Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Designs in Nature * Rita's Pages

For the past few weeks I've been working in Jill's book choice Designs in Nature. This is a subject that I'm very happy to work with as nature is always an endless source of inspiration for me. My fascination with the birch as an abstract form has made it's way into these pages along with my love of images of bare branches. I've included leaf images, drawings and actual leaves, and a beautiful feather found long ago. My pages are about simplicity and solitude.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Distressed Elements - A Journey in Seth Apter's Innerworks Altered Book

Seth Apter's Distressed Elements is my last book to work in - and what a final act it's been. Hard to imagine that this theme, initially so foreign to me- turned out to be a magical play land - prompting me to take flight within this extraordinary altered book collaboration. As seen in my post here, these pages have been inspired by Seth's phenomenal book joined by the soaring spirit of our InnerWorks group!

So thank you Seth for creating this wonderful book. It's here that I've discovered an exciting journey of layers and human construction within the depth of human emotion.
Working in this book totally filled my soul - and what could be a better ending than the creation of a new beginning- right here - just where I leave off!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Testament to Friendship

I received Veronica's book on friendship- and like many of us, all my original thoughts on how I would proceed changed when I received it. There's something so special about holding the book, feeling its essence, and then gently turning each page with such delight and amazement.

The process of developing friendships is one that takes time, effort and a special devotion that feeds the friendship - allowing it to grow, prosper and flourish. I dedicated my work in Veronica's book as a special testament to the friendship that the six of us - Seth, Veronica, Supria, Roxanne, Rita, and myself have formed.

There's such a special excitement and magical element of surprise to see what works of creativity will find it's way into our lives. More of my pages can be seen here. Thank you Veronica for choosing this theme and planting the seeds for these pages.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

a glimpse...

I've spent the past few days working on Supria's book, On Paper Wings, about Helen Keller - funny how the ideas that I have in mind before I receive the books change once they arrive. Some of the elements remain, knowing a quote that I wanted to include which I had gathered months ago, an old photograph, of course integrating wings somehow, and feathers, and flower petals - things of nature. The way Miss Keller was taught, through touch and the natural world, and though I know she couldn't see, I'm certain her inner world was filled with colour. This is my final book, and though the parting of it, along with the parting of this group project, will make me sad, I do look forward to seeing my own once again after such a long trip and so many magic hands have touched and altered it. Once all of the books are back in the lovely hands of their owners, I will post all the photos of the pages I created. Though parting is such sweet sorrow, the journey has been an expanding one, for my heart, for my mind, and for my creative soul. For this I am grateful to Supria...and thank you all for embracing me on these travels.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Distressed Elements

Today was spent working on Seth's book "Oracle Night" by Paul Auster. Seth's theme is Distressed Elements and I've really enjoyed working in it. The book arrived to me already thick with artistic interpretations done by Seth himself, Veronica, Supria and Roxanne. I thought I'd interpret the theme by using words that come to mind when I hear the word distressed. I've used papers that I've painted and distressed myself along with some ephemera and found objects. Oddly enough, I've used the concept of time again here as I did in Veronica's book theme of friendship. Hmmmm, time must be on my mind alot these days!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Patterns in nature are like songs to the heart

For Jill's book, "Designs in Nature" I decided to try something new...dipped paper..a technique I learnt at the Third Annual Encaustic Conference...Here is one image of the work I completed..more images can be found on my blog here!  

For me I chose the theme Patterns and Symmetry...For I so adore the patterns all around us in nature, from the spirals in shells to the patterns in butterfly wings...Mother earth has given us many magical creations with designs and patterns to inspire...so in my pages I decided to include some of these elements embedded into the dipped paper.

Song by Amy Lowell

Oh! To be a flower 
Nodding in the sun, 
Bending, then upspringing 
As the breezes run; 
Holding up 
A scentbrimmed cup, 
Full of summer's fragrance to the summer sun. 

Oh! To be a butterfly 
Still, upon a flower, 
Winking with its painted wings, 
Happy in the hour. 
Blossoms hold 
Mines of gold 
Deep within the farthest heart of each chaliced flower. 

