La Cienega, New Mexico

During the previous two weeks, we have been Eastbound from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Sugarcreek, Ohio by way of Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Tenessee...

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Amarillo to Shamrock, Texas on Interstate 40

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Amarillo to Shamrock, Texas on Interstate 40

My traveling and blogging have unlocked many doors to studio visits and interesting meets.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, visiting with my fur friend "Clyde" companion to Dana Perez in Nashville, Tennessee

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, visiting with my fur friend "Clyde" companion to Dana Perez in Nashville, Tennessee

I enjoy the comments received on each and every one of my posts. An artist from La Cienega, New Mexico has sent me weekly comments since the beginning. This is how I started a conversation and friendship with Gail Murray.

Last week I found myself in Albuquerque, fifty miles from La Cienega. “I’m close enough for a trek up north,” I said. La Cienega is seventeen miles southwest of Santa Fe, this was an excuse to stop by one of my favourite places and a studio visit!

After a forty minute drive, I was at Gail’s Adobe style home. I found her and husband Paul to be great people to spend an evening talking about art.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, accordion with turkish map fold book by Gail Murray

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, accordion with turkish map fold book by Gail Murray

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, paste papers by Gail Murray

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, paste papers by Gail Murray

Gail and Paul Murray are the quintessential New Mexico couple: Gail is a New Mexico State employee by day and book artist by night. Gail makes one-of-a-kind artist books, using her own paste papers or decorative paper techniques learned through the Santa Fe Book Arts Group. Her books are filled with her own original haikus. 

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Fifty Shades of Green by Gail Murray

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Fifty Shades of Green by Gail Murray

Since 1978, Gail and Paul have made their annual Christmas cards, in a variety of media, ranging from silkscreen, collage, painting, and lino-prints. Each year they hand make and mail around 80 original, signed Christmas cards. Many people report having kept each one since 1978! Those early card years were the origins of Gail's Paw Print Press and subsequently her artist books. After viewing the BAG’s “Celebration of the Book” exhibit in late 2008, Gail instantly knew she had found her creative home. It was there she had her “Ha-ha!” moment that she could BIND things into books, which had never occurred to her in all the years of making holiday, birthday and thank you cards.

Paul has been a life-long, full-time artist, painting landscapes, still life, architectural, flowers or animals in pastel, oil, acrylic, or pen and ink. Paul ran his graphic design business, Murray’s Design, in Albuquerque from 1977-2003. He started painting in pastels in the mid-90s. This earned him numerous major awards and sales. With that, he was hooked, and eventually left graphic design behind, and focused on painting full time and teaching workshops.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Paul Murray in his studio talking about his paintings

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Paul Murray in his studio talking about his paintings

Together Paul and Gail are a collaborative team and back each other up in most matters art and the care of their current three cats, the Furry Murrays. Paul’s painting studio is connected to their home by a breezeway, and Gail produces all of her work in their spacious kitchen, with lots of spill-over into the breakfast nook, dining room, and more storage in the second bedroom. Before Gail found book arts, she says “it was a normal home. Presently it is a book art studio with cooking facilities.” The three cats reside in Paul’s studio. Their license plates say it all: CATLADY and BOOKART.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Paul Murray with his favourite painting

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Paul Murray with his favourite painting


The Santa Fe Books Arts Group is a very active group of approximately 150 artists. Most are from Santa Fe, however many are state-wide and out of state. The Crown Jewel of BAG’s events is the Capitol Rotunda exhibit, held every odd year for 3 months, either summer or fall at the Rotunda of the State Capitol in downtown Santa Fe. Each year approximately 100 books are accepted for the exhibit. BAG also sponsors several workshops, salons, and monthly meetings with presentations or demos given by very creative members or invited guest artists. Another highlight of the BAG year is the annual Collaborative Book. Usually, 20 to 25 members create enough pages to exchange with other members, based on the specs, theme, or colors chosen for that year’s Collaborative Book.

