Monday, July 8, 2019

Workshops Part 3 PBI Laura Wait

My third & final class at PBI was with the talented, fun, & saucy Laura Wait.

I have been an admirer for some time & jumped at the chance to take a class with her. So glad I did!

Our first exercise was to tape a brush to a LONG stick, go outside with a large sheet of paper
 and Sumi Ink, proceed to make BIG marks on the paper, flip paper over & rub it around on the grass (if you want, which I did). Phase one of mark making.

After that we introduced color, shape, hand writing (not necessarily legible) translucent color, dirty sumi water, unusual tools to make marks & experimentation was the name of the game.

 The results were as varied as the personalities in the room.


 This grouping is all from my pages. 
It was great to have a soft wall to pin everything up for viewing. 

We were encouraged to bring some sort of symbolic marks along as a jumping off point for marks.
I discovered a Hobo Language. Developed during the depression as a form of communication among the Hobo community.  It's simplicity was perfect for my purposes. 
The all red pages are direct riffs on the Hobo symbols.

One of my pages, a personal favorite.

 These types of exercises get you loose & allow you to play which provides some amazing results.


Being attentive to the details of drum leaf book construction. 
That would be another entire post. Lots of accuracy is needed. A departure from the mark making.

From there we created several books each from the cut up pages. Size & orientation is up to the individual. Lots accomplished in a 4 day workshop. That's how PBI rolls.

 Happily displaying our completed books.

Next workshop review, my 3 days in Petoskey with Christine Mauersberger.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Summer Workshop Part 2 PBI

Outside the facility grounds at Ox-Bow there is a set of stairs. 302 of them to be exact.
Many days several PBI participants would migrate there and make the trip up.
Great exercise & the view is worth it.

Being on the channel that comes off Lake Michigan into Douglas & Saugatuck
the sunsets are gorgeous most evenings.

My afternoons the first round of class time was spent with Shawn Sheehy,  paper engineer extraordinaire, to create "cabinets of curiosities". I suggest you watch the video in the link of his latest book to get an idea of the intricacy of his work. 
I don't have many pictures of the process as we moved at a brisk pace
to accomplish all the construction of the boxes & mechanicals held inside in the time allotted.
So many teeny pieces of heavy paper to cut & fold & glue.

One box held a scroll.

One class member sent the group a video of her completed
scroll box after she got home.

My choice for one of the pop ups was a whale.
Pull the yellow tab & he rises up from the box

Another was a curtain you pull open.

Out comes a little butterfly.

One of the favorites of the entire group was the turtle. Shawn had many of the pieces pre cut for us, 
thank goodness or we would still be there cutting paper. maybe that's why we liked it so much!

Pull the tab & his legs & tail pop out. 


The entire piece is small. 5 .5 " wide, 3.5 " deep & 3" tall.
Four afternoons of my summer, Poof!
Plus some time in the early am or late pm.
 That's what happens at PBI.

Shawn brought several reference books he uses when creating new
 mechanicals for his elaborate creations.

The first day was spent making sample elaborate moving mechanisms
for reference that went in box 1. Pictures of white card stock with not being
able to see what they do don't do it justice so I am sparing you.

Next up in the how I spent my time at PBI installments will be the class with Laura Wait.

In the meantime, happy Fourth of July!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Summer Workshops in Four Parts

It's difficult to describe the quirkiness, camaraderie, inspiration 
& beauty of  Paper & Book Intensive
This May was my fourth time at PBI. A repeat offender as one director labeled it. 

Attendees take 3 classes during the 12 days at Ox-Bow. I will do a separate post for each as well as a fourth post for the class I had last week end in Petoskey with the marvelous Christine Mauersberger.

First up was Joseph Lappie. Wood block printer extrodinare and all around great human being. 


Gotta love a well used paint fan as reference material 
to choose a color, for anything!


In his world you use a scroll saw to cut out your wood block 
which then can be used at the art to be hung after you make prints.
The blocks are colored with gouache after you have made the prints you desire. 
Images above are student pieces. The possum! One of my favorites.

Professional pic of the model Joseph brought, being used by him below.

The smaller dremel model. The saw can be removed from the base to be used as a hand tool.

Good tools are so important in wood block. As well as sharpening skills.

My tired gal after carving & coloring. There were lots of books with ideas for those of us who don't have as much confidence in our drawing skills.

We made group prints from our blocks. Fun to make up a story from the result.

