Tag Archives: Ginger R. Burrell

Join Me for Art and Nature on Labor Day Weekend, Sept 1-2, 2017

Ginger Burrell - Hexagon Box Open with Star Book (H).jpg

Join me for two days at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology on September 1 & 2, 2017. We’ll be making this star book and hexagon box, the perfect “frame” for the plants we’ll gather and press in this beautiful setting.

Space is still available, but don’t wait too long. Classes always fill. For more information.

Star Book in a Hexagon Box






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.


Cat-A-Log Week 1 by Ginger Burrell


Cat-A-Log Week 2 by Karen Koshgarian


Cat-A-Log Week 3 by Ginger Burrell


Cat-A-Log Week 4 by Karen Koshgarian


Cat-A-Log Week 5 by Ginger Burrell


Cat-A-Log Week 6 by Karen Koshgarian


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.




Meet The Cats


In pretty much every blog post I’ll mention three things. My art, my husband, Greg, and my cats. They’re a huge part of my everyday life. And often they’re my best, and worst, distractions.

Artists and our pets. It’s kind of a thing isn’t it? I’ll bet you’ve got one or more furry or feathered friends who keep you company while you work. In my case, its cats. Three of them.


In the last blog post Greg mentioned a bump on the head. That was compliments of Theo who is currently sitting on my computer desk trying to catch the pages of the artists book that I’m printing as they come out of the printer. Theo is still young and gets into everything. His curiosity is endless and he really can’t help himself. He can’t hold still. He can’t resist a noise. He can’t resist his own tail if it moves.


Two weeks ago Theo couldn’t resist a stack of paper, that shouldn’t have been where it was, and knocked it off in a sliding avalanche onto the floor of the office. (He is now standing on the file cabinet trying to reach an imaginary bug on the wall, nope, cleaning his foot, now chewing on the tape bit sticking out of the labeling machine and now on my desk in front of the screen so I’m having to look around him to type this.)


There. Now Theo is in the garage with his buddies. The garage is their big adventure. We have too many predators where we live to send them outdoors, but the garage is an ever changing cat jungle gym. It’s where they go when I need to concentrate.

Back to the pile of papers that swooshed down onto the floor. As I muttered Theo’s name under my breath I proceeded to hit my forehead with impressive force on a very sharp desk corner. It turns out you really can see tweety birds and stars…

I downplayed it for a day or two and after four days straight of headaches and the inability to be in bright light I had to admit I’d concussed myself. Of course the cats were thrilled I’d hit my head because then I was right where I “should” be, in bed, ready to pet them.

As you can guess, Theo is too young to go to the studio yet. He’d have a great time, but I’d have to throttle him. On a tangent, Theo is named after an artist. Well, an artist’s brother. He came with the name Chauncey which didn’t fit. We wanted to name him after an artist and his side markings look like a Van Gogh painting, but we didn’t like Vince or Vincent for him either. So we went with the brother, Theo.

Then there is Ellis. Ellis, who is also young, but at 4 years old, twice Theo’s age, is just old enough to come to the studio. As I’m getting ready for Codex my hours in the studio are getting longer and longer. Ellis is so desperate he’s been sleeping in his “going to the studio” carrier so he won’t miss me as I go by. We’ve been working up to spending the day with me. Yesterday he successfully did an hour in the studio without any damage to my artwork or the cat!

He really wants to be on my work table so I’m working on training him to go only in his box on the table. The floor is a free go zone. The table, not so much.

Chinle, who is 17, has my favorite provenance story. When Greg and I were first dating we took a driving trip to the Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, etc. In Chinle Arizona we were at an overlook at the Canyon de Chelly (pronounced Canyon du Shay) and up walks this beautiful, starving kitty. I picked her up and she wrapped around my neck. Greg asked me what I was doing and I told him she was starving and was going to die. He told me that cats die sometimes. I told him, “Not this one and if you want to break up when we get home I understand.” We went to the local Safeway, fed and watered the cat, and snuck her into the hotel for the next two nights while we drove home to California.

Well, clearly we didn’t break up and, ironically, Chinle is Greg’s cat. She loves him more than anything (And he loves her more, too. He greets the cat and then me. Yes, I know.) Theo loves Chinle, too.

Chinle is a bit too nervous for the studio. She doesn’t mind the occasional visit while tucked safely in Greg’s arms, but she’d much rather be in her heated bed than the house.

So there you have them. “The cats.” In our house that’s often said with affection, exasperation, and hysterics. Usually within the same few minutes.

Which reminds me of a project I did with my dear friend, Karen called “Cat-A-Log.” Next week I’ll tell you about it.

Do you have a studio pet? I’d love to hear about them and see photos. Feel free to post in the comments!








Memories of Love – a Vintage Valentine Flutter Book for You to Cut and Fold

valentine 2

I’m  a sucker for Valentine’s Day. Perhaps it is my love for chocolate or perhaps it is the pretty cards. My otherwise non-gushy husband often gives me a beautiful, sentimental card that melts my heart for the rest of the year — (I usually hear “ditto” in response to my professions of love.)

This year I’ve made a flutter book for you using images of the valentines I remember from my childhood. Remember those pretty paper valentines with the silly sayings and thin white envelopes? One of my earliest memories is being home sick from school, laying on our teal floral couch (it was the 70’s) and carefully signing my valentines in my best penmanship.

Whether as a gift for a friend, an addition to your collection, or as a way to share with your children the valentines of your youth, I hope you enjoy. Feel free to print and share as many as you’d like.

