Tag Archives: collage

Artist Book Pages from a Book Being Made by Two Long-Distance Friends: Three

Marcy Erb at Illustrated Poetry and I have been blog friends for years, and even better, we have actually met in person, some years ago. Our most recent doings involve an artist book project collaboration that has had a long history – I think we got it started in 2016? Maybe? If you want all the details, look here for my first post about the project, where I give more information.

Here I am showing you some random images, pages where I did only one side of the page spread and left the other one for Marcy to create however she might like.

You can see that I incorporated some parts of the book’s earlier library life – the card pocket, the bar code (right there is a tangible picture of how times have changed, isn’t it?)

In the cat picture, the book arrived with the cut out chromosones on the page, put in place by Marcy. I took that theme and in some way made a connection with the idea of a cat, which I then set out on the page. No one says any of this process has to make the kind of sense that we ordinarily see in everyday life.

That’s another thing about these book projects: sometimes you do a whole page by yourself, and other times, both artists mix their work.

I have done other collaborative projects and I have also made quite a few of these artist books. Here is a partial list. You can also check under the category Artist Books, here on my blog.

Note: You might like to click on the images and see them in the viewer; back when I was doing a lot of these books I was new to blogging and did not understand making the photos larger in the actual post…

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A Tossed Salad of a Book

Small Book, Pages and Poem Form

Create Your Own Library

And my favorite book that I have made, In November. Because in November is when I was born and it’s my time of year.

Here is a beautiful project I did with Sharon Mann some years ago: Nothing But Sunshine

We, Sharon and I, also made two decks of playing cards: Pick a Card, Any Card

If you have any questions let me know. Maybe making an art book is for you!

Artist Book Pages from a Book Being Made by Two Long-Distance Friends: Two

Marcy Erb at Illustrated Poetry and I have been blog friends for years, and even better, we have actually met in person, some years ago. Our most recent doings involve an artist book project collaboration that has had a long history – I think we got it started in 2016? Maybe? If you want all the details, look here for my first post about the project, where I give more information.

Now, here are some more pages. I seem not to have separate images, so you can just take a look at them as a page spread.

As a note, Marcy is a scientist, and by coincidence this book was a very outdated non-fiction book on atomic energy. Interesting, that serendipity! You can see evidences of the book’s subject in the bits of text and illustration I incorporated.

More images to show you in another post!

Artist Book Pages from a Book Being Made by Two Long-Distance Friends: One

Marcy Erb at Illustrated Poetry and I have been blog friends for years, and even better, we have actually met in person, some years ago. Our most recent doings involve an artist book project collaboration that has had a long history – I think we got it started in 2016? Maybe?

Anyway, not too long ago Marcy revived the project, and sent me the book. Usually when I do collaborative projects like this there are two books, so that we can each keep one. This time, for various reasons, there is just this one, and it is for Marcy to keep. I did some pages in it over the past 6-8 months, and now it’s in her hands to finish as she would like. I hope she will look at the pages and remember our friendship. I feel lucky to know her.

Anyway, I took photos of a few of my favorite pages. I don’t think she’ll mind if I show them here. They are out of context, but that’s ok. Each page is mean to be enjoyed on its own as well as with its fellows.

I set up the original ” book canvas”. I took a discarded children’s library book and glued some of its pages together to give a strong surface for paint or collage. Then we got to work on it.

Take a look at these pages. First, I’ll show you two images and then how they appear together in the book.

Here they are as a page spread.

More images to show you in another post!

Library Card Collages

Here’s how it goes. I take a library card (purchased from a library supply company, because I like these cards for many reasons, including their nostalgia value for me).

I paste cut-out words or phrases on each one. These snips are random selections from old books. I fill up the card.

I write poetry using these out-of-the-blue words or phrases and I let them take me wherever they want to go.

Then, I color the cards. Because I think it’s fun and they are pretty.

That’s about it.

Take a look at a recent group.

Person and Bird

Here is a small fabric piece made in August, 2020. It is about 6″ x 6″.

Just for fun, here is a photo of the back of the piece. You can see the stitching and you can also see where in my careless haste to keep moving along I sewed scraps of fabric to the back. No idea I did that until I looked, later.

Outdoor Art Time

On June 30 a couple of art friends and I got together in my back yard to do some art work and visit a little. I think it was a good way to assemble in a safe way and enjoy ourselves, in these times as they are. Here’s what we did.

