Earlier this year I was inspired by Creative Unblock Project #2 of the Creative Block by Danielle Krysa, in which artist Jessica Bell challenges readers to cut up something they love and are afraid to lose, and create a collage from it. Immediately I thought of the gelatin plate prints I had made and love, but didn’t quite know what to do with them. It was really freeing to just realize that they weren’t as precious as I had been making them in my mind and that they may have even more value if I take them to this next step by “destroying” them. I loved that it challenged me to take these “finished” pieces and keep going. I think I have a tendency to fall in the rut of having an idea, loving it, and then just stopping there because I’m afraid I might ruin it. Altering a piece might be the difference of a good piece and a GREAT piece of artwork.
On a side note, I always remember this handout from my favorite college art teacher. At the beginning of each semester he had this list that fit tightly on an 8.5×11 that shared ways to change and develop a piece of artwork; things like stretch it, drill holes in it, paint it, mirror image it, and so on and on. He would challenge the students to think of new things that weren’t on the list, he would then add them to the list and make a copy for each student. I think of that list often and how I should still be referencing it and pushing myself to move forward and not just stop when I think it’s OK and safe. “Feel the fear and do it anyway”
For a long time I’ve been trying to move away from using purchased or found patterned papers (art, scrapbooking, wrapping, etc.) in my artwork, in place of my own patterns. (Vintage papers and photographs I still think of as OK.) I’ve made some (mostly drawn or water colored) patterns here and there, but once I made this connection of cutting up the gelatin prints, I instantly had an entirely new source or collection of new materials that weren’t what I thought of as “patterned” paper but were original and my very own.
I immediately got to work cutting up and collaging. I’d do a page here and a page there and after a few months I have a finished book. And I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE it. I just want to carry it with me everywhere and flip through it. I want to get cracking on making more prints to make more little books. I tried to stick with just the prints alone, but there are few pages here and there with added pencil or pen. Maybe other books might incorporate more drawing, or painting in addition?
So, without further ado, here is a video flip through, followed by unedited photographs of each page.
the song in the background is by Dar Williams, Closer to Me
and then, just for fun the Hyperlapse video of the flip through