Saturday, May 11, 2013

cormorants and seth apter's mixed media workshop

painted, stamped, stenciled sheets of tissue paper
painted, stamped, stenciled sheets of tissue paper

This coming Monday and Tuesday I'll be joining a two-day workshop lead by Seth Apter. It's been a year since I last took a workshop and I'm looking forward to learning some new techniques and connecting with other creative minds in person.

We'll be making our own personalized Memoire after gutting and reconstructing a store-bought book. I found an old book at a local thrift store titled, "Nature's Program" which I think fits perfectly for my memoire.

I've been busy all week collecting the materials I want to use for my memoire: photos, book pages, washi, handwritten notes, and much more and making my own carved stamps. In fact, the last couple of weeks I made lots of stamps: cat head, bear, lotus, cormorant, bottle, rose lace, the word live, pattern, circles, chevron. Most were using linoleum, but for some I used speedy easy-cut rubber or stencil sheets to cut out my designs.

No paint will be used for this workshop and that sent me into a bit of panic. I'm used to combining paint, writing and collage elements. That's why I wanted this workshop: it takes me out of my comfort zone. It set me to thinking how could I embellish my blank pages with color while not using paint or other ephemera?

Although I found a couple ink pads at the thrift stores, I decided on preparing sheets of painted tissue paper. And I had so much fun blending and overlapping colors and then adding my own stamped creations.

coningsby cormorant and collage
Coningsby, detail of 5 x 7 collage

All these painted, stamped and stenciled papers looked so delicious just lying there on my art table. Not able to resist any longer, I set to using them in a collage. I used two stamped cormorants on painted tissue papers and added triangles and circles using my thrift-shop ink pads and my acrylic metalic pens. I then outlined the cormorants with pencil and micron pen.

So what do cormorants have to do with Seth Apter?

When I first came on the ferry to this island, I was met by cormorants who rest on the wood pillars that sandwich the ferry as it docks. Today I watched one skimming the water so gracefully with its body reflecting on the calm ocean water. Cormorants have become a symbol for my migration and self-discovery and I'll be using images of them throughout my memoire.

coningsby collage
Coningsby, 5 x 7, mixed media collage

Coningsby: There is nothing I should like so much as to travel.
The Stranger: You are traveling. Every moment is travel, if understood.
Benjamin Disraeli

Saturday, May 4, 2013

art and poetry

your voice I
your voice I, 4 x 6

Since arriving on the island, I've grown fond of collecting old books that I find at outdoor markets and thrift shops. I use some of these books for collage projects, but others sit on my shelf waiting patiently until I hear their song and a new art project awakes in me.

your voice II
your voice II, 4 x 6

One such book is a travel book of Europe with the inside pages measuring 4 x 6. The other day I was looking for my stash of collected postcards and came across my poetry from years back. Suddenly, it all started to come together: the book and the poems.

I used assorted papers, my original stamps, acrylic and gesso for the background. The portrait drawings and handwriting were done with micron pens, black ink.

On the phone, you tell me you love me.
And your voice echoes in my mind all day.
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