

WebD.composition…

Web1. WebE.two and three-dimensional art,

WebQ.painting  techniques and how to cover a surface,

WebI.planning, drawing and imagination,

WebL.their color preferences, (“I like purple!” declared this 6 year-old artist),

WebP.how to create “windows and doors”,

WEB_04.and look through them,

WEB_03.and best of all, how to create their own special world, through color, imagery, texture, openings and space.

We celebrate this!

Walking with Sculpture 3

Walking with Sculpture 3

A walk through the Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park on a moody late November afternoon…

WEBj3What Sights / Sights

“The land along McCormick Blvd. and the north channel of the Chicago River that runs though the Village of Skokie is owned by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. This land had been sorely neglected for a number of years, and by the mid-80’s had become a community eyesore. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District developed guidelines and wanted suggestions for its improvement.  The Village of Skokie came forward with plans to turn the area into a recreational park with biking and jogging paths and picnic areas. At the same time, a group of private citizens proposed using the park to display large scale contemporary sculptures.” —   http://sculpturepark.org/park-history/

WEBj2aSighting / Siting.

WEBj1Just landed…

WEBj2or, ready to take off?

WEBm1Hello.

WEBm2Hello to you too.

WEBm3Relationships and contemplation.

It’s all about relating…

 

Walking with Sculpture 2

Walking with Sculpture 2

A walk through the Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park on a moody late November afternoon…

“The land along McCormick Blvd. and the north channel of the Chicago River that runs though the Village of Skokie is owned by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. This land had been sorely neglected for a number of years, and by the mid-80’s had become a community eyesore. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District developed guidelines and wanted suggestions for its improvement.  The Village of Skokie came forward with plans to turn the area into a recreational park with biking and jogging paths and picnic areas. At the same time, a group of private citizens proposed using the park to display large-scale contemporary sculptures.” —   http://sculpturepark.org/park-history/

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Giving new meaning to the phrase…“Walking with Sculpture”…with, through, among and around.

Walking with Sculpture 1

Walking with Sculpture 1

A walk through the Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park on a moody late November afternoon…

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“The land along McCormick Blvd. and the north channel of the Chicago River that runs though the Village of Skokie is owned by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. This land had been sorely neglected for a number of years, and by the mid-80’s had become a community eyesore. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District developed guidelines and wanted suggestions for its improvement.  The Village of Skokie came forward with plans to turn the area into a recreational park with biking and jogging paths and picnic areas. At the same time, a group of private citizens proposed using the park to display large scale contemporary sculptures.” —   http://sculpturepark.org/park-history/

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The sculptures augment, and are augmented by, nature’s moody moments.

Los Angeles Love: Mariachi Plaza

Los Angeles Love: Mariachi Plaza

A new discovery! The historic Mariachi Plaza, in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.

WEBdThe Kiosk.

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The Mariachi PlazaMetro StationWEBbbWEBbWEBc

WEBaThe incredible independent “lending library”, “Libros Schmibros“, labor of literacy love.

Another reason to love LA…

PaintedPages2: The Painted Book

PaintedPages2: The Painted Book

Painting on denim, reading color, the ties that bind, the vocabulary of color. 

These are themes that come to mind when creating “painted books”.

WEBeA multiple signature book, bound with hemp cord, covers of board covered with painted denim,  pages made of painted denim bifolios.

WEBaOne piece covers front and back covers, and spine piece.  Creating a book with a painting..

WEBdEdges left raw.

WEBlInside front cover is unpainted denim, overlaid with painted piece.

WEBb    The acrylic painting gives the pages a satisfying heft…WEBcThe content is color…

WEBnand texture.

WEBkAnd a river runs through it…when do the elements of shape, texture and color come together to create an image that would be interpreted by the viewer as in generally the same way?

When does a collection of elements become a “thing”?

Face of Earth: Children Work With Clay

Face of Earth: Children Work With Clay

web4In an after-school enrichment class, children aged 6-11 were making projects inspired by the work of great artists. Through these projects, students learned about the artist and their style/s, art movements, how to work with various materials, and hopefully, how to use the work of a known artist as a jump-off point for their own.

web6In a Spanish language immersion school, we learned about Spanish-speaking artists, including Pablo Picasso  who was influenced by African art, and helped to create and launch the experimental movement of Cubism.

web2Students were taught to “pound out” or flatten their clay “chunks” into slabs, after forming them into loose balls.

web9They then developed their slabs into faces by shaping and texturing them, cutting pieces out, and adding to them using a “scoring” technique, so that the pieces added wouldn’t fall off when the clay began to dry. Well, a modified scoring technique, which included adding texture to the two pieces that were to be attached, and pressing them together to increase their bond.  This proved challenging for the children, as it was hard for them to understand why this was necessary.

web5Another challenge was how thin many of the pieces turned out to be. They are drying now, and I am extremely careful in moving them around, and turning them over, so all surfaces can dry. The students produced  highly fanciful, expressive and emotive works, qualities only intensified by the delicacy of some of them.

web7This young artist made the little figure on the face as a separate piece at first, but it was so thin and fragile I knew it would not survive. Luckily, she was happy to add it to her piece and play with surrealism and scale!

web3Día de Muertos, the Mexican holiday of “Day of the Dead” influenced the students’ work, as in this 6 year old’s tiny skeleton gracing the back of her mask. Again, this tiny figure was to fragile to stand on its own, so now it has become a part of Mia’s signature! 

web1     Skeletons, whether smoking a cigar or not, inspired the students, as did….

web8pumpkins!  This is one ferocious pumpkin face, and at least twice the size of most of the other pieces. The young artist got caught up in his work towards the end of the hour, and insisted on finishing all of the teeth, and details of they eyes. Now…what will he add to this piece this week, to finish it off?

What will each of the students do with paint, to complete their works?  Let’s hope all of the pieces dry, so we can find out!


The Artists Among Us

“The Artists Among Us”

Teaching an acrylic painting workshop for adults…living in a  building owned and operated by the Community Corporation of Santa Monica (CCSM) is a rewarding experience. CCSM, in its own words, “….is a locally based, non-profit organization committed to developing and managing affordable housing in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. A key mission of the organization is to provide housing to lower wage working families.”

 WEBa1   Each artist has their own unique style. Some, like the above, jump right in, apparently fearlessly, without any sketching or practice.

WEBcOthers focus on color, and what they can create  through mixed and discreet hues.

WEBeStill others combine color, texture and symbol to bring the message home.

WEBf  Or, create a sense of space and expansion.

WEBhSeeing them all together, one marvels at the variety, beauty and uniqueness of human expression, and the resilience of soul and spirit.

Art rules.

“Revolution in the Making” – Abstract Women Sculptors Become Change Agents I

“Revolution in the Making”

Abstract Women Sculptors Become Change Agents I

Hauser Wirth & Schimmel recently hosted an astounding exhibition,

Revolution in the Making:
Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947 – 2016.

Here are some highlights….

The amazing “Intersection“, by the amazing Abigail DeVille, with my beloved Mark within.

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Jackie Winsor  in the courtyard: “30-1 Bound Treeswebewebd

Lara Schnitiger ‘s Folie a Deux, created (spun?) out of nylon, chopsticks and wood.  webh webi webj webkwebf

More to come.