Friday, February 24, 2017

52 Weeks of Printmaking on Textiles: Week 8

Smithsonian National Museum of African Art

On Wednesday, February 22, I had the opportunity to speak with two art history scholars from the Congo and one from Nigeria.  It was great to receive their insights on their culture, art and the future of art.  After our two hour discussion, we looked at a few books in the museum's library.  
Handcrafted mixed media textile books number 3 and 4
It was wonderful to have them look through each page and give me feedback.  As an artist, it is amazing to see how historians view the artistic process and the final art piece.
Handcrafted textile books
They really liked the covers and said the wooden covers reminded them of glass.
Handcrafted textile books by Suzanne Coley
What is so interesting about this comment is I really wanted to have glass covers for these books, and I looked into it.  There were two problems: 1. I would've had to hire someone to create the glass covers and 2. They would have been too fragile for my project.  (I shattered a sample while transporting a piece to my home.)

Thursday, February 23, 2017

52 Weeks of Printmaking on Textile: Week 7

Mixed Media Fiber Arts:

This entire series is inspired by African textiles that I received from the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC back in October 2016.
 African textiles, monoprint, map, vintage cotton
After the initial surprise of receiving such prized beauties, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them: Make mixed media fiber art books.  Each page would be composed of either an entire piece of African textile or a combination of African textiles with American.  I plan to make twelve volumes for this series and the entire series will be titled: Sun Mirrors.

Each month I have been visiting the museum and showing my most recently finished book.  I've been fortunate to have my books reviewed by an African art history scholar during these visits.  They point out aspects of my research and work in ways that enhance my knowledge and process. 
On my most recent visit, I met the artistic team from Sahara Lab of Morocco.  Their work is amazing and I love how, through film, they capture the beauty and reality of their culture and country.  (I'm returning to the museum on Saturday to see their presentation.)

Four books completed, eight more to go.  It takes me at least a month to make a book.  When I experiment with new ideas, the time increases.  

Thursday, February 16, 2017

August Wilson

I have always loved August Wilson's plays, and I'm finding them more inspirational than ever.
Gem of the Ocean by August Wilson
 They make me laugh.  They make me cry.  They make me think about the past.
Two Trains Running by August Wilson
They make me think about the future.  They make me think about the mystical, the magical, and the real.  He will always be one of my favorite writers along with Akhmatova, Aristophanes, Plato and Poe.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Day: Cards made with Postage Stamps

Mailing love to you.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day card made with original postage stamps from my collection of vintage stamps.
Valentine's Day hearts

Friday, February 10, 2017

52 Weeks of Printmaking on Textile: Week 6

 Here are some of this week's highlights from the work station.
Silver and silkscreens
 I will turn all of these textiles into handcrafted books.
Cover of A Printmaker's Song
I am adding layers to the covers and the textiles, and preparing everything for binding next week.

Friday, February 3, 2017

52 Weeks of Linocuts on Textile: Week 5

I love working on this project.
Coloratura: Act I, Scene iv
 It combines my passion for storytelling and love of sewing, carving, painting, and binding.
Coloratura: Act I, scene iv
Getting ready to bind
I've always wanted to work with feathers and found a way to incorporate them into this series.

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