It's May! One of my favorite months. In addition to all the special dates that mark up the calendar, it is when things really start to bloom in the yard. Today the lilacs opened up, and I found my first batch of four leaf clovers! Next week I may see a rose!
May also means the start of Workshop Season, beginning with the second annual event with my friend and teaching partner Lynne Perrella. Last weekend we hosted Crowning Glories and it was an outstanding class, with remarkable women. We met with lots of familiar faces and made a handful of new friends. I love the ripple effect that occurs, and the positive energy that grows, as we march forward on a project, picking up new tricks and techniques along the way because we are invested in learning, sharing, and elevating our process of creating. The enthusiasm was apparent, with each final outcome so personal and unique, as we set up an impromptu photoshoot to celebrate both the artist and their work. I will share at a later date as we want to keep it a surprise until we've completed the encore class next weekend. Thank you ladies for a memorable three days. Looking forward to more Crowning Glories on Friday.
As you know, I've been playing with cardboard for quite a while. If you're a regular here you've seen my cardboard journals (right sidebar photo album has some archived pages). I think it's such a fabulous material to work with and I continually find new ways to push it's usefulness. My May/June Somerset Studio column is about the journals, in particular a new Black & Kraft one. Scroll down for previous sneak peeks, or if you're reading through a feed, click HERE. Magazine on shelves May 1st.
I will be teaching two cardboard classes in NYC in October. Visit www.TheInkPadNYC.com for details. All my upcoming classes are posted in the left sidebar or you can click on WORKSHOPS at the navigation bar on top. I will be teaching three classes in NJ in July, and I'm coming to San Diego for the first time in September, for San Diego Book Arts.
My apologies to visitors who got frustrated during the week as Typepad had issues on and off for several days. I wasn't able to connect either! Hopefully all is fixed and we won't experience outages again. Happy to see things back up!
I've been a fan of M.C. Escher for a long time....like before high school. I added another book to the collection - a super fun flipbook, HERE. I love how a familiar piece of work takes on a new form. It got me thinking about a poster I've had rolled up for a while. Metamorphosis II - it comes as 4 panels, 8.5" x 41" each. I thought I would install around the ceiling line of my studio, but I never did it, and now my shelves go up so high it would hardly be visible. The little flipbook gave me an idea, and the motivation, to alter the present state of the poster, and turn it into a book that I could hold in my hand.
It took some manuevering to flatten out the rolls, match up the pattern and make the attachments so it was one loooooong panel, then measure and do a little math to arrive at a suitable division. I left an extra flap at the leading edge so it could be tucked under a paper strip to hold in place within a cardboard portfolio. The whole thing can be pulled out and still viewed in its full panoramic glory, but within the covers I'm enjoying savoring the details page by page. One thing always leads to another! This accordion generated more ideas....still in progress, I'll report in later :)
I'm knee deep in three different projects, and I haven't even started our taxes. Yikes! I handcut some new stencils today to test out before I send into production - can't wait to show you!! For now, since I've been an absent blogger, I will give you a peek into my latest Debris Journal - I call this one Black & Kraft. You can see more from this one in an upcoming article for Somerset Studio (May/June). You can also take a class with me and make your own Debris Journal at the Ink Pad in New York City, October 19. We'll be doing some fun stuff on the pages, like you see below - using stencils to make marks, and to peel away the top surface.
If you don't have an awl, you can use a pushpin, or needle....and these can be used with pen, pencil, and paint....I am thrilled to announce two new half sheet stencils as part of my Cardboard Collective! Available at GreenPepperPress.com. Notice the word placements, and how you can use the phrase "OPEN THIS END" or "THE END". And you can combine "PROPERTY OF:" with the alphabet to pierce your name. Love these.
More new stencils on the horizon. Estimated time of arrival: April.
I'm excited to announce that I will be teaching two classes in October at The Ink Pad in New York City. The subject: cardboard, of course! The first is What A Relief - thought it was a clever title since we will be building dimensional relief sculptures, but won't it be a relief to only have to bring a few tools to class?! The second is DeComposition Journal. If you've taken my Debris Journal you'll recognize that it is similar, but I have some new tricks to share, plus the added bonus is that the location of the workshop allows us to go outside and spray paint, and even light the page edges on fire. Can't wait! Hope you'll join me.
Registration is open today!
I've shown you some of the cardboard I've been collecting and hoarding, but I've been using it too! In my recent column in Somerset Studio (March/April) you can see some of my relief sculptures. The article opens with a sampler I created using all kinds of cardboard clippings and natural materials. Similar to my "me first" style of journaling, this printer's tray makes me so happy to look at, plus it frees me up to use the remaining stash since I've saved a little piece of each offering for myself. The article continues with some examples of my assemblages of dimensional, deliberate cuttings and piercings. Influenced by the monochromatic works of Louise Nevelson, which she fashioned from found objects, then painted to let the shadows tell the story, I found a way to use my favorite supply, and made it my own.