Below are Joseph's pieces he brought from his collection. His work is detailed & stunning.

 Next  up Shawn Sheehy, paper engineer and our "Cabinets of Curiosities" class.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Spring 2019 What's in Your Driveway?

I've been back from Paper & Book Intensive for a week. 
This was my fourth time to attend over the past 8 years. 
Lots more on that in the next post.  

When I got home summer activities began in earnest right away,
despite the fact the weather has remained rather chilly.
We hosted a couple from Ontario via the SERVAS organization for 2 nights
I've mentioned this organization in a past post.  

As it happens a couple we met in Alaska 4 years ago on a Kodiak trek to see bears 
(also mentioned in the same post) spontaneously got in touch 
to see if they could visit since they were passing through our  area.  
This is what showed up in our driveway.


A rather spectacular travel camper. 
They are from Berlin hence the German made vehicle. This camper has been their home
 for the past 11 months while they have traveled this continent.

 It was so good to see them again. 
Now we need to plan a trip to Germany to visit them! 

We had the 2 couples plus a dinner already planned with 6 more friends. 
Busy few days. Harriet was a huge help in the kitchen while Merrill & Oliver toured
 Leelanau County with our new Canadian friends to see Sleeping Bear Dunes.

   Meet Oliver & Harriet. 

Check out Oliver's Instagram
He is a wonderful photographer and has been documenting their travels on this platform.  

It will back to artsy stuff next time.

Friday, May 10, 2019

A to Z Reflections & Beyond

It was a busy Spring for me with lots of requests for custom fabric vessels. I still found time to participate in the April A to Z Challenge and crossed the finish line. 

This was my 4th year participating in the A to Z April challenge. It felt a bit easier this time 
in some ways, not in others. I am a very organized person 
(ask anyone who knows me) so getting the posts done,
many ahead of the date which takes a lot of the pressure off,  was not too tough. 

All during the year I make notes of blog ideas as they pop into my head or present themselves in other ways. A conversation, a link I've followed , an artist I admire, a process that intrigues me.
 I created a word document with ideas for each letter I can refer to when April rolls around from my jotted ideas. It's good to have paper & a writing utensil with you at all times! 

Jeremy, your graphics are great! Thank you for the hard work on these. 

As the month unfolds I find creating posts gets easier with the repetition. 
That alone is worth the effort. The trick now is to carry it on through the rest of the year.
 I think many of us who participate struggle with that.

One thing I find interesting, and a frustration to me, is that there are very few visual artists who participate in the challenge. I wonder why that is & why it continues to be that way. Any ideas folks?

The hard part this year for me was finding the time to look at other blogs, make comments, & reply to the comments on my posts. Creating a post for each day is time consuming. As an artist (or a writer) we need to carve out time for our own creative process, let alone getting involved with so many others. Is it because my art requires lots of hands on time away from a computer, where as writers are creating as well as following & responding at their computers? Dunno.


This year the main list (which I was part of) was not monitored to remove those who signed up for the challenge but did not follow through. Not a huge deal for me but I was disappointed every time I went somewhere that didn't amount to anything. Some one else mentioned to have a list by category would be helpful. I agree. Also lots of participants did not have links back to their blogs 
when they commented.  This was encouraged in the past.
 I would love to see people make it part of their commenting routine.


A few of my favorite finds this year:

Wendy's Waffle
During the month Wendy had an alter ego, Alice, who I found delightful.

The Versesmith
A fun poem every day.

Trudy at Reel Focus was a regular visitor & commented often.
Thanks Trudy!   Plus she mentioned me in her reflection, I'm honored!

Rob from England visited. 
That is one of the things I love about the challenge.
You make cyber friends all over the world.
His random posts are fun to read.

Mandy, an intrepid world traveler dropped by
from With Love about the travels of she & her husband.
Visually a lovely blog.  

One more. I think Donna & I have been following each other since a couple challenges back.
She is a great writer. Her posts this year were so interesting.
Her images she used as a jumping off point were thought provoking.
Donna B McNicol, Author
Thanks Donna for being one of my regulars. 

I apologize for not mentioning everyone, but you all understand I'm sure.

I think I only got a comment from one Moderator. Maybe 2.

Overall I did not get as many comments as I had hoped. Maybe my comments here will encourage more visual artists to jump on board. Overall views appeared to be down this year.
We may all be suffering from too much screen time.
 The jury is out on my participation next year.