Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Art Unraveled!

My Fukiro Toji Book

What a wonderful time I had at Art Unraveled! Linda Young does a fantastic job of organizing this retreat and I had encouraging and talented instructors. An extra bonus was running into women I met at Art and Soul in Hampton,Va. last May.

I am so thrilled that I've learned how to bind a book in the easy style taught by Kelly Kilmer in her Fukuro Toji class. In May I did my best to learn how to do a book with the Coptic stitch. I came away with a cool book done in my own style: The Drunken Sailor stitch. I'll tackle that one again later, but in the meantime I'll do a few more bindings Kelly-style.

We started by painting pieces of scrapbook paper, using layer on layer of transparent paint in a variety of colors. We got richly colored pages that we then bound into a book. After that we had a blast collaging and embellishing our pages. I made a conscious effort to use materials and methods I'd never tried. Kelly turned us on to the possibilities of simple clear packing tape, as well as many decorated tapes. I'd never thought of using tape before. I even put a Hello Kitty image on one page, something I would never have done in the past. I did, however give Kitty a mouth--everyone should have a voice.

A student adds embellishments

A proud student with her book. They all looked different and equally wonderful.

Kelly demonstrating adding tape

Another proud student

I did a lot of pages in class, working fast and freely. Later in the evenings I watched t.v. while decorating more pages of the book.

My first pages

Love these crazy tapes

That's the infamous Kitty on the right. I made a pocket on the left to hold two ATC cards

The page on the left has some rusted mesh that I got at the Vendor Event from the wonderful Hannah Grey store.

There are still more pages to fill! Gotta get some of that cool tape. Who knew?

Cover of my Journal

Another book class I took was Petite Vintage Journal with Tracie Lynn and Marylin Huskamp, an energetic mother-in-law and daughter-in-law team. We learned how to make little journals without sewing! We chose from a vast array of fabric to cut out our page covers. We used watercolor paper cut to match our vintage book after first removing all the pages. I got Timon of Athens by Shakespeare. The cut out pages will be great for future collages. We used Steam A Seam to attach the fabric to our pages and to make seams to attach pages together for an accordion book.

The first page of my book

I didn't finish mine in class, but got a good start. We were able to take plenty of the Steam A Seam and fabric with us to finish the book at home. I'm hoping to finish mine this weekend. I chose fabric in colors that would go well together. Some of the fabric was quite different from anything I've used before as far as design. Even if I wasn't crazy about the fabric, once it was attached to the book it looked great. The teachers were so encouraging and helpful that I was able to overcome my occasional anxiety about doing something beyond my comfort level!

Marylin working on a sample page

A student lays out her book

Fusing the fabric to the page

Love the inside of this book!

Tracie Lyn takes a photo of a student book

The journals are meant to look home-made and vintage, so we didn't have to worry about unfinished edges and a few stray threads. Just what I like!

Second page of my journal. More to come.

I had an all day workshop with the energetic and magical artist Emelina Figueroa, called "Accessing Your Creativity." This class was full of inspiration and experimentation. Emilina creates "Urbanic" art, using many natural materials that we got to try in class.

Emelina is full of contagious enthusiasm

We started our work by playing with mixing various natural and/or unusal substances with Elmer's glue. We had lentilsl, sunflower seeds, sand, rice, flax seed, wood putty, instant coffee, coffee grounds, and more to try out.

A couple of my experiments

I love the look of this sample sheet. The top two drawings are covered with toilet paper and a little instant coffee! The experiments were later sealed with polyurethane.

This great texture board has toilet paper "painted on" with coffee, sand, marble dust, plaster gauze, and wood putty.

Accessing the Child Past

My final piece. This wasn't at all what I thought I would do. This just emerged from my subconscious.

First I drew the design with pencil and then drew over that with a fine Sharpie. I then added pieces of toilet paper with instant coffee. Then I sealed the piece with polyurethane and let it dry in the Phoenix sun. I then painted with acrylic paint and sealed it again. I wasn't totally satisfied with it after class, and those who know me won't be surprised that I couldn't let it be. I tore off a bunch of the surface leaving the bare canvas with the drawings. I then began to add t.p. and the morning's coffee. I liked this a lot better and sealed the piece again.

I've been going through art retreat withdrawal since I got back yesterday. Now I'm looking forward to Art and Soul in Portland this fall where I'll be teaching and taking classes.

This post is long enough so tomorrow I'll continue with pictures of some of my art retreat friends and what they made plus another GASP update.


Kelly Kilmer said...

LOVE your pages!! I hope you had fun in the class!!!!

Serena Barton said...

Hi Kelly,

As you can tell from my pages, I had a blast! Can't wait to do more books like this!

Robin said...

Serena, I love all of your pages. The last piece is so evocative, like an archaeological find...

Dayna Collins said...

I'm inspired just reading your blog and gazing at your photos!