Saturday, May 31, 2014

NYC Doors - Inspiration


No matter how crowded West 26 Street is, when I pass by this venue I always find myself slowing down and admiring their doors.   They are so elegant and cool!
137 West 26th Street, NYC
When I returned to my studio, I still had those doors on my mind.
Paper making by Suzanne Coley
The papers came out really nice.  I am still experimenting with colors, shapes, and textures.
handmade papers with red circles
I printed a few linocuts on them   Here is one.
linocut on handmade paper by Suzanne Coley
linocut on handmade paper

Friday, May 30, 2014

Fortune Friday #3

Getting together with old friends 
linocut and collagraph on paper
brings new adventures.
Linocut and collagraph on paper
Lucky numbers: 3, 5, 14, 20, 30

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Светлая память, Maya Angelou

(April 14, 1928 - May 28, 2014)

I will always remember Maya Angelou, American poet and author, as the Lady of Language who showed me it was okay to have a big smile.
Linocuts of Maya Angelou on hand dyed papers, May 28, 2014
Linocut of Maya Angelou by Suzanne Coley
"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" was one of the first books I read in school that addressed racism, trauma, and being a Black female.  I will never forget this passage:

"The Black female is assaulted in her tender years by all those common forces of nature at the same time she is caught in the tripartite crossfire of masculine prejudice, white illogical hate and Black lack of power.

The fact that the adult American Negro female emerges a formidable character is often met with amazement, distaste and even belligerence.  It is seldom accepted as an inevitable outcome of the struggle won by survivors and deserves respect if not enthusiastic admiration."
-- Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Monday, May 26, 2014

Songs without music

Coco Looks Good
étude for a limited edition artist's book
experiment with handmade paper by Suzanne Coley
 Finalizing images for upcoming artist's books.
detail of handmade paper for Coco Looks Good

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Rwanda - Greeting Cards

Handmade paper & cards by young people in Rwanda
Umbrella card by Cards from Africa
Each card tells a story.  Created with a variety of handmade papers, these collages are some of the most beautiful original works of art I've seen on cards.  I love the meticulous hand-cut designs so much I feel like framing them and putting them on my wall (but I am going to mail them to friends).
Returning Home by Cards from Africa
For years I have been admiring the wonderful paper making skills of these artists, especially the vibrant colors they have been able to achieve with natural dyes and reflective mica rock flakes.  (My photographs don't quite capture the wonderful textures and colors of the actual cards.)
Back of Returning Home card signed by Issa
The cards are signed on the back by the artist.  Fair Trade and Eco-Friendly, these cards can be purchased in specialty shops in 21 states in the U.S. or on Cards From Africa's online store.
Twilight Tree card by Cards from Africa
Based in Cambridge, UK, Cards from Africa was founded in 2004 by Chris Page with an admirable premise: "We believe that all people are precious and that we must do more than provide jobs: we must take care of the entire person.  As a result, we take a holistic approach to employment."

*I really like the images photographer Greg Funnell took of artisans of Cards from Africa when he visited their Kigali workplace in 2011

Friday, May 23, 2014

Fortune Friday #2 - You are . . .

You are a practical person with your feet on the ground.
Lucky Numbers: 2, 5, 14, 20, 23
Suminagashi print with etching and pencil,  Fortune Friday # 2

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Evidence: The Art of Candy Jernigan

Art is Life
I was introduced to Candy Jernigan's art and book when I was going through cancer treatment more than a decade ago.  Her meticulously arranged collages, paintings, and drawings have had a profound impact on the way I view art, life, and visual storytelling.   Before reading her book, I had never seen how powerful art journaling could be -- that it could also be an artistic tool for social commentary.
Candy Jernigan (b. 1952- 1991) attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.  Soon after graduating she became a painter, set and costume designer in Provincetown, MA.  In Evidence, Stokes Howell wrote, "By the time she returned to New York in 1980 she was starting to develop the themes and methods she would work with the rest of her life."  
Candy described the transformative process of taking found objects, "trash," and discarded materials from life and turning them into art:
"In 1980, as I set out on my first trip to Europe, I decided to make a book that would contain any and all physical "proof" that I had been there: ticket stubs, postcards, restaurant receipts, airplane and bus and railroad ephemera. . .  food smears, hotel keys, found litter, local news, pop tops, rocks, weather notations, leaves, bags of dirt--- anything that would add information about a moment or a place, so that a viewer could make a new picture from the remnants."  

