Downsize or Expand

No, matter how tough things may feel,

there’s always something good waiting around the corner.

Karen Salmansohn

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Texas Paintbrush in the south of Texas, my backyard in April, not bad for inspiration!

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Texas Paintbrush in the south of Texas, my backyard in April, not bad for inspiration!

Last January, when a certain practical side of life interrupted art, I cancelled a few visits in Florida. Since then, I re-communicated with Dorothy Simpson Krause, a local artist and book maker from Ft. Lauderdale, whom I had planned on visiting. In response, Dorothy was generous in emailing me images of her atelier and art work to share with all of you.

In my creative world, a zone, a sacred space is missing — a studio. I identified with my last workroom in Boise, Idaho, as 1/2 Measure Studio, since my space was a third of the square footage of my studio in Utah, but it was comfortable. Now, my atelier has shrunk again! Should I call it 1/16 Measure Studio?

© 2017 Louise Levergneux. Working on my artists’ book “Shadow Me” in my 1/2 Measure Studio in Boise, Idaho.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux. Working on my artists’ book “Shadow Me” in my 1/2 Measure Studio in Boise, Idaho.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Without a physical space to call my own, here I’m working on my artists’ book “Surveillance” in Natalie Freed’s studio in Austin, Texas.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Without a physical space to call my own, here I’m working on my artists’ book “Surveillance” in Natalie Freed’s studio in Austin, Texas.

As artists, we learn how to downsize or expand our space depending on our situation. In 2013 Dorothy sold her home of 35 years and gave up her 3,200 square foot studio in New England to move full-time into a condo in South Florida.

© 2019 Dorothy Simpson Krause. Dorothy’s studio in Ft Lauderdale, Florida.

© 2019 Dorothy Simpson Krause. Dorothy’s studio in Ft Lauderdale, Florida.

Dorothy explains her space and how it has not prevented her from creating wonderful large scale mixed media pieces, artist books and book-like objects that bridge between these two forms.

I occupy a compact office/studio. It has adequate counter and storage for minor projects, an Apple Power Tower Pro with 30″ monitor, a 17″ MacBook Pro, an Epson RX680 duplex printer and a 13″ Epson Stylus Pro 3880.

The condo has a considerable storage space for necessary supplies and ephemera and an outside storage unit for larger art.

I use the counter/bar in the kitchen when I need to spread out. For larger projects, I am fortunate to have access to the workspaces at the Jaffe Center for Book Arts http://www.library.fau.edu/depts/spc/jaffe.htm at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. It is a excellent resource for inspiration and support.

© 2019 Dorothy Simpson Krause. Dorothy’s many filing cabinets.

© 2019 Dorothy Simpson Krause. Dorothy’s many filing cabinets.

© 2019 Dorothy Simpson Krause. Making a book for her Alaska trip.

© 2019 Dorothy Simpson Krause. Making a book for her Alaska trip.

Although my art background is traditional, the computer has become a primary art-making media, a repository of my records and my lifeline to the world.

My work embeds archetypal symbols and fragments of image and text in multiple layers of texture and meaning. It combines the humblest of materials, plaster, tar, wax and pigment, with the latest in technology to evoke the past and herald the future. My art-making is an integrated mode of inquiry that links concept and media in an ongoing dialogue — a visible means of exploring meaning.

© 2010 Dorothy Simpson Krause.  Ancient Mysteries , a pyramid shaped structure was created after Dorothy had an opportunity to work with  Karen Hanmer .  Ancient Mysteries  can be folded in a virtually infinite number of ways, and is housed in a leather slipcase embellished with two triangular pieces of metal.6''x6''x1.5'' 36 pages

© 2010 Dorothy Simpson Krause. Ancient Mysteries, a pyramid shaped structure was created after Dorothy had an opportunity to work with Karen Hanmer. Ancient Mysteries can be folded in a virtually infinite number of ways, and is housed in a leather slipcase embellished with two triangular pieces of metal.6''x6''x1.5'' 36 pages

© 2010 Dorothy Simpson Krause.  Explorations  was created during a trip to Egypt in 2010. Dorothy carried with her, a small book made with paper aged by crumpling and staining with tea, coffee and walnut ink. 6"x5.5", 24 pages.

© 2010 Dorothy Simpson Krause. Explorations was created during a trip to Egypt in 2010. Dorothy carried with her, a small book made with paper aged by crumpling and staining with tea, coffee and walnut ink. 6"x5.5", 24 pages.

© 2010 Dorothy Simpson Krause.  Explorations  was bound with a heavy paper, embossed with symbols resembling heiroglyphics, and was pamphlet stitched with three beads in the spine.

© 2010 Dorothy Simpson Krause. Explorations was bound with a heavy paper, embossed with symbols resembling heiroglyphics, and was pamphlet stitched with three beads in the spine.

© 2010 Dorothy Simpson Krause. Vintage photographs of Egypt were collaged into the pages of  Explorations .

