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It’s early to work on the Year of the Horse, but it is late for the edition I need to have this piece ready for. Fortunately the deadline was extended. That means I gained another week. I need to deliver an edition of 30 by December 5th. I have known about this since last year. More and more I think that I would not be able to finish any art if it would not be for the deadlines…. kind of bad…

I received a letter from the Public Library this week letting me know that my book ‘A Sun that Rises’ has been awarded ‘Honorable Mention’ in the Artist Book category in the Library’s 2013 Art of the Book show. ‘A sun that rises’ is part of the ‘Al-Mutanabbi Street project’.

The Library’s website is showing the other entry of mine – ‘Year of the Dragon’. If you visit the site and check out the rotating banner on the left, wait for the announcement for the exhibition and you will see the flag book right after it.

edition a book

… still working on ‘Looking for Matthew’. It has not been easy for me to continue working on this project. Of course there are always those excuses with ‘all the other deadlines’ but then… if I really wanted and if this had a deadline I would have had finished it long time ago. Six of the sets were finished by May. Nine more to complete the edition of fifteen. This time I asked a friend to help – makes a huge difference. not only that you commit to be at a certain place at a certain time, you also get more accomplished and even if you don’t talk a lot it’s nice to have company! The picture below shows seven boxes and eight books. The last details need to be done, like trimming labels, making the CD envelopes, trimming endpapers, glueing endpapers to the book block and casing in the books. Not sure why I had difficulties casing in the  books this time – but I had. Glueing down the endpaper only to find out that it was totally wrinkled. Most likely I was too slow and too careful bringing down the book cover, allowing for the paper to curl and wrinkle. This was not a problem with the first six books – I hope that I am doing better tomorrow.

The book is based on the following motivational quote :

“Every day in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster that the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle. When the sun comes up, you better be running.”

Some six years ago I learned about this quote for the first time. Back then the boss I was working for had it displayed – framed – in his office as his favorite saying. Something I absolutely could not relate to. Why would people think it is motivational to wake up in the morning and fear for ones life? I am certainly glad that I don’t need this kind of motivation to get up in the morning.

Throughout the pages the blades of grass display parts of the quote. I erased words to alter the quote but did not change the sequence of the words. For example you can read ‘a gazelle knows a lion’ or  ‘the sun comes up’. The images of lion and gazelle are carved as a rubber-stamps, then printed and with a fine-point marker rendered. The lion is sitting in a collage, presented as a main course. On the back of the book you find again blades of grass – I used a stencil and pochoir, using a brush and a stamp pad. This book is not meant to be taken too serious …

ideation by chance

Why was it such a challenge for me to create a book using ten cards from a deck? I started with a whole different set of ‘pages’ for this book, using the story of the gazelle and the lion. I tried to bring everything together but it did not ‘feel right’. Something was missing. And then I was getting caught up on the cards: trying to use every single card and be very serious about it. I felt like I was in High-school again! And not using one of the cards or even two (!) would translate into a lesser grade…. I talked to a couple of people, trying to get some feedback and finally was able to step away and look at the cards simply as ideas. Ideas given to me to start a new book. Another important point was that I should like the book once it was finished. After all I spent hours creating it. Once I was able to be more at ease the book made progress, it came together and I finished it within a week. OK – I had to email the Gallery to let them know that I was submitting pictures of the book two days later than the deadline – which was OK (thank’s again Alicia!!!) The book shipped today, Columbus Day, and will be in Denver on Thursday, October 17th. There will be an online catalogue available and I am excited and curious to see the other artists’ books.

This was not easy – I was close to call it off and just not finish this book. But then I did it and now I am happy that I did not sleep the last week and worked entirely on this project. And guess what? I knew about it since April … the story of my life! HA! deadlines and procrastination go hand in hand. I feel like I am the queen of deadlines. The book was dropped of today at the ups store and it will be in Denver, CO at the Abecedarian Gallery on Thursday. The exhibition is based on the ‘Ideation by Chance’ cards by Barb Tetenbaum and Julie Chen. It was such a challenge for me to work with the cards. I had a total of ten cards to work with and incorporate in my work.

Technique:    low-tech (typewriter, rubber stamps, stencils, hand lettering, transfers, etc)
Image:          self-generated
Paper:           minimal paper use (emphasis on alternative material such as cloth, plastic, wood, etc)
Color:            primary
Structure:      accordion
Layout:          asymmetrical
Text:             process of erasure

Adjectives: 1) humorous, 2) sculptural, 3) surreal, 4) fragmented or mosaic, 5) WILD CARD incorporate self-reflexivity or evidence of process into your project

I will talk about this more in another post! have to go to bed ….

I made it! The ‘Crazy Carousel Book Alice’ is on its way to Minneapolis, to the MCBA. The final glueing was done this morning. I added a half clam-shell box and a belly-band for the book. This version has the third panel cut out, too. Even though it is a lot more work I think it really adds a special touch to it. I thought I would stop making the ‘crazy carousel book’ series, but I might consider making them again … maybe I can call it the ‘de-luxe edition’!

and another show!

The MCBA – Minnesota Center for Book Arts – has a juried exhibition coming up ‘Wonderland Revisited’ – an Alice in Wonderland Theme. I submitted ‘The Joy of Stamping’ and ‘Crazy Carousel – Alice’. The exhibition will be presented in the Open Book Literary Commons Gallery from October 18 through December 15th. YEAH!! … just one thing: I have to make another Carousel book, don’t have one ready to ship … argh …

Joy of Stamping

Crazy Carousel – Alice

good news!

This last week I received a letter in the mail from the Monroe County Library, Rochester, New York. On July 26th was the deadline to apply for ‘The Art of the Book’ exhibition. Both of my entries have been accepted into the show. ‘Year of the Dragon’ and ‘A Sun that Rises’ will be on display from November through January.

‘Year of the Dragon’ – Flag Book

‘A Sun that Rises’ – Accordion Book

Heidelberg windmill

Was working at Painted Tongue Studios in the afternoon – the late day’s sunlight illuminated the Heidelberg. So pretty!

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