In 2014 BAG organized several small study groups, called In Over My Head—they cover a diverse range of topics. The groups are limited to eight participants and often meet at member’s homes or other suitable location. Popular topics have been Book Structure, Zentangle, Pop-ups, Calligraphy, Collage... Each month the associates explore in a 3-hour session an aspect of their respective topic. The Book Structure group is in its 5th year with most of the original members. Members take turns teaching a new structure or technique to the rest of the group. This June, they held their Third Annual Paste Paper Extravaganza in Gail’s Garage. Seven artists created piles of lovely paste paper; they share a swatch of paste paper with each member, to create their own unique collaborative book from the paste paper they swapped.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Gail Murray demonstrating the sliding strap concertina

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Gail Murray demonstrating the sliding strap concertina

Gail showed me a Sliding Strap Concertina created during a BAG workshop by Priscilla Spitler. Priscilla, a fine bookbinder from Truth or Consequences, New Mexico learned this structure from Gary Frost. This intriguing book structure permits additional content in the book or the book can be displayed on a wall. 

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Gail Murray showing the cover of the sliding strap concertina

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Gail Murray showing the cover of the sliding strap concertina

The Sliding Strap Concertina is a versatile structure that expands by the straps sliding through the linen thread “loops” sewn into the front and back covers. The spine is made of stained or painted Tyvek, with the five signatures pamphlet stitched to each fold in the spine. Each signature and endpapers can be covered in paste or marbled papers, these are perfect for this book.

Every visit, every conversation teaches me something new. Do you have a new binding or a new way of folding paper?


Papers, papers and more papers!

What variety of papers do you resort to for your printing job — artists’ books, prints, photography? 

Do you own an inkjet printer, a laser printer or a letterpress?

These questions are often asked by other artists or blog readers on the substrate I use to produce my artists’ books. I find papers tactile and love their different textures, whether smooth, rough, lightweight or thick. It's a pleasure to receive a visual signal of the tactile experience a paper communicates.

When I first started producing artists' books, finding papers that would impart the meaning of my publications demanded lots of research. In the end, the potential of papers designed for inkjet printers offered my books their clear, precise, vivid colours, and the contemporary look I enjoy.

 © 2016 Louise Levergneux, City Shields manhole covers printed on Generations Quad

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, City Shields manhole covers printed on Generations Quad

Generations Quad (10 mil-260 gsm) was the first inkjet paper I purchased. This is a lustre photographic paper that produces a consistent image with instant dry-time allowing prints to be handled immediately without fingerprints or scuffing. It’s available in different sizes, 13 x 19 inches works well for my template in which I print images of manhole covers for my on-going project City Shields. I can still purchase it after 18 years.

I have used Aspen paper for many book projects, as in the insert for City Shields, the pages for Equinox, 26NOV2006, and Ambivalence. Unfortunately Aspen paper is no longer available.

Using I have printed Parade, Outside the Studio, 6:45, Decades Apart, and obsession. This paper is excellent for folded pages, since it does not seem to break

Papers for inkjet printers are coated and the fibres break when folded even on the proper grain direction. After looking for various types of papers, I identified a couple that work well for the production process of the accordion, fold out, gatefold,

Moab Papers by Legion Papers continue to be some of my favourites. Moab produces fine art, photographic, and specialty papers. Each paper is explained in detail on their website. Moab offers free downloadable profiles for your printer and for each and every paper they sell. Utilizing their profiles will deliver the most satisfactory results. 

 Moab page describing profiles to start  downloading  and install

Moab page describing profiles to start downloading and install

Legion Papers offers a selection of papers by its application, category, or by name. The Legion Papers website presents the opportunity to select the perfect paper for the proper printing job by responding to a few questions.

