“Artissima Transitiona” I

“Artissima Transitiona” I

Three years ago, for a number of reasons. my husband and I moved to Los Angeles…Santa Monica to be exact.   Since that time, I  have become involved with the making, study and teaching of artist’s books. I teach bookmaking around Santa Monica and LA County, and am continuously  evolving my own expression of this unique art form. Bookmaking, creating handmade books, unique books, artist’s books, and the book arts overlap as activities. In essence, they employ the form of The Book as an expressive vehicle.

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I have been the principal of my own decorative painting company, ArtiFactory Studio, for many years, primarily in San Francisco, where I resided, also for many years. In this post, I begin to share how I am finding ways to put these two forms together, one, bookmaking, often associated with the small-scale and intimate, and the other, decorative painting, often large-scale, which includes mural painting, glazing, faux finishing, gilding, and a myriad of other ways of “treating” the built environment, IE, the environment created by us humans as the setting for our activities.

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I hope to approach this subject in a series of posts, each showing a slice of what I am doing, and hope to do. I am fascinated with notions of scale, with materials, texture, space and design, as well as with the expressive, provocative,  and multidisciplinary nature of handmade books. In this post,  I will share how I brought techniques and notions specific to the field of decorative painting to the form of The Book in my own work. This process has been part of a greater transition in my life, work, business and career on all fronts.  Hence the post’s title” Artissima Transitiona“. The transition continues…

WEBa1Gilding, or the act of adhering metallic leaf over a surface adds a bit of bling, depth and dimension to an already complex surface on this handmade book cover. The gold rectangle also provides a focal point for the eye to rest on, adding order, focus and coherence to the piece. A piece of board was gilded, then added to the surface collage.

web1Texture can be a huge part of decorative painting. The artist manipulates glazes, paints and other materials over a surface to create both visual and physical texture. Here crumpled tissue paper is adhered to the surface in layers, giving it a satisfying texture, variation of color, and contrast to the look, and feel of the other materials used, which include cloth, hemp cord, beads and paper media.

WEB2The covers of this book are made of boards that have been dragged or “Striéd“, a technique by which paint or glaze is applied to a surface, and a large stiff brush is used to drag through it while it is still wet, leaving a up and down stripe-like pattern/texture.

WEB4Here a “brown paper bag” feeling is created by using humble brown wrapping paper (and bags) to create an earthy  texture on the surface of this book’s covers. Individual pieces of hemp cord are used for the binding, adding to the homespun simplicity and feel.

WEB5This book is created from boards that were originally painted with metallic paint and glaze samples for a client. I loved how these samples looked together, and added the rust, iron and verdigris sample pieces above them.  The rest of the book is made of paper with plant material flowing through it.  It  is bound with linen thread in a  single signature  (gathering of folded pages).

WEBaFinally, here is a book with an accordion spine; a “found” spine…meaning that I happened upon a design brochure, and its size, weight and color worked perfectly the book I developed. The covers are made of paper that has been textured, painted and glazed, then glued onto boards. The contrasting “edge design” is created by the addition of another painted and glazed decorative painting sample, glued on the open edge, then folded over, and glued onto the inside of each cover, giving it more stability, integrity, and visual interest.

I hope you will join me as I journey through this time of creative transition, exploration, and discovery. Although the waters feel uncharted, there are plenty of inspirational and provocative artists, makers and craftspeople to help light the way.  Here’s to diving in!

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Media Medley

Media Medley

Being in the process of updating, retooling, adding and subtracting (mostly adding…subtracting is a whole other challenge!) my presence online, including  Website , Linked In profile, Pinterest, Etsy Store and more…I thought I would share some of my media offerings in an Artissima post.  Maybe You will get some ideas of media You can generate, to support, express, and promote Your work and business!

Let Your Voice Be Heard!

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I had the good fortune of knowing a talented videographer (he is no longer working in the field, and does not accept inquiries…so, I won’t mention his name here), who filmed one of my projects, and put together a beautiful little video on it.  Although made several years ago, this video still feels fresh and relevant, because of his skill, and creativity.  Thank you Allen!

The Video Showcases an Image Central to My Site

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The amazing and dedicated Carolyn Edlund, who “inspires artists to build better businesses”  through her ventures  Artsy Shark, and the Arts Business Institute was kind enough to interview me about how I built my decorative painting business.  The interview was done in two parts, and forms a “document” that can be shared with others, offering tips and guidance to support them on their journey!  Thank you Carolyn!

Use your Mind to Share your Heart, and Your Hand to Share your Voice

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I was honored to participate in a project filmed for HGTV‘s Curb Appeal, entitled, “It’s All in the Details“, helmed by the inimitable John Gidding, architect, designer, and showman extraordinaire, and for the record, a great guy! John was kind, supportive, and a real team player on his show, where he stars, manages, designs, interacts, and even picks up a paintbrush!  Thank you John, and the HGTV‘s Curb Appeal team, as well as Johlt Productions…what a great experience.

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Artistically Speaking Talk Show   is the brain child of  Rebecca E. Parsons,  Having met the wonderful artist/artisan   Lyna Farkus  through none other then Twitter (!…the power of social media, folks…),  who was at the time co-hosting with Rebecca, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by the two of them.  What a fun, and gratifying experience was this interview , as are all the interviews conducted on the show.  A must-listen to for any artist, artisan, entrepreneur, “ladypreneur”, “solo-preneur”, crafter, and more. Thank you dear Rebecca and Lyna.

Create Success..Believe…Gratitude…

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One thing can lead to another…after the  Artistically Speaking  interview, Rebecca and Lyna asked me if I would do a monthly segment on the show, offering “tidbits of color wisdom”.  I was delighted to become part of the team, and “The Color Muze” segment began airing each (well, most) third Sundays of the month, at 7:15pmEST/4:15pmPST.  It is a joy to share color information, experience and exploration garnered through 5 years as a color consultant/designer, and training through the International Association of Colour Consultants/Designers.  After each show, I write up the Color Muze segment into an article, which is then published in Rebecca’s  online magazine, Cre8tive Compass  in the Color Muze section.

Muzing on Color

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As You can see, there are many ways to share, support, inspire and connect through media. The internet offers opportunities for video, audio, and text, through its myriad channels.  Presenting yourself through these channels is not only promotion, marketing and PR, it is also reaching out, offering information, lending a hand through your own experience, teaching, and interacting with others.  Who knows who You might meet, touch, awaken, or work with next?  Media is also its own art form, whether it be composed of sound, images, words, or a fusion of of these, it is always an adventure, an exploration, a new frontier, and, a little bit of a risk.

But then, putting Yourself “out there” always is, n’est-ce-que pas?

So cheerio, and bon voyage, and see You later…Have a Great Trip!