Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thursday January 20, 2011Theme Thursday/Poets United/ A River of Stones/Statement about Artists' Books

Theme Thursday Prompt: Flip


... Flip

... Flip

... Flip



Both sides the same....


Poets United Prompt: #20 As time Goes Bye

As time goes bye,
I realize there
Are things that have gone bye,
Like the memory of lovely meadows,
High in the mountains,
I loved each day,
But know I'll never pass
That way again.

And time goes bye
So many things that were
But with time
They have gone bye
Fading into distant memory
They are the glittering jewels of my life.
Skipping across a sparkling steam,
From rock to rock,
As a red dragonfly in summer.

Image from the internet.

Small Stone #20

On the first day of school,
I received my books.
Since I could not yet read
I did not know what they said,
But I knew they were precious.
I remember we were told,
Do not write on your books,
We made brown paper covers
Today I still hold books precious.
An entry, a beginning.


Petite Enchantments Book Project

Petite Enchantments is an altered book. I selected this book project as my first project, because of the number of little books that would go inside. I found the little bookcase, and I painted it with buttermilk paint. The challenge was to create little books to go inside of the little bookcase. It was a good opportunity to teach myself to make books. They were small, but they had everything a larger book would have. I created the little books, from a children's book, Nursery Friends From France, My Travelship, A New and Decidedly Different Series of Travel Books for children. It was a delightful children's book, I found in a used bookstore in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The book was no longer in good condition, so it didn't cost very much.


The artists' book is a work of art that is conceived as a book and doesn't exist in any other form or format. I have become interested in artists' books and artists' book projects. Artist's book projects are artists books that extend beyond just the book, or may be a series of books. As in the Petite Enchantments, the altered books, the bookcase, and an additional book, used as a pedestal for the little bookcase.

According to Brad Freeman, "...artists' publication are a marginal activity (even within the art world), there are few outlets for viewing and buying them. However, the number of stores that carry artists' publications has increased in the past fifteen years.

April Sheridan says, "In this moment, I notice a number of remarkable things occurring--culture shops popping up that are including artfully made books along with music and clothing; a number of people using books in their art; conferences on the future of the book and the future of letterpress."

She also says, she has often heard artists say, "I'm not a writer I'm an artist"? "Some artists fear writing, fear even a basic critical engagement or discourse They believe that in some way it might remove the pure pleasure they receive from the making. But writing is a way of thinking and thinking is what improves the outcome of our artistic process. Writing is essential to understanding and to connecting us to the rest of the world."

Joanne Mattera reported from Art Miami, last year it was the "tree," this year it was the book; paintings, installations, everything--"book."

Lucy Lippard published the essay Conspicuous Consumption: New Artist's Books, " which she outlined reasons why the democratic multiple had failed to reach its full potential. She felt that the artist's book, in attempting to compete with mass culture, had modeled itself on commercial publishing and thus become a watered-down imitation of both literature and art."

"While criticizing the apparent failures of artists' books, Lippard also highlighted a number of artists she felt were making exceptionally promising work. She cited Wendy Ewald's Appalachian Women: Three Generations, which she praised as a work that combines photos and oral history to create a moving document about the "real world" issues. Lippard called Masao Gozu's In, New York, a book "whose form as well as its content provide a bit of a jolt."

"There are two ideas about artist's books. One is the democratic idea, that artists want to make books that are intimate, portable and that communicate meaningful content to a diverse audience, and the other is the expensive work that sells to a few private collectors and special collections libraries."

As an artist, I like the idea that as books are disappearing, I am fetishizing books or making precious. It is with an actual book, my sensibilities awaken. I love book and enjoy the tactile qualities of the book. I love to hold them, touch and feel them, smell them and of course read them. There is also a history of the pages of a book that I like; a sequence, the marking, the tears, topography, and the weight of a book. As Tess Kincaid has posted on her blog, "I adore the scent of old paper in secondhand book stores and the dance of words on a page..."

For more than a thousand years all manuscripts were written and illustrated by hand. There has always been a tension between the text and the illustration: if the book was sent to the illustrator first, little room was left for text. And if the book was sent to the text artist first, very little room was left for the illustration. Sometimes books are made up of only words, and sometimes books are only illustrations. The book has a complex format that is difficult to exhibit and laborious to produce. The making of the book confers authority on the maker and the cultural icon of the book remains a potent sign.

The experience of making and reading books occurs in a private and meditative apace. The activities of making a book are socially coded in a positive way for me. The sewing of pages, the handling of glue and paste, sometimes detailed drawings and paintings. The making of a book reflects the attention to detail and a disposition toward an esthetic pleasure in the selection and combination of materials.


Brian Miller said...

smiles. so cool you held onto those book covers...i think this is a really cool project...

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I love your stone about books. I have been bringing home an armload of books from the library every week since I was five! Lotta books. I love the little bookcase and the beautiful little books you made. That is an awesome skill to have, it must make you feel good to look at that little case full of handmade books. Wonderful, Annell!

Hey, Taos was the setting of a movie I watched last night about Georgia O'Keefe. So beautiful there!

Stafford Ray said...

"They are the glittering jewels of my life". That seems to apply to your books too, Annell! (smiles).

Karen said...

You flip poem is truly magical. I love everything about it. Well done!!

SandyCarlson said...

Your books look beautiful. I would love to see one of your books. I have tried this but given up too soon. Your talent inspires me.

So does your poetry. So, thank you friend.

Cad said...

Your Magpie #49 link has not lead me to what I seek! It even took me an age to find anywhere to leave a comment, you are so prolific...

Brian Miller said...

oh i love the red dragonfly one...dragonflies are so cool...and a fun one for flip...both sides of the same if only we could see both...

Jingle said...

love both piece.
the cute flow of the first poem,
the lovely dragon fly of the 2nd poem...

keep up the excellence.
Happy Friday!

Terresa said...

A beautiful collection here, both of poetry and of books.

You taught yourself how to make books (I love that). Awe. Awe. :) Love your Petite Enchantments Book Project!!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Annell, the red dragonfly poem is simply wonderful. I love the "sparkling jewels" of your life, skipping across the stream. And the small bookcase and petite books are enchanting. What a satisfying project that must have been.