2016 Memories of Love by Ginger Burrell

This is a big file, so be patient. Click on the title below to download. Print on nice paper. For the demo book, to avoid the stark white, I printed mine on Wausau Royal Fiber in Birch. Be careful when you print. If your print dialogue defaults to “fit to page” it won’t work quite right. The book is designed to have the valentines centered on each page.

2016 Memories of Love by Ginger Burrell

After printing your page, fold the paper in half with the images on the outside and use a bone folder to make your crease sharp.

Memories of Love Flutter Book Instructions -Ginger Burrell (1 of 7)

With your paper still folded, fold each end into the middle fold. Remember to crease every fold. Unfold.

Memories of Love Flutter Book Instructions -Ginger Burrell (2 of 7)

Now fold your paper in half lengthwise. Crease with your bonefolder, then unfold.

Memories of Love Flutter Book Instructions -Ginger Burrell (3 of 7)

Re-fold your paper in half the first direction with the images on the outside. Cut with scissors, very carefully, from the top of the fold, down to the horizontal fold.

Memories of Love Flutter Book Instructions -Ginger Burrell (4 of 7)

Keeping your book folded, use the outer two folded halves to push inward. The cut halves will fold the other way so you have an X.

Memories of Love Flutter Book Instructions -Ginger Burrell (5 of 7)

Lay flat and press starting with the back page (the iron valentine). Voila!

Memories of Love Flutter Book Instructions -Ginger Burrell (6 of 7)

For more free Valentine’s books and instructions check out:

Valentine's Book for blog (1 of 2)

Make a Book for Your Sweetheart: Valentine’s Mosaic





Ginger Burrell - Valentines Flutter Book Directions (2 of 7)

A Valentine’s Flutter Book for Your Sweetheart




Wishing you and your loved ones a nice holiday.





Workshop: Valentine’s Book for Your Sweetheart – Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016

 Sees Candy Box

Valentine’s Book for Your Sweetheart

**Two spaces left for the workshop this Saturday, February 6, 2016 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Ginger’s Morgan Hill Studio**

Create a box full of books that we’ll make out of polymer clay “chocolate” and paper. Your sweetheart will want to eat the delicious looking chocolates and then be tickled to find out that each is really a book with your sentiments inside. Make a whole box full for someone special or several small books for individuals. Class fee $100, Materials Fee $15

Here are some photos of the chocolates that other students have made in this class in previous years:

Stephanie Wolfson

Nancy Welch

Carol Dwinell

Questions? Please feel free to email.



Paper Dolls at Marin MOCA – 6th Annual Altered/Artist Book Show

I’m very tickled to share with you that Paper Dolls was awarded 3rd Place in this year’s (2015) judging by Donna Seager!…

Ginger Burrell - Paper Doll - Small Images for Web (3 of 8)

I participate in the Marin MOCA show each year with the idea that altered books can and should have the same standard of quality, content and detail as any artist book.

I entered the first year thinking that making an altered book was so different from how I usually worked that it would be a good stretch for me as an artist. To my surprise, over time, my experience in making books for Marin MOCA has influenced my regular art practice resulting in such titles as Reliquary, Dear IRS and Breathe for Those Cannot.

Ginger Burrell - Paper Doll - Small Images for Web (1 of 8)

This year’s altered/artist book entry, Paper Dolls, began as a feminist manifesto about the role of women in society past and the ever-present attempts to return women to that role. In the entire book, The Complete Book of Sewing by Constance Talbot (1943), there was only one photograph of a man sewing and he was listed as THE expert.

Ginger Burrell - Paper Doll - Small Images for Web (5 of 8)

Over time, however, Paper Dolls became a sentimental journey through my childhood. As I wrote the poetry, I realized that so much of how I make art now was influenced by the time I spent then with my mother imagining, designing, and creating clothing. Every trip to the fabric store was a lesson in color theory, textures, and attention to detail. Sensory memories of whispery pattern paper, the whirring sewing machine and being pricked with pins, still in the garment, began to rearrange my ideas.

Ginger Burrell - Paper Doll - Small Images for Web (8 of 8)

Ginger Burrell - Paper Doll - Small Images for Web (7 of 8)

Ginger Burrell - Paper Doll - Small Images for Web (6 of 8)

The finished book is multi-layered with poetry printed on cotton patterned fabric, pages made of layered pattern paper, and pages of the original book. The altered/artist book is sewn both by hand, with Coptic binding, and also by machine, through the cotton and paper pages.

Ginger Burrell - Paper Doll - Small Images for Web (4 of 8)

I am fascinated with technology and enjoy incorporating the digital with the traditional book form in a way that serves the book’s content. In the one copy for Marin MOCA,  Paper Dolls features a digital frame which plays a fashion show of pattern packets with women’s clothing from 1900 to the 1970s. This theme is further expressed with inclusion of cut-out paper dolls presented in the “sewing” box with the finished book.

Ginger Burrell - Paper Doll - Small Images for Web (2 of 8)



PS. Mom, I love you!





The Power of Art with Children (or Why Every Child Should Make Books, Lots of Them)

This is an extraordinary example of a partnership between an artist and school children.  Titled, If I Had a Garden, this book is a real treat. I’d tell you more about what I loved, but I’ll ruin the surprise…

Thank you to Klaus von Mirbach for sharing this on the BookArts ListServ.

You’ll find more of Klaus’ work in his blog. I think his work is amazing!

I especially enjoyed his photographs on his work with schoolchildren.

Have you made art with school children? I’d love to feature your work, too. Please email me or leave me a comment.