Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sketchbook Project 2011

I've been having a blast this week working on my journal for The Sketchbook Project.

My chosen theme is "Lines and Grids." For the front cover, I used gel medium to attach directly to the original moleskine cover a mini-quilt that I sewed in a straight-line motif and then painted with Dye-Na-Flow. Attached to that is a grid cut from heavy black watercolor paper and painted with simple line work. A translucent velum window announces the theme of the Journal.

(outside cover)

As I dove into this project, I began to want to relate each page of the journal to the next one (and the next, and the next) while still making sure that each page could stand on its own as a small work of art. I also wanted, though, for each two-page spread to read as both two separate art pieces and one single combined piece.

With that in mind, as you open the cover of the journal, on the left you find a piece of hand-dyed cotton adhered to the inside cover with Steam-A-Seam2. Later, the library will attach a bookplate to this page, so it will remain blank until then. To the right, the black and white grid pattern is referenced again in painted watercolor paper.

(2-page spread, inside cover)

Because I want the pages to be interactive with one another as well as with the viewer, the black grid is overlaid with another grid in red, which folds outwards in order to interact with the page next to it.

(2-page spread, inside cover with fold-out)

Working this way- attempting to bring one page into harmony with the next and the next- has created an unexpected momentum as I collage and paint my way through the journal, repeating motifs and materials in order to tell my story.

Deeper into the book, darker and more moody collages begin to appear, a reaction to various stresses I'm currently under.

(2-page spread, paint, collage)

(2-page spread, collage materials and paint)

In some parts of the journal, the mood is a little lighter. Here, I've collaged the side of a shopping bag that used straight lines as its main design motif (page left). I continued the line work onto the next page (right) with sketching, and added a medallion of collaged work that represents both lines and grids. 

(2-page spread, collage, paint, graphite sketching)

Here, I used a half-page sandwiched between two full pages. When opened with the half page on the right, the spread reads as one piece of art....

(2-page spread, paint, collage)

And when opened with the half page towards the left, it looks like a slightly different piece of art.

This project has really sparked my imagination and I find myself creating pages independent of the book and collaging them in one at a time. The process has been very freeing and I've been pasting, cutting and painting with almost total abandon. If a page looks good at the end of that process, it goes into the book. If I hate it, it stays out and waits for me to fix it. 

I'm hoping some of you will consider joining this project. It's just too much fun to be left out!
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