Monday, July 11, 2011

Guest Artist: Brett Donahue

This post is a long time in coming. Brett let me borrow his beautiful book a month ago so I could scan some pages to include on the blog. I'm excited to finally be sharing his lovely images.

Brett is sort of a modern day Renaissance man and his interest in literature, painting and music is evident in his work.  Brett uses color and symbols to tie his book together both formally as well as thematically. I love the painterly approach of his watercolor, acrylic and ink mark making - all of which add an anachronistic feeling to his book. (His drawing and painting is reminiscent of artwork from the 60's and reminds me of the elegantly simple images created by Paul Klee.) Brett's book is very literary and he includes both text from the original manuscript and his own writing to add meaning (or mystery?) to his work. Brett also includes many interactive elements in his book - tip-ins, pull-outs and other hidden images and words that sadly, are not able to be experienced on a blog. You'll just have to find Brett and ask to see his book yourself. Until you are lucky enough to do so, please enjoy these beautiful samples from his book.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Frida's Book

We talked about the diary of Frida Kahlo last week so I wanted to post just a few images contained within this beautifully rendered, intimate manuscript. While Frida's diary isn't an altered book per se, it is a mixed media account of her life, and as such, relates to the work we're doing in class. I've always been drawn to this book because I find Frida's images passionate and rich and her handwriting full of spirit and beauty. I also really like how the ink Frida used in her diary soaks through the pages so you get a reversed image of light text on the page you're viewing. (Reminds me of the Medieval palimpsests I mentioned in class as the first unofficial altered books.) I'll bring my copy of Frida's diary to class on Monday.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A New Class!

I am incredibly excited to be teaching Introduction to Altered Books at the Arts Center again. We have a bright class of eager artists positively brimming with ideas. Artists have chosen their themes, prepared their pages and are getting down to the business of making art. As it was with the last class,  being around so much creative energy has reinvigorated my own art making. Tomorrow I will spend the kids' nap time in the studio. Hopefully I'll have something new to share tomorrow evening. In the meantime, I'm posting a couple luscious pieces from two prolific mixed media artists: Sabrina Ward Harrison and Anahata Katkin. I have been in awe of SWH for years, but Anahata Katkin is new to me. I find the images from her art journals especially interesting. I added links to both of these artists' websites over there ------>. Check them out.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Guest Artist: Lisa Michelle Parrott

Lisa comes to altered book making with a great deal of art knowledge and skill especially in the realm of textile art. She sews into her pages in very painterly, expressive ways using line to add interest, direction, boldness and unity to an image. Lisa also possesses a very instinctive understanding of color. She creates haunting, mood-rich images that invokes artists like Mark Rothko, Helen Frankenthaler, and Anselm Kiefer. She doesn't limit herself to non-representational work, however, as you'll notice in her delightfully rendered self-portrait which nods to Warhol and Fransisco Clemente. The most remarkable aspect of Lisa's work is her process. Her ability to experiment with materials -both traditional art materials and non-traditional (you should see what she can do with corrugated cardboard or a paper towel!) - leads her to create work that is luscious, rich, luminescent and textured... and always leaves the viewers of her work wanting more.
(Click on images for enlarged views. You'll be happy you did.)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Oh My.

I found this sweet biscuit on the Interwebicons tonight and am in love. I found it here. Wonderful!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

catching up

Hope in Honest Error

"There is hope in honest error, none in the icy perfections of the mere stylist."
— Charles Rennie McIntosh

When I'm experimenting with techniques, materials or ideas with which I'm not very confident, I think of the above quote. While it may not convince me that the art I'm making has any value whatsoever, it reminds me that the process I'm engaged in does. It's rather uplifting to think that my little artistic struggles connect me to a great many other artists and that this searching for beauty, truth, meaning, new ideas - whatever - in art making, is a noble pursuit. (Even if the product of this process finds its home on the studio floor.)