 

 Legion Papers website page, most of the choices of paper by  applications

Legion Papers website page, most of the choices of paper by applications

 Moab Entrada and Lasal Photo papers

Moab Entrada and Lasal Photo papers

After conversations with contacts at Moab Papers, Lasal Photo Matte, a double-sided paper which prints with sharp and vivid images, and Entrada Rag a 100% cotton fine art paper were wonderful finds. Entrada Rag is archival acid, and lignin-free with superb handling and sharpness. It also has an expanded colour gamut, natural contrast, and high ink load. It is compatible with both dye and pigment inks. I chose Entrada Rag for Perception, Guadalupe, and the flags of my flag-book Faux-pas.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, detail printed page of Perception on Estrada Rag

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, detail printed page of Perception on Estrada Rag

A Day Filled with Onomatopoeias was printed on Kodak Bright White Matte Inkjet Paper. This paper can be purchased from Office Depot, and produces crisp text, vivid colours and is designed for use with most inkjet printers. It can also be used with laser printers. It was ideal for the comic book look I was focused on creating.colours and is designed for use with most inkjet printers. It can also be used with laser printers. It was ideal for the comic book look I was focused on creating.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, detail of the turkish map fold page of Finding Home on Kodak Bright White Matte Paper, great paper for folds

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, detail of the turkish map fold page of Finding Home on Kodak Bright White Matte Paper, great paper for folds

Presently, I use primarily Lasal Photo Matte Paper from Moab for my books. It has given me outstanding results for Shadow Me, Finding Home, Conversation, Xtraction, Traverse, and Entre deux. If you're looking for the ideal paper for limited edition books where the prints encounter frequent handling, Lasal Photo is for you. 

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, box of Lasal Photo by Moab in the 12 x 13 inches 

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, box of Lasal Photo by Moab in the 12 x 13 inches 

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, detail printed page of Shadow Me on Lasal Photo from Moab Papers

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, detail printed page of Shadow Me on Lasal Photo from Moab Papers

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, detail printed page of Finding Home on Lasal Photo from Moab Papers

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, detail printed page of Finding Home on Lasal Photo from Moab Papers

I order Moab and Inkpress papers from ITSupplies in Meadows, Illinois and order the Generations Quad from Ink2Image in Glenview, Illinois.

Try these papers and have fun with the results! Let me know what you think.

Book Arts Program, Marriott Library

Before leaving Salt Lake City, I printed all the pages and the cover of my book Shadow Me. I was having so much fun I continued to print the pages and images for Finding Home. The books are ready to cut, fold, and assemble. It is difficult to keep a working schedule on the road. First, I don’t have much space and often the everyday activities take precedence. That’s life when it interferes with art!

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, printed pages of Shadow Me

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, printed pages of Shadow Me

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, printed pages of Finding Home

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, printed pages of Finding Home


Last week, at the Book Arts Program Studio of the Marriott Library, I met with Emily Tipps, Program Manager, and Marnie Powers-Torrey, Head of the Book Arts Program and Managing Director of the Red Butte Press.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Marnie Powers-Torrey at the University of Utah

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Marnie Powers-Torrey at the University of Utah

I had the pleasure of seeing some of Emily and Marnie's artists’ books, produced during the last few years. They also demonstrated some of the books produced by the Red Butte Press. The conversation continued by sharing thoughts on structures and techniques chosen, favourite binding methods, typestyle and fine press. The type of substrate of various books was stimulating as I’m constantly looking to print on new papers.

The feel of paper for the fourth imprint of the Book Arts Program (In)visible Shores by Danielle Dubrasky was very tactile, sensual to the touch. BAP imprints are designed, printed, and bound in-house.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux,  (In)visible Shores  by Danielle Dubrasky

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, (In)visible Shores by Danielle Dubrasky

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux,  Stranger and Stranger  by Katharine Coles The book  Stranger and Stranger  by Katharine Coles with images translated from the paintings of Maureen O-Hara Ure

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Stranger and Stranger by Katharine Coles The book Stranger and Stranger by Katharine Coles with images translated from the paintings of Maureen O-Hara Ure

Marnie shared three of her own artists’ books. It was delightful to see Marnie enjoying the feeling of renewal through production.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Cities & Justice by Marnie Powers-Torrey

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Cities & Justice by Marnie Powers-Torrey

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Nuts, Seeds & Heavier Fare (left) and Mama Self (right) by Marnie Powers-Torrey

