Phase Two

It’s a memorable summer, and this is the period to travel. Oh! Wait! I am traveling. 

It’s difficult to schedule work time, especially with the significant heat wave and our much-needed change of “home” from putt-putt to château. Even with the pleasant distraction of all the wonderful National Parks, the planning phase for the page's template of my ABC book has begun. In addition, the research on binding structures to enhance the content is on the way. 

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, White Sands National Monument

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, White Sands National Monument

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park

The key theme is the alphabet via a sprained foot, properly introducing this subject matter by implementing elements and design that complement the content is important.

I’m favorably inclined or should I say having a penchant towards metal for parts of the binding, maybe Wire-O referencing the crutches. Should I use cloth covered boards or a printed photo to illustrate the cover? The big black boot remains an integral feature of the book on the cover—right—perhaps? 

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, ABC book's image/photo for content

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, ABC book's image/photo for content

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, ABC book's image/photo for content

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, ABC book's image/photo for content

For the substrate, could I apply various types of paper representing the phases of healing—differences in skin colour and texture. This might work since my inventory is filled with many types of papers. Using these soon would be good, because of the length of time since their purchase.

I would like to interject a distinction between the typefaces for the alphabet and the text. Naturally, there are 26 pages to think of and thick papers! I’m concerned about the weight of paper, double-sided pages will help but sheet registration can be monotonous. The gutter has to be calculated for facing-pages, details, details, details! What size? What orientation? Maybe the use of transparencies. Where to place the text or words that accompany the alphabet? Planning is the fun part or at least the beginning!

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, ABC book's image/photo for content

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, ABC book's image/photo for content

Varied structural types of binding for my published books include the accordion, perfect binding, spiral, supple binding sewn in Japanese style, screw post, hard-cover case-binding, saddle-stitched, French doors, Turkish Map folds, the new oriental binding, wrap-around case with a tray, explosion box,

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, ABC book's image/photo for content

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, ABC book's image/photo for content

The accordion is enjoyable and many alphabet books utilize the form, but because of the type of paper and the number of pages, I need a structure that would harmonize with its design, form, and content, in this creative expression of an unpleasant event. I want to take the time and pay attention to materials and their interactions on the subject. Once all these aspects are figured out, the path of production will be clearer.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, ABC book's video for content

I am so looking forward to the actual creation, being on the computer for the express purpose of an artists’ book instead of administrivia or other activities. How do you find time to undoubtedly create? How many hours in the day are spent in the studio? What phase do you prefer or do you enjoy all phases of producing your book?

New Acquisitions on the Road

As an artist, I recognize my world and the many hours I spend on administrivia. The constant disruption of non-stop tasks is troublesome but necessary. I schedule my creativity in between the repetitive tasks and hope there is enough time to finish what delights me.

Apart from the creativity and the operation of a business, it’s meaningful for me to have my published books acquired by collections. How do you manage this part of your art world? How do you create opportunities to sell? Communicating and visiting libraries is all part of the fun side of the territory. The artist is likely the optimum person to talk, explain or promote hers/his work. The creator knows all the details, the frustrations, and the stories behind the wonderful final product—the artists’ book.

I benefited from the privilege of engaging with other dealers in the past. I still pursue an excellent relationship with Vamp & Tramp, Booksellers, LLC out of Birmingham, Alabama.

I discovered that presenting your work is a bit of an adventure. I enjoy seeing the expression of someone reading/viewing my book for the first time. Since some of my books exhibit a playful aspect, the smiles and laughter are inspiring. Traveling and meeting with librarians in the previous year contributed to my self-reflection and recognition of who I am as an artist.

In the Spring, I reached out to Katherine Krzys, Archivist, Interim Head of Distinctive Collections Curator at the Arizona State University Library. The artists’ book collection includes small-print publications created as works of art, exemplifying the importance of collaboration between a writer, artist, papermaker, and printer. Katherine was interested in Entre deux and La Guadalupe and purchased both for the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library. deux and La Guadalupe and purchased both for the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library. 

 © 2013 Louise Levergneux, Entre deux

© 2013 Louise Levergneux, Entre deux

 © 2013 Louise Levergneux, Entre deux

© 2013 Louise Levergneux, Entre deux

 © 2013 Louise Levergneux, La Guadalupe

© 2013 Louise Levergneux, La Guadalupe

 © 2013 Louise Levergneux, La Guadalupe

© 2013 Louise Levergneux, La Guadalupe

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Vernon Alden Library, Ohio UNiversity in Athens, Ohio

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Vernon Alden Library, Ohio UNiversity in Athens, Ohio

In June, I visited with Michele Jennings at the Vernon Alden Library of the Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. I was fascinated by what books attracted Michele. I received an email just the other day that Michelle was interested in adding 26NOV2006 to the Arts and Archives Library collection.

