Thursday, February 27, 2014

Keep your head up

Keep your head up
linocut on handmade paper
Having cancer taught me the following:
1.  Take one day at a time
2.  If the day is too long, take one hour at a time
3.  If an hour is too long, take a minute at a time
4.  If a minute is too long, take a deep breath 
5.  If a deep breath is too hard, open your door and take a walk
I found myself walking a lot, sometimes for hours.

life is beautiful 
sometimes we need to 
look at it through new lenses
feel it with recharged emotions

by Suzanne Coley

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

40 years of linocuts

 Work I created in 1974! 
My mother visited me last week and, to my surprise, she gave me a bag of my childhood artwork.  
1974 seems like yesterday, but it was 40 years ago!  

My mother even brought my original linoleum cutters, and I want to post them.  When I was a child, I used Speedball linoleum cutters. They were made of wood and cost $1.50.  I carved a lot of architectural structures and landscapes back then, but I am showing you this block because it was my first portrait (of my teacher).  I liked postage stamps back then and I remember thinking how a face would look on a "modern stamp".  We didn't have the Internet to reference anything, and had to draw from live models -- teachers, family, friends, pets, buildings.
linocut on dictionary page by Suzanne Coley
(block carved 1974,  printed 2014,  limited edition of 40)
My first linoleum block portrait carved in 1974. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Beyond the domain of language

Featuring Laurie Anderson

Laurie Anderson is a brilliant visual artist who received a graduate degree in sculpture from Columbia University.  She went on to become a pioneer in electronic music and invented several innovative instruments.

I love her spirit.
I love the way she thinks.
I love the way she experiments.
I love how she communicates: Three realms beyond the domain of language

I (heart) Laurie Anderson!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Handmade paper

from ex-library books
Luna Poetry
Paper made with my hand carved molds, 2014 Suzanne Coley
new life
luna poetry

Created in Baltimore
by Suzanne Coley

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Gilding Linocuts

Cancelling Printing Blocks
Linocut with gold leaf.  Next step is burnishing.
When  I studied with Judith Solodkinthe first woman to graduate from Tamarind Institute as a Master Lithographer,  I learned a lot about printmaking and limited editions.  One of the many lessons I learned was the importance of cancelling my plates when I was finished with an edition.
Applying gold leaf to linocut
Cancelling plates ensures the integrity of the size of my original editions, whether these editions consist of 5 prints or 75.  Cancelling plates also prevents forgeries. 
Retired linocut ready for gilding after applying an adhesive size.

I destroy my copper etching plates.  I erase my litho stones.  And I apply gold leaf to some of my linoleum blocks as a way of marking their "retirement" and preventing any further printing.

*Note: I usually apply a yellow gilding primer before applying the adhesive size.  The primer gives a polished finish.  However, with this linoleum block I wanted a more textured look with remnants of the previous inks peeking through.

Created in Baltimore
by Suzanne Coley

Monday, February 17, 2014

Gold Teeth

handmade paper with ex-library book
linocut printed on handmade paper created from ex-library book, Exodus by Leon Uris

Created in Baltimore
by Suzanne Coley

Sunday, February 16, 2014

how i live?

silkscreen and mixed media
some days it comes coded
 quick like air
i open my heart

everything i am 
trapped on paper
a currency that can't buy food

Created in Baltimore
by Suzanne Coley

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Writing is Live

 Brown University

Ifa Bayeza
An award-winning playwright.
A gifted novelist.
A great teacher.
A wonderful friend.
This is how Ifa introduces her new play:
A Liberal's Interpretation of Creative Non-Fiction 
A Comedy, Like Life, Tinged with a Touch of the Tragic
A New Play
About the Eccentricities of Family
This One Happening to Be My Own

Welcome to Wandaland
written by Ifa Bayeza
directed by Carl Hancock Rux

Writing Is Live Festival
at Brown University
February 20-23, 2014

Opening night: February 20, 2014 at 7:00pm
George Houston Bass Performing Arts Space - Churchill House

See you there!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Art is Life

a language we understand
when words become tangled

no one controls the Rights
of color and form

created in Baltimore
by Suzanne Coley

Monday, February 10, 2014

Wynton Marsalis and Barry Sanders

"The ball is snapped and someone is tearing your head off."

Today is my one year blogiversary and I want to do something different:

I would like to talk about NFL running back Barry Sanders.  How he created openings when there was none.  How he dashed, darted, scuttled, weaved, sprinted, twisted, zigzagged, crisscrossed, turned, doubled back, and pushed forward, all with 350 lbs on his back, 350 lbs on his legs, 350 lbs on his neck, and 380 lbs on his arms.  He kept running, heading for the end zone.  Touchdown.

