Sunday, March 15, 2015

Artist's Books I've Made (post 2 of 3)

I'm doing these posts slightly out of chronological order, in part because of laziness (as it's what I photographed most recently) but also in part because the third artist book I created is actually a better segueway from book 1 than is the 2nd. Book three, then--entitled Fairytale for the Littlest Girls--uses many of the same techniques as did Gestures of a Rose...albeit with some modifications/additions.

another pen-and-ink cover!
The binding (which you can see on the left-hand side of the image above) is once again the very basic japanese stab-binding; however, as I made this book long and skinny, I also wanted to somehow add a kind of closure to the other side of the book. Thus, as you can see here, I crocheted a cord, using the red and blue colors I worked with throughout, that could be wrapped around the base of the book to keep the book closed.

The major themes of this book were both mechanical and anatomical: the heart is a motif throughout, as well as the motorcycle! This is not only where the title page imagery came from (pictured below), but it also helps to explain the gear I added to the crocheted closure, as well as the sleeve in which the whole book was encased. The sleeve is composed of half red, half blue cardstock, which I stitched together in the back in a very visible way as a very abstract rendering of a human heart (in its pre-oxygenated and post-oxygenated blood stages, or course!) that was in need of mending. This heart motif also played out in the closing "fact" I included in the book's back cover, as well as in the colophon design on the sleeve.

as you can see here, I made only 7 of these books--they were significantly
more labor intensive than artist book one!
 The pages themselves were each done individually--I hand-drew, colored, and wrote each of the individual pages in each of the books. In order to facilitate the dream-like quality of the images, I chose to do the outlines of the drawings and the lettering in pen-and-ink with a calligraphy pen. The drawings I did in watercolors and watercolor pencils, so that they would have both a painterly wash to them as well as moments of precise color/texture. The individual pages each tell a piece of a poem/story, as well as depict one of the "girls" that the littlest girl of the book's title can claim as a family member (at least in terms of the way in which she conceives of love. Below, I've included some snippets of images from the book, to give you a sense of the aesthetic.

As with my previous artist book, the copies of this one were given away to good friends. It pleases me to think of these small fairytales in the homes of my loved ones; hopefully they can open them from time to time and enjoy some of the love in looking at them that I threw into making them.

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