Last week I finished unpacking my studio and starting working on several new artists’ books. They’re ideas I’ve had floating around during moving and recovery and, finally, I’m ready to get back to work. After months of getting a house ready to sell, moving for the first time in 15 years, and then having a hysterectomy and recovering from that – I finally feel like I once again have the physical and mental energy I need to dedicate to being an artist.
First, I had to start the week by beating myself up mentally. Why on earth didn’t I write/create/develop ideas while recovering? All I was doing was lying around, right?
Next, I had to forgive myself. Apparently I needed all of the energy I had just to heal. I wish I could have used that time more productively (I don’t think watching 63 episodes of Eureka counts as productive) but for some reason I couldn’t. I tried.
And finally, I’m dusting off the cobwebs (and my tools) and starting anew. I’ve started working on images for one of the new artists’ books. Family and friends are gamely standing against a white while for photos while wondering what on earth I’m going to do with them.
Photoshop is less intuitive right now – I know I used to know how to do all of this. I’ve started taking photographs every day – Oh, how I love to take pictures! So far mostly of my garden growing and some jam I made this morning.
I’ve hooked up my new printer, a Canon iX6520 (all by myself, no husband-who-is-an-engineer-tech-support!) and I’ve started testing it. My beloved HP that I’ve used to print all of my artists’ books went kaput and I feel like I’m back at square one. Can I use pages I’ve already printed with pages from the new printer? Do I have to start over? Will this printer print on Rives BFK as beautifully as that old printer?
And I’ve started working in my studio. I’ll post photos of the studio later this week. Right now I’ve got the radio cranked up and I’m remembering how to hold a bone folder and being grateful for my health, for being able to find most things where I look on the first try, and for my amazing new workspace.
Every year I think about giving a Thanksgiving message to the people in my life for whom I am grateful and every year I get too close to Thanksgiving and run out of time. So this year, I’ve made this foldable book, using one of my all time favorite fall foliage photographs, to give away. It’s a simple structure and, as my gift to you, you’re welcome to print and make as many of them as you’d like. Use it to say thank you to someone who is important to you. Or many someones. I’ve left the last page blank for you to write in a personal message.
Here is the PDF file, click on the link, not the photo. Be patient, it is a very large file: Thanksgiving Book by Ginger Burrell
For instructions on how to fold it, try Marc Snyder’s How to Make an Eight Page Book Out of a Single Sheet of Paper. (Except there are no edges to trim before beginning.)
For more free books, check out Free For All.
I’m thankful for my many friends in the art community. To all of you, thank you – And a very Happy Thanksgiving.
The Heaven Project began during a trip to Yellowstone National Park during the summer of 2009. I came across a rabbit that had been run over and had the thought that bunnies must go to Heaven because obviously they were “good.” What could a rabbit possibly do that wasn’t good?
I was not brought up in any specific religion, and my mental picture of Heaven is still the one I’ve had since I was a little girl kneeling next to my bed with my grandma teaching me the words, “Now I lay me down to sleep.” I started to wonder where God put all of the people and animals when they go to Heaven.
I asked my husband his opinion, and assumed, since he was raised Catholic, that there would be a standard answer. Instead, he told me that he thinks Heaven is individual for each person. That God grants us the Heaven we envision. If there are bunnies in my version of Heaven, then they’ll be there. If my grandma is in my version, she’ll be there, too.
I didn’t expect this answer from someone brought up with a particular church doctrine, and I started to wonder. What does each person think their Heaven will look like?
I sent out an e-mail to mailing lists and list-servs with the above text and asked people to send me a description of their version of Heaven. The replies are generous, trusting and sublime. It has been a gift to be allowed a glimpse into such personal visions.