Monday, February 28, 2011

Hand Papermaking Magazine and the Handmade Paper Guild

At a recent Handmade Paper Guild meeting we had an opportunity to help out papermaker extraordinaire, Andrea Peterson, and the Hand Papermaking Magazine.  The magazine is publishing a 25th anniversary book that celebrates the art of hand papermaking and the artists that are at the top of their game. 

This book, spearheaded by Andrea from LaPorte, IN, features amazing paper swatches of 25 papermakers.  As Guild members, we touched the swatches, drooled over the swatches :) and then glued the swatches into the books.  This project is monstrous.  With a group of about 12 we only finished 30 and a limited edition of 1,000 is planned for.  Andrea has been assembling these by herself and others in her studio too. 

We were glad to help and it was fun.  In return for our labor, Andrea showed us two of the past Hand Papermaking Magazine portfolios.  These were filled with incredible gems.  One portfolio featured watermark samples and the other was filled with pulp painting samples.  Oh my!

Handmade Paper Guild helpers assembling the books at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center.

One of the finished books.

As you can immediately see just by looking at the type, this book was well designed.

Each page has an entry by the artist as well as a description of the sample.

Another beauty.

At one point I remembered what artist did which swatch.  I'm sorry I can't remember anymore.  Note to self:  write things down!

Can you read the artists featured for each year?  Not household names perhaps, but in the world of paper:  wow!

If you're interested in more information, here is the post on the Hand Papermaking website.  It was written by Andrea:

I chair a committee of Hand Papermaking’s board of directors working on a project called “Hand Papermaking 25” to commemorate our upcoming anniversary. This exciting project will bring together 25 paper artists who previously appeared in Hand Papermaking magazine. Each will represent a particular year in which they were featured, and each will produce a distinctive new paper specimen.

These noteworthy contributors to the advancement of the field will be asked to write a short text reflecting on their magazine article, and the evolution of their work from that year to the present. This statement will appear with a 4x4 sample of the handmade paper they produce for this project, along with a description addressing the materials and techniques they employed. The book will include a preface by Tom Bannister and an introductory essay by Michael Durgin, one spread for each of the 25 artists, and some concluding remarks. Each copy in the edition of 1000 will be uniquely bound into a letterpress printed cover commissioned from one of four distinguished mills.

“Hand Papermaking 25” will be published in October, 2010, and sell for $65 per copy. A special price of $50 each is offered to those who purchase four copies, with unique covers commissioned from four different mills. Postage is $4 in North America and $9 overseas. Please support Hand Papermaking, as we look forward to celebrating our 25th anniversary year in 2011.

If you want to purchase these books you can go here.   This book is beautifully made.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

One World One Heart Recap

For this year's One World One Heart blogging event I posted my giveway, visited most of the people that visited me and left a post, then hit some of the blogs on the main list that seemed like they might be interesting.  There are just too many (800+) to hit them all.  If others followed the same strategy it's likely that many missed me.  After all, what's cool about a blog called "Lorrie Grainger Abdo".  I may need to rethink my blog name. 

Anyway, here are some of my favorite blogs from my OWOH journey:

*   Cathy Horner at Cathy Horner Collage Art.  A funky collage artist with a unique style from Tennessee.

*   Nancy Baumiller at Crowabout. A zettiologist, also from Tennessee.

*   Susan Himmel at Living the Dream.  A watercolorist and winner of my OWOH giveaway.  She lives in the beautiful Berkshires of Massachusetts.

*   Lulu at My Pink Turtle. A painter of colorful girls (and other things) from Quebec.

*   Cindy Dubbers at Crimson Heart Studios.  A California mixed-media artist.  Her giveaway was a mosaic heart.  Sound familiar?  Hers however, was not made of paper.  Very cool, colorful stuff in her world.

*   Jennifer Conway at Raven's Rest Studio.  A Vancouver mixed-media artist.  Sure wish I had won one of her giveaways!