I will be presenting workshops that focus on cardboard later this year. If you're interested, stay tuned!
The website for CREATE NJ went live today and registration begins TOMORROW! I'm teaching three classes. There are lots of fabulous offerings from twenty instructors. Check it all out HERE.
On Wednesday, July 9th - the return of a class I've taught many times beginning ten years ago. Roll With It is a painting class where many techniques get covered, and a 25 foot roll of paper is completed then assembled into a journal. It's super fun because we review some techniques that either revive your love for painting or get you to become comfortable with it if you haven't gotten there yet. The added bonus is how cool the page compositions turn out as we create the journal.
Here are some of the rolls from a few years ago at Valley Ridge.
On Thursday, July 10th I will be introducing a new class: Color Collision. Using just two colors of paint + black and white, we will build a palette of scales then put them to use with stencils to guide application. Choice of placement can be random or deliberate, with subtle or contrasting transitions. I love that you can generate so many options with just a few simple supplies.
Then Friday, July 11th - Compose Yourself. This class evolved from an experience at last years event. I began a workshop (Less is More...More or Less) with a quick composition lesson, using black and white images, scissors and a glue stick, meant to inform and motivate, but the exercise took on a life of its own and we spent way more time on it than I planned. It was really cool to observe how everyone was engaged - so I built off that concept and developed this class. In the ten years I've been teaching I have come to learn that artists still have questions about composition, so this is my answer. Plus, won't it be nice to have a minimal supply list? I can't wait for this one!
Hope to see you in Jersey!
I'm fully into Olympic-watching mode....assuming you are too. The opening ceremonies were theatrical, colorful, and fabulous. Those dancing onion domes that became balloons were my favorite. I love that in recent years both film and lighting have enhanced the performance. As I observe the various venues for skiing, skating, snowboarding, and other winter sports, I am amazed by the immense planning and building of each, and how graphic design is present and prevelant. The screenprinted banners are everywhere - on location, in town, on transport vehicles, jackets, athlete's numerical vests - it's a visual feast. I had to do some research to find out the history of the emblem and the "look of the games".
The emblem, Sochi.ru, is by Christoph Marti, a Swiss member of the design team at Interbrand Agency. I love that it is so simple, that it directs you to a comprehensive website, and that the "4" is a rotation of the "H". Clever. Read more about it HERE. Below is the philosophy behind the graphics we are seeing everywhere. You can see for yourself HERE. More HERE. I love that Bosco is honoring the tradition of folk arts and crafts with this quilt-like design.
I found this amazing video clip. There was no sound, and the text is Russian, but you are treated to a look through previous Olympic graphic details, then it goes on to WOW you with the evolution toward 2014. Very cool.
I'm looking forward to watching more of the competitions, plus all the sidebar pieces that will highlight all things Russian. My friend Anne told me Mary Carillo has an upcoming feature on Faberge eggs, and I read there will be additional features on Vodka, and the TransSiberian Railway! Loving this visit to Sochi. Go team USA!
Thanks again to eveyone who stopped by for the introduction of the new stencil series. More new stuff coming this month. For now, I'm rolling along....with my favorite supply: cardboard. Ooooh, these make my heart race! I'll show you what they are for very soon. Coming out from another storm yesterday....more snow tomorrow, and another big one Sunday. Sheesh, this is getting OLD.
In 2011, it was a thrill and honor to be invited by Mary Beth Shaw to join her Stencil Girl team of designers. Today, I am equally honored to introduce a new collection! This series of stencils was inspired by contemporary and traditional stained glass windows. The openings provide opportunity to fill with color or additional pattern. Use as a stencil with your favorite medium or as a template to guide layouts for collage and journaling. Scroll down to see some of the stuff I did with the large ones, then hop along to the SGP Design Team blogs to see their work with the smaller ones. I can't wait to see what they came up with, and thank them for participating!
SPECIAL DEAL: There is a promotional special available TODAY ONLY for all eight of the new stencils - $67 (savings of $17). Go to www.StencilGirlProducts.com
GIVEAWAY: There is a giveaway on StencilGirlTalk (the SGP blog, click HERE) for some of the new stencils. All comments on the hop are eligible for the giveaway. The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to win. Leave a comment here to be eligible, then visit the hop links and leave a comment there too.
EDIT: Giveaway will close on Friday, January 31st Sunday, February 2nd at 11:59PM Central Time.
