In an effort to shake my continuing lack of work in the studio I signed up for what turned out to be an incredible online conference “Form and Function from Afar” hosted by bookpaperthread.com
The presentations were really great, and I found myself getting a little motivated to try a few new things. But even better was the opportunity to see friends from the book arts I’ve missed and to see the work of so many new artists and makers.
Ant then, something really extraordinary happened. Having plucked up the courage to share a book in the forum, it was seen and purchased for the collections at Emory University. Someone bought one of my artists books! In fact, they acquired this book, Women’s Work. I am so thrilled that it has a forever home where it will be seen! So a huge thank you goes out to all the women who shared their unfinished to-do lists with me, the Turkey Land Cove Foundation for the residency where I first imagined this book, and to Elizabeth Shoemaker for selecting my work. And to everyone who has cheered me on and supported me in my journey.
So 2021 is starting off so much more hope filled. Hooray!
Today is my birthday – another year gone by – but FINALLY I can say – she is finished – yes! A Woman’s Work is finally done! I finished the sewing earlier this week, but was stumped on the covers – I opted for a textured but plain paper, as there is already a lot going on with this book. I snapped some quick pictures with my phone – she has a date with a real photographer later this week. Really, I can’t believe this two year project has finally ended, (unless I change my mind about those covers – it could happen).
It began with this idea during my residency at TLC.
and then I started collecting the LISTS
poor book – still in progress – will I ever finish?
the book block ready to sew
and FINALLY all done!
except – a woman’s work is NEVER done
bottom of the block showing all the lovely strings
and the cover – hmmm still not sure
I want to give a huge thank you to Turkey Land Cove for the residency where this project was born, and to all the brave women who shared their to-do lists with me. This project had a LOT of help, and much encouragement from many of my readers & friends – THANK YOU everyone! Next up – snowflake bindings & a serious windfall of maple leaves!
I am staying with my youngest daughter for a few days while she has some tests and gets used to new medications. I brought a few things with me, mostly teaching related, but I have been sneaking a little art in. A couple of collages in my art journal
Using only what’s on hand is a stretch, but good for me.
And more prep work on the womens work project. I am about two thirds of the way through securing the book block for binding. It has taken so long to get to this point that I am getting frustrated. I just want to get the fun part, the embroidered binding started! So close. Maybe another hours worth of sewing till I get to that point. Ah well.
I am trying to really embrace all the imperfections in this book, and no doubt it will be thoroughly overdone by the time I am through, but I am who I am, and this is what I am driven to make.
It really is the nature of my work, slow. Sometimes I wonder why the universe send me these long slow things, why I am so attracted to them.
OK , so only day 4 and I am already behind, but only with the posting – I have actually been trying to get into the studio for a bit, despite mountains of essays that need marking and life in general. On day 2 I finished getting the lists ready for the “women’s work” book, 77 signatures of lists – it was beginning to feel like a chore and I have been dragging my feet over finishing them. But now they are finally done – today I am going to start the binding – hopefully while I am doing that my mind will unravel the secret of what the covers will look like!
Yesterday I did make a little art of my own (well I printed the next plate of my reduction lino print demo) and I also had a chance to meet Monica Haller at the opening for the Veteran’s Book Project now on display at the Week’s Gallery. We had a really interesting conversation about artistic responsibility and the intersection of art and anthropology which I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s an interesting work, I hope some of you will follow the link and investigate the project. My eyes were also opened to the sad fact that a whole generation of American children have grown up in a country at war which I had never really considered. The experience gave me much to ponder – always the result of good art.
Today I am really hoping to get stuck into the binding for “women’s work”. Stay tuned for an update.
I was driving my youngest daughter back to camp earlier this week when we passed a truck just like the one we were riding in – “watch out” she said, “we just passed ourselves going – we’re in a time paradox!” Too much Dr. Who in this house maybe?
But honestly that is pretty much how I have been feeling all year. Somehow I cannot seem to get grounded at all, and although some incredible and splendid things have happened, I feel they have all slipped by half-appreciated in a blur. I have been far too busy living to have a life. All of my good intentions seem rather tattered and I am feeling glad that a new school year is just around the corner (and a little freaked out about how much work I HAVEN’T done on my new lectures) and with it a fresh mental start.
I am trying to be gentle with myself – but I am frustrated by the fact that so many of the projects I had hoped to complete this year are still unfinished in the studio.I have made incremental progress on a few – the signatures for women’s work are almost completed – but I didn’t finish it in time to enter it in the Rochester Art of the Book show as I had hoped. I know it WILL get finished – and probably pretty soon, but I feel as if I have let myself down yet again. I know the only way forward is to pick myself up and renew my efforts, but I honestly just feel a bit tired. I’d like to just take a nap – in the woods away from everything.
I have signed up for the August round of the root 30 day journal project – just to see if anything comes to the surface. Obviously something is holding me back from following through with my commitment to myself, to make more time for my own art, maybe by going back to my journals I can figure it out. While I am waiting for August – I have decided to reread Simple Abundance and journal about whatever that brings up – maybe by staying in the pages of my journal where it is safe to make mistakes I can rekindle my energies and get back to work.
Feeling a bit blue today as it is the final day of my “break” from school. Classes start for me in the morning at 8:30. Of course I didn’t really have a break as we lowly adjuncts have to have second (and third) jobs to make financial ends meet. I didn’t accomplish as much in the studio as I had hoped, and now I am beating myself up about it.
wish I could just stay home and sew!
I have been working on the sewing for map of hours (above) as it is going to be exhibited again in March, as part of “Women Create”, and I have some pieces I am working on for “Love for Sale” again this year at Studio Hart. But I really wanted to wrap up women’s work, and although the pages are stacking up and the the lists are still coming in, it isn’t ready for binding and I haven’t resolved what to do with the cover. I am just mad because this always happens and despite my good intentions I let myself down over and over. This is one of the things I want to work on in the new year, making my own work a priority.
poor book – still in progress – will I ever finish?
But I guess all I can do is pick myself up and resolve to do better going forward. I have managed to stay on track with the 30 day journal project, but I wonder if I ought to be doing something else (more serious?) Here’s few more images
I did manage to squeeze in a workshop at the studio. This was really important to me as I wanted to give something back for my funding for attending Paper and Book Intensive. Here’s one of the participants – Kyla – with her finished long stitch binding, complete with wrap around vellum cover and button closures.
well back to work – just wanted to do a quick update. Watch this space for lots of juicy curating/exhibition news coming soon! (no wonder I never have time for my own work!!)