Tuesday, February 15, 2011
"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.)
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
One aspect of altered book making that I appreciate is the fact that the final work is essentially a series. This means that the process of making an altered book involves creating a number of small art pieces in quick succession or, if you're like me, multiple works-in-progress happening at the same time. (I actually have more than one book going at a time.) If you tend toward the latter, you have the luxury of working on one page or spread and leaving it for a while to work on another piece. One benefit of this approach is that you can take your leave from a particular work for a little while and return to it later with fresh eyes. There are, of course, times when I begin a page and finish it in the same sitting. However, more often than not, I will begin a page or a two-page spread, lay down a layer or two, fiddle with it, play, experiment, and then say goodbye to it for a while. My return may take hours, days or even weeks. But when I do come back, I almost always have fresh insights and a greater degree of critical distance which helps me make better sense of what I'm trying to say with the piece. There are even times, as happened more than once this week, when I'll come back to a page that long ago I thought I had finished and add/modify/alter something about it. Strangely, I am never disappointed with the results of this process; my artwork is almost always better for it. This post contains some examples of artwork I returned to and changed up a little this week. Some from years (yes, years!) ago and some from even just a few posts ago.