CONGRATS to winners: Sue Chesley (large stencils), Beth Figiel (Small stencils). Thank you to everyone who came by to visit, leaving your comments, and for sharing the enthusiasm for the new series. Also, a special thanks to Maria for organizing the hop. That was fun!
Blog Hop Order (each link opens a new window)
Let me introduce you to a new campaign. The Shelfie.
Here's how it started: remember when I showed you, just after Christmas, some new reads? The book "Unpacking My Library: Architects and Their Books" got my attention because I loved the simple format of the photos of shelves, filled with books....and it includes a fave: Michael Graves. Some of the pages have highlighted specific books with front cover views and credentials. Here is the book description from Amazon:
What does a library say about the mind of its owner? How do books map the intellectual interests, curiosities, tastes, and personalities of their readers? What does the collecting of books have in common with the practice of architecture? Unpacking My Library provides an intimate look at the personal libraries of twelve of the world’s leading architects, alongside conversations about the significance of books to their careers and lives.
Photographs of bookshelves—displaying well-loved and rare volumes, eclectic organizational schemes, and the individual touches that make a bookshelf one’s own—provide an evocative glimpse of their owner’s personal life. Each architect also presents a reading list of top ten influential titles, from architectural history to theory to fiction and nonfiction, that serves as a personal philosophy of literature and history, and advice on what every young architect, scholar, and lover of architecture should read.
An inspiring cross-section of notable libraries, this beautiful book celebrates the arts of reading and collecting.
You'll see they also published a Writers version.
I got to thinking what a mess my own shelves are, and that I should make it a goal to start getting them organized. By topic, by size? Then I thought it would be cool to photograph my shelves and make a journal about it so I could write some of the stories behind the collections. Why did I get this one? Who gave me that one? It would be a chronicle of my interests and influences, plus I would have evidence of the full array, possibly saving me from duplicating (again). But most of all, this project would re-introduce me to some gems that have been unopened in a while. Don't you love your books? And your shelves? Mine are peppered with all kinds of things - cool stuff filling in the space at the face of shelf, shoved over top, and other cool things are pinned right into the wood, dangling for my visual stimulation. What we read, what we select for our personal libraries, says alot about us. Topics of interest, places, hobbies, fantasies....we have learned from, been informed by, and just plain entertained by thousands of pages under cover and standing at attention on shelves.
So I'm paging through the book, motivated to make these grand plans for myself, when a news program came on tv with a retrospective of 2013. Half listening, I notice that the presenters are doing a segment on "selfies". Bleh. Don't get me wrong, I'm not casting judgement. Personally, I don't like to have my photo taken so applause to those who are comfortable with it. And it came to me: Shelfies! I burst out loud laughing. I could see it roll out before me - a new wave of shared photos featuring shelves not selves.
I did a quick serach online and discovered I was not the only person to think of this. Click HERE to see submissions of shelfies as requested by The Guardian.
And for a peek into some celebrity libraries, click HERE. OMG! So cool! I've been looking at alot of libraries - I think the first (unattributed) library belongs to actress Diane Keaton. Check out Keith Richards, Rod Stewart, and Karl Lagerfeld.
You are cordially invited to share your shelfies. Do something different this year! Just post the photos or take the opportunity to talk about the content of the photo. Pick an entire bookcase or single out one shelf or one subject. Tell us a story about a particular score, sentimental connections to a book, where it came from, how long you've had it, or just let the spine talk. If you're like me, you will need to get things in order - but that's a good thing, and was part of the inspiration for the campaign. We will gather up monthly, but you can participate at any time.
I've asked a few good friends to help me launch this campaign. Judi, Julie, Lisa, and Lynne. Below are small peeks into their collections. In the following months I will continue to share photos of books from my studio and I will likely segue into shelves of tschotskes...you know, the collections of stuff on shelves. And I'm going to continue to ask friends to share. Why? Because it's just another way to get to know someone better. I looked at Lisa's shelves and nodded along, "got it, got it, need it, got it." I've never been to her home, but now I'm getting an intimate look at her, in a different way. I'm impressed with Julie's neat rows of thread, but it doesn't surprise me because she is the same way with her paint. (She would pass out if she ever came to my studio). I've been a guest in both Judi's and Lynne's homes - beautiful studios and books of every kind that overflow to every corner. You just want to tell them to forget dinner plans, let's go look at books.
How fun will this be? Can't wait to see what we have in common, to see what I need to read, and what surprises await us with what you are comfortable sharing from your shelves.
