CHAPTERS 3: “We Write the Book”

CHAPTERS 3: “We Write the Book”

The wonderful Craft and Folk Art Museum of Los Angeles currently has on view the exhibition, “Chapters: Book Arts in Southern California” through May 7, 2017.

I had the opportunity of creating an interactive book for the show, one that potentially 8000 viewers/participants could become co-creators of by adding and subtracting color, pattern, graphics and text as they so chose.

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web1aCards and pencils nearby encourage patrons to become participants.

web3“Windows” are uniform, to allow messages to show/shine through.

web7fSome wrote stories, employing the ancient “There Once Was…”

web7aSome, one word.

web7cSome expressed philosophy…

web7dOthers,  directives.

web7eSome messages came together to create new meanings and  inadvertent poetry.

web7gSome seemed to write a journal entry,

web7hSome declared their vision.

web7iSome drew,

web9Some shared experiences.

web10Some got creative with the grid,

web1 ALL created with the form.

The form of the book is a window to infinite possibilities. You can see many of them in the show.   On view through May 7, 2017.  

CHAPTERS 2: Opening at CAFAM!

CHAPTERS 2: Opening at CAFAM!

The wonderful Craft and Folk Art Museum of Los Angeles currently has on view “Chapters: Book Arts in Southern California” through May 7, 2017.

webb webcKitty Maryatt


webhwebgJohn Baldassari

webiwebmI need to investigate this further…

webkwebjweblExciting take on accordion fold structure…

webn weboAllen Ruppersberg

Must get back to CAFAM...and take another look!

CHAPTERS I : “Chromatic Interactions”

CHAPTERS I: “Chromatic  Interactions”

The wonderful Craft and Folk Art Museum of Los Angeles currently has on view “Chapters: Book Arts in Southern California” through May 7, 2017.

I had the opportunity of creating an interactive book for the show, one that potentially 8000 viewers/participants could become co-creators of by adding and subtracting color, pattern, graphics and text as they so chose.

weba

I created the flag book  structure from book board (covers),webe

watercolor paper (accordion spine), rice paper (covering the spine),webi

repurposed file folders (torn into pieces to “cover the covers” and folded to form the flag page pockets), linen thread (to stitch the flag pages/pockets), Lineco Neutral pH Adhesive (for gluing) ,webd
and colored file cards (to write and draw upon, and insert into the pockets in varied arrangements), to create  “Chromatic Interactions”.webc
I aligned the ‘windows” in the covers, with the windows cut out of the flag book pockets, 
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so that the file cards would read through the front and back cover apertures.webg
The results of offering the public the opportunity to express themselves through interacting with the book were fascinating.
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I was moved that participants were expressing their feelings about current events, and the “state of the nation”. webn
Some just got silly and had fun.
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Some asked profound questions…reflecting what is on the collective mind.webq

Some waxed poetic.webu
And one young artist expressed her feelings through creating a bookmark, as all the windows were filled!
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 Perhaps the greatest treasure of all…

Thank you Inez!

And thank you to the wonderful Holly Jerger, curator, for this amazing opportunity to give CAFAM viewers a voice..I am looking forward to seeing what else they have to say.

“The Big Book”: Collaboration 3

“The Big Book”: Collaboration 3

Last summer I had the opportunity to do a collaborative book project with students aged 5-10. We called it “The Big Book“.

I created the structure out of repurposed corrugated cardboard. The students then added to, developed, embellished and played with the structure.

The students had access to all of the drawing, painting and collage materials we were using in class on our bookmaking projects to use in any way they wished (within time and space constraints, and reason) on the The Big Book.

Here is some of their play…..

webc1Images of students working on their book projects…on The Big Book


webiDesign and line…

webjWe used beads, paint pens, ribbon, paper, and much more…

The Big Book…Lives!