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Nuts, Seeds & Heavier Fare (left) and Mama Self (right) by Marnie Powers-Torrey

Mama Self is an edition of 32, the age of the artist when she became pregnant and gave birth to her second child, realizing that she'd never be the same again.
Work on this book began in 2006 in a workshop with the brilliant Julie Leonard, just after the birth of the artist's third and last child. After nine years of gestation, the book was finally released into the world. Imagery is derived from circular ink washes suggesting the cyclical nature of being, the constancy of motion, revolving planets, ripe ovum and lactating breasts. The text is experimental and broken, collected in haste throughout the early years of motherhood. Stripped of formality and exposing raw, maternal femininity, the words string together a visual poem of primal and authentic language.

A short exposure with Marnie Powers-Torrey by KUEDCHANNEL7. "The visual book, as I like to call it, can be a mode of creative expression."


Emily Tipps is the founder of High5 Press. At the moment Emily has a new visual book in production with the working title of Amoral. I enjoyed the visual aspect, design, and composition of its pages. 

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Amoral, work in progress by Emily Tipps

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Amoral, work in progress by Emily Tipps

I aim to provoke energetic reader interaction with innovative texts, using letterpress printing, hand paper-making, and bookbinding to create limited-editions whose content and form are conceptually and interestingly related. Says Emily.

The most enjoyable part of traveling is meeting old friends and artists. I’m looking forward to having a space to create and express myself through these travels. Visiting artists and getting to know the productions behind the studios are absolutely invigorating! I welcome the next encounter.

Marriott Library, University of Utah

Last week, in Boise, I picked up from Unbound the 3D printed pieces of the houses incorporated in my book Finding Home. Unbound is a library and facility that experiment with emerging technology. I'm enjoying the sound of my printer as I print two copies of the pages of my book.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Finding Home house peices

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Finding Home house peices

It was a pleasure being back in Salt Lake City after a year of traveling, even though more time was spent with doctors, chiropractors, and my physiotherapist. I appreciated a visit to the J. Willard Marriott Library the main academic library of the University of Utah this week.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, entrance to the J Willard Marriott Library

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, entrance to the J Willard Marriott Library

The Book Arts Program has a fully equipped studio where artists utilize type, letterpress, photo engravings and bookbinding equipment as they combine traditional techniques with modern aesthetics and technology. 

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, the book arts studio as one walk through the door

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, the book arts studio as one walk through the door

The Program promotes involvement with the art of the book by facilitating Academic designations of Minor, a Certificate in Book Arts, and the MFA in Creative Writing & Book Arts, which are supported by classes exploring letterpress printing, bookbinding, artists' books and typography.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux,  Chris McAfee  in the book arts classroom, getting ready for a workshop on conservation

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Chris McAfee in the book arts classroom, getting ready for a workshop on conservation

At this time of year, the Special Collection Gallery found on the fourth floor at the entrance of the Book Arts Studio is filled with student's work in book arts.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Special Collections Gallery

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Special Collections Gallery

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, exhibitionon of students work

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, exhibitionon of students work

For you lovers of ABC books, I found one in the exhibition entitled Animal Alphabet. This artists’ book is an alternative take on a traditional abecedarian book that exposes the cruelty that animals experience every day and calls the reader to action by Sydney Porter.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Sydney Porter, Animal Alphabet

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Sydney Porter, Animal Alphabet

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Sydney Porter, Animal Alphabet

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Sydney Porter, Animal Alphabet

More books caught my attention:

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Box Sonata: at play with Plato, Quasha, and Chronostratigraphy by Mahala Kephart

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Box Sonata: at play with Plato, Quasha, and Chronostratigraphy by Mahala Kephart

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Tatiana Tyszko, Places I’ve Fallen In Love

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Tatiana Tyszko, Places I’ve Fallen In Love

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, another fascinating book by Hannah Harper Hansen entitled Book 3

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, another fascinating book by Hannah Harper Hansen entitled Book 3

I have taken many workshops and a full semester class on book arts with the Book Arts Program while living in Salt Lake City a few years ago. The next workshop, The Book Restructured: Wire-Edge Binding with Daniel E. Kelm is at the beginning of June. With my hectic schedule Eastbound, I will miss this wonderful workshop. Pretty shitty! But that is life!

