Another Large Book

 

Lots of time this week was spent trying to integrate my website server with MailChimp (an email marketing service) with no luck. I have decided that spending so much time on a company that only cares for paying customers is not a good use of my time. My preference is to communicate with artists and create my books. So I have had to resort to the old fashion way of announcing my new blog posts.

Now to better news, I’m happy to announce the winners for subscribing to my blog posts. The first subscriber Peggy Seeger (brave soul) is the first winner of a volume of City Shields, the 15th subscribers after are: Ka Mahina, Kerry McAleer-Keeler, and Monique momo Moore-Racine. The numbers tell me I’m close to another volume give away, so please subscribe.


As an artist my ideas come from my surroundings. Subjects are numerous and I’m captivated by the themes that ignite the beginning of an artists’ book. How do you choose your themes? Where do your find your ideas?

I took 10 years to create a series of nine artists’ books entitled Equinox—books on the mundane of daily activities. I started in the spring of 1998. The first book of the series began after the death of my father. This experience reminded me of missed moments. Each book is not large per-say (9in x 11in x 4in deep) (23cm x 28cm x 10cm deep) but the years it took to finish these volumes were too many. 

 © 1998-2007 Louise Levergneux, Equinox

© 1998-2007 Louise Levergneux, Equinox

Nowadays, no matter what project I begin, my husband always teases me, “Think small!”


Continuing on this fascinating journey of large format artists’ books, a book that caught my attention was Elizabeth McKee’s book Assault of Angels. I was curious about the inspiration behind the book since I had as you know just gone through a major move last summer! 

Artists’ books no matter their size, they reflect personal and heartwarming ideas. Elizabeth inspired by a poem and a decision to move her home across the world. From these experiences Elizabeth created Assault of Angels, a 22in by 3 in by 10in (56cm x 94cm x 25cm) deep accordion book that weighs about 70 lbs (1.9 kg) without the box. When opened Assault of Angels is 33ft (10m) long. The longest opened book I have seen yet!

Elizabeth clarifies... « In the late 80s around the time when my husband talked about moving us from Ottawa to Bangladesh. I found a poem in The Faber Book of Modern Verse edited by Michael Roberts, an English poet who died in 1948 of leukemia.

I remember sitting in our living room in Ottawa telling a visitor I was “very comfortable here.” So the line in the verse “A time comes when the house is comfortable and narrow” resonated with me. I wanted to paint angels as a mighty force signaling the fantastic size and power of the unknown, not creatures that sit gently on one’s shoulder. The images needed to break out of the pages. I started with twenty (22in x 30in) (56cm x 76cm) sheets of St-Armand cotton paper which I thought might eventually be framed and hung together. The folly of that idea dawned and the Japanese Screen Hinge binding saved the day. »

 © 2010 Elizabeth McKee, Assault of Angels

© 2010 Elizabeth McKee, Assault of Angels

 © 2010 Elizabeth McKee, Assault of Angels, acrylic paint and gesso on handmade paper mounted on foam core board which is backed with Ugandan bark cloth

© 2010 Elizabeth McKee, Assault of Angels, acrylic paint and gesso on handmade paper mounted on foam core board which is backed with Ugandan bark cloth

 © 2010 Elizabeth McKee, Assault of Angels

© 2010 Elizabeth McKee, Assault of Angels

 © 2010 Elizabeth McKee, Assault of Angels

© 2010 Elizabeth McKee, Assault of Angels

It took 10 years and four moves for Elizabeth to publish Assault of Angels.

What moves you to create?