“The Big Book”: Collaboration 2

“The Big Book”: Collaboration 2

Last summer I had the opportunity to do a collaborative book project with students aged 5-10. We called it “The Big Book“.

weba1I created the structure out of repurposed corrugated cardboard. The students then added to, developed, embellished and played with the structure.

weba2I primed all of the surfaces, and painted the outside of the covers and spine black and the inside white.  I framed the outside of the covers with  extra strips of cardboard for stability.

weba3The students had access to all of the drawing, painting and collage materials we were using in class on our bookmaking projects to use in any way they wished (within time and space constraints, and reason) on the The Big Book.

weba4They went to town using pipe cleaners, cloth, washi and glittery tapes, feathers, and their own drawings

weba5to create designs, borders, text, textures, color and artworks on the collaborative piece.

webb2Because the students were a range of ages, there were a range of effects,

webb1which melded together to become a singular Book Work of charm, energy, and personality!

We worked together. We created together. We laughed together. We respected each other.

A Lesson for Living.

“The Big Book”: Collaboration



“The Big Book”: Collaboration 1

“The Big Book”: Collaboration 1

Last summer I had the opportunity to do a collaborative book project with students aged 5-10….we called it “The Big Book“.

webaFront cover of “The Big Book

I constructed a “folded fan” style flag book…out of corrugated cardboard. I folded an accordion spine, attached a front and a back cover, and two pages inside, going in the same direction, which fanned out when the book was opened.

webbBack cover of “The Big Book“.

I used tacky glue to put the pieces together, then sewed therm in place with hemp cord, and finally, trimmed the whole piece off with patterned duck tape. I then primed all of the surfaces, and painted the outside (front and back covers and spine) black, and the inside white, with acrylics. I added extra strips of re-purposed corrugated cardboard for stability.

webdStudents embellished the cardboard borders which also added structural support to the book.

webcA student’s expression of gratitude!

webkWonderful advice!

weblSo happy to see this….

webqStudents embellished just about every inch of the book…playing with words, colors, textures, designs and materials.

webrI created the structure…but the young artists left their mark/s….and made the piece come alive.

Much fun was had in the process. Students learned not only about using materials on a scale larger than their other book projects, but also about working together, collaboration, communication and cooperation.  Skills needed now perhaps more than ever.

Good lessons for our times. For any times. For all the times of our lives.

BOOKS: A Series (1)

BOOKS: A Series (1)

webaA series exploring items of interest….relating in some way…to the book as object, concept, sculpture, artwork or idea.

web5Such as “Flights of Fancy or Imaginary Scraps” by Charles Carrick, in the collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.  I saw it at the De Young Museum.

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web6Amazing stuff.   Charles Carrick was a British printmaker who wrote “Poems: Serious, Humorous and Satirical,” published in 1870, and compiled a book of 216 drawings with poems and commentary. Unrequited love….was the inspiration.

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Flights of Fancy indeed.  Explore more Imaginary Scraps here.

Enjoy. May your imagination soar.

Magical Museums of LALA Land I

Magical Museums of LALA Land I

The holidays are a perfect time to experience the richness of LA’s art museum scene…and explore edifices and institutions that are storied in and of themselves.  Here is a small sampling of seemingly infinite adventures to be had…to be continued!

webyellow1 webyellow2Courtyard installalation at The Hammer Museum in Westwood near UCLA brightens a winter day.

webrivpic0116c webrivpic0116dExtraordinary works by Pablo Picasso….

webrivpic0116awebrivpic0116bExtraordinary works by Diego Rivera

“By placing 150 paintings, etchings, and watercolors in dialogue with each other and with singular ancient objects, Picasso and Rivera: Conversations Across Time aims to advance the understanding of Picasso and Rivera’s practice, particularly in how their contributions were deeply influenced by the forms, myths, and structures of the arts of antiquity.” —LACMA

webalchemy0116a webalchemy0116bThe “THE ART OF ALCHEMY” show at Getty Center.

Wishing You a magical 2017, and may the wonder never cease.

Process

PROCESS

In process: an interactive book commissioned by a local museum, to engage viewers of an upcoming book arts exhibition!

The book is a flag book, investigating color interactions, with text potentially added by the viewer/participants/co-creators.

The covers are made of book board, resurfaced with torn and crumpled pieces of unique “brown paper bag” colored folders, of  limited quantity, using neutral pH Lineco adhesive .