Next week, I will have a look at some of the people in charge of the Book Arts Program and next year with no injuries to heal I will plan in advance to participate in a workshop.

More Alphabet Books

My printer is on and ready to print the first page of my last artists’ book Shadow Me. This stimulates me and frightens me at the same time. In the previous ten months, I barely turned on my printer. I only checked if the heads were clogged or blocked, lucky they were not. This is the first real print-out of a true page of a book in a year!

As I’m concentrating to make sure the page is printing properly on special paper—13 x 12 inches—enjoying the thrill of completing a task—my computer shouts out—”It’s 5 o'clock,” nudging me to get ready for a dinner out with friends.

 © 2018 Michael Sutton, Louise with first print in 12 months

© 2018 Michael Sutton, Louise with first print in 12 months

This week I stumbled on the software Horos—it converts MRI's and X-rays into JPG's. I was able to transform my sprained foot images to integrate them into my alphabet book. The foot is healing! So, I’m taking some time to visit a dear friend in Boise, Idaho. 

The thrill is short but exciting! since Saturday after our return, we need to pack the truck with our belongings and start our journey East.

In the meantime, I’m writing this blog on more alphabet books. Many themes have been used for alphabet books including cat activities, the Bible, Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Creatures, baby animals, tools... And simply the 26 characters of the alphabet in strikingly attractive ways.


 © 2002 Carol Barton,  Alphabetica Synthetica, accordion book structure with pop-ups and laser printing

© 2002 Carol Barton,  Alphabetica Synthetica, accordion book structure with pop-ups and laser printing

The book Alphabetica Synthetica’s concept was developed years ago when Carol Barton started keeping an alphabetical list of synthetic chemicals and substances.

Science and the specific field of materials engineering have always intrigued me. I find great pleasure in searching for new fabrics, laminates, plastics, and composite substances, and in seeing how these materials are then used in fashion, architecture and industrial design. I also enjoy playing with unusual materials as components in my books. In designing Alphabetica Synthetica, I’ had a wonderful time exploring the world of synthetics and imagining a future altered by these discoveries, for better or worse.
Over time the list expanded to include other fabricated or “synthesized” creations, from the unconventional to the fantastic. When Cincinnati’s Lloyd Library announced its exhibition Mining the Lloyd, I discovered the library’s holdings included a sizeable collection of chemistry texts. I realized that names from these books could augment my own alphabetical list of synthetics, and plans for an abecedarium began to take shape. The result is this playful look at a fascinating field of science.

 © 2014, Gail Murray, 

© 2014, Gail Murray, 

Dale Harris brought 6 members together to create the Collaborative ABC Book in Zentangle. All alphabet letters are originals, hand drawn and painted by the participants for the Invitational Group Show at Weyrich Gallery in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Dale Harris bound the book once the artists completed and mailed their letters to Dale.

 © 2014, left to right: Trish Meyer, Vicki Bolen, Trina Badarak Hall, Dale Harris, Ginger Rice, Marilyn Bennett, Gail Murray

© 2014, left to right: Trish Meyer, Vicki Bolen, Trina Badarak Hall, Dale Harris, Ginger Rice, Marilyn Bennett, Gail Murray

 © 2018 Gail Murray, this post is dedicated to Dominick who passed away May 17th in the arms of his mommy Gail

© 2018 Gail Murray, this post is dedicated to Dominick who passed away May 17th in the arms of his mommy Gail


 © 1986 Scott McCarney, two volume die-cut in an edition of 300; 4 x 6 in

© 1986 Scott McCarney, two volume die-cut in an edition of 300; 4 x 6 in

Scott McCarney published Alphabook 3, an alphabet book bound in a dos-à-dos accordion fold format. Alphabook 3 is part of a series of alphabets designed in book form. The letterforms are dependent upon the physicality of the book's space.


