I had a disappointing
day at the press last Thursday. It was my own fault. I hadn’t got round to working
out what I wanted to do that day so I settled for sizing down an old drawing
and winging it. The mark making worked in parts. The right hand size is getting there. But the image was not
good overall and some of the lines have bitten too deeply to remedy easily.
This week I
am ready early.
A line drawing...
and a tonal study.
started work on some monotypes. At the moment I think they’ll turn into this month’s
Bakers Dozen Book but I’ll wait and see.
faffing around trying to work out what I wanted to do next I have come to the
conclusion that I work best with deadlines and a brief.
In the past
I have thought about trying to joining various drawing ‘a drawing a day for a
year’ type projects but I know that I’d probably fail a daily commitment within
the first few weeks. So I have decided to set my own challenge and try to
produce a print and a book each month. They will probably be a mixture of
polished work (finished, editioned and ready to go – for sale, exhibition or
swop) and more experimental bits and pieces (exploring techniques and
structures that have grabbed me).
Yes, I know
that there are only 12 months in the year, but although this week I managed to
finish a book edition and produce a print, the work for both of these was
started in 2016 and it seemed like cheating to use them as January’s response .
this print to carry on exploring the textures and mark making I can achieve
using copper sulphate and aluminium. I’m happy with the textures on the
stonework now I want to try and apply it to a more interesting image.
Fairy Tales which is my contribution to Endings and Beginnings is finally finished, printed in three different colours. I’m not sure that I’d use the floating panel
structure again in a hurry, but I think that in combination with the text it
worked for this book.
I’m really pleased to say that I have several pieces of work
on show in the Winter Tales exhibition at the Chapel Gallery in Ormskirk.
On a more bizare note, it’s dress rehearsal for the panto tomorrow, followed by the
tech on Monday and four performances at the end of the week so all creative stuff
this past couple of weeks has been spent desperately trying to get props and scenery
Have you ever made a chicken wearing
a tutu with a light bulb in its mouth?
finished the prints for the 20:20 print exchange, just waiting for signing and
numbering. I have to deliver them to the
press for the deadline on Monday.
moment I’m working on a new book for the book exchange group I work with. I
enjoy having projects with parameters and deadlines that have to be kept to. I
find it helps generate ideas for other things and there’s the added bonus of exiting
books arriving in the post every three months or so.
We’ve had to
move from the original host site at ‘artist books 3.0’ as it was shutting down
so we now ‘meet’ through a new blog Collaborative Artists Books. We’re still
finding our way communicating on the new platform but come over and see what we
The new title
is ‘Endings and Beginnings’. It seemed appropriate in the circumstances but I
think mine has morphed more into beginnings and endings.
I have been
working on fairy story related images recently. ‘Once upon a time’ and ‘they
all lived happily ever after‘ seemed a good starting point. After playing with
the characters that seem to go in between I came to the conclusion that the majority
of them are quite interchangeable; the baby/child, the good girl (princess or
serving maid), the evil stepmother/queen. I decided to use silhouettes to emphasise
the interchangeability (is that a word) of the characters.
At this point
I started to explore structural and layout ideas.
here was awkward and the whole piece seemed a bit empty.
Better, but I
didn’t like cutting into the pattern to make the silhouettes float. More importantly I realised that this image had
grown to 84cm (the same size as A1 paper – not leaving any wriggle room for
printing if I want to use collagraph). If I wanted to keep the text at the sides
I needed to lose some characters. I came to the conclusion (due to the lack of
images I made while I was doodling) that the hero/prince and stepfather/king
probably don’t interest me so they were the ones to go.
Think so far
this is what I’ll work up.
Next step is
to draw up my own silhouettes (you may have noticed the presence of Queen Elizabeth in the mock ups) and work out the border pattern
I came across a post on Painting Speech which said “Claire Van
Vliet and Elizabeth Steiner have made their 2002 book Woven and
Interlocking Book Structures freely available in a variety of formats
(PDF, EPUB, Kindle, etc.) at the Internet Archive. Published in 2002 and no
longer in print, this book is a self-teaching manual with directions for making
basic models of 16 book structures designed for Janus, Steiner, and Gefn Press
publications. You can find it here at
archive.org; download options are listed as links on the right.
If you follow Claire’s recommendation to print the PDF 2-sided and bind it
in a 3-ring binder as a bench top manual, it will take 76 sheets of letter-size
I’ve been trying to get a library or a reasonably priced second hand copy for ages with no success. So I’d like to say thank you to Claire and
Elizabeth for their generosity in sharing.