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March 18, 2012

Gwen Diehn's New Book

I was thrilled to receive my advance copy of Gwen Diehn's new book, The Complete Decorated Journal.

In 2003, I bought The Decorated Page and fell in love!  I always wanted to keep a travel sketchbook and she introduced me to the concept of an "illustrated journal."  I then bought The Decorated Journal when it was published, and over the last 6 years reread both of them several times, and filled over 50 sketchbooks. 

Gwen was asked to combine the books and add new bonus material, including 13 Artist Profiles, and I was thrilled when she asked me to be in one of the profiles.  We started a conversation several years ago through the Everyday Matters Message Board and I now sketch with her several times each year when she visits NYC.   My inclusion in her book is so meaningful to me, because without her books, I might never have walked this pathway. 

I'm including scans of the front and back cover, and my Artist Profile as an early peek.  I'm not aware of any other book that provides so much information, inspiration, and color photos of many artists' journal pages.  And there is a wonderful section at the end about bookbinding and making your own journals - from the simple to the more complex.

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Thank you Gwen. 

March 9, 2012

The Museum of Modern Art Print Studio Ended Today

I am very sad that the Print Studio ended today.  It was an amazing resource for artists/visitors and each of us felt that it was the perfect environment for artistic play.  The Reanimation Library provided the inspiration.  The images that were available in the 35+ shelves of books stimulated so many ideas and the copiers, scanners, and computers with Photoshop software permitted artists to experiment in many different ways. 

I made my eighth 8-page pamphlet book on Monday - this one entitled The Mystique of the Alphabet.  On Wednesday I decided that it was time to do some drawing - and made a book with figure illustrations for me to draw.  On Thursday I added collages to the altered book that I started in the workshop they had several weeks ago.  New friends were made and I shall miss them as we begin withdrawal and catch up on the rest of our life.

Here are the pages from my book entitled "Draw Me."

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February 8, 2012

Watercolor Sketchbook Tutorial

I recently posted a 4 part tutorial on making watercolor sketchbooks from old books - recycling of orphan books to give them a new life. 

The tutorial is in 4 parts, in order to cover the procedure in depth.  Rice Freeman-Zachery did a Q and A with me about bookbinding and making my sketchbooks, and I now realize that it would be nice to have one blog post with links to all 4 sections of the tutorial.

Making a Watercolor Sketchbook:

Introduction to Tutorial:  Selecting a good book to recycle.

Part 1:  Removing the old page block, tearing down watercolor paper and making new signatures.

Part 2:  Creating the new page block.

Part 3:  Casing in - gluing the new page block into the old book cover.

There is a bookbinding category in the column on the right side of the blog page, under the Archives list.  All of my watercolor sketchbooks, recycled and made with original covers (including book cloth covers I made), are tagged in that category.

 

 

February 7, 2012

MoMA Print Studio and Another Collage Book

I spent the afternoon at the MoMA Print Studio again today,  

When I arrived, I selected six books from the Reanimation Library, and made some color copies of interesting photos and illustrations.  At that moment I had no specific creative ideas, except to make another small pamphlet book.  While I was looking at my copies, a paper mask ink drawing from Joseph Leeming's book, Fun With Paper, made me think of Venice - and I was inspired to make a book using colors and images that remind me of our visits.

The books I pulled,  making an average of 3 copies per book, were:  Hornung's Handbook of Designs and DevicesTalk With Your Hands, Interior Design, Stage Make-up, The Printed Picture, and Fun With Paper.  The images that I used from last time were from the book The Story of Writing.  It amazes me that such random and quickly chosen illustrations/photos can inspire creative ideas on such a different topic.

I had enough random images to use when I combined these copies and I happily tore paper and glued it in place for the next two hours.  The only new image I copied while working was the photo of Venice on the last page and that came from a book entitled Around the World in 2,000 Pictures.  

I used ink, stamps and watercolor pencils over the images after everything was glued in place and stitched the two folios together using linen thread and a pamphlet stitch.

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January 31, 2012

An Afternoon at the MoMA Print Studio

The Museum of Modern Art, in conjunction with two upcoming exhibits  (Print/Out and Printin'), set up a Print Studio in the Education Building.  I spent the afternoon there yesterday and made a small collage book.

The "heart of the Print Studio" is a collection of books known as the Reanimation Library.  It is fascinating and well worth reading about the development of the collection and its permanent home in Brooklyn.  It was developed as a resource for all artists, regardless of their medium. 

When I arrived, I met my friend Judy and had a little tour of the Print Studio.  Here is an overhead photo of the space, with the Reanimation Library on the back wall, copiers, scanners, and computers in the back corner, and work tables for visitors supplied with a variety of art tools and paper.

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I don't have much experience with collage and wanted to make one during the afternoon.  One of the staff said, "Why don't you make a book?  We haven't had anyone do that yet."  I browsed books on the shelves and pulled 6 that had interesting illustrations and photos, and was immediately drawn to one called The Story of Writing.  I love text mixed with images and made some copies of great alphabets from the book.  I then made a few copies from a Science text called Pathways in Science:  The Next Generation and settled down to "play."

I folded 2 folios and added images that appealed to me for the front cover.  I really intended to make this a book about text and writing.  Pages 2 and 3 were from the frontpiece of the science book - a wonderful bookplate for assigning the book to students and the title page with the stamp for the Reanimation Library on the title page.  I was still interested in pursuing the theme of language and writing - and the next thing I knew, I was making a book about human reproduction and the inheritence of genetic traits.  I was very much in the zone and channeling in a unique way.  Fascinating what our brains do if left to wander!

At the very end of my "art play," I opened the 3rd book I brought from the shelves, The Atlas of Human Anatomy, and copied a pregnant uterus for one final collage.  At the end I sketched a human figure and cell, some genetic symbols, and added watercolor pencil and stamps.    

Here are the pages of my finished pamphlet stitched booklet. 

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