Tag Archives: Don Drake

Pop Up Now II at 23 Sandy Gallery

bettina-pauly-grimms-fairy-tale-theatre-hansel-and-gretel (Bettina Pauly)

I’ve been waiting for the Pop Up Now II Show to open at 23 Sandy Gallery  to share with you the “How To” books about Pop Ups that I keep in my studio. I had planned to tell you about those books with you in this week’s blog post but now, as I’m editing the post, I realize I’m out of time. So, here is the first part of two parts:

jihae-kwon (Jihae Kwon)

One of the many great things that Laura Russell and her staff do with shows is build a beautiful online catalog of all the work in each show. Although I try to go in person, and had hoped to go this time, a sick cat means I have to enjoy the books from afar. Grab your favorite beverage and take a moment, or an hour or two, to wander through the amazing books in this show. And, it’s not too late to go in person, the show is open until December 17th.

the-day-i-met-george-don-drake (Don Drake)

Some of my favorites, although very hard to choose, include Bettina Pauly’s Grimm’s Fairy Tale Theatre “Hansel and Gretel”, A Different Kind of Carousel by Jihae Kwon, The Day I Met George by Don Drake, and Uri Mwita Mama by Judy Sgantas.

uri-mwita-mama-by-judy-sgantas  (Judy Sgantas)

And, for only $25 you can get a full color Exhibition Catalog for your collection. I just ordered mine today.

And now that I’ve enjoyed the pop-up books in 23 Sandy gallery show,  I’ve got to get back in the studio. So, next week I’ll share with you the Pop Up “How To” Books I keep on my bookshelf.

Until then, have a good week.

~Ginger

http://www.gingerburrell.com

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Making Art from Paint Chips: “So Different” (3 of 3)

Don Drake, who is the artist at Dreaming Mind, recently completed an edition of So Different.  When I saw the book, I loved his very creative and thought-provoking use of “white” paint chips. I’ve looked at a lot of paint chips and I’d never thought of using them in this way. But then that is what makes art so wonderful, many of us can look at the same starting materials and create such different art. Today is the last post about art using paint chips. From boxes, to flag book flags, to exploring perception of color.

Don says of his book, So Different:

“So Different was sparked by a routine conflict with a friend and the subconscious urges to forgive and punish that bubbled up. The result was a cycle of 4 short poems. I read them as psychic autopsies; an opportunity to stand aside and view the paradoxical logic the us-and-them. Paint chips seemed a perfect illustration for these character studies. Their subtle hues only take on real meaning when placed in a context and their names are crafted to evoke emotion and memory.”

Have you made art using paint chips? Feel free to post a link to your work in the comments section.

~Ginger

www.gingerburrell.com

Making Art from Paint Chips: Boxes (1 of 3)

Isn’t it funny that the moment your focus changes you become more aware of something that has always been there? Many years ago a friend of mine, Michelle, told me that she collected alligators. Alligators? I mean really, how many alligator things are there? All of a sudden I saw alligators everywhere. Alligator salt and pepper shakers, alligator t-shirts, alligator mugs.

My new awareness is about paint chips. You know those nifty little sample cards that you can’t help but collect when you go to the hardware store? They’re like candy for artists. Small, perfectly proportioned, neatly contained bursts of color. I’ve always been drawn to them, but now I have an excuse! I’ve started collecting them for our new home. What color for the living room? The bedroom? The kitchen? You get the idea.

I’ve now got a sizeable collection of samples (some of which make me wonder – what was I thinking?!) and I was trying to find something to do with the samples we rule out. Right about the same time, I ran across a blog titled, How About Orange, and this great tutorial on how to turn paint chips into boxes. “Oh!” I thought, “I have to write a post about that.”

Then, as I was writing this post I had another aha moment and remembered this amazing artists’ book that my friend, Don Drake, had shown me recently where he used all white paint chips as the subject matter. And later, when I was about to post this, I remembered another great book with paint chips that another friend, Janice Bohman, recently made in the Recycled Materials class. So this single post has now became three:

  • Today, the original paint chips into boxes
  • Wednesday, Janice’s artists’ book using paint chips as flags
  • Friday, Don’s book which uses all “white” paint chips to examine our perception of color.

So, first, here is the tutorial from How About Orange on making boxes from paint swatches. And here are some photo of the boxes I made.

My paint chips were not 5×5 so I adjusted the sizes as I went along. As long as you keep your sides all the same size it’s pretty easy. I made my box tops 1/8″ longer and 1/8″ wider than the base so they would fit neatly. I went one step further and turned another paint chip into a small accordion book that fits in the boxes:

~Ginger

www.gingerburrell.com

Turning it 90 degrees: Why Having a Community of Artists Matters

You may remember how I got stuck on making the titles using embossing powder and how a visit to the Maker Faire helped me gain a new perspective: Turn it 90 Degrees.

Well after a visit with a friend and fellow artist, Don Drake of Dreaming Mind Bindery, I’ve had another 90 degree moment. This time provided by Don, “Use straight PVA.”

I do use straight PVA, but never for covering boards. I was taught to use some combination of PVA and methyl cellulose for workability and drying time and, quite honestly, I didn’t have a good understanding of what I was doing by adding the methyl cellulose – I was adding moisture/water.

So Don and I were chatting about my new quilt book (still in progress) and the covers that I’d done so far. I wasn’t happy with the way there was some glue bleed through (see original post and photo) and when Allison, via comments to the blog post, asked if I considered making the quilt pieces into book cloth I thought, “Doh! Why didn’t I do that?”

Fast forward to a conversation with some artist friends about the best way to make book cloth from the quilt pieces and Don asks me, “Why don’t you use straight PVA?” Well, because you don’t use straight PVA  on book covers, right? Don pointed out that the bleed through was because of the moisture in the methyl cellulose and maybe some from the PVA. He recommended that I try straight PVA wet and, if that didn’t work, roll the PVA on the board until it was tacky and almost dry and then use heat to reactivate it to glue on the cloth.

I haven’t actually tried to glue the quilt with the straight PVA yet, I’m still working on the content of the book, but I did try it on the covers for the most recent copies of The Heaven Project. What a dream! The paper I use for the covers is lovely but moody and when I switched from the PVA/methyl cellulose mixture to straight PVA (wet) – wow! The paper was happy, I was happy, and my covers are beautiful.

My conversation with Don reminded me that I need to get to know my materials better and not just do what I’ve been taught to do. Mix it up a bit. Try straight PVA. It also reminded me that having a community of artists to toss ideas around with and to ask questions of makes all the difference.

Do you have a community of artists to collaborate with? A great place to start is with the Book Arts Web. Join the list serv and you will instantly be part of a world-wide community of artists.

Do you have a local group? If so, make the time to go. I know, you’ll never have enough time in the studio and it’s tempting to hunker down on your own. But chatting with other artists who have the same challenges you do, who have knowledge that you don’t, who are enthusiastic about art – it is worth the time for your art and your soul.

My local group is the Bay Area Book Artists. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you are welcome there, too! Can’t find a group in your area? Email the Book Arts Web, ask if anyone knows of a group near you. Contact your local college and see if they can refer you. Take a local art class and make a friend. Find just one other artist near you and have lunch once a month. Invite artists as you go and pretty soon you’ll have your own group.

Feel free to post links to your local groups in the comments section – the more the merrier.

~Ginger

www.gingerburrell.com