Sunday, June 07, 2009
Class with Laurie Doctor
My class today at LVAA was a treat! I haven't taken a class in forever and this was one that touched on a lot of art subjects I find appealing: bookmaking, journaling, and backgrounds. It included some surprising insights as well. We did informal introductions while we ate a yummy box lunch from the Cheddar Box. How can you go wrong with art and food? I was glad I wasn't the only person who has no formal art education. Some had never done any art, which made me feel at home. One of my classmates was a patient of mine who I knew had been doing some watercolors in recent years.
Our formal class started with a formal beginning. A time of stretching and breathing that I found wonderful and I plan to incorporate it into any creative time I set aside. It is worth the effort. I tend to be a person who can squeeze a lot out of life but sometimes sacrifices the details in the midst of it. So, my new intention will be to be more open and inviting of the muse.
We then took our seat where our supplies were and did a little more breathing, sitting. A poem by Antonio Machado, The Wind, One Brilliant Day, was offered by memory, by Laurie to begin our art journey. I thought it was just terrific and really spoke to me. I often think I have nothing to offer as an artist and that I should give away my paints, paper and endless assortment of creative tools because I feel I have no talent to go with them.
Our first instructions were to write words maintaining constant contact between the wax marker and the paper (Arches Text, I think)to background music. The wax marker was white and our paper was cream. This is actually a very nice exercise, it allows for free, uninhibited thinking. We wrote in bold cursive and covered a 12x14(?) paper front and back. I wrote so much I ran out of wax. We added African alphabet letters written with Sumi ink applied with a shell. I like the feel of the shell in my hand, I think I found just the one on the beach this summer to use as a writing tool. We first copied a line of letters without looking at the paper and then copied a line connecting the letters.
Next, we added walnut ink and Sumi ink to the paper we wrote on. I love the results. The wax marker is a resist to the inks. As with all workshops, you don't do your best work, because layers don't have time to dry (which can be good and bad)but you do enough to remind you of the techniques. We added the walnut and Sumi inks but no additional text to the back of the paper after the front had dried.
On black Arches cover paper (and boy, do I like this paper), that we had divided into 5 rectangles of varying size, we wrote with our shell and Sumi ink (black on black)another line of letters from our exemplar, making sure to fill in all of the "box". In another box white gouache, which is a nice opaque white on the black paper,was used to write two lines of letters that touch and also overlap rows. The third box we used white pen to write in cursive, the poem, all words flowing without lifting the pen. The fourth box was block printing the poem in capital letters with color pencil, again not lifting the pencil and connecting all the block letters. The color pencils were also used to fill in the space around the letters in the black on black box. I didn't get to box five, but it was just designs with color pencils. I'll get to it later in making another book.
We cut our cover, using a template, out of the black paper, made the folds and slit for the tab. Our background paper was cut to size, folded in half and pierced in the middle and about 1/2 inch to either side of that hole. We made holes in the cover for the signature and sewed it with simple stitching to the cover and I added a bead. I didn't have time to use the hot foil pen, but I want one.
I love my little book and will do more with it in the future. But, mostly I loved a day for ME, with artists, food, a poem, and just some breathing in and out.