Category Archives: Art

Free Cut and Fold Book – Christmas Giggles

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Today I am offering a new free print and make book with the theme of Christmas jokes. It is child friendly and is designed to be colored as part of the process. The images are not mine, they are from coloring book pages you can print free off of the web. So, you should only print and use this for personal or educational use. No selling it. Do you know a parent or teacher who could use five minutes peace? Give them some copies for their children.

Christmas Giggles Book

If you like this book and want to make more, there is a terrific selection of free books available on Marc Snyder’s Free For All.

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to fold and cut the book.

~Ginger

http://www.gingerburrell.com

 

Pop-Up “How To” Books That Deserve Shelf Space

This post is the 4th in a series detailing the “How To” books that survived my studio clean out because they deserve the space they occupy. I’ve been waiting to share with you about the Pop-Up Section until the Pop Up Now II show opened at 23 Sandy Gallery in Portland, Oregon. If you’d like to see the show in person it isn’t too late. The show is open until December 17th.

In case you’d like to read the previous posts:

“How To” Books That Deserve Shelf Space #1

“How To” Books that Deserve Shelf Space #2

“How To” Books that Deserve Shelf Space #3

Pop Up Now II at 23 Sandy Gallery

Now, to move on to Pop-Up “How To” books. Here they are in no-particular order. And I have to mention there are a few more that I want but don’t own yet.

The Elements of Pop-Up: A Pop-Up Book for Aspiring Paper Engineers by David A. Carter and James Diaz

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Don’t like the title scare you away. You don’t have to be any kind of engineer to use this book successfully. If you’re going the kind of person who needs a physical representation of pop-ups in order to figure them out (as I am), this book is for you! It has step by step instructions and detailed information on each kind of pop-up included and…

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it has actual pop-up samples of each kind. If necessary you can take them out of the book and take them apart, but not easily. (Don’t ask how I know this.)

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The Pop-Up Book: Step-by-Step Instructions for Creating Over 100 Original Paper Projects by Paul Jackson

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This is a beautifully illustrated book with extensive diagrams, photos and examples of each kind of technique. For example, “Shape of Slit.” While it looks complicated, the pop-up below is actually two folds and a cut slit. Paul Jackson will have you making fabulous pop-ups in no time.

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Playing with Pop-Ups: The Art of Dimensional, Moving Paper Designs by Helen Hiebert

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Helen Hiebert’s books are always excellent. This one features moveable features like volvelles in addition to the pop-up elements included in the first two books. I especially like that she includes historical information about the techniques.

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If you feel like you already know all there is to know about pop-up techniques, it’s still worth the purchase of this Helen Hiebert book. In addition to a very strong “how to” section, there is this beautiful gallery section. Here are some samples by Julie Chen.

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The Art of Pop-Up: The Magical World of Three-Dimensional Books by Jean-Charles Trebbi

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While this book does have some “how to” at the end, and some samples (see the last photos), the real strength is the history and examples of pop up and move-able books. It’s an education and eye-candy combined.

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I especially love the “Picture from ‘Transforming Performers: with Surprise Pictures” on the page below. Such a simple and do-able concept, but also eye-catching and a terrific way to advance content in a book.

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There is also an extensive gallery section that will introduce you to pop-up artists and their work. It’s a great jumping off point to spend some time with Google and learn even more about these pop-up geniuses.

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These last two photos are samples of the “how to” section of the book. Adequate, but not a good starter book. And honestly I don’t use it for this. But the first two sections are fabulous.

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Well, now I want to go to the studio to make pop-up books! How about this? Next week I’ll give you a freebie tutorial on making pop-up trees. Perfect to use in holiday cards.

Do you have a “How To” Pop-Up book you’d recommend? Please share in the comments!

~Ginger

http://www.gingerburrell.com

The Squirrel of Judgment

 

Next week I’ll try to have more arty things to talk about. In the meantime, here is a terrific prompt sent to me by my friend Audra. I’ve printed it and I’m going to put it in the studio.