 © 2004, Laura Russell, ABC, long stitch binding into paper cover, archival digital printing on Superfine paper

© 2004, Laura Russell, ABC, long stitch binding into paper cover, archival digital printing on Superfine paper

Laura Russell's miniature ABC book (2 1/8” x 3” ) is an edition of 100. The book contains photographs of letters found on vintage neon signs. The alphabet letters are paired with terminology and fun facts from the fascinating world of neon artistry. A world that has changed little since the invention of the neon sign in 1910.

Thank you, everyone, for creating such inspiring work! 

Abecedaries

It feels tremendous to be on the brink of creating an artists’ book. Hopefully, I will have time to start the design process before we embark on our next trek. My traveling studio leaves Salt Lake City to go Eastbound at the end of May. 

For the present, I’m looking forward to stand or sit; and think, plan, and print. How will it feel to handle tools again? Especially the glue!!! I may choose a non-glue method of binding.

Through my research, I discovered many published alphabet/ABC artists’ books in different binding formats depending on the meaning behind the work. Some of the types of bindings used for abecedaries are the flip book, cards, tunnel book, accordion, codex, panorama concertina... to name a few.

Karen Hanmer has used different bindings for her alphabet books. In The Spectrum A to Z the letters of the alphabet are colored to run through the spectrum and back within a tunnel book format.

 © 2003 Karen Hanmer, The Spectrum A to Z, pigment inkjet prints, 5 x 5 x 18", edition of 20

© 2003 Karen Hanmer, The Spectrum A to Z, pigment inkjet prints, 5 x 5 x 18", edition of 20

Another alphabet book inspired by the U.S. Patriot Act is in an accordion style binding. Patriot Alphabet incorporates words or phrases taken from the vocabulary of terrorism, homeland security, and the Iraq war.

 © 2004 Karen Hanmer, Patriot Alphabet, pigment inkjet prints, open 5.75 x 66 x 3.5", closed 5.75 x 4.5x.5"

© 2004 Karen Hanmer, Patriot Alphabet, pigment inkjet prints, open 5.75 x 66 x 3.5", closed 5.75 x 4.5x.5"

 © 2004 Karen Hanmer, Patriot Alphabet, pigment inkjet prints, open 5.75 x 66 x 3.5", closed 5.75 x 4.5x.5"

© 2004 Karen Hanmer, Patriot Alphabet, pigment inkjet prints, open 5.75 x 66 x 3.5", closed 5.75 x 4.5x.5"

Karen’s last alphabet book A2Z is in a flip book style. I had a chance to view A2Z personally at the University of Utah’s library while living in South Jordan.

 © 2013 Karen Hanmer, inkjet prints, double-fan adhesive binding, 2 x 4.75 x 2”

© 2013 Karen Hanmer, inkjet prints, double-fan adhesive binding, 2 x 4.75 x 2”


Another artist’s work that delighted my eyes was Shu-Ju Wang. Her theme is Belly Dancers in a pull-out accordion structure.

Alphabet for a Belly Dancer captures the essence of belly dance through wordplay and a rhythmic pattern that mimics the dance itself.

 © 2003, Shu-Ju Wang, Alphabet for a Belly Dancer, wrap-around cover in Japanese Masa Unwaxed and French handmade paper finished with hand-dyed rayon ribbon, coins, and beads, the protective envelope is made with a shimmering cover stock.

© 2003, Shu-Ju Wang, Alphabet for a Belly Dancer, wrap-around cover in Japanese Masa Unwaxed and French handmade paper finished with hand-dyed rayon ribbon, coins, and beads, the protective envelope is made with a shimmering cover stock.

