Ideal Art Practice and Other Inspiration

Alissa Neglia "Root to Crown" 2006My photo above is Alissa Neglia’s Root to Crown, 2006 at Dejerrassi.

I was inspired by Andy Warhol’s quote “Either once only, or every day. If you do something once it’s exciting, and if you do it every day it’s exciting. But if you do it say twice or just almost every day, it’s not good any more.” This quote is in The Happiness Project I’ve been reading. I try to create every day. And if I don’t… what I do is around creating. I was trying to work on my art for 15 minutes in the morning and 15 when I get home. It does work well for small projects. Discipline can be quite the challenge for me. Do you have a art schedule or certain hours where you work on art?

Anyway, just want to share a bit of what I’ve been up to… Tom and I went on a really great tour of the Dejerassi Resident Artists Program by Dennis O’Leary, Executive Director of the Program. Very inspiring and good exercise! I mentioned I make books and Dennis’ wife, Catie O’Leary (who creates beautiful collages from original engraved illustrations from antique books) mentioned the Bedford Gallery’s show entitled Unbound: A National Exhibition of Book Art Opening July 11 where she’ll have a piece on display. Looking forward to that!

I was at SCRAP on Saturday taking Jody Alexander’s class on Wearable Books. I made “spitballs” from paper. The paper really does make a difference. We soaked paper in water and then rolled it into a ball. When they dry… mine still seem a bit damp, they can be made into beads or whatever. I love Jody Alexander’s work. Very inspiring! She’s teaching at Foothill College over the summer. One of the books she shared that she’ll be teaching is the cross structure binding by Carmencho Arregui. I am super enamored by that binding and very inspired to make it. I will learn it in the near future. In the meantime, maybe I can learn how to make this sweet little “package”.

Now why am I inspired to make that specific book structure and package? That’s part of my next question working though Alyson B. Stanfield’s Relatively Pain Free Artist Statement workbook. I had an emotional response to that book. It was a small criss-crossed leather notebook with embroidered knots, ledger paper and Jody Alexander’s handwriting. It was so precious to me… I asked to see it again. I had never seen that type of binding before. I think I thought Keith Smith was the only book artist making up book structures. I felt a bit obsessed trying to figure out more about the binding. I’m fascinated by construction, structure and three-dimension.

Tonight I went to hear Val Britton and Jeff Hantman (who coincidently did a residency at Djerrasi) give talks about their work at Kala’s Fellowship Talks. I’m went because I’m curious about Val Britton’s work and how she’ll be influenced by her upcoming residency at Recology SF. I didn’t know of Jeff Hantman but I really enjoyed hearing about his process. He started by showing works on paper and then on wood. He then started learning to bend the wood and applies collage and printing to the surface. What seemed the most interesting to me was how important it is for him to create his “surface”. And really it’s not about surface, the whole piece is his art… I felt like I could relate in that I really enjoy the construction of creating a book… the process of learning how to construct, build something. As I’m writing this, I realize my struggle has been wanting to unify the construction of the book and what’s inside the book. Sometimes, after I make the book, I’m not as interested in going back into it with writing, collage, etc. So if the binding is the last thing I do, then it’s more unified. I’ll definitely need to explore this topic more.

One thought on “Ideal Art Practice and Other Inspiration

  1. I definitely think art first ting in the morning is a great exercise. It doesn’t have to be a long time…it’s just getting it all out sometimes…feels great 🙂

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