I met these two friends in the mixed media class I taught last year. We have stayed in touch and wanted to get together. But how? I volunteered my back yard. We picked a day, and luckily it turned out great weather-wise, sunny, but not too hot, and no threat of rain.

Here’s what we did:

First hint: have shade available, or a shelter from the sun. I figured I could set up my tent (that I use in art shows) but it was not necessary. Our yard is very shady.

Second hint: Make sure there is a comfortable amount of room to spread out. We decided to wear our masks as we set things up, then, as long as we remained at our table, or ten or twelve feet apart, we took them off. Then we put them back on to clean things up. Having plenty of room made things comfortable.

Third hint: Bathroom. I had one available nearby, involving walking in my back door into my studio and going only a short distance inside the house. I did a **SPARKLE** clean on that tiny room and had towels ready for hand-washing so each person could have her own.

Fourth hint: Tables and chairs available. Or some kind of area to set up so that each person can have a good space to work. Alternatively each person could have brought her own chair and table, or whatever she needed to work comfortably, but this needs to be settled up front.

Fifth hint: Cleaning items. I set up a table with hand sanitizer, spray cleaner, and towels if anyone wanted to clean anything, and I also put out some bug spray, just in case…

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Well, we had a great time. Here are some pictures. Here is where I sat:

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and here is our general set-up. We were facing each other so that we could talk or show each other our work.

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Mary Ann made a lot of painted papers and she set them on the grass to dry.

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I put out the red buckets of water for washing brushes and so on. The hose was just around the corner of the house if we had needed more water.

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Here are Mary Ann and Andy cleaning their things up and packing after the session.

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Things went smoothly with this set-up. We were comfortable and felt safe. All of us are living very cautiously right now, and this allowed us to get together and experience a bit of an activity we really value – doing art with others. I am so happy we were able to pull this off, it meant a lot to me.

Shout out to Andy and Mary Ann, for a real spirit lifter!

 

 

ATC Advice With a Red Background

ATC Advice is my own category for this kind of ATC card. Simple to make. Make an ATC. Put a phrase cut from print on it. Pick the phrase at random; do not try to match it to the card.

Read the words, look at the picture, and see what you get from the juxtaposition.

You may be surprised. The ATC Advice method quite often offers something astute or insightful or maybe just head-scratching.

Here are a couple of cards from January 2019.

Revisits: Main Theme

I did some illustrations for an event at Fictive Dream, an online fiction magazine specializing in short stories. It’s called “Revisits”. In it, the magazine revisits “the best of the back catalog”, as editor Laura Black says. Every two weeks April through August 2019, a different theme was explored. Look here to see the line-up of stories from the event and to read them.

I wrote a series of posts explaining the art creation process for this event. Look here for the first post, Love, which also offers an overview of the parameters of the art aspects of this project; for the other themes, search under the term Revisits in this blog.

In addition to the illustrations for each theme covered in the Revisits event, I did an artwork intended for the main page of the Revisits 2019 page at Fictive Dream, the place where readers could go to access the collection of stories in one place. It’s a title page illustration, as I think of it, for a “book” of collected short stories.

As such it needed to fit in with the illustrations done for each individual theme: landscape, sky, tree(s). For this picture the choices were wide open – there was no theme to illustrate.

I did the work on this image at the beginning of the project. Looking back, waiting until the end might have been better, but I was not sure how quickly I’d get the theme illustrations done and I was afraid the event would begin, I had not done all the illustrations, and yet we needed the Main Theme illustration to be in place at the event page.

You may remember that Fictive Dream editor Laura Black and I were feeling our way with the illustrations for a little while in the beginning until we got a few produced and began to know what we wanted. This Main Theme illustration was part of that “feeling our way” process.

Originally my thought was to include an array of colors in the landscape to portray the variety of themes and stories in the collection. I came up with this collage:

Image 21 blog

Laura liked it but it was not what she was looking for. As an artist, it can be hard to hear this kind of news; even though it’s not a criticism of the work, it means I’ve missed the mark. But in commission work, missing the mark is not failure – it’s a way to better understand where the mark actually is and to try again.

When I was auditioning styles for the project, as the very first step, I submitted quite a few images to Laura as we worked out the picture, the text, the text placement and style, etc. I made some wildly different pictures to gauge her interest:

I am sure you can see the one that caught her attention. I had created it from magazine papers unified with a layer of paint, text digitally applied. Anyway, when we got to the Main Theme image she reminded me of this one and how she had liked it.

