I really had fun making these 5 minute pages (when I added the stitching, I admit, it took me longer than 5 minutes!) So, I wanted to bind them into an artist book. The pages measured 10" x 5" so I folded all the pages in half to make a 5" x 5" book.
I glued the pages together with PVA glue, making sure the folded edges were even at the spine and then I glued some black tape over the spine to make sure it was secure. I love the way this book turned out.
Have you ever wanted to gift a piece of your art to a child, brother, sister, cousin, niece or nephew but were uncertain how it would be received?
A tricky situation for sure.
Ads my husband and I collect art during our long marriage, it was hard for both of us to fall in love with the same piece and agree on hanging it in our home. So I've always been hesitant to select a piece of my art for someone in my family. What if they hated it? How could they make excuses about why it's not hung in a prominent place in their home?
So over the past 10 years, I have found the solution. I let my family know that if they want a piece of my art, they just need to ask. Of course, this puts them in a difficult position as well. Can they ask for a piece that sells for thousands of dollars? Should they just offer to buy it?
When family and friends come to my studio or see something I posted online, I can tell if they like it by their reaction. So I just offer them a gift of the piece.
This happened recently when my nephew visited from Boston. He loved two of my mixed media paintings and I offered them to him to take back to decorate his apartment. He framed them and hung them above his bed. But obviously, they were too small to fill the space. His Mom tipped me off that he wanted two more so I emailed him and told him I was sending two more pieces that would compliment the ones he already have.
He was thrilled and said when he saw them every night, it reminded him of family. Perfect! By now, all my siblings and nieces and nephews have a piece of my art hanging in their homes and apartments. It makes me happy.
I am having a good time with this project. Combining paint, collage, mark making, and stitching has really freed me up to become more lose with my work.
Honestly, I do spend more than 5 minutes on each spread. Sometimes, because I need things to dry. Other times, I don't like the results and need to add or subtract things. And sometimes, I just throw it into the garbage when I think it can't be rescued.
But it's just paper. No guilt. And I go on to the next creative expression. It's why I love working with paper and paint. When I was working in fabric and stitch, there was so much investment in the outcome (money and time). Not to say I won't get back into working in fiber art. Just taking a break right now. I believe I will learn from working in paper and paint and move back to taking these ideas and skills into fiber art once again.
I think we can all become better artists by exploring different ways to create in different media.
I have to admit. I'm having a lot of fun making these art spreads.
I'm now adding stitch to my pages. Hard to see the difference on a computer but some of my black marks on this spread are from Posca paints, a Stabilo pencil and some from #8 black pearl cotton stitches.
I think I want to create an artist book using every one of my many colors of acrylic paints. I love lime green and turquoise. These are two of my favorite colors and combinations. Sewing on paper can be challenging. But I love the effect.
Getting close to making a final artist book from the pages I've created. I will share next week!
When I'm creatively "stuck" I sometimes view some YouTube videos and that seems to provide the inspiration I need.
Lately, I've been viewing BB Henry Art 's 5 minute art journal videos. I love that they are short (who really has the time to view an hour video????) and I find them good as a starting point for my own interpretation of the page. Of course, no one can exactly copy someone else's work (who would want to do that anyway?) but I find it's just a great jumping off place for me.
I'm working on mixed media pages measuring 10" x 5" so the "book" will end up as a 5" square. I enjoy working on loose pages so if something doesn't turn out, I can throw it away and it won't end up in the final book.
I'm still figuring out how to "bind" these pages into a book. They can't be sewn into a traditional binding since the backs of these pages are white and I would lose the ideas that these pages are spreads -- meant to be seen together. Oh well, that's what art is all about. Solving problems!
I've been creatively stuck lately. When this happens, I like to work on small projects -- just to get the juices flowing. So this week, I've been painting and drawing on watercolor paper to make a series of bookmarks. As usual, I don't have a plan for what to do with them. I might include them in my Christmas cards this year. Or, put them in the gift gallery in RiNo as an inexpensive item to sell to tourists.
But if you are reading this blog and want one, I'm happy to put one in the mail to you. Send me your snail mail address to email@example.com and you will get a Carol Ann Waugh original!
Looking forward to hearing from you.
After stitching 21 five inch squares, I've decided to end this series. It was a nice diversion but now, I'm ready to go back to painting.
Here's the piece I made today. I used fluid acrylic and three different stencils to get a layered effect.
Somehow, many of my paintings look like wallpaper. I guess I like an overall design even though critics would say "Where's the focal point?" Maybe it's because I cut my artistic teeth using fabric where 99% of commercial fabrics do not have a focal point because the pattern is repeated to make the yardage.
Now that I look at this piece, I think it would make a wonderful design for fabric. Do you agree?
I haven't counted all the pieces I've made in this series, but I have noticed a change in the way I approach my stitching. I like the pieces I've made more and more as I challenge myself to work with color and pattern.
This is one of the last pieces I made in this series. Since I limited myself to just two stitches (running stitch and French knots) for the whole series, I had to find new ways to create texture as well as how to choose threads that met my happiness level.
Now, I will mount all my pieces and see what they look like shown together. Another challenge will be to find a venue for exhibiting them. Not an easy task for fiber art. This is a time when I miss not having my own art gallery.
The Denver Botanic Gardens now has three beautiful art galleries. I try to attend each exhibit because the quality of the artists they have chosen is excellent. But this exhibit is stupendous and I have visited it 4 times with different friends because I get inspired each time.
Ursula is 80 years old and is still creating these huge sculptures in her Brooklyn studio. She uses cedar wood and she''s allergic to it so she has to wear a hazmat suit each time she works on a piece.
Each of the many pieces displayed in this exhibit are taken apart to ship and then put together when shown. The engineering is incredible because she has made it so the seams are invisible.
Interestingly, Ursula also works in fiber. She knits forms with wire, incorporates fabrics and thread into her hand-made paper, and sews together dried cow's intestines (sounds gross but these are actually beautiful) with twine.
The exhibit is up through the beginning of September so I'm sure I will be back to visit again. If you find yourself in Denver, I hope you have a chance to see her work in person.
One of the things I'm always talking with my friends about is how to present fiber art in the best light. So I'm always looking for solutions myself. When I started embroidering these pieces, I didn't have a plan. (I don't recommend that!) But, I leaned on my tried and true techniques (like rattail binding and mounting on wooden cradle boards) and here is a sample of how one of them will be mounted.
After I trimmed them and bound them with rattail, I realized they were not all the same finished size. They measured 6" to 6-1/2" so I couldn't mount them on a standard 6" square. But I wanted to hang them all together so I decided to buy 8" x 8" cradled boards (I buy mine from Dick Blick) and paint the boards black (with acrylic paint) so each piece would float on the surface and maybe the differences in sizes would be less noticeable.
I haven't attached any of the pieces to the boards because I'm still thinking about whether to glue them down all the way to the edge or just glue the center so the edges are free, giving the final piece some dimension. Sometimes, I think about these decisions for several weeks before I make the final decision.
Carol Ann Waugh
I am a mixed media artist and love color and texture!