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Showing posts from June, 2014

St. Mark's Bookshop

A Cultural Experience by Suzanne Coley
Established in 1977 in the East Village, St. Mark's Bookshop is the place to go if you are looking for small press publications, foreign & domestic journals and periodicals, and books on cultural theory, dramatic art, film studies, and graphic design. The oldest independent bookstore in Manhattan, St. Mark's Bookshop is owned by Bob Contant and Terry McCoy. For many book artists who are beginning their small publishing presses, like myself, St. Mark's Bookshop has been a life saver.  It has been an encouraging intellectual hub where poets, artists, designers, and philosophers can meet, discuss current events, and share ideas.
St. Mark's Bookshop has a very knowledgeable and personable staff who can help you locate an obscure critical theory book (that is probably on one of their shelves).
Staff confirmed that they are moving this weekend to 136 East 3rd Street.
I will miss their former home.  However, when I was taking these p…

Fortune Friday #7

Today, you are wiser than usual,  and also less anxious. Lucky Numbers 6, 7, 27, 33, 44, 46

Poetry Power Punches

étude for a limited edition artist's book by Suzanne Coley
All races accepted No discrimination here!
All religions welcome Yes, we take all!
Bad credit? Prison record? Just got hired? Just graduated? We will TAKE you!
Life going great? Life going bad? Same thing to us, we got room.
Life meet Cancer Got a complaint? Cells can’t hear

Today I spent most of my day at the hospital and decided to present a series of Ooks I began back in 2002.  All the poetry has been written, all the images have been finalized, the storage unit has been emptied. . . 
*Poem: Cells ©2002 Suzanne Coley

Postcards - coming soon

Just finished the logo for the backside of my new line of postcards.  I am working hard to have them ready for an upcoming book arts exhibition in Baltimore.
Will keep you posted.

Ideas vs. Reality

Ideas  They come in dreams.   Neat and clean.  Finished and complex. You wake up and go for it.  
A few days later, with a little more sleep, your first engraving is done.  Your plate is ready to be printed.
You pull out the ink and brayer.

You go through the process of making the ink just right.  You try different consistencies and colors, like you saw in the dream.  
Reality slowly begins to guide you.  You have to make a few adjustments.  
You try again, and again.  A few more attempts to make it right.  You skip lunch.
You still try to get something kinda like what you saw in your dream.  Dinner time is approaching.  You realize you are going to have to combine this process with another. Tomorrow.
 You hang your skirt up for the next dream.

Fortune Friday #6

Working together Works Lucky numbers: 1, 5, 6, 14, 20, 24


When we put our art and our stories on public platforms, especially the Internet, we get all types of responses.  Yes, some criticism is very constructive, much needed and welcomed. Some is not.  So, I want to share this speech by Theodore Roosevelt.  
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory …

Why I need botany lessons

Imprints of leaves from trees and shrubs are beautiful and make wonderful art. However, before I visited Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, whenever anyone asked me about the leaves I used I would say, " I got them down the street, around the corner, from the big tree."
When you visit Hunt Institute and see their vast collections and speak with their friendly staff, you realize there is so much more to botany in art. Hunt Institute has their annual Open House on Sunday, 29 June, and I look forward to seeing more rare books and speaking with their staff.

In the Studio

deconstruction (ˌdiːkənˈstrʌkʃən) 1.(Literary&LiteraryCriticalTerms)atechniqueofliteraryanalysisthatregardsmeaningasresultingfromthedifferencesbetweenwordsratherthan theirreferencetothethingstheystandfor.Differentmeaningsarediscoveredbytakingapartthestructureofthelanguageusedandexposingthe assumptionthatwordshaveafixedreferencepointbeyondthemselves.  (Collins English Dictionary)

I am interested in exploring how meaning is created through text and imagery.  How a word or a sign means one thing to one person and something completely different to another. How basic shapes can be combined and become layers of complicated meaning.  There is nothing like quiet contemplation in my studio to meditate on these questions.   Every page has a story and a history. When I break down the structure of a book and deconstruct its sentences, its words, its letters, I still find that its basic form and history remain.
Remnants of what it used to be remain in its new construction.

Ex-Library Books

Recycling the covers of ex-library books I have written about paper created with the pages from ex-library books,
but I haven't talked much about what I do with the covers.
Depending on the condition and size, I usually strip the boards.
 I cut the boards and rebind them.
After binding them I paint them.
 Touch: I am interested in the textures and feel of these books.
These covers are being prepared for an upcoming exhibition at a local bookstore this summer.
Created from ex-library books, each will contain an original story in the form of a poem with linocuts/illustrations.
This is a detail photo of the cover of the Red book.
There are about 10 more steps before each book is complete.  I will post them before the opening of the show.

Fortune Friday #5: Whistle . . .

Whistle while you work Luck Numbers: 5, 6, 13, 14, 20, 34

Ink Blots: Embrace your "U"

Embrace your Uniqueness  After writing the post on ink blots, I couldn't stop thinking about their uniqueness.
Sometimes they look like spills.  Sometimes they look like controlled drawings.  Sometimes they look like human figures.  Different things to different people -- like art.
Like art, we all have different styles, different mediums, different tastes, and different ways of telling our stories about life, love, hate, hope, gardening, cooking, sports, etc.
All of these art forms and stories are necessary to get a complete picture of the vast and diverse human experience.
So Embrace your "U" - Your Uniqueness . . . your art and story are valid and necessary.

Correspondence from the studio

Linocut Postcards Sentiments through the mail Crafted in Italy, Fabriano watercolor paper is great for postcards.  Sturdy and soft, they can be dyed  with color pigments before printing on them.  I send these deckled edged postcards through the mail without envelopes.  For a limited time I am offering them online.