I created a new version in the same colors but using painted sketch papers so as to fit in with the other theme illustrations. The text is slightly larger to fill in the space better (since there is no theme word, using the same size type made the word Revisits look a little scared and lost!)

Image 22 final 92 Calibri blog

This picture fit the bill. I liked the look of it and more importantly, Laura felt it was a good long-term representative for the overall Revisits event as people visit it now or in the future.


This post wraps up the Revisits illustration event on my blog. Once again I’d like to thank Laura Black for her faith in my work and her unfailing support of it. She is a true pleasure to work for. And thank you to everyone for following me on this journey.

Now I’d urge you take a look at the stories:  here at Fictive Dream: Revisits.

Revisits: War

I did some illustrations for an event at Fictive Dream, an online fiction magazine specializing in short stories. It’s called “Revisits”. In it, the magazine revisits “the best of the back catalog”, as editor Laura Black says. Every two weeks through August, a different theme will be explored.

Look here for the first post, Love, which also offers an overview of the parameters of the art aspects of this project.

Today, August 21, the theme is War. Here’s the image:

Image 13 blog

The theme of War is more concrete than some of the earlier ones. We all have many images of war stored in our heads from exposure to the news, stories told to us by friends or relatives, war in fiction or movies, or from our own personal experiences.

Fictive Dream Editor Laura Black said in her notes on this project:

For the colour I have in mind khaki (perhaps the shade you used in Image 11 for February), and numerous splintery trees with damage from bombing or shooting.

The artwork to which she refers (Image 11) is this one that illustrated a story in Flash Fiction February 2019:

I also recalled an image I made for an earlier event at Fictive Dream, September Slam 2018 – the story concerned events of World War I. For various reasons the story ultimately was not included and the illustration did not appear, but I remembered the khaki-yellow color I used in it:

Fictive Dream Ypres full size 8-18 #1 adjusted text flattened small

So I used the greenish color for the landscape with a dull ocher for the sky, both colors associated with army uniforms. I also deliberately made the colors less vibrant than some of the other illustrations, though I kept the intensity.

When it came to the trees, Laura’s image of  trees splintered by bombs coincided with my own (and my husband’s too; when I mentioned this theme to him he immediately described trees blown up and lying on the ground in pieces). It was important the the trees portrayed the suffering, damage, and destruction of war. I created trees that are barely standing, with branches scattered around and who may or may not survive, trees irrevocably changed, trees whose years of growth were destroyed in an instant.

When I showed the image to Laura, it fit her vision, and so the illustration of War was done.

Image 13 blog

Thanks for reading! And take a look at the stories:  here at Fictive Dream.

Revisits: Sex

I did some illustrations for an event at Fictive Dream, an online fiction magazine specializing in short stories. It’s called “Revisits”. In it, the magazine revisits “the best of the back catalog”, as editor Laura Black says. Every two weeks through August, a different theme will be explored.

Look here for the first post, Love, which also offers an overview of the parameters of the art aspects of this project.

Today, August 7, the theme is Sex. Here’s the image:

Image 9 blog

Fictive Dream Editor Laura Black and I both felt that Sex needed a strong intense color, allied to Love, but not to be mistaken for it – and the trees should be similarly related. And there there is the connection to Friendship to consider (have I just stated something very obvious about the real-life equivalents? Oh dear). Laura said to me in her notes on this theme:

Here I envisage the deeper reds to differentiate the theme from Love; two trees close together with branches intertwined but not necessarily with the potential for growth that there is in Friendship. Perhaps I ought to mention that in one story the sex is nothing more than a transaction and the woman is without emotion.

From these comments and from my own earlier statements, you can see that when the illustration topic is a large abstract idea, it is very easy lose focus. Borders between emotions merge and without something concrete to fall back on it’s hard to figure out how to take the first step.

This is where the use of the tree form made a difference in this project. Let me step back and show a small sampling of the huge variety of tree images I have done over the years:

In each one the personality of the tree is the subject of the picture – each tree portrays and evokes different feelings or emotions. Each tree is an individual.

For the theme of Sex, I used strong reds with brown, purple, and orange tones inthe landscape, to indicate vitality. I gave the trees curvy shapes to emphasize their organic natures. The trees brush branches but are not entangled – I wanted it to be more as if they were interested in attracting the other’s attention. Flirting a little?

I added a pale sky with some violet overtones to bring out the red colors. When I showed the image to Laura, she liked it. And so the illustration was done!

Image 9 blog

Thanks for reading! And take a look at the stories:  here at Fictive Dream.