*   Diane at Turn Left at the Pigs.  A southern Ohio jewelry artist.  This site caught my eye because of the great name.  Apparently she lives in a very rural area and there is not a street sign en route to her home.  Thus, the direction "turn left at the pigs" was born. 

I didn't win a prize this year.  But, like the lottery, it's hard to win when you don't buy a ticket.  I only entered giveaways for things that I really, really wanted.  It's always fun to receive anything in the mail from a fellow artist but I'm in the purging mode right now and only want things around me that I truly love.

OWOH has had a good five-year run and I participated for three of those five years.  It's done now.  However, it is coming back in a different form next year.  It will be interesting to see where it goes.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day!

Having said that, and meaning it wholeheartedly, I must say that this is kind of a non-event in our lives.  I've been married 20 years.  I've spent Valentine's Day with my husband only once in all those years.  He attends Toy Fair in NYC every year and every year it falls over February 14.  He's out working hard, making money and dining well.  I'm at home working hard, not making much/any money and eating poorly!

Where ever your love may be, I hope that you know it is solid as the milk chocolate heart you enjoy scarfing down.  :)


Friday, February 11, 2011

Altered Photography Workshop - Kalamazoo Book Arts Center

On Sunday, I switched venues and taught at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center.  On a record-setting low temperature degree day (-9 overnight), what better place to be than creating in a creative environment?  Here's the work from the day...

This was Jaclyn's first attempt.  Wow!  Enough said.

I love the harsh, graphic background of this against the softness and color of the flowers.  Jaclyn is a high school student in a rural district.  She told me that she doesn't have much exposure to art at her school.  Her grandparents, on the other hand, are well known artists in the area and certainly provide her with inspiration and the inclination to create.

Jill is an excellent photographer to begin with so she had to work with idea of making an already good photo interesting in another way.  She worked larger (8 x 10, I think).  The flower bloom on the left was stunning in its new bluish, pink color and her background was beautiful.  The scratched in flower to the far left was a try at eliminating a flower that was already there in the photo.  I don't think she likes this part of her work as much.  But, now she can scan the photo and crop that part of it out.  Magic!

Compare this finished photo with the one above when it was still work-in-progress.  She used paint markers to adjust her background because the paper/ink combination wasn't taking the watercolors the way it should.  I like how she made lemons out of lemonade and wound up with a photo that pops.

This is the work of Stephanie (in the middle).  She's a senior in High School and takes some photography classes.  What could be better than hanging out at the beach with your friends?  She used it all here:  scratching, sanding, painting, pasteling, markering.  She knows Photoshop so I'm envisioning a scan of this photo with additional digital manipulation.  Cool.

This was also created by Stephanie.  She highlighted Diesel's eyes by painting the background in similar colors.  It also makes the dog pop.  In the original photo the dog was on a boring tan sofa.  Probably a super nice sofa, but not so interesting in the world of altering photos!  Notice the tiny, little holes that outline the dog. 

This photo was altered by Doreen.  Her color palette is much more peaceful and thoughtful than the loud colors I typically go for.  The background on this butterfly photo continued to evolve as the afternoon went on.  She sanded off almost all the background of the original photo but left just enough to make it interesting.  At first quite flat with only one/two colors, it changed as she slowly layered watercolor, oil pastels, more watercolor and a bit more.  Very nice!
Doreen was experiencing problems with the photos she brought because of the way they were developed with indestructible paper/ink.  So, she tried one of my photos and did a great job with it.

This is the work of Molly.  She has taken another class from me and I've come to know her through other avenues as well.  She is a fun lady with lots of talent.  This is Devil's Tower, Wyoming.  She has worked the entire photo by scratching into the Tower, sanding on a texturing plate for the sky then carefully adding color in the spots she wanted it.  The result is that the photo is more powerful than it's 4" x 6" size would indicate.  It think it's great.

