I’ve been working on a small Artist’s Book the last few days or so. The artwork is from an old sketchbook, an en plain air graphite sketch I did while holidaying on South Stradbroke Island, back in the early ninties. I had the sketch copied to acetate at the time for another project. A couple of years ago I used the acetate copy for a cyanotype. Here I have copied the acetate black line image onto rice paper. I’ve torn the paper to create a new concept.
I snapped this photo while I was contemplating whether to glue these pieces in this position or to the left. Choosing to the right. I am enjoying learning bookbinding techniques through the Domestika Online Course.
Having the iPad for watching, and replaying … and replaying :), the instructions has made it easier. I am surprised at the fine detail required for the different steps of professional bookbinding. The tape was hand-made as I wasn’t able to get Tyvek sheets. I dyed some fine cotton fabric with thinned acrylic paint (Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue, and white) to match the natural toned cardboards I’m using. Attached to the pages with double sided adhesive. All very fiddly but satisfying. This little book will be a concertina style with an environmental concept.
My hubby sure has grown a lot of roses over the years. They are always absolutely beautiful. I have photographed so many of them, usually in the garden, sometimes as studio shots. And I have often painted them, usually in a traditional Still Life composition with a vase etc.
The Work in Progress
This is the first time I’ve painted them on such a large canvas, 100 x 100cm stretched linen. I’m working with acrylics and using the traditional oil painting technique – give or take a little artistic license, and a few complementary flowers 🙂
So this week – I’ve still been painting them – there’s a lot
I’m not a gardener. To me – a rose is a rose is a rose! So I had to number the rose/photos and create a legend as I was quickly getting lost LOL!! I have scattered several pretty Montville Roses through the artwork and I’m picking these fresh from our new garden to paint directly.
We live in the sub-tropics, so although it is Autumn here, the weather is still in the high 20’sC and the paint is drying quite quickly, but I prefer not to use drying retarders. The only medium I add is Atelier Binder Medium diluted with water, 1 part in 4. Occasionally I add a light spray of water if it thickens. For large areas I mix the colours and store in jars, and just take out a little at a time to spare the paint drying too much.
Are any of you doing a Domestika Online Course? I have started a Bookbinding course for my Artist Books projects.
The Feature Image for this Blog shows the Set of Ten Pelican Artist’s Books that I created in 1993 when I was studying for a Bachelor of Visual Arts in Fine Art at Queensland College of Art Griffith University. Two of the books were later purchased by the State Libraries of Queensland and Victoria.
To bind the books I used fishing line as this is a major hazard for pelicans along beaches and seaways. For the ‘past’ image in the Domestika link I used wool to bind the pages and lock the book. To me, the wool represented domesticity and there is a recurring theme of knitting. The book was a finalist in the Noosa International Artists Book competition in 2007. The theme for the exhibition was The Impossible Dream – my book title was The Perfect Wife.
This first project this week asked for a little “About My Art”. What do you think? Click the image or here to view. The cover is Eco-dyed paper of fresh leaves, with dried leaves, cotton bow, stitching and paraffin.
It’s been a long time since I’ve worked in the media of Artists Books. I’m looking forward to learning new ways to present and bind my works. There are quite a few WIPs in my cupboard, and boxes of preciousness, gifts from nature, that I’ve been holding on to for a long time. I’ll keep you up to date with my actual tactile Artist Book as I move on from this first lesson.
Feel free to add a comment here 🙂
The Pain of Big Paintings
This is a little TIP that I’ll pass on – you probably do it anyway 🙂 .
When I’m working on a large, or detailed art piece, over a long period of time, I break the monotony, and the strain on my senior body, and mind, by working on some smaller projects. I find the changes of physical position and visual input keeps my attention fresh, and the aches and pains at bay.
While I’m working on this large canvas of flowers I’m also painting smaller watercolours and acrylics, designing a couple of cyanotypes, and doing some photography.
Happy New Year – NEW BEGINNINGS
The past weeks since I last blogged seemed to have sped by. Time with family and friends over the Christmas and New Year have been wonderful. I love the whole season, the shopping, the gift giving, the food preparations, the partying and celebrations, and just being together. I hope your Christmas holidays were special too. It is lovely to be back in my studio this past week
In early December I started a series of new paintings on the the theme of butterflies and flowers. As you’d know butterflies symbolize so many things, such as, hope, happiness, new life, to mention a few. This is an unusual subject for me, I know, but it has been on my “Gonna Paint It’ list for a decade of so, LOL (better late than never). These are all from my own photographs over the years. Some are on my iStock/Getty portfolio, others appear in my DVD movies and Picture Books for the Care Industry. Some I’m using artistic license and repeating some of the butterflies onto other photos of flowers in my garden over the years. Today I signed off on the second finished painting. I’ll be releasing (pardon the pun) the Butterflies series when several are completed.
Having given up oils a year ago for my health I’m surprised to say that I am no longer missing them! Oh joy – and I’m really embracing the freedom and variety of water-based media 🙂 With this new series I’m working with acrylics on canvas, and on Arches 300gsm cotton papers just watercolours, and also Mixed Media that includes watercolours, gouache and inks. All works will be available at my Bluethumb Portfolio – if you ‘Follow’ me there you’ll receive a note regarding new works when they’re added. Cheers, Judi
SNEAK PEEKS: A few phone-snaps of works in progress …