“Be My Valentine”

“Be My Valentine”

What was planned as a Valentine-making workshop, turned into a Valentine bookmaking experience instead…with the creative participants learning how to fold an accordion book with pockets, and adorning, embellishing and enhancing it with all manner of sumptuous materials!


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Participants glued together prepared strips of high quality drawing paper, which had the pocket folds set up for them. The pocket folds were folded, then unfolded, so that the participants did not have to measure them out. Each paper strip was also folded in half, and organized in sets of two.

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After choosing their strips, gluing them together, then re-folding the pocket folds and then the center fold, the participants went on to fold the rest of the accordion structure. They added the covers which were cut to be wider then the width of the accordion sections, and folded the edge of the covers into the book, creating flaps or vertical pockets, or trimmed them off.

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Then the real fun began. Decoration! Adornment! Embellishment!  Ribbon, lace, stickers, washi and fabric tapes were used to create design, text and image.

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Participants employed all of the materials in fresh and imaginative ways, combining, layering and playing with them to create complex, whimsical and elegant Valentines that became a delicious feast for the eye, while the pockets offered a place for secrets, and possibly poetry.


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Glittery stickers, resembling crunchy sugary treats were a hit, transforming the books into sparkling sculptural reliefs,


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personalizing their pieces.

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Participants used tapes to create patterned borders, 

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ribbons to hold their books closed,

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and ruffled laces to add that “je ne sais quoi” and finishing touch to their creations.

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And of course, there are a million ways to say, “I love You!”

A personalized handmade work of Valentine book art would do just that!

Here’s to Amore!

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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“.

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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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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 2

Mask Magic 2

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.

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

Here is this chapter of their story.

webiDuring the first workshop, participants learned to pound out slabs of air-dry clay, create an “armature” with newspaper to give their masks depth, and form their clay slabs over the armature.

weblThe following week, participants used acrylic paints to add color, visual texture, design and pattern to their masks and other clay items, and also enjoyed painting on thick watercolor paper. As acrylic paints dry quickly, and are no longer water-soluble once dry, the artists were able to continue to add paint, details and layers.

web1Reveling in color and brush work, this young artist filled her surface with exploration.

webaI did not see this couple enter the room, and suddenly there they were, painting with complete concentration.

webbParticipant interaction makes the whole experience the more rich.

webdEach got their own palette of colors on a Styrofoam plate, with empty plates available for mixing and discovering colors.

webeGreen grass with delicate characters above.  She must love purple. Maybe she will add it later to her painting!

webfFocused artist and craftswoman.

webgAdding detail.  Every brush I brought seemed to have been used!

webhShe seems to know exactly what she wants to paint, as if the vision was already inside her head.

webnEnergetic color, imagery, brush strokes and composition create movement in this piece.

webvA lion happened on this plate!  Painting? Mask? Both?!

webzHe said it was his first time painting…he must be a natural. What talent!

Many thanks to the marvelous and devoted  Rene Melara, programmer extraordinaire, for the opportunity to work with these wonderful participants, and see their artwork blossom.

Bravo!

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.

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!

 

Family Booking

Family Booking

It is wonderful to work with families, sharing with them a project through which they can experience the creative process. I had such an opportunity, leading a flag bookmaking workshop for residents of a building in Santa Monica owned and operated by the CCSM: The Community Corporation of Santa Monica. CCSM “Creates Housing and Strengthens Community.”

One of the ways it does that is to provide programming for building residents, which includes arts/crafts workshops. I have been gifted with the opportunity to lead several workshops, and this one was a blast. Both adults and children were able to complete a unique Flag Book, and had fun doing so while learning skills and techniques in the process, end expressing themselves creatively. What could be better?!

WEB3The black cover makes the letter’s in Mario’s name pop!

WEBeThis young Angel artist is adding all sorts of adornment to her Flag book creation.

WEBcMichael, recently turned five, who started out drawing, added layers of color, texture and mixed media to his book!

WEB9Michael’s book just vibrates with movement, action and vitality!

WEBdHis  Mom, Lynn, said, “I think I may be enjoying it more than he is. When you do projects with your children, it’s just fun!”  We agreed that adults, especially Moms, certainly deserve to have fun too!

WEBaBlue and orange, complimentary colors (opposite each other on the color wheel), contrast with pink and purple, which have red in common! Flag book color schemes are infinite!

WEBfSomeone loves pink!

WEB9cWEB9dSamantha’s Mom embellished both the powerful red and black front and back covers of her book using a variety of materials,  and tied it all together with silver cord!

This is the kind of experience that a teaching artist lives for. Here’s to more and more of them!