Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Fly Away - Book Sculpture

Here is my second book sculpture creation. I took an old mathematical table book that belonged to my dad when he attended engineering school. I folded each page in half and creased the folded edge with a bone folder to ensure a crisp edge. When the pages are folded, they create a semi-circle pattern. Next I glued marbleized paper to the inside front and back cover to make the background more appealing.

After that was finished, I tore multiple pages out of another old book and hand colored them with watercolors, letting the two or three colors on each piece to flow and mingle together. My first attempts at watercolor were too muted, so I chose to use the brightest colors. The next step was to find and cut out butterfly, dragonfly and bug patterns in workable sizes and interesting shapes. I have to admit I spent two days cutting bugs and butterflies out of my watercolored pages. I found that too many legs or antennas could easily tear and larger bold shapes worked better. In all honesty, I have many unused bugs waiting for my next project.

I attached the butterflies to colored jewelry wire by making holes in the bodies with a small awl and weaving the wire through. Next I attached the wired butterflies to the book so they could "float" or "fly" above the book. Others I just glued to the pages of the book.

I am really enjoying this creative hiatus from my colored pencil drawings. I believe that each and every medium and art project influences another. To work in another form of art and especially in sculpture is a learning and growing experience.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Book Sculpture

This week I've decided to try my hand at book sculpture again but this time, taking it to the next level. I took my Great Aunt Helen Bidwell's old Toll House Cookbook turned it into a piece of artwork in homage to her. I searched on line for examples of repurposed books and how to fold and glue paper flowers. First I folded the pages in the book as I wanted them to be presented then I cut pages from another book to use for the flowers and leaves. Before cutting, I took some of the pages and watercolored them by hand and let them dry. After they were dry, I cut out the leave patterns and put the flowers together. It took almost two days to create this book but what fun and a great project for a cold winter week.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Jump Starting My Creativity for the New Year!

While I am still working on the colored pencil piece of the window and also a very new piece of a nest, I've decided to energize my creativity by working on something other than colored pencil drawings. The goal is to jump start my brain into thinking in different modes of creativity and push myself to think in different ways. Where to start? I bought several books on collage, encaustic and mixed media pieces, read and reread parts and thought about how to begin for several weeks. The encaustic equipment is set up in the photo but I've decided to just start with mixed media collage and become familiar with more abstract compositions and layering materials before I start adding the wax into the mix.

I've mentioned in a previous post that I am cleaning out my parents' house (the big dig) and finding all kinds of wonderful old items that have inspired me to put them into a form of artwork. It's been cold and dreary in January but I am having fun in my studio, I've laid out all of my treasures on my work tables. Some of my treasures include old magazines, stamps, my mother's childhood piano music book and of course lots of old photos. Other than the stamps, I am using photocopies of everything in my collages so I don't ruin the original treasures.

Here is another view of my work tables and I'm also playing with folding the pages of books, two are shown on the left. Still deciding if I would consider them finished or add something to them, for now they sit and wait.

 I was inspired by a Western Union telegram my mother received for her birthday years ago. I added it and the backs of old postcards into the background of this piece, then washed with acrylic paint. My mother (photo on the right) loved to write letters and correspond with friends, it was an important part of her life. The most difficult part is composition, how to incorporate the photos and other elements and create an interesting composition without making the piece look like just a lot of scraps glued together. This is my first collage, it's on rag illustration board which buckles a little from the acrylic and gel medium.

My second piece consists of my mothers sheet music in the background and a wedding photo of an unidentified couple in the center. I found this photo among my mother's things and I have no idea who this couple is but what struck me is how young they are and how serious. I've added an old wedding invitation I found written in German and other elements.  This piece is on a canvas panel, I like the texture of the canvas showing through in the background.