Idaho Flowers

As you might realize, I’m late with my blog post this week. The studio and house are almost empty, no more equipment lying around. My Epson printer is back on the floor waiting to jump into its box. The only thing to play with is my new GoPro Hero 5 camera to record videos on our journey.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, my empty studio

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, my empty studio

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, what you can do with a closet dooe and four crates!

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, what you can do with a closet dooe and four crates!

Dilemmas, dilemmas—how to create while traveling. Please share any ideas on how to produce while on the road. I would be glad to experiment with your suggestions and let you know how it goes.

Communication with other artists in the past few weeks has been scarce. No work completed reflecting my studio life. Another reason to ask “Where do I belong?” 

Hiking in the foothills of Boise last week, I shot photos of Idaho wildflowers. I would like to share these photographs with you by giving permission to use them in your work if you desire. Use them for an artists’ book, a collage or anything else you may need. All I ask is that you share the finished work with me and my readers as part of a blog post.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, wild flowers of Idaho

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, wild flowers of Idaho

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, wild flowers of Idaho

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, wild flowers of Idaho

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, wild flowers of Idaho

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, wild flowers of Idaho

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, wild flowers of Idaho

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, wild flowers of Idaho

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, wild flowers of Idaho

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, wild flowers of Idaho

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, wild flowers of Idaho

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, wild flowers of Idaho

For this post, these photos were saved for the web. If you need a larger size file, email me and I will send you the original file through a large file transfer service. 

Happy creations! See you on the road.

 

New Endeavor

Launching into a new creative endeavor or new lifestyle is often marked by fear, uncertainty, and self-doubt. All these states of being have traversed my mind in the last 4 months as we prepare to hit the road.

Analyzing a new beginning is recognizing that one is ready to embark on a new journey. So, this voyage is fast approaching, and the photo below is what my studio looked like most of the week. I was trying to make sense of the 90 square feet of available living space in our T@B trailer and our Kia Sorento.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux

© 2017 Louise Levergneux

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, our T@B trailer with all amenities in 90 square feet

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, our T@B trailer with all amenities in 90 square feet

I sold books this year, but I'm left with too many copies of each edition created throughout the years. A friend once told me to publish one to three copies only at a time. Another told me that when her artists’ bookshelf fills up she donates or gifts books to make room for newer publications.

I find it difficult to make notes good enough to publish a book at a later date, so I create the whole edition at the same time. This situation creates lots of inventory, nice with a studio, but not good to fit in a trailer for a year.

Sarah Bryant from Big Jump Press, she calls herself a genius and I don’t blame her—she’s correct—she’s excellent at creating notes on her publications giving her the capability to finish an edition later on. You can read Sarah's blog post “Ok, where was I?” published in February 2016—see how she developed a way to finish her project at a later date. Great reading and informative.

© 2016 Sarah Bryant, Sarah's studio

© 2016 Sarah Bryant, Sarah's studio

© 2016 Sarah Bryant, Sarah's prep bags of gigs and information

© 2016 Sarah Bryant, Sarah's prep bags of gigs and information

I packed and re-packed all my artists’ books. It’s strange to leave your creations somewhere for so long without access to them for exhibitions or sales.


I had to resolve my MacBook Pro problem throughout my packing sessions. My battery is failing, and the issue was never resolved by Simply Mac or Apple. I wish Apple would make batteries that last longer. This is my second experience with a dysfunctional computer battery. My last MacBook Pro battery exploded while I was typing on the keyboard. Literally, it made my computer three times thicker and my hands went flying. What a surprise! This time the battery will die as it will no longer charge even plugged in. How much fun can one take!

Here is what Simply Mac agreed on their Service Summary, but after many back-and-forth phone calls between Simply Mac and Apple, neither could agree on the terms of the problem. On the Simply Mac Service Summary, it was clear that if I waited until September of 2017 the battery would be FREE; Apple does not agree. This situation is difficult when the technology is needed, and the technology and the services are certainly not dependable.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Simply Mac's Service Summary I signed to agree on repairs. I squared in red the important parts.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Simply Mac's Service Summary I signed to agree on repairs. I squared in red the important parts.


The next phase is on my mind. I feel nervous and excited about my new adventure and hope to see you on the road and or visit your studio.

Smaller footprint, bigger ideas!

A Day of Photography

I’m well rested after a short trip to Salt Lake City to take my mind off reality. 

My husband and I spent a day in Park City to visit photography galleries. I love to stop at Fatali, The Light Hunter as he calls himself. He photographs nature’s perfect moments. 

