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Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Book Arts Tuesday-Artist's Books at the Smithsonian


Smithsonian Libraries Artists' Books is a great website. Here is part of the introduction which gives food for thought about the complications of collecting and cataloguing artist's books:

Artists’ books exist at the intersections of printmaking, photography, poetry, experimental narrative, visual arts, graphic design, and publishing. They have made a place for themselves in the collections of museums, libraries, and private collectors. They have caught the interest of art historians and critics writing about art, and there are numerous studio programs in art schools dedicated to the art of the book, ushering in new generations of artists making books.

Because these works straddle the boundary between the art and literary worlds, they present certain challenges. Many artists intend their works to be interactive and expect their pages to be turned and the weight and texture of the book to be felt by the reader. However when on display in the museum, the book cannot be read; these works are often protected under glass, installed as art objects. Artists’ books pose particular challenges to librarians. Like installations or “mixed media” works of art, artists’ books often defy easy classification. Even after completing the difficult task of identifying an artist’s book as such, catalogers must describe the book – which might lack a title page, possess unusual physical features, or have several creators – so that it can be discovered in the library’s online catalog.

Artists’ books pose particular challenges to library catalogers. Like installations or “mixed media” works of art, artists’ books often defy easy classification. Even after completing the difficult task of identifying an artist’s book as such, catalogers must describe the book – which might lack a title page, possess unusual physical features, or have several creators – so that it can be discovered in the library’s online catalog.


You can view (and search) the books in the collection, all with images and detailed descriptions, and read blog posts regarding the collection. Enjoy!


The blog will be on vacation until April 21st. I'll be spending 5 of those days in New Orleans. I'm going to try to post some pictures to my facebook. I welcome new friends should you want to follow along.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Studio Sunday-Serving Plate Alternative


When I was preparing refreshments for the reception of The Spirit Books at the Governor's Academy last week, I thought what a pain it was going to be to bring a bunch of serving plates. I had bought a roll of butcher paper for lettering and decided to use that instead.


The lettering was done with a pentel brush pen.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Book Arts Tuesday-Spirit Books on Display


Today's post is short and sweet—a photo of the installation at the Governor's Academy in Byfield, MA that was completed today. I was stunned by the size of the title and my name but am getting used to it. The exhibit opens with a reception this Friday, April 3 from 6-7:30 and will be up through May 1.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Studio Sunday-Woolf Quote


This morning I made a card for Ted, the owner of Loretta, our favorite restaurant in Newburyport which celebrates its 5th anniversary tomorrow. Lettering done with Speedball c-4 and Higgins Eternal Ink, then scanned into the computer in photoshop. No adjustments to letters and spacing this time—just a slight reduction of the size of the image and an addition of Virginia Woolf in type.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Book Arts Tuesday-Book-Play Workshop


I had a wonderful time at the Book-Play workshop last week at the Amherst Town Library in Amherst, NH. It was a lively and creative group. Play is not just for children. It's amazing what can be accomplished in an hour and a half with recycled paper. All the books are hot dog booklets.

One enterprising gentleman amazed us all. He went to the library computer, downloaded photos from his website, arranged them in powerpoint, and printed the page. The photos weren't all arranged in the proper direction but I'm sure he'll get it right when he has more time at home.


I provide garden catalogs for scrap paper but they are also a great source for imagery for the book. And especially welcome at the end of this long winter when we are all crazy for spring.


Tiny books made from paper found in the collage box inside of a slightly larger book made from recycled paper. So little and sweet.


I love when people do things I haven't thought of like cut into the shapes


and using a used glue stick lid to hold up a book.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Studio Sunday-Camera Day


I spent several hours today photographing the 4 new Spirit Books and a few other things. I always feel insecure about my abilities behind the camera. After last week's attitude shift about making the bases, I decided one was in order here. I tried to not judge my efforts but just do the best I could. I thought back to this paragraph in Art Lessons: Reflections From An Artist's Life:

Jaki introduced us to the book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki. She urged us to take away value judgements in reference to our lettering. If we make a letter and think it’s good, it puts pressure on us as we make the next one. If we look at a letter we have just made and say it’s bad, it decreases our confidence and our flow and we don’t make the next one with the right attitude. Suzuki wrote: “Good and bad are only in your mind. So we should not say, ‘This is good,’ or ‘This is bad.’ Instead of saying bad you should say, ‘not- to-do!’”

Tomorrow the best ones will go from the laptop to the big screen of my computer. I'll be posting them on my website after the opening of my exhibit at the Governor's Academy on April 3.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Vernal Equinox


This little patch of snowdrops is blooming in the garden. What a great way to mark the first day of spring! I wrote out the word vernal equinox four times a few weeks ago when I had extra ink in the dish.


My first thought was to use the one on the upper right. I liked it because it looked less like what I usually do. I posted the photo of the page on facebook and several people put in a vote for the bottom left. I eventually decided to go with that one. I used photoshop to correct the spacing between the "e" and "q" and "u." I put the lettering layer on the photo and screened and flattened it to get the green lettering. I then placed the lettering layer on the photo which had a reduced opacity (55%).
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