Saturday, November 26, 2016

LAW 111: More new book projects.

One of the really cool and interesting things that came out of my participation in the Daisy Yellow ICAD 2016 challenge is my re-found interest in drawing. If you are not familiar with Daisy Yellow it is a participatory internet art group moderated by Tammy Garcia, among others. ICAD is a 60 day long make art a day challenge made on index cards. I really did not do much drawing for the challenge itself, but the idea stuck in the back of my head. By the end of August and by August Kalends project i was ready to leave collage alone for awhile and focus on some other media.

Display view of side one

the first two books of this series were in essence zen doodle meditations that were serial in nature. The first, Zen Doodle is a zigzag accordion book. The paper i used,  mixed media Canson 98#, was first used as a "drop cloth"  when we antiqued the grill that went on to become one of two new port holes on our boat. I than cut and formed the book block. I treated each of the pages of the form as a separate drawing(i did one a day) and as part of the overall composition of the book. I played off  the underlying imagery formed by the stencil effect. In essence i had a mandala that i was able to play off from. The second side has a little bleed through, but not enough to create patterning off it. So i simply played with line and connections on this side.

Side two, complete and hanging.

This book can be read as a book, when folded, or can be displayed on the wall as a drawing. The book when open is 14 x 17". The individual 'pages' are 3.5 x 4.25". There are 16 pages per side, with two serving as covers for the book.

The second book of this series, Autumn Moons, is a 'straight' accordion book. A strip of the same Canson paper was painted, than folded into an accordion. The individual pages are 7 x 43/8", with six panels per side plus covers. I used the same circle mandala to start each drawing, the moon of the title. Each drawing was completed in one day, and each informed the other in terms of pattern.

Book cover, and inside shot

I approached these two books as a journal project. I gave myself guidelines to work off from, than allowed my pen, my mind and my emotions to take me where they would. I worked on these two pieces pretty much every day during September and October.

Green side, panel 2 detail
Red side, long shot

More later,
Morgainne (that would be me, Gail)

Friday, November 11, 2016

LAW 110: Another Day in Paradise

Finally the fall color here on the Middle River is approaching it's peak. I've been seeing gorgeous photos of fall color from a lot of you. Finally i can share some of the beauty i am blessed with everyday, as all of this is literally my front and back 'yard', so to speak.

From the end of my dock, looking across the river

We have been experiencing glorious fall weather, cool, crisp nights. Just cold enough to warrant a fire at night and before breakfast. We so do not miss the odor of the kerosene heater; although i will admit that it was a good little heater. The days have been warmer than usual for mid November, most afternoons are pleasant enough to spend a little time under the drinking trees.

The view from the drinking tree

Magellan, our valiant ship's cat wants to go on record as being in firm opposition to the end of daylight savings time. He generally is not allowed outside after dark, and is in not so quiet rebellion over what he sees as unrighteous lockdown measures instituted by his shipmates. He is currently protesting his illegal detention by conducting sit-down protests in his litter box.

Magellan as figurehead on one of his many boats

Our second round of home made apple cider this season is very tasty. Perhaps the best yet. It actually was a Ciser, or Cyser, just a fancy way of saying, cider with some other fruit, in this case, strawberries from this summer that we had picked and frozen.

Yum yum Strawberry Apple Cyser

The election? Wow! I'm still processing what happened. We were at our local grocery this morning, i was amazed by the rancor, loud and boisterous from shoppers and employees on both sides . Obviously  we all need  a little more time and distance on this. Let's all make an effort to be nicer to everyone, okay?

Yeah me i voted.

More later,
Morgainne, that would be me, gail

Sunday, November 6, 2016

LAW 109: Pollacking and ABCdariums

NorthWind ABCdarium is my newest daily book/journal project. My husband and i 'pollacked' a 22 x 30" piece of unknown watercolor paper. 'Pollacking', a term my gallery mates came up with in reference to the paint style we used on the industrial grade, incredibly ugly grey carpet installed in our gallery when we rented it. We were afraid to see what was underneath it. Yes, it was a lot of fun splashing paint on the floor, yes, we got quite a bit on ourselves as well. You can really develop beautiful color and layering with spatter painting. This project is the NorthWind ABCdarium because we took the paper and premixed paint out to the end of our dock as there was no room in my studio for fun and games like this, it was a beautiful bright sunny and windy day. I can see the strong influence of the north wind in the paint patterns.

Action painting on the dock!

To create the body of the book i folded the paper first in half, then in quarters lengthwise; creating strips 30 x 51/2" long. Two of the strips were than folded into eight panel accordions, which were than overlapped and glued in the middle. This construction gave me a two sided, 28 panel accordion book plus cover flaps. Plenty of room for an alphabet book.

Not a bad studio space, hey?

The individual panels are 5 1/2 x 3 3/4", the background a very thinned liquid craft acrylic paint which was purchased for another project and languishing in dark hole storage in my studio. Since this is another variation of zen doodling i made the decision that an important 'constant' would be the size and shape of the letters. I've used the idea of the circle/mandala for the last two books, it felt right to branch out into other shapes. I toyed with the idea of using a commercial stencil, but rejected all the ones i have to hand as too mechanical as well as too small. So i sat down and started designing my own font.

I had to fold the paper on my studio floor!

A very side note to font design: as a teenager, quite some time ago i was a cheerleader. Needless to say, back in the Stone Age we had no cool tools to help us create our spirit signs. I became my squad's de facto font designer/sign writer. Then as now i utilized the whole design process, hated by all design students, thumbnails, rough sketches and drafts to final project. Since i was overlaying the letter onto a painted surface i really, really did not want to sketch onto that surface. Rather i wanted a smooth one line mark. So, in essence i have created my own font, and turned them into stencils. 

Progress with stencils

The process of the ink drawing feels far more decorative than the circle books. Part of the process has to be grounded in the recognition of each letter. With the circles i was much freer to simply go where the line took me. Both practices have positive and negative elements. Even though i have only finished four letters so far i feel a definite lack of spontaneity.

So, i think that the separate letter panels are all pretty self explanatory, right? If not, i guess it might just be time to go back to grade school. I'll post more of these every few days, along with progress shots.

More later,
Morgainne, aka Gail

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

LAW 108: Blessed Samhain, or what the h… is Halloween?

Just a quick note or two. When i realize how long i have been thinking about writing another blog entry, but actually not doing it, i realize just how wrong some of my fellow employees where when i announced my retirement. "Ooh, you'll be bored! You'll be back to work in no time".

Mr & Mrs Anonymous ready to party!

Well, on some levels they were right, not on the boredom front, never that! But work? Well, there is still never enough time in the day to touch every project that i am working on, much less house(boat)work.

View from the fire pit

Any how, Hallows is come and gone, there was a small, very pleasant party Saturday at the marina. The new fire pit is functional, the weather unbelievably beautiful, the food beyond drool worthy, and thank the gods, election 2016 is indeed almost over.

Samhain dock side altar

I'll post some really yummy fish dishes that we've had real soon now. I promise.

Mungo was not surprised at Flippy the Flounder's choice.

But for now: now is the time to look inward. To sit quietly in the dark, to review the choices we made in this past year, embrace our mistakes and forgive them. Now we have weeks of quiet, calm, dark solitude. We should all use it to recharge our bodies and spirits.

More later,