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Showing posts from March, 2014

Love is an ever

fixed mark that is never shaken
 My latest linocut on handmade paper  is inspired by Shakespeare's Sonnet 116
Made paper from cotton pulp and up-cycled papers.  Dyed wet pulp using turmeric and red pigments.  Formed sheets using deckle and mold.  Pressed wet sheets in a drying press for 4 days before printing linocut with high quality ink (Charbonnel).  Untrimmed deckled edges give paper character and highlight the handmade process.

Night Wind

Life moves forward when all is dark

History, Art, Politics, Culture

Stamps I love stamps.I appreciate the stories behind them and the craftsmanship involved in creating them.When I visit the National Postal Museum, there is always a knowledgeable guide or volunteer philately expert to answer any questions I may have.  It seems the more I know about stamps, the more questions I have.
I was sad to miss the curator-led tour of the newly opened Pacific Exchange: China & U.S. Mail exhibition on March 8th.So when I recently visited the museum, I was just going to browse around. To my surprise, I met the perfect guide: A young elegant Taiwanese lady named Nana.    Nana was sitting at one of the interactive displays in the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery. This one allowed visitors to select six stamps from three large plastic containers and take them home.  FREE.  When I sat at the table, Nana had just finished searching through hundreds of stamps and she was arranging them in a certain order.  I was curious and asked her about her stamps.

Nana patiently t…

Gilded artist's books & matching clamshell boxes

What do I do with all these prints I've been posting?  I turn 90% of them into artist's books. Voice of Shadow:  28 pages, 10 linocut prints, and two pages of original poetry  The cover of the book and its matching clamshell box are gilded with genuine 14kt silver leaf.
I like to buy my supplies from Talas.   When I lived in NYC I visited their store often, now I order online.  They specialize in conservation, bookbinding, and archival supplies.  They are very reliable!

How do I love thee?

Pulp, Paper, Print

Paper making is a highly artistic craft that has taken me years to understand. I appreciate the experiments: Frustrating days of endless trials and errors in order to get the precise measurements and formulas for the perfect paper recipes.
Making the pulp is just as important as making a complex mold, an intricate cast or a linocut. I now know how to get the colors I want, the textures I adore, and the durability I need for my prints and artist's books.

the hand of God

Inspiration comes from many sources.

Andy Warhol & his museum

by Suzanne Coley They "museum" differently. In the North Shore neighborhood near downtown Pittsburgh is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to a single artist, The Andy Warhol Museum.  The museum is an impressive seven story building with thousands of paintings, prints, drawings, film, sculptures, and videos by Andy Warhol.
Don't look for somber guards in blue uniforms.  Here, staff look and dress like enthusiastic artists who are ready to talk about any art technique, art work, and video in the museum.

What I enjoyed most about my recent visit was Warhol's 1940s student art work and his 1950s commercial illustrations.  Currently on display, on the seventh floor gallery, are photographs, documents, and images of Warhol's life growing up in Pittsburgh.  You will see his original report card during his first semester at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now known as Carnegie Mellon University) as well as his first drawings and class projects.
The Andy…

Sam Gilliam, Luminary

LYRICAL ABSTRACTION When I look at Sam Gilliam's art, I feel.    I feel emotions that don't have words. How do I "read" the language of Elegy #2?  (cause it is talking to me!)   Color & Texture
Color Gray offers a calm respite from the mayhem of yellow and deep blue fighting for attention.  Reading the work from left to right I see three different panels with somber black painted dead smack in the middle of the left.  Raucous reds and blues in the middle, running, escaping to the right side -- this is what moves me most. This isn't our ideal of beautiful, instead Elegy #2 offers a glimpse of  the art of the sublime that philosophers Burke and Kant wrote about.
Texture As an artist I appreciate the technical genius of this handmade paper.  In several areas, the whole is divided into sections by sharply angled embossed textures, offering rough and smooth surfaces, suggesting moods.  I am not sure if the embossed textures were created when the fibers were formed (whi…


Working on a series of silkscreens.  

True Love

Even though I love making paper and creating works on paper,  my true love is large scale abstract paintings. Large paintings need large spaces:   It is easier to put them on the floor and paint away.

Gilded Books: The Art of Conservation

Preserving the beauty of rare books . . .   Johns Hopkins University


A place where an artist can just be an artist.

Reading works of art

I wonder if it is important to understand why an artist creates a particular work?
What techniques she uses?  Why does the artist choose one technique over another?
What were his influences?  How does the art make a person feel?  How does the art make the artist feel?  Does the work of art hold up a mirror to the world and reflect reality?   Is the work more understandable with text attached to it?  What happens to a piece of art when the artist destroys it, leaving only the digital print behind?

spatial-temporal reasoning in Baltimore
by Suzanne Coley

Negative, Positive

Some days, to get to the positive I must go through the negative. Art allows me to work it all out.

Book Arts in Baltimore

Saturday was spent teaching book arts to teenagers at the Reginald Lewis Museum in Baltimore. Only with teenagers can you have this much fun creating inspiring books.  And play with Gesso.   And play a little more as we practice the technical side of making covers. Practice makes perfect.

International Women's Day, 2014

from Algeria to Zimbabwe from Afghanistan to Yemen from Australia to Vanuatu from Antigua and Barbuda to the United States from Argentina to Venezuela from Albania to Vatican City Happy international women's day

 Google's amazing Doodle & Video


created in Baltimore
by Suzanne Coley