Oh! To be a cloud 
Blowing through the blue, 
Shadowing the mountains, 
Rushing loudly through 
Valleys deep 
Where torrents keep 
Always their plunging thunder and their misty arch of blue. 

Oh! To be a wave 
Splintering on the sand, 
Drawing back, but leaving 
Lingeringly the land. 
Rainbow light 
Flashes bright 
Telling tales of coral caves half hid in yellow sand. 

Soon they die, the flowers; 
Insects live a day; 
Clouds dissolve in showers; 
Only waves at play 
Last forever. 
Shall endeavor 
Make a sea of purpose mightier than we dream today?. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

the sound of silence...

I've been working on Roxanne's 'Earth Tones' - what a lovely surprise this book has been. I have gathered items throughout these six months as I've been working on the different books, and the inspiration for each one seems to come more quickly. My focus this time is not only on colour but on the sounds, both tones, of the earth. Silence is something I try to get more of in my life...to silence the man-made - traffic, television, radio...and to begin to listen to the sounds of nature. Leaves rustling in the breeze, birds speaking with one another, water moving against rock. The book itself is a treasure, and the addition of each artist's work makes it more so. Over the years my own work has been quite focused and though I've ventured out of my box in the past three years, mixing media, trying new subject matter, I think I've become more satisfied with the original work because of these great leaps of faith. I feel more grounded, more connected to this earth, and realize that my contribution adds value not only to others, but to myself. And that I can contribute to this silence with a visual story that touches another soul.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Earth Tones

Roxanne's book, Earth Tones, has arrived and moved on. The book structure that she is altering is quite unique. The pages that had already been added when I received the book were inspirational and I know she is going to love them. Her theme completely spoke to me. In short, working on this altered book was a pleasure. Below are some glimpses of the three pages I completed for Roxanne. You can also click here to be taken to my blog, The Altered Page, to see an image of one completed page.

Leaves were twinkling in every wind that blew...

Embroidered over with millions of silver flowers...

Precious stone...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

You Gotta Have Friends

I had a particularly wonderful time working on Veronica's book. Her theme "Friend" is near and dear to my heart. Perhaps you read this post on my blog. In preparation for working on Veronica's book, I went through many old photos of friends and used some of them in my pages here. I also used the words to the song "You Gotta Have Friends". My favorite version is with Bette Midler singing the song She's divine!

Monday, June 8, 2009


It is amazing how creating art can change your life.  
Open a new door. 
Teach you about yourself. 
And make new friends. 
Inner works has given me all these gifts.  
The most challenging of all has been to take a theme or an idea
 of another artist 
and interpret it in your own way.

The following three photographs are a peek at my pages for Veronica
Her beautiful book has the theme of friendship...

These two photographs are a peek 
at the beginnings of my pages for 
Seth's book Distressed Elements... 

It is amazing how creating art can change your life.  
Open new doors.
Teach you about yourself.
and give you the chance to make new friends. 
Inner works has given me all these gifts.  
The most challenging of all has been to take a theme 
or an idea of another artist and interpret it in your own way.
The artists in this group come from different parts of the world... 
as I learn more about each of them 
I see that all of our journeys have a common thread,  
as if we are woven together
part of a design 
in an intricate tapestry.


Sunday, May 31, 2009

Helen Keller- Supria Karmakar's On Paper Wings

Several weeks ago, I received Supria's gorgeous Altered Art book on Helen Keller- filled with her beautiful artistry which you can see here and those of Roxanne, and Rita. Now, it was my time to interpret and orchestrate my pages. As our InnerWorks Collaborative project progresses, each book is a totally new experience. As the first artist in our own book and then the first "guest" artist to work in another artist's book, we receive a "blank canvas" to create in. As the book has been worked in by several artists, it's both a gift and a challenge.

The gift is that you really get a feel for the different and unique artistic styles and expressive interpretations that help set the tone for the book. It's a challenge because so many wonderful and creative ideas have been revealed by our other collaborators. The process then forces you to go that much deeper into yourself and the theme for the direction you will begin to explore.

Helen became proficient in Braille, a new language based on the order and feel of raised dots. Here's a rendering of our English symbols of "XOX" for a "kiss, hug and a kiss" in Braille.

