Monday, June 16, 2008

So much creativity, so little time...!

Well, i had one of those weekends where the creativity was just oozing out of me. Or shared with others or just "experienced". The weekend started with a dinner party on the terrace Friday night. Luckily jim did all the cooking so i could squeeze in a few minutes to finish up the kits for my altered book class on Sunday.
I chose three themes - a bird theme i have done before. An asian theme i have done before. And a NEW theme - Hawaiana! I used some vintage stickers i purchased as the focal point along with bright green and purple papers for backgrounds. I had to let go of the fact that i could not locate the hawaiian print papers i had been saving for just this purpose. But i spent three hours looking for them wednesday night, paralizing myself from getting anything done. hence being down to the wire.
Saturday we left early to attend a magnificent picnic and entertainments, up near the Russian River, with our neighbours. It was a full day of enjoying nature and some great music and comedy, alas we only got home after 8pm and i just had to take a nap. I got up at 10:00pm to start working on the altered book project that i had to swap on sunday. I told myself, "just pretend it is winter and it is 4:30 in the afternoon" as opposed to being almost summer and really too late to be STARTING an altered book spread.
But at least i had my themes picked out!
The book i was working in was titled San Francisco Days. I chose two iconic SF ideas to collage: the Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill and the annual Bay to Breakers marathon. The parrots are an intriging story of how this flock of brightly hued birds live in the palm trees on a hill in the middle of a big city. There was a book and also a film about them.
The marathon is a typical SF event where people get all crazy and dress up in costumes and run from the San francisco Bay in the financial district, to the ocean on the other side of the city. There is a lot of nudity for some reason. I guess because, well, you know...let's just say a lot of colourful people participate.
For discretion i covered up the buns with clear sticky domes!
Then up at 7 to get ready for my altered book class and make sure i have the supplies i needed packed in the car. Lucky for me i am married to the sweetest guy in the world and he got up to help, AND drive me there, AND bring in all my boxes and totes, AND help me set up for class, AND get me a smoothie from Starbucks around the corner.
(he also came and picked up, AND packed the car, AND swept the floor -the thing i hate most about teaching classes at the nova studio. There is nothing worse than trying to corral little bits of paper that fly around the wooden floors and refuse to be swept up.)
Anyway - the class of 9 wonderful ladies was a great success - if i gauge by the work they did in the books! There was a group of 6 friends so they kept up a lively conversation that we all enjoyed. It seems cruising thru the panama canal is not to be missed!
Here are some scans of their pages all grouped together for show and tell at the end of class.
Sorry about the sideways pics. They don't look that way in my files - so i can't figure out how to un rotate them so i can rotate them so they upload correctly!

Once the ladies left it was time to get ready for my altered book swap group and workshop. One of our members moved back east - so it was just 4 of us - but that doesn't diminish the excitement of seeing the work we all did in each other's books. I got my "things i suck at" book back home. Here are some of the things people sucked at:
taking pictures
taking care of plants
using chopsticks (carol is chinese - so this is somewhat ironic)
After we ogled all the books, we got down to our workshop. I was sharing the technique i learned at Asilomar from Traci Bautista where you dye paper towels and use them to transfer ink to other papers. I purchased a whole BOX of the paints she used from Discount School Supplies. (check them out - awesome prices, free delivery, to me anyway, and some very cute ideas) We each dyed many paper towels, created very cool batik effects with white gesso and transferred the painted towels using brayers and stencils and texture mats.
It was so much fun - the girls did not want to stop. They insist we do it again -it was so rewarding to create little pieces of tie dye looking paper towels. You feel just like some kind of brilliant textiles designer. The benefit is that the towels themselves can be dried, split in two, and used as backgrounds in altered books and other mixed media collage.
But alas - we had to stop playing with paint when my husband arrived. But my incredibly creative weekend was not over! It was off to the San Rafael Italian street painting festival to see all the art created on the streets, including the piece by my friend Lucie Duclos. I was bummed to miss the event, especially since the Italian band my husband is in was playing the noon show. But at least arriving there around 6 meant that most pieces were completed and it wasn't so scorching hot. Here's Lucie and Dave, who proudly contributed TWO leaves on this fine work of art.
And here are some other inspiring chalk artworks:

You know about an hour after we left - they hosed the whole thing down, and the stunning artwork is gone forever.


Holly Loves Art said...

A BEAUTIFUL blog you have here! Love all your altered book pages! I lived in Northern California for many, many years and spent a lot of time in San Francisco... I miss it very much still.

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend.

All the best,


seth said...

Great altered books and pages. You have a wonderful style.

Aileen said...

Wow how beautiful, amazing and inspiring very cool!!