I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Speak to me of love...

Before Christmas my sister and I decided to make a "box" for each other as a Christmas gift. I'm finally getting around to showing you what she made for me.
Will you look at this...
She took a plain wood box and created this beautiful piece of art for me.
The most amazing thing about it is that she used one of my favorite poems by Mary Oliver. It's called How I Go to the Woods. She knows me and understands how I feel about solitude.
She wrote the poem all the way around the sides of the box...
And the last amazing lines of the poem are on the top.
The box is covered with lace and shells.
A butterfly is watching from the corner.
In the moss... a small bird and a nest that she made, with pearl "eggs" in it.
There is a photo of us with a heart attached.
This is a very special gift.

Thanks Sis. I'm so lucky to have a sister like you.  I will always take you with me into the woods, because I love you very much.
Here is the poem by M. Oliver... one of many that speak to me.
Have a wonderful day.

How I go to the woods
Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single
friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore
unsuitable.
I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds
or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of
praying, as you no doubt have yours.
Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit
on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds,
until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost
unhearable sound of the roses singing.
If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love
you very much.”

~Mary Oliver~


Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Addiction of book altering

My sister, Lisa, was here last week. She left on Thursday and we miss her.

Carl too...
It was her birthday. She chose to spend it with us.
We shopped the thrift stores in town for old books.
Let me tell you why.

When I went to see my friend in Isleton, for her birthday. I gave her a book on folding book pages as art.
It was filled with ideas like this,
and this...
I was so inspired that I got on line and found out how to start folding pages and I made my friend an altered book as part of her gift. It was really fun to do. Very simple... only done by folding the pages and using a little glue in some places.
She was delighted and I was inspired to make more.
When my sister arrived, we decided to devote most of our week to making one of these books. That's when we headed to the thrift stores to find some old books that would work for this project.
Wonderful old books that we didn't have any attachment to and didn't cost more than $1.50 a piece.
I showed Lisa the video that I had watched. I shared my vast knowledge (Ha!) of book page folding with her and off we went, into the land of creating art from old book pages.
She started off a bit faster than I did. . She sees an idea in her head. I see the start, but never the end. She sees the process. I see the "Oh, my gosh... look what's happening?" as I move through the concept. We both started folding pages. She couldn't wait to start painting and shaping the idea that was already forming in her head. I was content to fold triangles different ways and found it soothing to bend and fold each page.
This was her beginning...
But, I didn't get a clear photo of her final piece. I will get one from her and show it to you in another post. It's wild and whimsical with extra pages shredding and flying out of the folds like fireworks. It's beautiful and creative. I was trying to work on mine as the same time and I thought I had some decent photos of hers. but I didn't. Wait until you see it. WOW!
Mine started out with basic folding and then I started snipping the edges of the triangles.
And folding them in different directions.

 I also took words and sentences from the story and added them to the blank pages on the left an right side of the book.

Then  I stained the pages with a wash of Vandyke brown and some nickel Azo gold acrylic paint to make it all look old.
The painting was done with layers of different colored paints that I let dry as I layered.

I finished the lighter colors and then added some brown and black to one side. The book is about a war in England when Rome invaded southern Britain about 44AD.The Romans were pretty brutal and so were the Druids. So I wanted one side of the book to look like it had been through a war. I painted the left side with dark brown and black as if it was burnt. I also use a red paint to signify blood.

Since these  photos were taken, I have added more "blood" and I'm thinking about burning some of the pages on the left side to really give it more battle scaring. It's amazing how much you can do with paint  to add darkness to the pages.
The right side is about coming through the war and starting to recover... seeing the sunrise and finding human emotions like love again.
There is no burning and blood on this side... only recovery and healing.
At one end of the arrow that pierces the pages, the red feathers say
wounded beast... through the darkness... exhausted and battered... terrible injuries. When it comes out on the other side it says, "Oh, I see... an arrow." as if the arrow has no where to go and becomes lost in the air. Losing its power, it's then caught by the bright sun before it can do any more damage.

One side is dark, black and bloody filled with, "Fragments that penetrate the human body." and  "approaching enemies". The right side is filled with a night sky washed with the pale glow of dawn, where a man comes home to breezes blowing through the forest and his woman is waiting for him.
I enjoyed working on this. Wish I had read the whole book before I altered it. I kind of read pages as I was pulling them out or when I was cutting them up.
It's not quite done, but almost. What do you think about burning pages on the left side... just a little?.

I've started working on a new one. It's an old hymnal with lots of old Christian songs.
This is becoming quite an addiction.

( The war book was called When the Eagle Hunts, by Simon Scarrow)