Sunday, November 22, 2015

The End of Another Round Robin



After a year and a half of inspiration and creativity, these books are bursting with beautiful artwork!  Thank you to everyone who contributed to another rewarding altered book round robin!  
See you in February!

Imagination Illustrated

I got to work in Jen's book "Imagination Illustrated" for the final book of this round robin.  I had forgotten that Jen had encouraged the artists to collaborate by continuing an idea from one page onto another.   When I started glancing through the pages of this book, I saw Darrell's spread entitled "Muppets After Dark" which featured a bunch of googly eyes in the dark.

So this got me thinking...I had done a little research on Jim Henson and the Muppets.  I had even seen a show about him on PBS recently.  I learned that Kermit the Frog was thought to be Henson's alter ego.  I then got this idea that to see the world through Jim Henson's eyes was like looking through Kermit's eyes.  Do you see where this is going?

I took the shape of Kermit's pupils and created cut-outs.  I wanted to illustrate what the world looked like through Kermit's eyes.  Since Henson created the Muppets, I wanted to show the Muppets through Kermit's eyes.

I found a quote from Henson that really fit my spread.  It reads:  "Certainly I've lived my whole life through imagination.  But the world of imagination is there for all of us...a sense of play, of pretending, of wonder.  It's there with us as we live."  

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Constructing a Game Plan

Constructing a Game Plan.  What is this theme all about?  Note to self: ask Pat to explain her theme to me.  Brainstorm.  Stream of consciousness.  Thoughts…ideas…images?  Nothing.  Wait a minute.  A map—different routing—ala Mapquest.  Is that a game plan?  Is there a technique I can build my spread around?

Aargh!  What activities do I engage in that require a plan?  Well, when I used to go to garage sales, I would grab the listings and pick the ones I wanted to hit based on the neighborhoods with the good stuff, the description of sale items, etc.  Of those I wanted to go to, I had to map out the order in which to hit them.  Factors to consider:  start time (hit the best sales early!), group them according to general geographic location, traffic considerations.  Get out the map book (yes, this was in the days before Google Maps and GPS).  Could I illustrate this idea in an AB spread?  Maybe, but how?  OK, put it aside for now.  Let the idea marinate a bit.  Any other options to explore?

Tick tock, tick tock.  I think about how challenging it can be to schedule a playdate.  Pick a project.  (I recently hosted a gelli plate playdate).  Check the calendar for possible dates.  Send an email out to see which dates work best for most.  Wait for feedback.  Not everyone can make those dates.  Consider alternative dates.  Check if more people can make the alternative dates.  Make an executive decision to select the date.  Send a confirming email.  Remind players what materials to bring (gelli plate, papers, acrylic paints, mark making tools).  In the days leading up to the playdate, I start gathering my materials, clean up the work space, set up a work table.  Wait.  Hold it.  This idea is NOT working for me.  I don’t like it.  Go on.  Abandon it.  Move on.  Start over again.  OMG, are you kidding me?  
Time is wasting.  I really need to start honing in on an idea and sharpening the thought I want to express if I’m ever going to get these pages done in time.  What idea?  What thought?  I am feeling the time constraints.  How many weekends do I have left until the next AB meeting?  Not many.  Wouldn’t be so bad if I only had an idea!!  Stress!!

Then I had this idea to create “The Anatomy of an AB Spread.”  You know, the process we all go through from inception to completion of an AB spread--a peek into the crazed mind of an altered book artist--with a looming deadline.  I feel things starting to take shape but the manifestation is still fuzzy.  Funny how the lack of a clear idea and and those pesky time constraints can really zap the creative energy out of you!! 
OK.  Breathe.  Running out of time.  Grander, more ambitious ideas will take more time to execute properly.  Reality is setting in.  Time to adapt, simplify.  Just start.  Do something!!   Back to my original idea.  Really??  Consider a mock up to help my ideas to gel.  What will translate visually?  I keep hearing Su’s words to me “If your thoughts are clear, your art will follow.”  Well my thoughts AREN’T clear hence, there is no art to follow!  Yikes!  Help!  What to do?  More stress!!