Wynton Marsalis, Director of Jazz studies at Juilliard 
explains the metaphysical aspect of "art" that is Barry Sanders.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Soulful Symphony


I just returned to Baltimore and watched
 Soulful Symphony, a 75 piece symphony orchestra
founded by composer/conductor Darin Atwater, on
Maryland Public Television
They performed songs of my childhood.

Sometimes I don't have words for great music.
Please Listen

Soulful Symphony with Darin Atwater
based in Baltimore, Maryland
They performed my favorite childhood song,
A City Called Heaven.
It is not on the Internet yet, and I hope
they upload their performance soon.

These are some of the lyrics of
A City Called Heaven
I am a poor pilgrim of sorrow
I'm tossed in this wide world alone
No hope I have for tomorrow
I've started to heaven my home

Sometimes I am tossed and driven, Lord
Sometimes I don't know where to roam
I've started to make it my home

Friday, February 7, 2014

International Society of Copier Artists (ISCA)

That's all I could utter when I opened the white clamshell cardboard box and pulled out 39 individual artist's books and read their stories.  The handmade artist's books came in different sizes and had various constructions.  
Carnegie Mellon University Libraries - Hunt Library collection of ISCA Quarterly, Summer 1994
Founded in New York City in 1981 by Louise Neaderland, International Society of Copier Artists (ISCA) created a visual language with the medium of xerographic prints and manipulations that explored political, social and cultural life of their time.  

Volume 1, No. 1 was printed in April 1982.  
The last quarterly was Volume 21, No. 4, printed in June 2003.
Artist's books created for Vol. 12, No.4, Summer 1994 ISCA
Collection of Hunt Library, Librarian Mo Dawley
These are the artists who created original artist's books for the 
ISCA, 9th Annual Bookworks Issue
Volume 12, Number 4, Summer 1994
Thelma Mathias, Jill Snyder Wallace, Lois Ramirez
Pamela Zwehl-Burke, Ray Mary Schmitt, Krista L. Molnar
Mitzi Humphrey, Cynthia Dantzic, Mary Ann McNeil
James DeWoody, Louise Odea Neaderland, Olwyn Morinsky
E.S. Pearlman, Phillip Michael M., M. Seigei Spark
Owen Smith, Rich Drobner, Ken Barkee
Iris Sandkuhler, Jean Rust, Reid Wood
Teesha Moore, Barbara Schillawski, Carol Stetser
Cathy Condon, Anne Park, Carolyn Bell-Taitt
Joanna Key, Leonora Pierotti, Susan Gold
Sandy Tramel, Gail Smuda, Pete Silvia
Eiichi Matsuhashi, Thomas Larson, Berna J. Finley
Diane Tarter, Debora Meltz, Cheryl Trostrud

Many thanks!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Modern Day Library Experience, Part I

Tuesday in Pittsburgh was damp and snowy, and it was comforting to enter Hunt Library and be greeted with the gentle murmur of an espresso machine in an open café on the left.  The atmosphere was elegant and cool, much like the aluminum and glass design of the building itself.  I quickly got a cup of coffee, peeled off my wet coat and relaxed on one of the lounge chairs.   It was easy to get comfortable, but I had an appointment to visit the Artist’s Book collection on the 4th floor.

Managed by librarian Mo Dawley, the Artist’s Book collection contains over one thousand zines, livres d’artistes, and artist’s books.  They include handmade one-of-a-kind, limited edition, small press editions, and quarterlies, such as Louise Neaderland’s ISCA (International Society of Copier Artists).
Louise Neaderland's I.S.C.A. Quarterly, 9th Annual Bookworks Issue
The I.S.C. A. Quarterly, Summer 1994, Opening the box . . .  
Pulling out all the wonderful original art created with Xerox machines! 
Ms. Dawley allowed me to hold the books and leisurely read them.  She explained that it is important to touch the books and feel the textures.  

Ms. Dawley was right, the handmade tactile nature of artist’s books gives them another dimension, one you must experience in person-- up close and personal.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Postcards and stamps

Hand printed postcards with custom stamps
are my favorite way of saying "thank you"
and keeping in touch.
I mail them from the 
as they hand cancel each stamp.
My postcards also form interesting patterns 
when pasted together.

created in Baltimore 
by Suzanne Coley

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Book Covers

I love creating designs for the covers of my 
artist's books and journals.

Abstract painting for cover
Most books are layered with multiple textures.

handmade journal by Suzanne Coley
Ten years ago I stopped buying book cloth and decorative papers
and began making my own.  

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