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

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