 © 2008 Louise Levergneux, 26NOV2006

© 2008 Louise Levergneux, 26NOV2006

 © 2008 Louise Levergneux, 26NOV2006

© 2008 Louise Levergneux, 26NOV2006

I communicated with Jessy Randall, Curator, and Archivist of The Tutt Library of the Colorado College in Colorado Springs. The library maintains collections of rare books, special editions, manuscripts, and published archival material on Colorado. Two volumes of City Shields that include manhole covers around Denver, Vail, Highlands Ranch, and Colorado Springs were added to Special Collections.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Tutt Library at the Colorado College in Colorado Springs

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Tutt Library at the Colorado College in Colorado Springs

 © 2016 Louise Levergneux, City Shields, Colorado volume 1

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, City Shields, Colorado volume 1

 © 2016 Louise Levergneux, City Shields, Colorado volume 2

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, City Shields, Colorado volume 2

At the beginning of July, I met with Holly Prochaska, MLIS Preservation Librarian of The Robert A Deshon & Karl J Schlachter Library for Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati. The DAAP Library acquires examples of works in order to provide a rounded view of contemporary attitudes towards the book and to inspire students to think outside the book. Holly is a welcoming individual who also creates artists’ books. In the end, Holly purchased Xtraction and City Shields—the nine Ohio volumes for the Special Collection. 

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, an exhibition of globes at The Robert A Deshon & Karl J Schlachter Library for Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, an exhibition of globes at The Robert A Deshon & Karl J Schlachter Library for Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, display of artists' books at the DAAP Library of the University of Cincinnati. A book by JoAnna Poehlmann attracted me with its delicate detail of a tulip, just gorgeous! On the last shelf is the Bon Bon Mots of Julie Chen.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, display of artists' books at the DAAP Library of the University of Cincinnati. A book by JoAnna Poehlmann attracted me with its delicate detail of a tulip, just gorgeous! On the last shelf is the Bon Bon Mots of Julie Chen.

 © 2016 Louise Levergneux, Xtraction

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, Xtraction

 © 2016 Louise Levergneux, Xtraction

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, Xtraction

 © 2006 Louise Levergneux, City Shields, Ohio volume No 5

© 2006 Louise Levergneux, City Shields, Ohio volume No 5

Excited when reading obsession, Holly decided to add a copy for her own personal collection.

 © 2012 Louise Levergneux, obsession

© 2012 Louise Levergneux, obsession

 © 2012 Louise Levergneux, obsession

© 2012 Louise Levergneux, obsession

One can never expect to land a sale while visiting a library; but I have been surprised at the response to my publications.

Enjoy your visit and contacts when you can, since it is the best part of the business of art, apart from creating your work.

Time in Ohio

June 26th, 4:30 pm. I sit in a hotel room reflecting on my blog post for Monday, July 2nd. My posts are written with studio activities in mind or an artist's work that corresponds to the happenings. I also consider an event that takes place in or out of the atelier...

It’s all about time these days.

Summer has arrived, and I’m making headway on lots of activities while others allow themselves to slow down and go on holiday.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, June 26th at 8:30 am, view from our room on the 5th floor of The Wallhouse Hotel, Walnut Creek, Ohio

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, June 26th at 8:30 am, view from our room on the 5th floor of The Wallhouse Hotel, Walnut Creek, Ohio

It’s fascinating for me to discover the world from our trailer. This week our Putt-Putt is being fixed so, we are living at The Wallhouse Hotel in Walnut Creek, Ohio. What an unusual lifestyle! There’s space here! Zones to get used to! There’s a counter to cut, glue, and assemble... Create for goodness sake! But like most of us, it involves a bit of time to research, create and publish an artists’ book. Looking back I routinely need a year to mull a publication over before an artists’ book is successfully revealed.

 © 2017 Louise Levergneux, November 11, 11:56 am, San Antonio, Texas. Image for an artists' book on surveillance.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, November 11, 11:56 am, San Antonio, Texas. Image for an artists' book on surveillance.

 © 2017 Louise Levergneux, December 13, 3:34 pm, San Antonio, Texas. Image for an artists' book on surveillance.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, December 13, 3:34 pm, San Antonio, Texas. Image for an artists' book on surveillance.