Here are two of mine. Sorted slightly by topic, and a little by size. I wish there was room on some shelves to keep an entire category together but some books are just too big, and some are too small. I even fanned out some of my favorite books and magazines by David Carson. The Maribor book is a very special find - a publication documenting a workshop. I sent for it from Slovenia. More next month!
JUDI RIESCH'S SITE: www.itsmysite.com/judiriesch
VISIT JULIE PRICHARD'S SITE: www.TheLandOfLostLuggage.com
Julie's Shelfie post: CLICK HERE
VISIT LISA HOFFMAN'S SITE: www.LisaHoffman.typepad.com
VISIT LYNNE PERRELLA'S SITE: www.LKPerrella.com
If you decide to play along and share your Shelfies somewhere, leave a comment here with a link so we can come visit. I'm setting up a Pinterest page (ShelfiesPosted) to gather all the photos in one place, including yours. And for those of you who prefer to post on Facebook, I have set up a page: ShelfiesPosted. Start snapping!
Oh, and if you want a label to add to a photo, or a blog post, here is a large and small label to right click and save.
Watching morning tv, I learned of some new books and of some movies being made from books. There is so much I want to read, and so much to see! (By the way, did you see Frozen? I loved it!) One that caught my attention is The Monuments Men. Did you read this one? Men and women risking their lives to save art during the war. I clicked around and found the movie trailer. It comes out in February. Check your theaters for this one. I'm looking forward to it. I think I will send out for the book too. Speaking of books....that's a little clue for my campaign you are invited to join in. Might even call it a crusade. Details later this week :)
So many ideas perculating.... I'm on a roll! Last week I proposed a handful of new classes for Create NJ. Reveals later, after I hear if they were accepted. It was so much fun inventing fresh material. I've been enjoying some playtime, pushing my current crush on *cardboard* in new ways. Can't wait to show you what it's all about....and to tell you about some other things that will debut in January. Hope you're feeling the same enthusiasm for making cool stuff in 2014.
I am so touched by the number of friends who have contacted me about another release of Stampers Anonymous "Classics", as found on Tim Holtz's blog, as they include many designs created by me. Originally released on wood mounted red rubber, the company has chosen to re-release as cling-mount. Since they state they do not know who designed them there are no artist credits given, so I will go on the record and claim the images designed by me, more than ten years ago. As I said before, it's nice to know that the archives can bring forward images that are still deemed relevant....aka classics.
If you missed it, my July 2012 post (click here) illustrates my claim of images from the first sets of Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous "Classic Favorites". Thumbnail reference below:
According to Tim's site, these will be released at CHA next week. I've highlighted the images done by me, sets of images borrowed from his site without seeking permission.
New followers of StampersAnonymous don't know the history, and don't know there were alot of artists who contributed to the line. Back in the day, it was alot of fun and I know we made an impact on the industry. I have to admit it kinda hurts in the pit of my stomach that my images may be misinterpreted as coming from Tim, even though he is not trying to give that impression. It's likely that his followers will never see my post but it feels good to go on record and present them here.
EDIT: Since this post aired, Tim has updated his blog linking to here so that anyone who is curious could click through and see my claim to the images. Although I never was an anonymous contributor, I appreciate his gesture yesterday, and that his name is not on the packaging this time. I also appreciate the support offered to me privately, in the comments, and on fb. I never intended this post to be a platform for insulting anyone - just felt that I could be heard here, amongst friends. So let's keep it friendly. Thx.
CHIME IN! Tell me if you have been around a while and have some of the old images as first released on wood!
Chalk up another great year! I'm not a resolution girl. I'd rather look back upon the last year and celebrate the ta-da's than make a list of to-do's. Although I do love making lists. I have an idea for a little project for 2014 - something you can participate in with me. I will prepare the details and share next week.
For now, wishing you health, happiness, and continued blessings for the brand new year ahead. And hoping you make time for creativity! *clink*
It was a terrific Christmas and a nice few days of just enjoying family time. Today I'm catching up on loose ends, wrapping up a few deadlines, and planning to do some reading. A fabulous graphic book from Lynne looks amazing, a cool book of architect's libraries from Santa, and a handful of magazines are piled on the table. I've been hearing about Flow magazine (for paper lovers) from Lisa and Julie so I ordered from the Netherlands and they arrived in two days!
The Jan/Feb Somerset Studio arrived and like last year, Lynne and I collaborated on an article. The title of our workshop Crowning Glories is not meant to be literal or limiting, and we each presented different ways you could interpret the title. Lynne describes and illustrates how impressed she was at seeing pages on exhibit from The Persian Book of Kings. For my part of the article I took on a self-imposed challenge to incorporate faces, something I rarely do, and found inspiration from playing iPad Solitaire! Whether you're traveling to see something unique at a museum or gallery, or you're procrastinating on the couch while playing games, you can find new directions to influence your work.