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~Ginger

http://www.gingerburrell.com

 

Cat-A-Log: A Joint Project With Karen Koshgarian

Since Sunday was National Day of the Cat it seems appropriate that we bookend the day with two cat related blog posts. Last week, Meet the Cats, this week Cat-A-Log.

Several years ago I began a project titled Picturing Dialogue which was a weekly call and response exchange between me and several other photographers, one-on-one. During that project one of the participants, Karen Koshgarian, and I discovered that we enjoyed our weekly email chats and one another’s perspective on the world and we’ve continued with annual weekly photo exchange projects ever since.

This year we’re doing two projects, “Signs of the Times” and “Watch Your Step.” Having a weekly exchange and an art partner is a great way to keep art-making constant and fresh. If you haven’t tried this kind of art exchange, I highly recommend it. If you’re looking for ideas, you might check out The Photographer’s Playbook: 307 Assignments and Ideas. Although we don’t get our ideas from that book, I do have it in my studio and think it’s a great resource to get you started!

In 2015 one of our projects was titled “Cat-A-Log.” We took turns sending photos of our cats back and forth. Karen’s cat Little Rickey is black with white markings, our kitty, Ellis is white with black markings. It was a fun way to share our love of cats and a much needed break from the more serious political work that I usually do. This is one of the artists books I’m working on in the studio. It will, of course, have one white and one black cover.

Here is a sneak peek of the beginning of the exchange. All photos are copyrighted by the photographers and may not be copied or reproduced without explicit written permission.

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Cat-A-Log Week 1 by Ginger Burrell

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Cat-A-Log Week 2 by Karen Koshgarian

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Cat-A-Log Week 3 by Ginger Burrell

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Cat-A-Log Week 4 by Karen Koshgarian

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Cat-A-Log Week 5 by Ginger Burrell

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Cat-A-Log Week 6 by Karen Koshgarian

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Cat-A-Log Week 7 by Ginger Burrell

Have you done a project about your animals? Have you done a project with another artist? Feel free to link to your project in the comments section.

~Ginger

http://www.gingerburrell.com

 

The Art of Art Feedback

Hi everybody, my name is Greg and I’ll be your guest-blogger this evening.  Yes, I’m the husband Greg that Ginger mentions from time to time.  And yes, despite a recent knock on the noggin Ginger is okay and doing well.  She’s busy in the studio and will return to blogging soon enough.  In the meantime, Ging has asked me to write a few words this week.   So I shall follow the advice of my sixth-grade English teacher (shout out to Ms. Fawcett!) and write what I know.  And what I know is how to be married to An Artist.  So buckle up, here we go…

The 2017 Codex is just around the corner and Ginger is hard at work on new books.  Some of them are just in the idea stage while others have advanced to prototypes.  So I frequently hear Ginger ask, “Hey, I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind giving me some feedback on this new book..?”   And here is my reaction:

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“Deer In The Headlights” by James-The-Nose on deviantart.com

Ah yes, the art of giving art feedback. Those of us who know an artist or perhaps even live with one have been asked to critique new work.  It is a veritable minefield that I occasionally successfully navigate (the unsuccessful navigations could be their own column not to mention material for marital counseling).  Here are some guidelines that I have learned along the way.

