Saturday, September 10, 2011

Creative Verve & Random Thoughts for a Fall Studio Day!

The Collage Collaborative, Round 3, version A
Over the past two weeks I have been working on several projects in the studio, including my latest contribution to the projects within The Collage Collaborative, an international group of artists who work on collage projects together. One person begins a collage, and then it it sent on to others in the group for additions, before it comes back home to live with the person who started it. These projects have elicited wonderful creative interaction in the group!

This collage was started by Allen from the Philippines. This round, each artist created 3 identical collages and they were sent on to  3 different groups of 4 people for contributions. I was the final person to work on this collage. My additions included the tape with 'Palm of my Hand', the colored earth hands in the upper right, the little objects in the larger colored hands, the watch face, and the music across the bottom. For me this collage is all about dancing to the rhythm of life while holding the joy of creation in the palm of your hand. The eye hanging from the bone tail on the skeleton is like a pendulum, swinging back and forth to the beat of the music, keeping us all in time with our souls.

This was a great project to work on with our group. If you are interested in seeing the rest of the collage art as well as the mail art envelopes, check out the Face Book site for The Collage Collaborative:The Artist. Albums have been posted with all the different versions of these collages. As each project is presented and completed, I find my creative verve soaring in the studio!

Believe & Dance unique artist's book textblock
During the summer I began to make some small "artist's books" using stamp impressions and added elements. The one shown here will be titled "Believe & Dance". I have finished adding the text and elements, including my Chinese "chops", feathers, bits of lace, and vintage postage stamps. This is a unique artist's book. I have yet to select the fabric for the book cloth for the cover, but hope to have it bound soon.

I have a foil stamping machine and hope to create a stamped title and spine for this book. It is a book full of sparkle and whimsy!

I also worked on perfecting my creative techniques for small wooden book covers for unique journals. My little Dremel tools come in very handy for cutting, shaping, and polishing the wood pieces. In this example, I have diverted from my original ideas and sewn the covers directly to the text block. Still working on this idea.  I learned on this sample that I need to use my Dremel tool with a larger bit so that I have bigger holes for the sewing. I am also interested in creating books on wood veneer  with wooden book covers.

Nancy teaching Calligraphy in 1981
 In going through some old photos this past summer, I came across this photo from when I was an instructor at Clinton Community College in Iowa. Here I am demonstrating brush writing for my Calligraphy II course. I am 8 months pregnant with my oldest, Emily, in this photo! It is hard to believe that it is 30 years since I  taught calligraphy courses with over 40 people in each class!. I am working with the brush again regularly, and feel my "Catich" creative soul stirring more and more.

Cleaning paint off of blackboard slate
Each time I cut down a piece of slate, and begin to clean it for cutting an inscription, I am brought back to those early days with Father Catich. We worked daily in learning not only to make letters with pen and brush, but how to layout a text quote for an inscription and how to cut letters into slate.  This was my first love in the studio, given over so many years ago when the day-to-day waking dream took over my life. Now I am able to take the time to contemplate the creative verve that drives me and I plan to spend a great deal of time cutting letters into slate!

 This past week when walking down our back laneway, I spotted a pile of FREE items left over from a garage sale held by our neighbors. In that pile was a BIONAIRE dual filter air cleaner. It has carbon and ionic filters, and according to the website, will remove all the VOC's that come from my press inks and solvents from the air in the studio. It works perfectly and new filters are available locally. I have needed one of these machines but they were out of my price range. Now, thanks to my angels, I will be able to print in the grotto over the winter!

As I work away in the grotto studio today on Parkdale Avenue in Deep River, I am reminded of all the amazing blessings in my life. I have an exceptional international group of artists to work with in the Collage Collaborative as well as immensely talented artists here in our new hometown. I am blessed with wonderful equipment and supplies, a large studio space in my home, and a new studio building under construction at our cottage. My creative verve continues to soar, and my soul cries out with jubilation each time I work on a new project. I thank God for all that has been given to me and for all that I am able to give back to my world in the name of the most high.

All will be well, and all will be well, and with the creative peace of God in her infinite wisdom, all will be well.