Friday, September 29, 2006

Studio Friday: Toot Your Own Horn...LOUD!

" 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 fiancĂ©e. 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!)

12 comments:

APlanet4Creation said...

That is the coolest thing I've seen!! Maybe I'll get you to do a 10 year anniversary book for me? :D

Bejeweled said...

That is so unique and original. And your bookbinding is amazing - so beautiful!

Carrie Sommer said...

Oh my, I am speechless. Simply beautiful binding, photography, layout, everything!

Salix Tree said...

Beautiful! The binding is so pretty. I love it!
Funny, the bride wore red wellies, what a scream! Nice to be different!

Ouissi Gresty said...

I love your books..beautiful binding...I adore coptic stitching!

Its lovely to see wedding books made by someone else..I spend a lot of time making wedding journals & guestbooks although I often think they are too personal to the client to post...maybe I'll have to start putting more on the blog...

Love this post...

Ouissi x

Going For Greatness said...

Ok .. all I can say is "WOW!" I am completely in awe of these books that you have made. Please tell me you SELL these fabulous books. I am DROOLING for one now. I LOVE your binding. It's art in itself.
The wedding trio is fantastic. I can't stop looking at these 3 pieces wondering how long they took you to make and the amount of love and spirit that went into making them!! The Scot in me is in love with everything about these and also their wedding.. *sigh* how romantic is that?! I love that she wore Wellies! She's gotta be one fun lass!!
I am so glad you took this topic in the direction you did, I had no idea you were a book maker and I am so glad you decided to share these absolutely GORGEOUS pieces to us!!!!
XO
Gabi

sharla said...

Wow! What an amazing gift for the bride. So much more meaningful than the traditional wedding album. Beautiful!

kerrip said...

Of course, I've seen the real thing...and I'm not a bit surprised at the reactions of others to just looking at a images on screen. I still love the "she moves" spread best, though the entire piece has your quirky sense of humor along with a whimsical family affair. (i ALSO had the world's worst time posting yesterday, which is why I didn't post until today, at home on mozilla!!)

I need orange said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, and thanks for the compliments! It was your post that sent me to the Studio Friday page.

I love that they wanted you to do the wedding books for them *because* you wouldn't do something ordinary and boring, and I love what you did. So much more meaningful than the standard and ordinary..... And more fun, too!

I agree with you entirely on "more pics = better pics". I read one time that National Geographic photographers might take a dozen rolls of film for one article. At the time I thought "Jeez! If I took that many pics, I could get some good ones, too!" Now, with digital, I can do that, without going broke!

Anke said...

Oh those ones are awesome! I bet this will be a great surprise!

Ellen said...

This is truly impressive! What a wonderful way to capture such a special day and time for this couple!!!

AscenderRisesAbove said...

this is very cool. I really like how the picture shows through many pages; I had not thought about doing anything like that on ones that I have done. Great idea!! Thanks for sharing all your knowledge!!