 © 2003, Shu-Ju Wang, Alphabet for a Belly Dancer

© 2003, Shu-Ju Wang, Alphabet for a Belly Dancer

 © 2003, Shu-Ju Wang, Alphabet for a Belly Dancer

© 2003, Shu-Ju Wang, Alphabet for a Belly Dancer

In Shu-Ju’s unique nonlatin character set Da(3)Pai(2), we find a full deck of 54 cards trace the evolution of 52 Chinese characters from their original pictographs to their contemporary forms. The heart and diamond suits illustrate the evolution of 26 radicals, and the spade and club suits show these radicals used in complex, combinatorial characters. Based on the book Chinese Calligraphy by Edoardo Fassioli and Guo Yu Ri Bao Zi Dian, a Chinese dictionary.

 © 2003 Shu-Ju Wang, Da(3)Pai(2), wrap-around cover, cards in Evergreen Cover Aspen and Astroparche Antique Gold

© 2003 Shu-Ju Wang, Da(3)Pai(2), wrap-around cover, cards in Evergreen Cover Aspen and Astroparche Antique Gold

Many other artists have been inspired by the theme of consonances and vowels of our language and there’s too many to show in this post. Tune in next week for more fun abecedaries.

Phoenix Book Placement

Last week was intense! My thoughts are to stop the madness and start creating, publishing and have fun with photos, I took way back when... Before the face the sand event!

 © 2017 Louise Levergneux, Coachella Valley, Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve, California

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Coachella Valley, Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve, California

Snapping photos during physical therapy for my alphabet book gets me excited about working and thinking about the content and title. With a high strain sprain, I’m also taking time to enjoy and study my Sony camera with all its features. Content to learn something every day but it’s absorbing the info that is a process.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Heiden Orthopedics, Salt Lake City, Utah

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Heiden Orthopedics, Salt Lake City, Utah

On the administration side of the studio, while passing through Phoenix, I contacted the Rare Books and Manuscripts Department of the Arizona State University Library. The result of my conversations represents the placement of two artist's books in the Book Arts Collection. The collection contains books with unusual formats about fine printing, binding, and handmade papers, it also includes pop-up books.

With this acquisition, the complete edition of Entre deux and Guadalupe are sold out. Both artists’ books are in great company, I discovered deux and Guadalupe are sold out. Both artists’ books are in great company, I discovered deux and Guadalupe are sold out. Both artists’ books are in great company, I discovered deux and Guadalupe are sold out. Both artists’ books are in great company, I discovered deux and Guadalupe are sold out. Both artists’ books are in great company, I discovered deux and Guadalupe are sold out. Both artists’ books are in great company, I discovered After Image: Colour at play by Barbara Hodgson & Claudia Cohen is part of the collection and The Blame Game: Winning Excuses and Strategies on and off the Court by Carolyn Shattuck. 

Entre deux is an interactive documentary inviting the reader to take part in a simple meal with a couple whiles being privy to their conversation on the subject of love. deux is an interactive documentary inviting the reader to take part in a simple meal with a couple whiles being privy to their conversation on the subject of love. 

 © 2013 Louise Levergneux, Entre deux

© 2013 Louise Levergneux, Entre deux

 © 2013 Louise Levergneux, Entre deux

© 2013 Louise Levergneux, Entre deux

 © 2013 Louise Levergneux, Entre deux

© 2013 Louise Levergneux, Entre deux

Guadalupe was created after exploring Santa Fe, New Mexico, I created a documentary on the Virgin Mary, an image that saturates the entire city in different formats, sizes, and styles.

 © 2012 Louise Levergneux, Guadelupe

© 2012 Louise Levergneux, Guadelupe

 © 2012 Louise Levergneux, Guadelupe

© 2012 Louise Levergneux, Guadelupe

 © 2012 Louise Levergneux, Guadelupe

© 2012 Louise Levergneux, Guadelupe

I have another three weeks in Salt Lake City and looking forward to positive answers to studio visits as hiking the wonderful Wasatch Mountains is out of the question.

Predicaments Make

Still constrained by a sprained ankle, I’m unable to photograph at will, go on hikes, or even stand at a work table. 

How does an artist cope with an overwhelming circumstance? I often create out of the situation I'm presented. 