Following a creative sequence, starting with an idea, I carefully explore my surroundings and photograph what captures the imagination. The flow of work comes when the intention stimulates me enough to grab the computer and get close and personal with the whole concept. The adaptation of the photos I investigate, manipulate, re-organize, write and plan demands the most extensive amount of time. What presentation do I prefer? How will the viewer interact with the content? Is the content versus the context achieved? What structure to choose? Only after my conceptual framework has materialized, do I know that the physical object — my artists’ book — is attained?

The primary goal is to produce a book that tells a story in a dynamic way for the reader to experience.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, June 28th, 12:21 pm, producing on the countertop of The Wallhouse Hotel, Walnut Creek, Ohio

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, June 28th, 12:21 pm, producing on the countertop of The Wallhouse Hotel, Walnut Creek, Ohio

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, June 28th, 12:30 pm, producing on the countertop of The Wallhouse Hotel, Walnut Creek, Ohio

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, June 28th, 12:30 pm, producing on the countertop of The Wallhouse Hotel, Walnut Creek, Ohio

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, June 28th, 1:49 pm, producing on the countertop of The Wallhouse Hotel, Walnut Creek, Ohio

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, June 28th, 1:49 pm, producing on the countertop of The Wallhouse Hotel, Walnut Creek, Ohio

June 29th, 5 pm. Utilizing the countertop in our room, I produced two copies of Shadow Me. It took part of a day to figure out the process. The first copy was produced a year ago to re-create another copy was difficult! Are you capable of writing good notes to continue an incomplete edition at a later date? Thinking I was, NOT! 

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, June 29th, 7:01 pm, producing on the countertop of The Wallhouse Hotel, Walnut Creek, Ohio

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, June 29th, 7:01 pm, producing on the countertop of The Wallhouse Hotel, Walnut Creek, Ohio

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, June 30th at 6:30 am, view from our room at The Wallhouse Hotel, Walnut Creek, Ohio

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, June 30th at 6:30 am, view from our room at The Wallhouse Hotel, Walnut Creek, Ohio

Have a great 1st of July! 

July 2nd at 8:00 am. Email blog post to subscribers. Start thinking of the next blog post.

Have a great 4th of July!

The Ohio University

I’m visiting the state of Ohio this week, a familiar area from when we lived in Stow for three years between 2004-2007. This period has allowed me the time to write, think of book structures and do some photography. 

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Restaurant Salaam's door handle, Athens, Ohio

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Restaurant Salaam's door handle, Athens, Ohio

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Athens County Courthouse, Athens, Ohio

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Athens County Courthouse, Athens, Ohio

In between the rain and the sun, I communicated with contacts of various libraries and museums in Cleveland, Akron, Athens... Most librarians are on or leaving for a holiday, probably well deserved. City Shields and Windows of the Soul were acquired in 2006 when I visited with Gary Ginther at the Vernon R. Alden Library. I did get a chance to return to Athens and visit with Michele Jennings the present contact person for the Library of the University of Ohio.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Vernon R. Alden Library of The Ohio University, Athens, Ohio

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Vernon R. Alden Library of The Ohio University, Athens, Ohio

The Mahn Center Archives and Special Collections of The Ohio University include over 1100 books. These creations complement the study of art and architectural history, theory, criticism, materials, techniques, and practice in the artists’ books that are part of the Fine Arts Library.

Athens is a charming small city nestled along the Hocking River in the southeastern part of Ohio. Surrounded by hills that rise about three hundred feet from river valley to the narrow ridge tops. Even with the pouring rain, I enjoyed being driven around and discovering the campus from my private carriage (remember the sprained foot.) Where has the sun gone? We are no longer in Arizona Toto!

My journey represents an opportunity to connect with librarians only communicated with in the past by email or phone. These meetings and talks with current or recent contacts about artists’ books or subjects that pop-up on the theme of my work energize me.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Ohio University Convocation Center, Athens, Ohio

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Ohio University Convocation Center, Athens, Ohio

With all the administrivia and trying to survive the humidity, I have yet to get back to the printed pages from my Utah séjour and assemble my books.

Northeast Ohio is home until the 29th of June then we embark on our westward trip to Tucson. Tucson is the city we’ll be collecting our bigger home on wheels. This will permit me to work on my books.

If you would like to meet or know an artists’ bookmaker I should be introduced to please email me… at this moment I will be traveling in and around Circleville, Ohio on the 30th of June. Then on my way to Cincinnati from July 2nd through to the 4th. St. Louis, Missouri is next on the 4th or 5th of July, depending. Once our plans to Tucson, Arizona are tangible, I will have more concrete dates and cities to announce in my next post as we travel through Kansas City, Denver, and Colorado Springs.


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 “AH-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?