Tag Archives: The Heaven Project

Outside of the Comfort Zone (Mine)

Not only have I been encouraging you to get your art out into the world, but I’ve also been sending out mine. I’m proud to share with you that my artists’ books will be in three current and upcoming gallery shows in case you’d like to see them in person.

4th Annual Juried Show – Sylvia White Gallery – Ventura, California – now through September 3rd

The first show, going on now through September 3, is at the Sylvia White Gallery in Ventura, California. This annual juried show is why I titled the blog post “Outside of the Comfort Zone.” I was not going to enter this show because: 1. It is the Sylvia White Gallery, 2. It is not a book arts gallery, 3. I was pretty darned sure my work wouldn’t be chosen in this kind of setting. But, at the last-minute, I decided to enter. What’s that saying, you could have knocked me over with a feather? Well, in this case it was true. I’ll admit to some impromptu dancing with my husband in our closet (long story) when we found out that two of my artists’ books, The Heaven Project and Loves Me/Not had been chosen from 1800 entries for the show. If you can’t make it to the gallery in person, you can see the show online, here.

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From Our Perspectives: A National Women’s Art Exhibition – Oakland Community College, Farmington Hills, Michigan – September 15 – October 14

I’m pleased to have been asked to participate in this annual show for a second time, this time with my artists’ book I’m Telling You Now.  The description for the show: “Within their chosen medium, today’s women artists continue to share their unique viewpoints on the material, personal, global, political and cultural landscapes that surround us.”

I’d love to see the show in person but don’t think I can get to Michigan during that timeframe. Are you local? I’d love to see some photos. You can also see slide shows of previous year’s shows: 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007.

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BookOpolis 2011- Asheville Bookworks – Asheville, North Carolina – September 23 and 24 (Some work extended until November 28th)

This year I’ll have One Second of Time and Empty at BookOpolis in North Carolina. It’s not too late to send your own work, learn more here. I’m hoping like last year, to have one book, or both, chosen for the extended Capital Works Show.

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Is there a show you’ve been thinking of entering but are not sure it’s worth the entry fee, potential rejection (At the same time that I was notified of the Sylvia White selection, I was notified that my work was not chosen for the Marin MOCA show, Shattered), or hassle? Remember your art needs a viewer to fulfill its potential and give it a try.

~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

Production Notes (or making an edition of artists’ books)

This week I finished the last of the EYES edition. I’d forgotten how long those little EYES cubes take to make. Painting the cubes, cutting out those little EYES photographs, painstakingly gluing each photo to each face of every cube. Meditative in a way. And, while I was painting and cutting and gluing I was already working on new artists’ books in my head.

In the past I’ve made my artists’ books as I need them. EYES was an edition of 10, I made two in the edition to start and have made one or two at a time since. Now that I’m sending the last three in the edition to Vamp & Tramp, I can’t help but think that maybe I should make all of the new work as complete editions. If there is 1o in an edition, make all 10 at once.

My editions are never very big, 25 at the most. Often 5 or 10. Part of the reason is that I have more ideas than I have time to make books and another reason, quite honestly, is that I get bored with making the same book. I love the process of making artists books, the first thrill of a new idea, the excitement of picking every detail:  what structure, creation of the content, the book cloth or paper to cover the book, whether it will have pieces to play with like Rocks or be a more contemplative and traditional book like The Heaven Project. I even love the frustrations, or more specifically the aha! moment, when the problems that plague a book are solved.

So as I get ready to start new work, I’m wondering should I make it all at once? It would be nice to have it all ready to send out without any lead time and it would be nice not to try to find paper, cloth or some other essential for an edition when it turns out I need more than I planned. But would making and storing the books all at once reduce my relationship with the art? Has making EYES cubes over the years helped me bond with the book and keep it close to my heart?

What do you do? Do you make all of the artists’ books in an edition at once? 

~Ginger

www.gingerburrell.com