If you've read through all the captions you've probably noticed that there were a couple of glitches with the developing of some of the pictures.  As an instructor, this is so frustrating.  As a student, this is so frustrating.  I feel like I know the techniques I'm teaching pretty well and then a wrench is thrown into the works.  We adjusted.  Jill and Doreen were patient.

If you're interested in altering photos you need to know what's going on in the world of photo developing.  In the past, photos were developed and after time they would fade.  A drop of water could ruin a picture in seconds.  Photos were easily destructed.  Now, like all technology advancing at the speed of light, photo developing has changed.  HP features photo developing that is guaranteed not to fade for 200 years.  Other companies are doing all they can to progress as well.  For 99.9% of the market these are good/great improvements.  For those of us purposely trying to destroy aspects of the photos this becomes a huge problem. 

I think/I hope everyone went home with an understanding of how to alter photos by hand, despite some photo developing issues.  What fun it can be!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Altered Photography workshop - Art Center of Battle Creek

One weekend in January I taught Altered Photography to two groups of creative folks. 

On Saturday I headed over to the Art Center of Battle Creek.  It was my first time teaching at there and it was a positive experience.  So, from noon to three on a freezing cold, blizzardy day, we played with photos, watercolors, pastels, markers and various distressing tools like sandpaper, awls, needles and texturing plates.

This is Donna.  She had quite a few photos to choose from and worked wonderfully with her floral close ups.  The one on the left was from a black and white photo.  The one on the right has a wonderful background that was achieved by sanding over a textured polymer clay pattern plate.

This is Kari.  She's a mom that needs her creative fix once in a while.  Maintaining sanity is kind of important!  She did a great job with quite a few of her photos.  The one on the right was printed in black and white then she went in and highlighted the clothing by scratching in an outline/pattern.  Adding color was the last step.  The building on the right has a new background that is much more interesting than the original.

Here is the mom/daughter team of Kim and Morgan.  While hard to see it in this photo, the picture of the lone person on the beach used to have two people in it.  It amazes me that by using the simple techniques of sanding and painting, you can completely eliminate things in a photo.  Morgan had fun giving her cat a spot of supreme importance.  Of course, don't cats always think that they are of supreme importance?

This one and the following were created by Sandy.  Sandy, an art educator for many, many years, is now working on her masters in digital photography.  She took this class to see if there might be a good marriage between the two skill sets.  Yes, indeed!  It does have possibilities for a good marriage.

Many thanks ladies for taking the class.  I'm so pleased with your results.  I think those reading this will be happy to see what you accomplished in one short afternoon.  Now, everybody, go make some more!


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Jumping on the Blizzard Bandwagon

Well, like so many others, I'm going to share my blizzard 2011 pictures.  We were lucky here as the blizzard hit about 5 pm Tuesday, in time for most commuters to plan ahead and get home.  The worst of it came overnight.  And it was over by Wednesday mid-morning.  We got about 12 inches.  A lot of snow but certainly not historic.

We went to bed Tuesday night knowing that school was closed the following day so we actually got to sleep in.  My husband works out of the home so he had to work but had no commuting worries.  All in all, it worked out just dandy for us:  we had food, we didn't lose electricity, there was no place that we absolutely had to get to, and the sun actually came out.  The extra day at home with the kids today was plenty.  I'm ready for normalcy again.

Our back deck.

Fire hydrant almost drifted over.

Yep, school's closed (for 2 days).

This giant snowblower/mini-tractor was like The Little Engine that Could.  It kept getting stuck trying to clear a path at West Middle School.  Eventually, he made...


Daughter Claire enjoying her day off.

Deserted playground.

About 10:00 pm during prime blizzard-mania, my son and his crazy buddies ran screaming from our house to a neighbors (2 houses down).  They were barefoot and wore only their bathing suits.  Guess who they found already in the hot tub?  My daughter and some of her friends.  Many thanks to the Haworth's for this fun diversion!
And so we now move on through February with the hope of an early Spring!

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