Working on Supria's book, On Paper Wings, has been such a joy. It was so amazing to learn about Helen Keller, a child who at just 19 months old, went from a "normal" toddler to someone trapped inside a human cocoon. It was void of light and sound. into an abyss Helen fell - condemned to what seemed like an end to any semblance of a life.

Helen had hope, optimism, perseverance and a teacher named Anne Sullivan who would support, guide and help her achieve what seemed like the impossible. What emerged was a beautiful butterfly

amidst a life of rainbows - color within darkness , and sound within silence. Helen was a shining star for the world - with a grace, radiance, brilliance and an unrelenting awe for all of life's gifts!

Like Helen Keller, we should all try to find the rainbows in what often seems like an endless storm, a new path when we think the road in front of us is closed, and make time for both those we love and ourselves when we think that there's not a moment to spare in our lives. Life is short - yet within Helen's, despite being both blind and deaf, she graduated from college, was fluent in many languages, read more books than most of have read in a lifetime, and was an inspiration and role model to so many. Before most people ever heard of the word Suffragette, Helen was one. We should all try to reach out to someone who could use compassion even when we think we may not have anything to offer. We all have so much to share and give.

Everyone has a special inner spirit which can enable them to soar on paper wings, if they only believe.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Distressed Elements - Seth Apter's book, My Round Robin Pages - #3

It is not hard to be inspired by Seth's work...his work has a distinct flavour, one which invites the artistic mind to a deeper place of inspiration.  I found working on his book really opened up my mind to the energies of the past..Past stories, people's history..Their stories of their lives..Wondering what it would be like for the woman in the photo, holding a book.  What is her story?   Who is she remembering, while looking at the book?  Or what are the inspiring words in the book she is holding, are they providing her with the strength and inspiration to move forward....?  From what, to what????

The book medium, the written word, has itself been a great source of magic and strength for me...I find that through the written word, through books, life finds deeper meaning and comfort, whether it is for an escape or if it is a way to look at life another way, through the wisdom of the author.....The gifts from writers and visual artists who give of themselves freely, help feed the soul, give others a chance to contemplate another point of view, whether similar or different.  Check out the other post I wrote on this work, here!

All of this was what came from my time immersed in Seth's book, Distressed Elements...and  I am grateful for the opportunity.  Thanks Seth for joining the collaborative, your work is an inspiration to many, including myself.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

I've been working on Rita's "Gift from the Sea" which appealed to me for so many reasons but mainly because I love Anne Morrow Lindbergh's essays on reflection; on how she felt that she was the only woman who felt a desire to create in a space that was all her own, her need to get things in order, to simplify, and to focus on the specific things that mattered to her and to let go of the rest. Her time away from her family was not selfish but rather selfless, as she was able to contribute as a mother and member of a community once she had filled her own well. I once read:

"If you are wise, you will show yourself rather as a reservoir than as a canal.
A canal spreads abroad water as it receives it,
but a reservoir waits until it is filled before overflowing,
and thus without loss to itself it shares its superabundant water."
Bernard of Clairvaux, Celtic Monk

I wanted to use Anne's words, to use the colour blue which is my personal favorite and grants me a sense of tranquility, and to capture the sense of serenity that nature provides.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Beautiful Sounds of Our Earth's Precious Tones!

Working on Roxanne Stout- Evan's Earth Tones book has been such an exciting and creative energy force for me. I was so inspired by Roxanne's rendition of her book which you can be amazed at here and from Rita Vindedzis's beautiful work in it here. The musical aspect of Roxanne's theme came to mind- creating a desire to connect the sounds of the earth and its tones with the treasures of the earth's music that plays in our everyday lives.

There's music in the sound of the quiet silence, in chirping bird sounds, in natural musical instruments found throughout time and symphonic music in tree branches and leaves swaying in the wind.

Our mountains and great bodies of water carry through time their own melodies, as does the gentle humming of the earth's core without any seeming movement at all. You can see some additional pictures of my work in Roxanne's book here. Can't wait to see the future works of Veronica, Seth and Supria in Roxanne's Earth Tones Treasure book!