                      Corresponding stacked windows were cut into the front and back covers,
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through which file cards (the piece is partially composed of file folders, after all) of different colors, process1

or white…can be seen. The cover colors and composition will change, depending on which cards are used.process2

Within, untorn and uncrumpled pieces of the same file folders are folded into pockets, edges glued together with a  UHU acid free glue stick, one edge stitched with linen thread, and the other side glued to the book’s concertina spine.process3

The accordion spine is made of watercolor paper, resurfaced on the back with pieces of torn and singed rice paper. The edge of each fold is covered with the same folder material as the covers, and the inside of the spine. process4

The flag page pockets will have the same size and shape windows cut out of them, all aligning with the front and back cover windows, so that anyone can add and subtract file cards, changing the color balance and composition of the cover and contents.process6

In this way, the viewers can become true creative participants and co-creators of the piece, creating chromatic interactions and meditations through their own actions…interactions with it! 

Cloudy Skies…Sky Poetry 2

Cloudy Skies…Sky Poetry 2

One December afternoon in Santa Monica…same sky, different directions.

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Raising lens to the heavens.

Hoping for the best.

Cloudy Skies…Sky Poetry 1

Cloudy Skies…Sky Poetry 1

One December afternoon in Santa Monica…same sky, different directions.

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Raising lens to the heavens.

Hoping for the best.

Making Our Own Books: Together!

Making Our Own Books: Together!

I had the wonderful experience of teaching “MAKE YOUR OWN BOOKS’, an enrichment class offered at Franklin Elementary School in Santa Monica by the CREST Enrichment program.

webaThe sweet and talented students ranged from first to fourth grade, and had a blast making books of different sizes, structures and materials.

webcThey first bound together their portfolios, made of hanging file folders, then designed and developed the outside covers of these,

webegetting acquainted with each other, their materials, myself, and their own creativity and imagination.

webdThen we began our book projects…which included accordion fold books, flag books, fan books,

webbsingle signature bindings, and side “stab” bindings.

webfTo celebrate our achievements, learning and fun, we had a “last class” family event.

webtFamily and CREST staff were invited to Make Books Together!

webkDid we have fun making “double” single signature books, learning the pamphlet stitch, and embellishing up a storm!

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webmMoms,

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weblNannies,

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webpand Dads got into the act,

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webvalong with our delightful students…

webwand CREST staffers who got to take a creative break!

i will miss this class, and the open, fluid creativity of the students. I hope to have the opportunity to work with them again!

 Wishing everyone a creative and healthful New Year…and a celebration of the positive power of the Imagination. Let us imagine a better world…and Make It, Together.

Masks and Merriment

Masks and Merriment

I had the wonderful opportunity to lead a mask-making program recently at the great  Baldwin Hills Public Library, part of the Los Angeles Public Library system.

web6Parents worked alongside their children, and joined in the fun!

web1We created three-dimensional masks of flat sheets of bright tag paper by cutting through the corners and attaching the edges.

web5Participants then creatively adorned and

web4developed their mask

web3characters.

web2We can become someone else when wearing our masks…

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And maybe, become more ourselves!

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And isn’t that what the creative process is all about?

The Sheltering Book Chapter 6

The Sheltering Book Chapter 6

I was honored to be one of 17 artists to receive an inaugural ‘The WORD Grant 2016: The Bruce Geller Memorial Prize” from the Institute for Jewish Creativity, a project of American Jewish University, to create, “The Sheltering Book“.

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The Sheltering Book will be a life-sized book structure which will become the backdrop for community bookmaking workshops drawing parallels between the meaning and architecture of the book, and that of the Sukkah. The project also explores the relationship between the public sphere and private space, whether that space be our personal creativity, where we create, or what we create.”Debra Disman

web2cThe Sheltering Book is composed of an accordion spine, front and back covers, and two movable pages on each side which open away from the center, creating a space for shelter, presentation, performance and sharing.

web3To create a Sukkah shelter, dyed and stenciled netting was spread over the top of the Book, held in place by pins.

web9dThe Sheltering Book was constructed out of corrugated cardboard, primed, base painted, and transformed with layers of semi-sheer paint applications in harvest colors, which played across the surface.

webiParticipants gathered in front of The Sheltering Book to create their own books,

webvand then share them, using The Sheltering Book as a backdrop, stage set, and human-sized performance space.

webbThe Sheltering Book becomes a synergistic process and experience for the community at-large, offering shelter, safe space, and creative inspiration for all who engage with it.

