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!

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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.

archiTEXTUREal

archiTEXTUREal

homage to downtown los angeles

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

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WEB3,jpg

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WEB3

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

WEBaWEBc

HAPTIC 2

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HAPTIC 3

WEBf WEBg

Do we ever have enough HAPTIC in our lives?

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

I mean, I feel.

“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!

 

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!

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”?

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.