Through this pickle, I’m developing an ABC artists’ book using my ankle stretching exercises for the content. The images below are some of the elements that will be included in the pages. I have ideas for the cover by manipulating a stretch compression bandage. I’m not sure of the title, that will develop with the book.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux

© 2018 Louise Levergneux

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux

© 2018 Louise Levergneux


My predicament compelled me to think of how artists continue with their work during an illness, malaise or unfortunate event. Let me introduce a narrative from Miriam Schaer, an artist, and educator based in Brooklyn, New York. Miriam began a teaching and research adventure in Telavi. A Fulbright Fellowship enabled her to live and work, outside Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital. 

 © 2018 Miriam Schaer

© 2018 Miriam Schaer

Once in the Republic of Georgia, some 5,600 miles from home in the winter of 2017, a sore knee triggered a cascade of debilitating conditions. 

My right leg from the knee down grew so swollen I could not bend it, stand on it, or fit into a shoe. Walking was out. The pain was excruciating, an arthritic discomfort had become frighteningly serious. I decided to head home on a midnight flight.
I came to grips with the extending length of my recovery and resigned a Senior Lectureship at Columbia College Chicago. I could see it would be a few semesters before I could return.
As an artist, however, I can’t avoid making things. Usually, I’m compulsively busy making artist books, book-related sculptures, prints, and multimedia projects.
 © 2018 Miriam Schaer, Miriam home studio

© 2018 Miriam Schaer, Miriam home studio

My home studio is well-equipped, but in rehab, my iPhone was the only tool I had to document the unfamiliar rehab environment.
 © 2018 Miriam Schaer, hospital diary

© 2018 Miriam Schaer, hospital diary

 © 2018 Miriam Schaer, hospital diary

© 2018 Miriam Schaer, hospital diary

Back from the hospital, mobility became my top priority. Serious art making would have to wait. Fortunately, I had committed to several projects with long lead times. The commitments turned out to be gifts and, I adapted my limited energies to them. I reverted to a trick developed as a young artist by doing one small thing and hoped each step would lead to another, and so on.
I took breaks. Some short, some longer, like binge-watching episodes of the Great British Baking Show. I allowed myself to fail and make mistakes, to take things apart and put them back together, sometimes multiple times.
However, just as my walking improved enough to hobble around, carpal tunnel syndrome developed from months of struggling, first with a walker then a cane. My ability to make small tools and accomplish anything went out the window. Instead of producing books, I was soaking my wrists in ice baths.
I turned to related work — updated my website, helped a neighbor start her own website. A two-day artists’ book workshop conducted in my studio helped  produce a simple ‘instant book.’
I pecked away at an essay for a book I’d been asked to contribute to, due later in 2018. During the summer, I started a piece, writing a little each day. I wanted to finish a draft by summer’s end knowing I would need time to go through at least three drafts. In the end, there were seven.
I felt overwhelmed by the growing list of new conditions. But once diagnosed and treated the symptoms slowly retreated. By this time, I started on an artwork for an exhibition. Feeling better but with low energy, I was still, not able to stand for prolonged periods. So, I needed to think about how I would approach the project.
I decided to try a garment; I have worked with garments in the past, usually manipulating the clothing items. This time I wanted to make something from scratch.
 © Miriam Schaer, Ida's Notebook

© Miriam Schaer, Ida's Notebook

The decision was to make a shirt and tie with the neckwear extending, like Pinocchio’s nose to an indecent length inspired by media’s attention to the reign of Trump. I entitled the piece Liar’s Couture.
 © Miriam Schaer, Liar’s Couture

© Miriam Schaer, Liar’s Couture

 © Miriam Schaer, Liar’s Couture

© Miriam Schaer, Liar’s Couture

The project was challenging, therapeutic, even fun. It showed me I was ready to get back to work even though I measure my progress by achieving a milestone at a time.
Now, more than a year after that dangerous day in Georgia, my knee needs to be replaced and my fingers are still a bit numb. But I’m hopeful.

Artists take notice of all events or situations that arise. We create from everything that touches our souls, personalities and, environment. What have you created lately from a problematic situation, a tight spot, dilemma or a can of worms that just happen to disrupt your life on a beautiful day?