Monday, November 03, 2008

Maundy Monday Nov 3

When I judge art, I take my painting and put it next to a God-made object like a tree or flower. If it clashes, it is not art.

-- Marc Chagall
Gotta love the simplicity of that statement. Nothing more I can add to that but a hearty "Amen." I think many artists (and patrons) today should refer to this quote---often. And for the art enthusiast and art novie--this quote can take the guesswork out of what qualifies as art. Love it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Maundy Monday Oct 27

I know, it's up a little late. My hubbie is out of town on business and I'm surprised how much his absence throws us off. We are really a team and I miss him when he's not here. :( That said, let's dive into our quote this week (emphasis hers):

It seems to me that the marks of personality--love, communication, and moral sensitivity--which are meant to sharpen as we are returning to communication with God, should lead to an increased rather than decreased creativity. The Christian should have more vividly expressed creativity in his daily life, and have more creative freedom, as well as the possibility of a continuing development in creative activities.
--Edith Schaeffer, The Hidden Art of Homemaking
I must say that I love that book, but that is another discussion. :) I totally agree that as Christians, looking more like Christ includes increased creativity. It can't be helped. It always makes me sad to hear Christians downplay their talents and dismiss the idea that they possess any creativity. It's dismissing a part of you when you deny your creative self. Enjoy exploring your creative side. Take some risks. Ask the Holy Spirit for some inspiration and get out there and create something!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Maundy Monday Oct 20

A sincere artist is not one who makes a faithful attempt to put on to canvas what is in front of him, but one who tries to create something which is, in itself, a living thing.

I agree whole heartedly with Mr. Dobell. Even though we use different media, the principle is the same. As a Christian I strive for life in all my work because God is alive and I want Him to be in all of it. He created life, all living things. I strive, as I become more like Him, to also create things with His life. A book, a collage canvas, a clay pot are inanimate objects but when we allow God to participate in our work then it takes on a whole new dimension of life that other artists could not duplicate, not because we are great artists but because we collaborate with the Greatest Artist.

And He is not necessarily looking for me to recreate His creation, but for me to find my own interpretation of His handiwork. I love the impressionist masters' abilities to look out on a landscape and see a whole other world of color, texture and design. I think that sort of individual voice makes God very happy.

For me this takes the pressure off. I am free to be me, using the perspective that God gave me. Together we can create living works that glorify Him on many levels.

Friday, October 17, 2008

more accordion books

Here is some eye candy!
Julie Chen is one of my all-time favorite book artists. See her at Flying Fish Press. This book is called "view." See the whole book here. It is worth the time to see her work.
Here is a pretty book using family photos.

Here is a great tutorial for making accordion fold books using envelopes form WhiMSy Love. They are too cute...and so handy too! (And I really like her musical chioces too!)

Here are some from our Bookbinding team at Etsy. Click on the picture to buy them.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Artful Maundy Monday Oct. 12

The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.

I hope, as Christian artists do, that my work will somehow glorify God, and not always in the obvious ways. We strive for our works to speak to His essence, to His Spirit, even if it is not a "Christian" piece. If you allow God to work with you in your studio, His will be evident in some way in the finished product. And we will be changed as well, as we listen to His voice.

As Michelangelo may well have referred to the "divine perfection" of his subject, God as Creator of all still is the light source. He still receives the glory for His creation, whether the artist knows it or not. Beauty is God and displaying beauty in your art will always please Him, even if no one else ever sees it.

This is the first of a new post series on faith and art. Please feel free to comment and start a [respectful] discussion about Protestant Christian faith and art.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Book of the month: accordion fold

An accordion book is my first "book of the month" offering. It is a simple, simple, simple book that almost anyone can make. If you can fold a paper and glue it, you can make this book. Here is a little tutorial on the basic accordion fold book.

From these instructions you can make any variety of accordion books. For the rest of the month I'll explain more about this construction, offer lots of examples and show ones I've made as well.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

handy homekeeping books

I made three little books yesterday. Three helpful little books. They are not my usual type (these are comb-bound) but they are really handy.Lady Lydia had a great idea that I had to try. These books are little homekeeping books. They are a simple type of planner. What I am so crazy about is:
  • the comb binding (my left handedness loves that it opens flat for writing)

  • the cute papers (I am very visual)

  • the blank pages just begging for doodling and other artwork each day

  • the customization

  • the small size (5X7)
  • it used materials I have on hand, so they didn't cost another dime

  • my ability to change papers out as I need to

  • the laminated covers and dividers should wear well

Here's a look at my little tabbed pages. I eyeballed and cut out the tabs and labeled them with a Sharpie after they were laminated so I could change the topics if I wanted. Right now they are Prayer, Home, School and Etc.

Now I can start each day with a clean slate, er, paper. I can make notes, circle things, make notes of all kinds so I don't forget things (maybe). So you may ask why I don't just use something electronic. I have a PDA. This makes me happy, the PDA does not. I also have a big paper planner. It is too bulky for my diaper bag (which doubles as my purse). This little book keeps all my thoughts and notes in one handy place. And hey, look at the title of this blog. I'm a little bit into making books.

And my girls chose the papers for their own little books. They are so different! And I added some ribbons to the spines as well.

The idea is that they will have a place for scheduling their day, keeping notes of all kinds and generally developing skills for caring for home and family. Who doesn't need a lovely little book for keeping notes and memories in?

Monday, May 12, 2008

food for (book) thought

Every year around April Fool's Day there is a little known but hilarious event known as Books 2 Eat. It is a chance for book artists everywhere to create completely edible works, and the creativity is amazing. See the photos from past years below. The ideas the artists come up with are ingenious. I hope you'll consider hosting a Books 2 Eat event next year in your area. It's a wonderful way to meet other local artists--and eat some yummy books!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

What is an artist book?

There is an amazing art form that is taking hold of the art world. It is known as artist books. I can't say enough good things about them. In their highest form they are the best combination of content, structure and materials the artist can create. They are not just books, they are 3 dimensional art. Here are some links to offer more detailed explanations:
Artists' books are exceptionally varied and creative by their very nature. The complex medium employs the book, in any of its various guises (scroll, codex, fold-out or single sheet boxed, to name but a few forms of books) as an original work of art. They usually integrate the formal means of conception and production with aesthetic or thematic aspects. Artists' books are considered unique works of art in one-of-a-kind or small edition multiples. Some now are mass produced. The variety of its form makes the artist book difficult to define. The twentieth century witnessed particularly varied and creative experimentation with artists' books culminating with an expansion of the medium in the '60 and '70s. California became a center of production.
Today artist books are everywhere. I look forward to sharing tons more about artist books, including featuring my favorites, in the future.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mother's Day cinquain

For my mom's Mother's Day gift this year I went the handmade route. I made her a cute little hanging plaque with a poem I wrote just for her. Unfortunately I forgot to scan it before I gave it (sorry!). In case you don't know, a cinquain is a 5 line poem that goes like this:

one word (noun)
two adjectives about the noun
three verbs about the noun
a four-word phrase about the noun
another word for the noun

Mine went like this:

artistic, kind
listening, accepting, loving
always there for me
I love cinquains because you can easily write a wonderful poem by following this simple "recipe."
Hope you bless a mom in your life with something happily handmade.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Otis artist books

Otis College of Art and Design has one of the most user-friendly artist book catalogs I've come across. This site is great because you can search by things like technique, binding and more. Lots of eye candy but I am not responsible for what you may run across there, as I did not look at every book. Enjoy!