Then it hit me.  The vision that popped into my head as I honed in on this idea was actually an adaptation of the Mapquest idea.  I realized that there was a multitude of ways to get from Point A to Point B.  Sort of like a subway map.  Sort of like creating an AB spread.  I'm picturing colorful lines depicting different routes that will eventually lead you from Point A to Point B.  So many different permutations, detours, options...Sort of like creating an AB spread!

The vision is coming into focus.  It’s part map AND part anatomy of an AB spread.  Brilliant!!  Exciting how it’s all starting to come together.  Yes!  Of course!  All of what I’ve been doing--the brainstorming, going back and forth between ideas, exploring possibilities, starting down one path then abandoning it, adapting and starting anew— this IS a visual representation of how I construct a game plan, how I create an AB spread!  Whew!!  I did it!!  And I even have a week to spare!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Design & Create Art

Stephanie's theme is so broad I really didn't know where to start!  I had the freedom to do a spread that showcased a favorite technique, but I could not decide what I wanted to do.  Then I remembered that I had leftover materials from a spread I had done in another AB.  Rather than let the extra materials go to waste, I decided to recycle them into my pages for Stephanie's book.  My pages are about the reasons why we design and create art.

For the previous AB spread, I had brainstormed to come up with the many things that art is to me.  I had printed these out on 5 different shades of green paper and cut them in the shape of blades of grass.  As I sifted through these leftover cuttings, I enjoyed re-reading the many ways that art impacts us.  What starts as a small idea often grows into something beautiful, something greater. Through my pages, I also wanted to show that even when art is viewed negatively, in the end, art allows us to grow through understanding, tolerance and community.  

Friday, August 14, 2015

What Makes Me Sing?

Debbie's book asks "What makes you sing?"  Oddly, the idea I had for this book had nothing to do with music.  One of the things I enjoy is spending my lunch hour shopping at my favorite thrift store, Savers.  Not only do they have weekly specials (25% off Mondays, 50% certain color tags), they also have specials just for Club Members! 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Inspired by Chocolate

So after a day of touring Asheville and seeing all of this CHOCOLATE, it's no wonder my spread in Monica's book turned out like this:

 My page pays tribute to both of our shared interests: art and chocolate!  I hope that every time she opens this pop-up spread, she is reminded of that day we visited Kilwin's, the Chocolate Fetish and Chocolate Gems together in Asheville.    

Sunday, August 2, 2015

North Carolina Retreat: A Week of Friendship, Art and Fun!

After nearly 6 years, my on-line art group finally decided to get together and meet in person for the very first time!  We traveled from near and far (North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, Missouri, Michigan, Ilinois, Colorado, California and Hawaii) and met up in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina just outside of Asheville for a week-long retreat!  There, we got to know each other, made art together and took in a little sightseeing on the side.  Here are some of the highlights of our week:

Making boiled books

CitraSolv pages using Artistcellar stencils

Macrame Friendship Bracelets

 Painted canvas to make portfolios

A tag for Teri's book

 My pages in Lori's book

Rainbow Jello

Ziplining The Gorge in Saluda

A chocolate tour of Asheville

A cool book store and bar

My Art Sisters

Until next time!!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Bash Bob--The Cheating Husband

With the completion of Anna's "Bash Bob--the Cheating Husband" book, my Dark Side AB RR is now officially over.  Although we were invited (encouraged even) to get as mean as we wanted with this book, I ended up doing something a little softer.

My spread begins with a black heart--broken, damaged and hurt.  The found text reads "A heart once brok-en..."  Open the black heart to reveal a red heart--vibrant, alive and full of love.  The text here reads "can (crossed out) will learn to love again."  So that is my simple message to Anna.  There is hope and light after the darkness.  There is love after the pain, hurt and betrayal.