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Fatali Gallery sign

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Fatali Gallery sign

Every year, new photographers show up in Park City. They come and they go. This year two accomplished and award-winning photographers, Jared & Trish McMillen have joined the many galleries in Park City. Their goal is to document photographic landscapes in a way that captures each genuinely magnificent detail in all of nature's chaotic glory. The Horse Collection portrayed the West in all its beauty with its contrast, solitude, and simplicity.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, view of the inside of the McMillen Gallery from sidewalk

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, view of the inside of the McMillen Gallery from sidewalk

I was unable to visit the Kimball Art Center since it is being rebuilt.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, demolished Kimball Art center

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, demolished Kimball Art center

One has to stop at High West Distillery and do a bit of “this” when in Park City. Great atmosphere and the rosé was delicious!

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, "A Bit of This"

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, "A Bit of This"

I stopped by Simply Mac to verify the capacity and requirements for upgrading my operating system. To use my different software without spending more money than necessary, El Capitan is my limit. Great news, till I learned my computer’s battery is ready to explode! 

Technical difficulties are on the way, and I will try using Unbound’s services in Meridian for the next blog post. If that does not work, I will write in the next couple of weeks or so. In the mean time create and enjoy.

Travel

I re-named my studio 1/2 Measure Studio after leaving a large studio space in Utah in June 2015 for a smaller studio in the best house ever. I now, enjoy its size and comfort, but, I never settled in Boise, Idaho.

The onerous fees of owning a house and all it entails is stopping my husband and me from seeing the world. So, we chose traveling instead of a brick and mortar house, we will be on the road for the next year. I might need to re-name my studio again, but will I have one?

We travel to foreign places, we travel in and around our hometown, we also journey in our mind’s eye, during the long hours in our studios as we create our imaginary worlds. In my mind, I often wander across the nation back home. We all find different ways to express our voyages.

To celebrate a new way of thinking of “home” which I long for, I have found artists who have touched upon the subject of “Travel”.


Artist Natalie McGrorty created Traveling Light back in 2008. This artists' book is about home and the memories we carry with us. Threads traverse house-shaped pages, enclosed within a miniature vanity case. These threads represent memories contained within 'time-frames' of experience. Words running from A-Z describe ideas of what 'home' is.


Natalie’s book Traveling Light is part of the Emory University in Atlanta’s collection if you would like to view it in person.


Marlene MacCallum created Nine Elevated Views, this experimental work grew out of research into artists’ publishing and was inspired by the culminating group workshop held at Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts. The prototype for this piece was a collaboration incorporating a group letterpress text project led by Clifton Meador and folded structures introduced by Scott McCarney.

Upon returning home from this workshop, I reworked the piece, printing the image with a base layer of inkjet and then four subsequent photolithographic printings. The text is printed in handset letterpress. The image is constructed by using photographs of the view from each of the nine station stops of the elevated train in Chicago’s Loop. At each stop, I stepped out and made a photograph. I then took these photos and layered them together. This new image is reminiscent of the visual experience of looking out the window as we moved along the tracks. Two brief statements wind their way down the image, intersect and exit into the image. The folded structure references the skyscrapers that dominate the landscape and the unfolding structure is an impossible guide to this portion of the city.
© 2014 Marlene MacCallum, Nine Elevated Views, case bound folded paper book work, 17.3 cm x 7.7 cm x 1.5 cm

© 2014 Marlene MacCallum, Nine Elevated Views, case bound folded paper book work, 17.3 cm x 7.7 cm x 1.5 cm

© 2014 Marlene MacCallum, Nine Elevated Views, view of first opening, inkjet, lithography and letterpress, 17.3 cm x 14.65 cm

© 2014 Marlene MacCallum, Nine Elevated Views, view of first opening, inkjet, lithography and letterpress, 17.3 cm x 14.65 cm

© 2014 Marlene MacCallum, Nine Elevated Views, view of center opening of book, inkjet, lithography and letterpress, 17.3 cm x 16.5 cm

© 2014 Marlene MacCallum, Nine Elevated Views, view of center opening of book, inkjet, lithography and letterpress, 17.3 cm x 16.5 cm

© 2014 Marlene MacCallum, Nine Elevated Views, view of book block extended sideways, 17.3 cm x 29.3 cm

© 2014 Marlene MacCallum, Nine Elevated Views, view of book block extended sideways, 17.3 cm x 29.3 cm

© 2014 Marlene MacCallum, Nine Elevated Views, view of book block extended sideways and opened up partially

© 2014 Marlene MacCallum, Nine Elevated Views, view of book block extended sideways and opened up partially

© 2014 Marlene MacCallum, Nine Elevated Views, view of book block fully extended, 40.8 cm x 29.3 cm

© 2014 Marlene MacCallum, Nine Elevated Views, view of book block fully extended, 40.8 cm x 29.3 cm


Sharon Sharp remained captivated by Kentucky’s remarkable cave system and its complex history after her trip to Mammoth Cave National Park. Sharon served as Mammoth Cave National Park’s Artist-in-Residence in 2009 and created a set of artist’s books for donation to the park after her residency experience. Her artists’ book Depth Perception: Mapmaking Legacies at Mammoth Cave is a one-of-a-kind artist’s book created in 2011.