"We can still feel her presence and share her vision, walk the streets she walked, notice the things she noticed.  We are changed because she was among us."  Chuck Close, forward of Evidence

Monday, May 19, 2014

Notebook sketches

Sketches from my notebook with notes
I have several notebooks for sketching ideas and images from my dreams.
Sketches from my notebook 
Most of these images are geometrical, and one day I hope to make more sculptural work with them.
Right now it is interesting to see how they influence my printmaking.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Linocuts for artist's books

Work in Progress - Linocut block by Suzanne Coley
(drawn January 2011, carved May 2014)
I am working on some new linocuts for three artist's books about life growing up in New York City in the 80s.
Photo of my former NYC neighborhood,  May 2014
I have been visiting old neighborhoods and seeing if my memory of the architecture and landscapes match.  I am almost done with the first block and wanted to post it.  The poems have already been written -- I just need to find more time to carve . . .

Friday, May 16, 2014

Fortune Friday #1

You should be able to undertake and complete anything.
Linocut on Kozo paper
Linocut with fortune from "fortune cookie"
I have been saving fortunes from cookies with the idea of incorporating them into my art.  I will feature art from this project on Fridays.  Title: Fortune Fridays

Thursday, May 15, 2014


 Captivating! Provocative! Inspiring!
Kelis's new album cover posted on construction panels in NYC.
While walking down the street in NYC, 
Kelis's new album posters stopped me in my tracks!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Book Arts by Children

Here are a few of the 200 books created by children at the Children's Book Fair on 
Saturday, May 10th from 1- 4pm
Maryland African-American History & Culture

Some books were hip and cool.
Some books were fuzzy and fun.
Some books were bold and personalized.
Some books had drawings.
Some books were charmingly unique.
Some books were coded . . . lol.
Some books were sweet and angelic.
There was something for everyone!
It was a wonderful and enriching time for all.  Many thanks to Terry Taylor, Educational Program Coordinator of Reginald Lewis Museum and Victoria Timpo, MICA MFA curatorial program for inviting me to be part of this amazing project!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Book Arts for Children

Wonderful Children's Book Arts Workshop
Feathers for decorating books
 at the 2nd Annual African American Children's Book Fair
at Reginald F. Lewis Museum on Saturday, May 10.
 Scissors for cutting paper, designs, and silhouettes.
Glue for adhering collages, designs, and embellishments.
Crayons for drawing and writing text.
Preparing the book craft supplies.
Setting up each table for children and their parents.
 9 year-old Tamika sat here and wrote:
"To the world you are one person
but to a person you may be the 
World . . . . " 
Inspiring handwritten text by 9 year-old Tamika
6 year-old Ranell made this book for her mother.  Lovely!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Book Arts Exhibition by Refugee Youth

Nigeria, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Iraq, the Congo, Eritrea . . . 

Over the course of two years, book artists facilitated workshops that offered opportunities for refugee youth to explore the complexities of their identity while connecting immigrant communities to one another.
Interweaving Traditions: Bookbinding Across Cultures, Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Baltimore
This exhibition is part of Victoria Timpo's MFA in Curatorial Practice thesis at Maryland Institute College of Art.
 Exhibition is at Reginald F. Lewis Museum 
of Maryland African American History & Culture
APRIL 23 - JUNE 1, 2014
Detail of wall exhibition, Curated by Victoria Timpo 2014

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