" Studio Friday, for me, is a network of Artist from all over the world. It's a fabulous way to communicate with and learn from artists of all backgrounds. With this being said, I would love to see a showcase of what YOUR art is. Are you a scrapbooker? A clay artist? Are you a collage artist or a photographer? Do you paint or work in the fiber arts of Knitting, sewing or embroidery? Are you a gardener a botanist or an eclectic artist of many trades? I'd love to see a piece that you have created that you are most proud of. SHOW off your STUFF!!"_~Gabi
This one is a bit tough because I have been posting work that I like as I make it and I also work in many formats: pencil sketches, cartooning, clay figurines, greeting cards, book binding and collage.
I decided to show you something that was quite different for me. I was asked to do a wedding album for a friend’s son’s fiancée. The first thing I asked her was “are you certain – my work is a rather odd” and she told me that is why she wanted me to do it. Scary huh? I ended up making something I call a “Wedding Trio”. It is comprised of three different bindings. The first is the wedding album that is a binding I created for them – they had a Scottish theme with colors of purple and red. The second piece is what I call a “Book of Wishes” for their guests to write their wishes – both serious and especially the funny ones! The third piece is a starbook that is designed to hold pictures of the wedding party. It was my surprise gift to them (they already knew about the design of the other two books) and I gave it to them at their rehearsal dinner so they could put it on their gift table. I didn’t yet have pictures of the wedding party since the wedding hadn’t yet happened, so I made up some paper dolls for everyone. I sneaked behind most of their backs and assembled through covert operations (and email), pictures of everyone, printed them out on my horrible ink jet printer, cut the heads out and glued the faces to the paper dolls. They were hilariously tacky but everyone got a big kick out of them. The happy couple will replace the dolls with the photos from the professional photographer.
Before I go any farther I must credit a wonderful person that took almost all the photographs that I used in the prototype: Brianna Patnode Murratti. She took these fantastic pictures and especially a number of photos that I could use as backgrounds. My dear friend Kerri “Monet-ed” the photos in Photoshop and we printed out laser copies which I used for a lot of backgrounds. The wedding was held outside on a fabulous farm. The wedding was really quirky and fun and it did fit into my odd style. I was petrified before the wedding not knowing what I was going to do, if they would like whatever I did, etc. But when I got Brianna’s pictures and had the fact that the bride worn red wellies, etc. everything fell into place.
I’ve included a sampling of the less “personal” pages. I did tell a story in the album from the day they met, went on a two week trip alone to Scotland hardly knowing one another, the pains of the groom’s parents doing all the wedding plans including excavation and building, and the wedding itself. Whew!!!
I now need to do make a second album and do the inside – again. I’ve learned new techniques and have sorted through some technical problems to make the album last a long time. I have about 80 hours into the prototype and will probably put in twice that on the final. I now have the professional photographer’s pictures and will be adding more pages. Needless to say I’ll never do these professionally!!
Gabi did ask about what we liked to do and I provided quite a list. If I had to pick one, I’d say I love cartooning animals the best. It “feeds” my soul the most of everything I do. I do love doing greeting cards and ATCs. They are instant gratification and a joy to give. Book construction satisfies the scientific part of my brain and I honor my creative side by making unorthodox and sometimes irreverent formats. Working with clay quenches my tactile hunger. Collages make me stretch and explore areas I’m not good at (which are numerous!). Collages are also a great learning tool in color, composition and translation of ideas.
I mentioned I’ve been struggling with “colorizing” my cartoons. At the urging of a friend I am now taking watercolor classes. I am a complete mess! I painted tomatoes that look like great big orange potatoes! The instructor said how watercolor is meant to be looked at from a distance. In my case, you need to view mine from the next county for it to look good! This course is very good for me. Watercolor makes me look at things differently and force me into a completely different approach. I’m a detail person by nature and profession. Because of this I look at details first, then look at the overall picture. I also have a very tight painting style that follows my drawing approach. Watercolor is breaking me out of this and also helps me in another of my weak areas – color usage!! So give me 10-20 years and I’ll be proficient (provided I don’t die first!)