Virtually every week, my mind wanders back to that setting, its environmental richness, and the people whose lives have been shaped by experiences there.

Depth Perception: Mapmaking Legacies at Mammoth Cave is a sculptural, multi-part book that celebrates two early mappers of Mammoth Cave's labyrinthine passages: Stephen Bishop, an enslaved African American guide who, in the mid-1800s, gained international fame; and Max Kämper, a German civil engineer who, with the guide Ed Bishop (Stephen’s nephew), explored further and devised new mapping approaches in the early 1900s. These explorers are still honored at today's National Park, which encompasses the world's longest cave. Historic map portions and my cave-interior photographs accent text on the central section’s interior and exterior. Details about Stephen Bishop and Max Kämper appear in small fold-out books on each end of the large structure, which represents the cave system’s majestic realms.
© 2011, photo by Tommy White; Depth Perception: Mapmaking Legacies at Mammoth Cave by Sharon Sharp is 8.75 inches H x 6.5 inches W, 42 inches when fully opened

© 2011, photo by Tommy White; Depth Perception: Mapmaking Legacies at Mammoth Cave by Sharon Sharp is 8.75 inches H x 6.5 inches W, 42 inches when fully opened

© 2011, photo by Tommy White; Depth Perception: Mapmaking Legacies at Mammoth Cave by Sharon Sharp is spired accordions sewn back-to-back, with fold-down end sections and pop-up features

© 2011, photo by Tommy White; Depth Perception: Mapmaking Legacies at Mammoth Cave by Sharon Sharp is spired accordions sewn back-to-back, with fold-down end sections and pop-up features

© 2011, photo by Tommy White; Depth Perception: Mapmaking Legacies at Mammoth Cave by Sharon Sharp is created using Canson Mi-Teintes, metallic-flecked unryu, textured Strathmore, kozo with mango leaves, and Southworth papers

© 2011, photo by Tommy White; Depth Perception: Mapmaking Legacies at Mammoth Cave by Sharon Sharp is created using Canson Mi-Teintes, metallic-flecked unryu, textured Strathmore, kozo with mango leaves, and Southworth papers

© 2011, photo by Tommy White; Depth Perception: Mapmaking Legacies at Mammoth Cave by Sharon Sharp, archival inkjet prints for text, map portions, and original photos; colored-pencil highlights on photos; Irish linen thread; binder’s board and magnets

© 2011, photo by Tommy White; Depth Perception: Mapmaking Legacies at Mammoth Cave by Sharon Sharp, archival inkjet prints for text, map portions, and original photos; colored-pencil highlights on photos; Irish linen thread; binder’s board and magnets


Join me in celebrating. Go travel and explore your experiences!

Change and Transformation

Change /CHānj/: to make or become different, to transform, to alter. 

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Spring around Avimor in Boise, Idaho

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Spring around Avimor in Boise, Idaho

Spring brings many changes, the season helps to renew our vitality. The drumleaf binding for my last artists’ book Shadow Me was a transformation. Learning brings change. 

2017, the year of the Fire Rooster brought a significant change of energy for all of us and is providing a strong foundation for us to reach a new level and redefine a new destination!

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Spring in the foothills of Boise, Idaho

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Spring in the foothills of Boise, Idaho

How true is this? Many people are changing their lives this year, moving from one place to another, changing jobs, retiring, the list goes on in many forms? 

People are adapting to new circumstances, modifying their philosophies, revising their finances. Others are remodeling their homes, restyling their wardrobe, revamping their hairstyle, reorganizing their thoughts or simply learning new bindings.

My adjustment is a new lifestyle. I’m thinking of retiring from creating artists’ books. Should I close shop? Art has always defined me, it is who I am so the question is hard to answer but there it is, lingering over my head. For now, my books are in my thoughts, I might bring my ideas to fruition later.

Travel is the key at the moment, this will allow me to transform my work if I continue creating. The journey will take me to new directions, where I could connect with artists, librarians, organizations, and centers across Canada and the US.  

My artists’ book Finding Home was the beginning. It exemplified my need to find where I belonged after a move to Boise, Idaho, in June of 2015. I’ve concluded Canada is the place for me, my place to belong.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, trails in Avimor, Idaho

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, trails in Avimor, Idaho

Transformation in my world will be a great opportunity to meet with you and talk on the subject of artists' books, visit your studio, and blog. See you soon!

