Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christmas 2010

Here are the 3 designs for this year's Christmas cards. "Winter Fence" and "Winter Thicket" are a reworking of sections of the same collagraph plate that is mentioned in some previous posts. Recycling and reuse in action! These images were printed on an etching press using Charbonnel inks.

"Tom Tree" was hand printed from a linocut and pays homage to Tom Thompson's iconic paintings.

"Tom Tree" black ink on brown paper.

"Tom Tree" coloured inks on off-white paper.

2 inked versions of "Winter Fence".

2 inked versions of "Winter Thicket".

Monday, April 26, 2010

Back to Pop-ups

I've just finished this birthday pop -up for a five year old who will be celebrating by hosting a fairy princess tea party. The Fairy Flower Princess Ballet uses props with glued on tabs. The flower fairy cut-outs were photocopied from a picture book I was given years ago - David Ellwand's Cinderlily. The stage was sourced from Google images. Construction inspiration was found in Carole Barton's Pocket Paper Engineer.

The latest book: as much with the river as not...

"as much with the river as not" ventures further into the political and the ironic than I've previously gone. It's 6 inches by 4 and a half inches, made of hand painted Maidstone paper and bound with monofilament. The images are taken from my own photographs, manipulated in Photoshop and inkjet printed. The text includes lyrics from Van Morrison's 1974 Veedon Fleece and extracts from my community's Official Plan.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Juried Art Show entries

Here are some of my successful entries in local juried shows over the past few years:

"Spirit Boat" is the watercolour and ink piece entered in the Walkerton Juried Art Show in 2006. It won an award in the mixed media category.

It's about 4 inches high by 3 inches wide. Like the image below it was inspired by a visit to the Peterborough Petroglyphs, near Lakefield, Ontario. This is a truly magical place. The image below is of similar dimensions.

"Abecedarious Florae" is an artist book entered in the Walkerton Juried Art Show in 2007, where it won an award in the three dimensional category. This same piece was entered in the "Feast for the Eyes" juried show at the Southampton Art School in 2008 and won the Jane Champagne award. This fold book contains 26 oil monoprint flower images, one for each letter of the alphabet.

"Grand Canyon" is an artist book entered in the Walkerton Juried Art Show in 2009, where it won an award in the three dimensional category.

This is a simple accordion fold book containing an oil monoprint on gampi paper. The covers are made of rejected collagraph plates.

"The 2009 Beet Trials" is an artist book selected for display at the 2010 "Feast for the Eyes" juried show at Southampton. It was not an award winner, but with a reduced number of entries accepted this year it was an achievement just to be selected. This is a more traditional bound book containing a series of prints taken from the same collagraph plate.

"Winterscape" , a collagraph print entered in the 2010 Walkerton Juried Art Show received an award in the mixed media category. A previous post about models and experiments which uses a failed print from the same plate.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

3 Books in a Boxed Set

My spouse is a writer who recently produced a memoir of ancestry, childhood and adolescence. The intent was to capture important information and memories that will be available to our children and grandchildren when the time comes for them to show an interest in such things. I offered to put the memoir into book form.
Because of its length it presented planning and design challenges. What resulted was not one book, but 3 volumes for which I created a display/storage box.

The books were inkjet printed on hand torn 90 lb Bienfang Aquademic watercolour paper. This has a nice texture and opacity. Each volume comprised 10-12 signatures bound onto tinted needlepoint canvas using wax coated embroidery thread.

Endpapers and covers were photocollaged using images from family albums and scrapbooks.

The box was lined and covered with photocollaged images reflecting significant events and cultural icons of the time period covered in the memoir. Being the 1950's -1970's the effect is decidedly retro!

Sorry I don't have a good photo of the insides.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Models and experiments

It's always a good idea to try out new ideas, materials and techniques by creating a model before embarking on a project. That way the limitations and possibilities of different materials and approaches can be explored and refined. It helps to avoid making expensive mistakes down the road! And it offers a creative way of recycling prints and paintings that haven't worked out well enough for display or sale.

This is a basic codex with 3 signatures sewn together at the spine and protected by a hard cover at front, back and spine. There is some text inside, but what's special about this is the cover. It was cut from a "failed" watercolour monoprint and although the surface is smooth it takes on the appearance of a textured leather. The cover is protected with spray-on workable fixative.

These two models were prepared to test a binding technique for the "Wanderer" project. They are blank books each with 10 signatures of cream premium bond paper sewn onto a needlepoint canvas spine. The smaller book is bound with a weaving warp yarn, while the larger is bound with embroidery thread coated with beeswax. Covers were created from mat board covered with "failed" collagraph prints. As the prints were created using etching inks I thought it would be safe to seal the covers with some kind of varnish. I tried water based varathane on these models with good results so far....

Monday, February 22, 2010

Pop-up Cards

With February comes Valentines's Day, preceded by my spouse's birthday. This year I began to experiment with pop-ups, making little Valentine cards for the grandchildren using a free pattern from Robert Sabuda's wonderful website at After studying pictures of book artist/paper engineer Carol Barton's work I thought, "I can do this!"

Birthday Odyssey pop up accordion card

The lucky recipient is a huge mythology buff and Homer's Odyssey was a childhood favourite. Hence the theme for the Birthday Odyssey accordion card. The background ocean images are from one of my photopolymer etchings touched up with watercolour washes. The cut out images were photoshopped after I downloaded them from the British Museum website. This site has a fabulous search engine that allows you to zero in on your chosen subject with marvelous precision. The images were found on vases in the museum collection and are copyrighted to The Trustees of the British Museum.

Etched and tinted ocean images glued to card

Odysseus and his men prepare to blind Cyclops

Odysseus and the Sirens

Odysseus and Circe

The Odyssey incorporates the great love story of Odysseus and Penelope. What better theme could there be for a card for my Valentine? Pop-up Penelope!

Pop-up Penelope

The images also came from the British Museum. Note that I've blurred the handwritten note on the card.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Shadow Box: Emily, Ted and Me.

In November 2009, the Grey Bruce Youth Literacy Council hosted a shadow box fundraiser. 50 Local artists were each given a 5" x 5" box and invited to create something to be exhibited and sold during the annual Words Aloud Festival. My box turned into an accordion book.

I made a lid for the box to which I affixed an encaustic collage that included photos taken on a hike over Haworth Moor to the reputed site of Wuthering Heights and a photo transfer of Emily Bronte. This then formed the front cover of the book. A second encaustic collage was placed inside the box to form the back cover. A poem by Ted Hughes - who grew up in that part of Yorkshire formed the text.

I was delighted that the piece sold on opening night.