  • If you’re the significant other of an artist then your first thought might be, “Why me?  I’m not an artist!  I’m not qualified to say nothing!”  Ah, but you do know how to have an opinion and that’s the first step.  The next step is to not be intimidated.  Treat the art piece as you would a movie, a ball game, or a business plan.   Objectively evaluate each aspect of the piece.  Say what you think works and what doesn’t.
  • Get yourself in the right frame of mind.  Turn off the TV and put down the phone.  Go to a room away from the kids or pets so they don’t distract.   Be aware of your own feelings, are you tired, hungry, stressed, or cranky?  Sometimes I simply have to tell Ginger “I’m really tired right now, let’s wait until I can give it my full attention.”
  • The artist values your opinion and thinks you have helpful insights.  Being asked to give a critique is an honor.  In fact, I like seeing new work because it’s like seeing a new side of Ginger.  I think it’s very cool that even though I’m not an artist Ginger still thinks I have useful things to say about her work.  In return, I have a responsibility to give an honest assessment.   Don’t just dismiss the work with a “hey, great!” or “yeah, its nice”.  Sure, everybody likes to hear praise but the artist probably wants something more helpful.   Which leads me to…
  • You aren’t doing the artist any favors by watering down your feedback.  My mother used to tell me “if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all”. (A phrase which Ginger often reminds me in social situations, to little avail.)  It’s a nice sentiment but I don’t believe it’s true.  Sure, honesty can be dangerous.  There are times when I have strong opinions and maybe Ginger isn’t in the right frame of mind to hear them.   I might make an observation or suggestion and Ginger might disagree and push back.  We’re not arguing, we’re having a dialogue.  And that dialogue can help Ginger clarify her thinking about the piece.  She might storm away in anger but, at the end of the day, Ginger realizes I was just being honest and she appreciates my candor.
  • BE SPECIFIC! Saying, “I don’t like it” is vague.  “This font is hard to read” is more specific.  “It’s confusing” is vague.  “I don’t understand the jump from this page to the next” is better.  Specific is helpful because the artist can then re-examine her choice and decide whether to keep or emend it.  (Though sometimes I think that Ginger’s silence means she’s re-examining her choice in a husband).   Specific feedback is actionable.  “I don’t get it” is vague, what’s Ginger supposed to do with that?  Be specific even in your positive feedback, what elements work and why?  What aspects (materials, colors, flow) work well and why?  What stands out to you?   Despite the fact that it might kill me I realize this is a case where more talking and more words are better.
  • Gently play the devil’s advocate and question each element of the work.  Why is this here?  Why did you choose this? Does this element add to a piece or is it just distracting?  Did you do this just because you can or because the work needs it?  Sometimes I sound like a two-year old asking “why?” over and over but I think it’s a question that needs to be asked.
  • Don’t let the artist give a long introduction or explanation before presenting the piece.  I feel the work should speak for itself.  Too much explanation can color my impressions of a new work.  If there’s a lot to be said then say it in the piece.   Don’t try to sell me on the idea.  Let me look and form my own first impressions.
  • Don’t just focus on technical details, how does the work make you feel?  Sure, comments on book structure, material choices, and other technical aspects are good.  But the point of any art work is to communicate with the viewer’s intellect, heart, and soul.  Does the work touch you?  What emotions does it evoke?  Again, be specific.  Some of the best feedback I can give is to tell Ginger how her pieces make me feel (sad, angry, bored, in awe, curious).
  • Don’t take it personally if the artist doesn’t agree with or act on your ideas.  They are just suggestions from one person.  It’s the artist’s work and the artist has the final say.   Don’t be a baby and get exasperated.  Don’t throw up your hands and exclaim, “They why did you ask for my opinion then?!”   Art feedback is no place for sarcasm, belittlement, or condescension.

I hope you found this useful.  If you’re an artist then maybe forward it to the people who get to see your works in progress.  And I hope this gives you some insight into how us non-artists feel, go easy on us.   -Greg

“How To” Books That Deserve Shelf Space #3

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Still working on the studio clean out, but now working in the studio with some cleaning at both ends of the day. It’s exciting to see my new ideas for Codex taking shape.

In the meantime, here are the next five “how to” books that have earned their space on my  studio bookshelf.

As a reminder, my criteria for a book staying include one or more of the following:

  1. Unique binding ideas
  2. The best photos and instructions for a particular binding
  3. A gallery of book examples with outstanding artists books.

In case you’re wondering, here are List #1 and List #2.

This week’s five:

Sleight of Binding by Cherryl Moote

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This book has all of those fun “how did they do that?” bindings. Flexagons, KaleidoCycles and more. The instructions include basic drawings and are a bit more challenging than some of the other books on my shelf. I think my friend, Janice, would love this book. She loves puzzles and math and has the patience to make bindings over and over until she’s got them down. This is one of those books. Worth having, but you’ll need the time to make the structures work for you.