Let us hold the vision.

The Sheltering Book Chapter 5

The Sheltering Book Chapter 5

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I am honored to have been one of 17 artists who received an inaugural ‘The WORD Grant 2016: The Bruce Geller Memorial Prize” from the Institute for Jewish Creativity, a project of American Jewish University, to create, “The Sheltering Book“.

web2hOpen to the world.

The Sheltering Book will be a life-sized book structure which will become the backdrop for community bookmaking workshops drawing parallels between the meaning and architecture of the book, and that of the Sukkah. The project also explores the relationship between the public sphere and private space, whether that space be our personal creativity, where we create, or what we create.”Debra Disman

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A “Sheltering Book” program was held at the , of the Santa Monica Public Library. The program was attended by participants from preschool to post school who created books,  and shared them in the shelter of The Sheltering Book.

webaThis kind patron helped Montana Branch Library Manager Stephanie Archer and I carry The Sheltering Book into the Community Room.

web9Covers and pages were prepped, and participants bound them together into a single signature book which they then added to with writing, drawing and collage materials.

webgA whole wonderful family of three generations…grandma, mom, and four fantastic, talented and creative daughters!

webbwebiReveling in materials.

webcCreative use of papert strips too create waving grasses, behind which cat’s eyes glimmer…

webtSharing with little sis looking on…

webewebkUse of magazine images.

webhShe has a beautiful sense of design.

webdGrandma gets into the act!

weblwebpCreating with Grandma…pretty in Pink!

webrSharing…

webmA children’s book illustrator…

webushares her creation…lovely color choices!

webnThis wonderful teaching artist claimed the time to create a piece about her own identity…

webvemploying buttons, collage, mixed media,

webv2to great effect…  webv4and sharing.

webxBeautiful use of leaves…

webx1outside,

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webx4and inside, her book!

weby_1She strolled into the Community Room during a break, and jumped right in!

  weby_4A natural presenter!

levyweb6-jpgThis lovely couple go right into the expressive spirit…

levyweb2-jpgcreating about music,

levyweb3-jpgand other visions.

levyweb1b-jpgPhotogenic too!

This maker truly committed…

weby1using inspiration from the natural

weby2and the man-made worlds…

weby4and fully developing ideas

weby3within her book.

weby5Sharing…


webzThis spirited artist used to be a casting agent…

webz1and she has truly found a new medium within which to epxress herself…and vision.

The Sheltering Book becomes a synergistic process and experience for the community at-large, offering shelter, safe space, and creative inspiration for all who engage with it. 

Let us hold the vision!

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The Sheltering Book Chapter 4

The Sheltering Book Chapter 4

I am honored to have been one of 17 artists who received an inaugural ‘The WORD Grant 2016: The Bruce Geller Memorial Prize” from the Institute for Jewish Creativity, a project of American Jewish University, to create, “The Sheltering Book“.

web1

The Sheltering Book will be a life-sized book structure which will become the backdrop for community bookmaking workshops drawing parallels between the meaning and architecture of the book, and that of the Sukkah. The project also explores the relationship between the public sphere and private space, whether that space be our personal creativity, where we create, or what we create.”Debra Disman

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A “Sheltering Book” workshop was held at 430 Pico in Santa Monica, a building owned by the Community Corporation of Santa Monica (CCSM), who rents out apartments to families and others, and provides a range of programming to them. Our workshop was part of that programming, and was attended by families with children from preschool to high school. A group of volunteers provided a lovely buffet and supported the participants, who created books,  and shared them in the shelter of The Sheltering Book.

web9Covers and pages were prepped, and participants bound them together into a single signature book which they then added to with writing, drawing and collage materials!

web3I taught the pamphlet stitch, but this young maker jumped right in, and wrote his book before it was bound!

web4Working with images cut from magazines…

webgAdding letters to create words…

webbDeveloping the interior…

webhCreating meaning…

webmUsing the drawing materials…

webaweba2A future “Women in the Arts”…

webnSharing our books in the shelter of The Sheltering Book.

websRoom for creative work here!

webvHe worked long and hard with a devoted volunteer to spell out his name in letters culled from magazines.

web7Celebration! Showing our books within the pages and open “walls” of The Sheltering Book”…supported within its loving “arms”.