I decided to leave my panels in black and white for the article, but I've been working additional pieces in color, which I will show you another time. This design style has become addicting and I can't stop making them. Here are the original four colorized in Photoshop.
And a reminder about our workshop, which is filling up! I think there is only one spot left in the first weekend before we start the waiting list, and a handful of spots left in the second weekend. If you are interested, email Lynne, lkperrella (at) aol (dot) com for the packet of details.
Today we prep for a roast beef + Yorkshire pudding dinner, and bake breads for the neighbors, then frost a cake for baby Jesus. My large Nativity has a Mary who is holding the baby, so we resort to another infant Jesus who lays in a straw manger, made of plastic, to be set in a ring of candles and sung to Christmas eve. It belonged to the kids so they could play with the Holy Family. We used to make a cardboard stable, and pretended to act out the famous story....with the kings arriving after following the star. There were several years where couldn't locate the plastic Jesus and frantic-ness ensued to get him recovered and placed on the cake in time to celebrate his birthday. I began the tradition when our oldest was just over a year old. Getting gifts on your birthday is something we all grow up with, so it was the perfect way to explain Christmas to our children. So we don't lose Him, plastic baby Jesus spends his non-birthdays in our silverware drawer. He's never far away to visually remind us of His presence.....and today we honor Him as we exchange our presents.
My favorite track from the Very Special Christmas album series is by Stevie Nicks, with guest Robbie Nevil. This is the best video I could find. To see the 'making of', click HERE.
This year Bergdorf Goodman took on ICE as their running theme throughout the holiday windows. The fabricated icicles look real, and even slightly wet, and must have been a huge project. Frosty finishes might have been easier, but BG always goes the extra mile with amazing detail. Their icy items are clear - amazing. Halloween was my favorite - with the actual BG building as the main star, formerly a Vanderbilt mansion. If you visit their blog, you can read more about the festivities of opening night, where they actually had a 'reveal' celebration of pulling back the curtain, with aerial acrobats descending the facade of the building. Finally! I love to see that they've claimed the event as an EVENT.
The large and perfect photos I'm presenting here have been borrowed from the BG blog - credits to Ricky Zehavi. I always wondered how she was able to get non-glare, non-skewed, stellar photos of the full windows. Details about how she does it are shared HERE.
While Mom and Dad visited for Thanksgiving, us girls spent a day in the city for a fun meal, a Broadway show, and of course viewing the holiday windows. First up is Tiffanys. They have smallish windows in comparison to other stores on 5th Avenue but they manage to step out of the little (blue) box. One year they popped out from the frames as if a carousel was emerging from the facade - an amazing spectacle. This season they covered the entire buiding with a decal, yes....a press-on sticker, to alter the architectural impression. Amazing! Clever! The dispays behind the glass were simply enchanting. Tiny rows of white brick homes, with glowing street lights and warmly lit windows. And of course, the jewels.
Next: Bergdorf Goodman
I can't believe I haven't posted since Halloween! This definitely has been one of my busiest months. With the holidays nearing it appears things won't slow down for a while, but I try to catch a few moments to do things that aren't on the list, like playing with photoshop....it's important to keep practicing your skills, whether with a mouse or a brush. My self-imposed assignment last night was to make a birthday card for my favorite rock star, Ville Valo. The photo credit is unknown. I placed him over a scan of a painted page.
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of team teaching with some respected colleagues. It was such a blast to share our love of stencils with a huge group of enthusiastic artists at The Ink Pad in NYC. We even spray painted! It was pretty blustery outside on the second day but most came out with me to brave the wind to give the spraying a try - with some very cool results. I didn't take alot of pictures, but here is the happy clan. I'll show you the fab journal we constructed under Andrew's direction in a few days.
Happy Halloween! I was talking to my friend Julie yesterday about how cool a cyanotype would be in black and white. So I had to try it on a photo of my thorn print - converted in photoshop. Have a fun day!
The Halloween rituals have changed around here. We haven't carved pumpkins in a while. Last year, we missed the event altogether due to superstorm Sandy, and the year before there was a freak snow storm that brought down trees and affected the night of trick-or-treating. Some years it was so warm that our carved pumpkins rotted out and were gnawed at by squirrels before the 31st arrived. So we started buying the fakes, adding our embellishments with a few paint pens. You've seen the white ones, and now we've added black and orange. Fallon's are still in progress. She better hurry, Halloween is almost here!
It's Lucky's first Halloween with us. She doesn't know it, but Halloween was Winston's birthday. She looks just like him here, doesn't she?