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, hiking the trails edge in Avimor, Idaho

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, hiking the trails edge in Avimor, Idaho

23 Sandy Gallery

In my last blog post, I commented on the subject of responsible galleries. I communicated with Laura Russell from 23 Sandy Gallery in Portland, a fantastic place to do business. A gallery and owner that respect the work and the artist.

Here are Laura’s responses from our exchange on the subject of damaged or stolen work, which continues to extend my last two posts “Amoché” and “The 6 Foot Drop”.

 

Louise — Have you ever had an artists' book damaged or stolen while on display in an exhibition (as an artist yourself or as the owner of the gallery)? 

Laura — Sadly, yes. But, in 10 years only twice, which I think is a pretty good record! One book was stolen during an off-site letterpress printers fair here in Portland. Luckily that one came back a few weeks later in an unmarked package with a very apologetic note. That book is now a favorite in my personal collection as I had already paid the artist for it by the time it arrived back home. Another book was dropped and had a corner of its wooden box broken. Luckily, the customer loved the book and was happy to buy it, anyway. 

 

Louise — Lessons learned through the years have jaded me from exhibiting my artists’ books. One never knows what happens on the premises of a gallery. Can you explain the secret life of a book during the month-long display on the premises at 23 Sandy Gallery?

Laura — All books are treated as fine art, not just books. Every customer who visits the gallery gets a friendly lecture about how to handle books and is asked to clean their hands if they want to handle the books. Not every book can be handled by the general public. If the book is delicate or expensive, we post a “Do Not Touch” sign on the book but are happy to show off the book ourselves if anyone is interested in viewing.
© 2017 Laura Russell, 23 Sandy Gallery

© 2017 Laura Russell, 23 Sandy Gallery

Louise — What is the unpacking/re-packing policy for books at 23 Sandy Gallery?

Laura — All books are inspected for any shipping damage, or existing flaws, or other concerns upon unpacking. Any problems are documented, with photos, and a note is immediately sent to the artist to document condition upon arrival. Upon re-packing, all books are again inspected to make sure no damage was incurred during the exhibition. We keep extensive notes about the condition for documentation purposes. If there is damage, the gallery would automatically pay the artist for the book.

 

Louise — Are the descriptive directions for unpacking and re-packing artwork for shipping, if any included in the box, read by staff.

Laura — Yes. Always, of course.

 

Louise — What’s the gallery’s work ethic for tracking the original packaging for the return of books?

Laura — The gallery does not have time to track every single package that ships out of here. We ship many, many packages every week. We recommend artists activate “shipping notifications” with their respective shipping company to get automatic email notification of shipment, delivery exceptions, and delivery.
© 2017 Laura Russell, 23 Sandy Gallery

© 2017 Laura Russell, 23 Sandy Gallery

 

Louise — Do the gallery/staff have best practices for the proper care and handling of books?

Laura — Yes. Full training is provided to every gallery staff or volunteer on proper book handling.

 

Louise — Does the 23 Sandy Gallery carry insurance for work while in their possession, i.e., is the gallery responsible for the artwork on display? How does 23 Sandy Gallery approach reimbursing artists for a damaged piece?

Laura — All books while in 23 Sandy’s possession are indeed insured. In the case of damage, our insurance policy would reimburse the artist for the “wholesale” cost of the book, which is the amount the artist would have received if the book had sold, which is 60% of the retail value.

 

Louise — What does the 23 Sandy Gallery think of “foreign” stickers adhered to books for any reason, i.e., inventory numbers or tracking numbers? 

Laura — We would never attach any sticker to any book for any reason. 
© 2017 Laura Russell, 23 Sandy Gallery

© 2017 Laura Russell, 23 Sandy Gallery

Louise — Are there any security measures (vitrines, staffing, location, etc.) on the premises for artists who prefer their work to be under glass?

Laura — We have a glass bookcase for any books that the artist requests not be handled. Or, we use a “Do Not Touch” sign as noted above.

 

Louise — How does the gallery deal with maintaining proper environmental conditions for books while on display?

Laura — Gallery conditions are not controlled in the same way museums control environmental conditions. Not possible in a retail storefront environment.

 

As with most of us, change is in the air and if you read the last newsletter of 23 Sandy Gallery you know that Laura has made a big decision. Laura is closing the operation side of the gallery and taking a year sabbatical from exhibitions. She is looking forward to finding studio time for her own books.

I wish Laura good times in her studio at Simply Books. I will miss the opportunities of showing my artists' books at 23 Sandy Gallery, especially working directly with Laura.

Many thanks, Laura and enjoy your new world!