The participants become the content and the characters of The Sheltering Book. Through their presence and their creations they people its pages, add meaning to its presence, and add life to its structure.Their story becomes its story, and vice versa.

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The Sheltering Book becomes a synergistic process and experience for the community at-large, offering shelter, safe space, and creative inspiration for all who engage with it. 

Let us hold the vision!

Mask Magic

Mask Magic

At a building owned by the Community Corporation of Santa Monica (CCSM), I conducted a two-part mask making workshop! Families who rented units in the building attended, with children, spouses, and neighbors.

The work created is breathtaking, and will be shown Friday November 4th at an exhibition entitled,
The Artists Among Us“.

Here is this chapter of their story.web1web2The mask is formed of clay….then painted…

web3then shown.

web2Women share as they create.

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web7A seasonal offering sculpted…webiand painted.

https://artissima.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/mask-magic-2/web6A Dia De los Muertos sugar scull is created…webkand comes to life with color and pattern.

webtClay characters drying.

webyColor helps to define the mask personalities.

webwPainted plates are another way to create masks and characters. The round shape suggests a lion, and the paint defines it!

webuColor, texture, shapes, and the artists’ choices bring the forms to life.

webs“Once in a blue moon…” (!)

webrEmotions are elicited through facial expression, color choices, and the way the paint is applied to the textured, sculpted clay surfaces.


webqWhat a line-up!

weblStrong sense of design and pattern.

webmwebgwebcFocused artists

webfMeticulous painting creates detail.

web4Bringing out the eyes…

webo   Proud participating artist with her creations.

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webpThe fruits of love’s labor.

The Sheltering Book Chapter 3

The Sheltering Book Chapter 3

I am honored to have been one of 17 artists who received an inaugural ‘The WORD Grant 2016: The Bruce Geller Memorial Prize” from the Institute for Jewish Creativity, a project of American Jewish University, to create, “The Sheltering Book“.

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The Sheltering Book will be a life-sized book structure which will become the backdrop for community bookmaking workshops drawing parallels between the meaning and architecture of the book, and that of the Sukkah. The project also explores the relationship between the public sphere and private space, whether that space be our personal creativity, where we create, or what we create.”Debra Disman

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The WORD Grant, a project of American Jewish University’s Institute for Jewish Creativity, supports artists creating projects that explore Jewish ideas, themes, tradition, history, and identity. We believe in supporting a contemporary, vibrant, Jewish cultural landscape in Los Angeles.”  —The Institute for Jewish Creativity

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Made of corrugated cardboard, primed, base-painted, and treated with layers of transparent color, the Sheltering Book becomes a Sukkah With the addition of dyed netting stenciled with ferns, the “s’chach“, roof of the Sukkah.

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web2The Sheltering Book at The Braid Theatre Gallery, Home of the Jewish Women’s Theatre

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   Our first community bookmaking workshop was held at the lovely Braid Theatre Gallery.

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The Sheltering Book onstage, becomes a theatrical backdrop, a set, and a theater in and of itself, as participants create their books nearby,

web8using brilliant and beautiful materials.

web10aMother and daughter work side by side.

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web12Participants focus on”building”, then developing their flag books.

web13Documenting while doing.

web14web14aPutting together word and image,

web17color,

web19text and texture,

web16web20 themes.

web15and adding titles.

web24   Then we shared….in the safety of The Sheltering Book.

web22web25a web26a web27web31Was it a fluke that black was the predominant clothing color that day? Creating a striking contrast between Book and Bookmaker.

web21Glorious…and sublime.

…to be continued…

The Sheltering Book Chapter 2

The Sheltering Book Chapter 2

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I am honored to have been one of 17 artists who received an inaugural ‘The WORD Grant 2016: The Bruce Geller Memorial Prize” from the Institute for Jewish Creativity, a project of American Jewish University.

web1The Sheltering Book at The Braid Theatre Gallery, Home of the Jewish Women’s Theatre

The WORD Grant, a project of American Jewish University’s Institute for Jewish Creativity, supports artists creating projects that explore Jewish ideas, themes, tradition, history, and identity. We believe in supporting a contemporary, vibrant, Jewish cultural landscape in Los Angeles.”  —The Institute for Jewish Creativity

web29

For my project, “The Sheltering Book“, I constructed a “life-sized” book, to become the backdrop and inspiration point for bookmaking workshops! The book also draws parallels to the “Sukkah”, a small temporary  shelter used in ancient times for those harvesting to eat and sleep in during harvest season (part of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot which falls in October).

