08 April 2018

Thinking About a Book

Now that the Fire Series has gotten me through Year One of Trump, I'm feeling a strong need to re-evaluate some things for Year Two.

First of all, I've made some personal resolutions for 2018 with the hope of improving my mental state. I developed some bad habits in Year One, including a propensity to utter, either mentally or aloud, the word “f-k” way too many times per day. This might make you chuckle, and maybe you can identify with it, but I've found it to be a very unhealthy habit, like a bad mantra. I'm resolving to replace it with a better, more uplifting mantra. The things that slide off my tongue that have just the double meaning I'm looking for are “lord have mercy,” "bless your heart" and “heaven help us,” so I'm starting there. I'm also looking to rein in my media/news habits a little more. This is something I've already been working on, but there's more to do.

On the art front, I'm still not 100% sure what my next project will be, but I want it to be similarly uplifting. It's probably not possible for me to do work that's free from political content, but as I clean up my mind and my media habits, perhaps the focus and clarity of my work will follow a similar track.

Right now the idea that has the most traction for me is making a book. Except for an excellent workshop I took at Anderson Ranch a few years ago with the wonderful printmaking artist Karen Kunc, I've never made a book. Nevertheless, many of the print series I've done end up being narrative, at least in my own mind, so I feel confident that I can do a book. And if I can't figure out binding, there are an abundance of bookbinders in my area. I'll keep you posted.


julie said...

I sympathize with the word issue and like your idea of a more positive image. There's always 'Fudge".

Sandra said...

I too am committed to making a book this year. Last week took my first workshop on encaustic cover with coptic stitch binding. Very nice but not a fan of encaustics. I have an affinity for books especially with the visual image. My narrative weaves around the Green Man as pre-Christian mythical man and a few more contemporary relics like the Jolly Green Giant and Robin Hood. Most of the blocks are done. The narrative is not.

However, I have an image of Bacchus with a bunch of grapes on his head, and leaves of course.

I am looking for advice. How can I carve grapes, a bunch of overlapping circles? My x-acto and gouges are difficult to work with (for me) for such small circles. Do you have any. suggestions on approaching this dilemma, or offer specific tools I could look into? I'm working on small images, 6x8 inches so the grapes are pretty small. If my only solution is to go bigger that will interfer with the book size I'm thinking of. So I feel that I'm stuck with the image size. If I have to avoid the grapes, I'll have to look for another Green Man, without small circles! Thanks, Sandra

Annie B said...

Hi Sandra,
I have a couple of thoughts. If you're carving grapes out of the wood (rather than leaving them sticking up in relief) there's a circle-carving tool I got a McClain's called a "tama-to" that's made for cutting circles into the wood.

You can also use a very small chisel and sort of twirl it to cut fairly symmetrical circles.

Or you can forget about cutting the circles in wood and instead cut a stencil. Then use a small stencil brush to make the circles right on the paper.

Sandra said...

Thanks Annie. I'll look into that tool. I didn't explain clearly. I want the relief grapes not the cut circle. So I went back to the board and used my x-acto and came up with a bunch that will work. Just need to work on a finer line around the raised circle. The small V-gouge that enables a very fine line doesn't work for me to turn a circle pattern. Maybe with practice. I seem to have more control with x-acto blade on this pattern.

Olga Norris said...

Working on a book seems a natural next project - I have always thought that your print series work so well as a complete sets. In some ways I think that your fire/light series works better taken as a whole rather than separating any one out.

I'm sure you are aware, but as a former publisher who spent a lot of time designing books, I would urge thinking through a general idea of how you want the book to look before you start, even if you give it to someone else to bind. The design of the whole can add so much to the content.

Good luck, and I look forward to following your progress.

Annie B said...

Thanks Olga. Yes, I almost always work in series and they definitely behave better as a group than individually. A book makes sense, but the pre-planning is a little daunting.

Anita Thomhave Simonsen said...

dear Annie......I can only encourage you to do so.....that would be a wonderful thing.......have a nice day...always interesting to read your thoughts...