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The Essential Guide to Making Handmade Books by Gabrielle Fox

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This book has terrific step-by-step directions with very good photographs. Gabrielle Fox makes each binding accessible to beginners and experienced artists alike. Each section also has a Gallery of Ideas, like the one featuring the Train Log by Hedi Kyle, below.

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The Art and Craft of Handmade Books by Shereen La Plantz

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This book has beautiful images and some great bindings. Among my favorites are her Recessed Skewer Bindings. You can see from the two sample pages below she begins with a binding concept and then extends it into other ways of using that binding. I just love that approach. She also includes many, many samples from terrific artists. In my opinion this is one of those “must have” books.

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Hedi Kyle Festschrift 2009 by Multiple Authors

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This is a fun book celebrating Hedi Kyle and her contribution to book arts. There are several stories from artists who have worked with and/or been influenced by her, several diagram drawings of her structures and articles about bookbinding and conservation. It is available on Lulu by Rutherford Witthus.

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Cover to Cover by Shereen La Plantz

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Another book by Shereen La Plantz and another must have. Terrific gallery images with samples from artists such as the Fish Messages by Judith Hoffman, below. Clear and conversational instructions with ways to extend each binding with new ideas.

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Well, there it is, three blog posts, 15 “how to” books and we haven’t even finished one square out of 15 in the bookshelf. We’re going to take a break from “how to” books until November when the Pop-Up Now II exhibition will open at 23 Sandy Gallery. Then we have the Keith Smith books. The books about being a professional artist. The inspirational eye candy books…

Next week, studio lighting and a guest blog post by my husband, Greg, who patiently researched and swapped out bulbs until my studio became the beautifully lit, real colors, less eye strain environment that I needed.

~Ginger

http://www.gingerburrell.com

 

You’ve Got to Check Out Anne & Mark’s Art Party This Weekend

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So what about Anne & Mark’s Art Party? Well, you should go! And I’m interrupting my planned blog post to tell you about it because you still have time… Go during the day on Friday, September 30th or Saturday, October 1st and/or go to the Closing Bash on the night of October 1 featuring Pivot – The Art of Fashion. 

Greg and I went on Sunday and had a great time discovering new-to-us artists and enjoying artwork from familiar artists and friends. The Art Party is an enthusiastic explosion of art!

Some of our favorite new-to-us artists include Linda Steenkamp  who made the artwork at the top of this post and Malia Landis who made this ceramic piece, below, titled “California Coast.”

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We were intrigued by the photos by Quinn Peck who used a layering technique where the photo was printed on multiple layers of media with different transparencies. The breeze catching the fabric top layer really caught our eyes and it created interesting changes in the image as you moved around it.

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We particularly enjoyed the photography of Charlotta Maria Hauksdottir and the way her images really captured the many activities that happen in a room in the course of our daily lives.anne-and-marks-art-party-2016-12-of-19

Greg was particularly enamored with the work by Gale Antokal. I had Gale as a professor years ago and am familiar with her work. Her subjects are ambiguous and imbued with implied narrative. Be sure to click her name and wander around her website.

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We were tickled to see the new work that Kent Manske has been doing since his retirement from Foothill.

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And new work from Nanette Wylde, also of PreNeo Press. Each of them master printmakers.

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We were very glad to get to see some of Robin Lasser’s Dress Tent series. We had hoped to go to Carmel for her show and now are even more sorry we couldn’t make it.

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It was also fun to see how Jamila Rufaro and Dotti Cichon are influencing one another on their collaborative work.

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And last, but not least, we couldn’t resist taking a shadow picture with this sculpture outside. I didn’t get the name of the artist, if you know, please tell me.

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To get an idea of how much art there is to see, just check out this list of visual artists. During your visit, be sure to see work by Stan Welsh, Sieglinde van Damme, Jody Alexander, Barbara Boissevain, Rose Sellery, Beverly Rayner, Brian Taylor, Jay Ruland, Nancy Sevier, and many more.

~Ginger

http://www.gingerburrell.com