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Please join us this coming Saturday at The Montana Branch Library to make books and explore The Sheltering Book in community!

Saturday October 22nd 10 AM – 1 PM  The Montana Branch Library/Santa Monica Public Library  1704 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90403

I will also be there with The Sheltering Book from 2 – 5 PM that afternoon for more exploration, bookmaking and sharing!

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The Sheltering Book Chapter 1

The Sheltering Book Chapter 1

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I am honored to have been one of 17 artists who received an inaugural ‘Word Grant 2016: The Bruce Geller Memorial Prize” from the Institute for Jewish Creativity, a project of American Jewish University.

The WORD Grant, a project of American Jewish University’s Institute for Jewish Creativity, supports artists creating projects that explore Jewish ideas, themes, tradition, history, and identity. We believe in supporting a contemporary, vibrant, Jewish cultural landscape in Los Angeles.”  —The Institute for Jewish Creativity

For my project, “The Sheltering Book“, I am constructing a “life-sized” book, to become the backdrop and inspiration point for bookmaking workshops! The book also draws parallels to the “Sukkah”, a small temporary  shelter used in ancient times for those harvesting to eat and sleep in during harvest season (part of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot which falls in October).

Here is The Sheltering Book in process in the studio:

web3The book is made of corrugated cardboard, primed, base-painted and layered with paint washed, a paint effect, or decorative painting technique. Here boards are waiting to be painted, while the accordion spine

web2is readied to receive its wash treatment on the work table.

web4The base colors are Fine Paints of Europe primary colors, the paint version of the Pantone Color System.

web6Accordion spine made in two parts, with overlapped center.  Extra pieces added to the top to add height.

web24Because the spine was made of moving boxes, there were slits cut on either end. The end that became the bottom of the book was folded over and glued to create extra strength. (Not pictured here.)

web26 The slits and resulting gaps in the top were covered with board prepared in the same manner as the primed, painted and treated surface. The diamonds cover the last bit of gap, and became a design element.

web5Cover board before border added.

web9Cover boards with borders, glued and stitched to accordion spine.

web10Stitching cover board to spine. Interior view.

web8Cover board attached to inside of spine. Left side exterior  view.

web23Cover board stitching. Right side exterior view.

web14Left side pages glued to spine.

web20 Ready to glue left side pages.

web19Harvest colors: red-russet  covers, golden-yellow pages (complimentary purple on reverse- not pictured.)

web28The process: holes punched with awl, spaced with handmade cardboard template. Sewn with 48lb / 21.7kg natural hemp cord.

Please join us for one of the public bookmaking workshops!
  • Sunday October 16th 10 AM – 12:30 PM   The Braid Theater Gallery, Home of the Jewish Women’s Theater / 2912 Colorado Ave #102 Santa Monica, CA 90404
  • Thursday October 20th 7 – 9 PM, 430 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90405, A  Community Corporation of Santa Monica (CCSM) Affordable Housing Bldg. (This one is just for building residents and CCSM Staff).
  • Saturday October 22nd 10 AM – 1 PM  The Montana Branch Library/Santa Monica Public Library  1704 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90403 I will also be there with The Sheltering Book from 2 – 5 PM that afternoon!                                        

 
                                      
                                        

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

“Revolution in the Making”

Abstract Women Sculptors Become Change Agents III

Hauser Wirth & Schimmel recently hosted an astounding exhibition,

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

Blown away by Lee Bontecou

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Discovered Cristina Iglesias

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web3aUntitled, 1993 – 1997 (You can walk into it-)
Fiber cement, iron, aluminum and tapestry
96 1/2 x 143 3/4 x 27 1/2 in / 245 x 365 x 70 cm

Inspired  by Sheila Hicks

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Explore more…

 

 

“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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web2b(detail)

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

Artifactory StudioArtifactory Studio

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 w