Defining My Work

Mini Wallpaper Book

mixed-media book: (running stitch) paper, thread, wallpaper, beads, button, eyelet, elastic
2 5/8″ x 3″ x 3/4″ ©2010 Leah Virsik

My books are getting smaller and smaller lately. I’m using up scraps of paper, mostly and preparing for a class at SCRAP on Saturday, July 10th from 1:00 to 4:00. More details soon!

Still working through Alyson B. Stanfield’s Relatively Pain-free Artist Statement e-book. I’m on a tough question about categorizing my work. And partly I think because I have two different things I do… books and abstract paintings… which at times overlap. Currently, my book focus has been on binding books by hand. Some of my books are one-of-a-kind artist’s books but many are blank books. My blank books are one-of-a-kind as well with emphasis primarily on the cover and the binding. I really feel like I’m in the middle of my creative process and I’m not quite sure which direction I’ll go. I’d like to create more artist’s books but I also get a lot of satisfaction out of quickly making a handbound book. Lately, I’ve been making books as examples that I can teach.

My abstract paintings, abstract expressionism for lack of a better classification, consist of many layers and elements, including paper, paint drippings and eggshells. I work on them without intention until I feel they are done. I’m motivated by color and texture and how they interact with each other on the substrate. My books on the other hand have a very specific intention, measurement and precision.  Lately, I’ve been experimenting a lot with sewing, embroidery, and quilting, incorporating these elements into my books. I try to work fast with a relaxed focus… working with the piece as it develops.

4 Replies to “Defining My Work”

  1. I love, love, love your art!! I’ve always been interested in book arts but reached a point where I choose something to really focus on and chose dollmaking and collage. I look forward to visiting and catching up on your previous posts, so glad I found you 🙂

  2. Your books are the most beautiful…so precious with the details of stitching, beading and I love that elastic button closure! I also love to make little books, especially with materials I already have lying around, but I never know what to do with them 🙂 I also can relate to your struggle with categorizing. What if you like to do many things? I suppose at some point you have to have a main focus?

  3. Excellent looking book! I am fascinated by any craft made by any individual because its a complete expression of who they are in that time of their life.

    I have many crafts I am interested in, and I like to give a go, but I think the one that stands out for me and puts me in it the most is paper crafts whether it be a simple card, or a hanging goodie, it always seems to reflect me the most.

    I think the key to understanding what you are most drawn to in crafts is to see which one reflects the most of you in it, and how you feel when you are in action of it. I still feel that having the opportunity to experience each new craft is a chance to connect with oneself, so the array of experiences will always be varied.

    Thank you for such an insightful share.

    It is always lovely to stop by your blog.

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