© 2010 Dorothy Simpson Krause. Vintage photographs of Egypt were collaged into the pages of Explorations.

© 2018 Dorothy Simpson Krause.  Apache  began on a trip to Arizona, this small book explores our appalling treatment of Native Americans. Vintage photos of Apache Indians are collaged onto small eco printed tags which are placed into a pocket accordion, designed to fit into a well-worn leather pouch. Closed 5.5″x 3.75″x 1.75″, opened (5.5″x 28″).

© 2018 Dorothy Simpson Krause. Apache began on a trip to Arizona, this small book explores our appalling treatment of Native Americans. Vintage photos of Apache Indians are collaged onto small eco printed tags which are placed into a pocket accordion, designed to fit into a well-worn leather pouch. Closed 5.5″x 3.75″x 1.75″, opened (5.5″x 28″).

© 2012 Dorothy Simpson Krause.  River of Grass  created as part of the Helen M. Salzberg Inaugural Artist in Residence at the Jaffe Center for Book Arts, Wimberly Library, Florida Atlantic University.

© 2012 Dorothy Simpson Krause. River of Grass created as part of the Helen M. Salzberg Inaugural Artist in Residence at the Jaffe Center for Book Arts, Wimberly Library, Florida Atlantic University.

© 2012 Dorothy Simpson Krause.  River of Grass.

© 2012 Dorothy Simpson Krause. River of Grass.

© 2012 Dorothy Simpson Krause.  River of Grass.

© 2012 Dorothy Simpson Krause. River of Grass.

© 2012 Dorothy Simpson Krause.  River of Grass.

© 2012 Dorothy Simpson Krause. River of Grass.

Dorothy eloquently explains her proposal for this prestigious residency and how her production paid homage to Marjory Stoneman Douglas’ seminal book, “The Everglades: River of Grass.


Through our mutual communication and after viewing Dorothy’s website, I’m looking forward to a visit, when life’s magnificent path escorts me back in that corner of the world.

Meanwhile, I’m dreaming of a new set-up in our travel trailer to work anytime a wave of creativity comes along. I have a picture of what is needed using a lift-top with an adjustable lift platform for under our bed. If anyone knows of someone that is handy with tools that can build me an under the bed worktable, please let me know. I will be spending another two weeks in the Phoenix, Tucson, Gila Bend area of Arizona.

I would love to visit some artists’ book makers in the area, if anyone is interested in meeting with me, please email me at louiselevergneux (at) gmail (dot) com. Looking forward in meeting you!

Example of my dream workstation!! but under the bed storage area instead of a pouf!

Example of my dream workstation!! but under the bed storage area instead of a pouf!


Works In Progress

It has already been a month since my last blog post. Short but sweet, this period has given me time to progress with my artists’ book Surveillance, a tunnel book structure. I’m absolutely thrilled with the results and look forward to meeting with Natalie Freed in Austin in April for integrating the electronics part of the book. It did require some patience and time to get back into detail work for this publication and applying glue again! The month gave me pause for reflection and the time spent on the creation of new publications was fantastic. You know who you are when you are creating what you love. 

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Prints of the cover for Surveillance.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Prints of the cover for Surveillance.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Prints of the pages for Surveillance.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Prints of the pages for Surveillance.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Remembering registration on an Epson R3000.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Remembering registration on an Epson R3000.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Back page for Surveillance.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Back page for Surveillance.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Cutting details for the cover for Surveillance.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Cutting details for the cover for Surveillance.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Measuring for the accordion side for Surveillance.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Measuring for the accordion side for Surveillance.


Last January, in Florida, I meticulously planned a few studio and contact visits. When a problem with our travel trailer arose, another disappointment interrupted art. As plans changed, I could no longer meet with John Cutrone, at the Jaffe Center and a studio visit with Dorothy Krause had to be cancelled. I also proposed to meet Merike van Zanten during her residency at The Arthur & Mata Jaffe Center for Book Arts. With Le Château’s problem, this stopover was also annulled.

Back in September 2017, I wrote a post entitled Pennsylvania. This post featured artists’ books with the theme of war after touring Gettysburg. One of the artists’ book featured in this post was A Soldier of the Second World War by Merike van Zanten. So, knowing I would be in Florida, I arranged a get together. Unable to view Merike’s creative work in person, I thought you might join me and look at what Merike is accomplishing during her time at the JCBA’s as part of the Helen M. Salzberg Artist in Residence for the 2018/2019 academic year. 

© 2019 Merike van Zanten. John1, eco print on paper.

© 2019 Merike van Zanten. John1, eco print on paper.

© 2019 Merike van Zanten. Hibiscus and fern print on paper from Merike’s residency.

© 2019 Merike van Zanten. Hibiscus and fern print on paper from Merike’s residency.

Merike, a book artist, comes to the residency from the Netherlands, where she founded Double Dutch Design. Her artists' books focus on nature among other things and she incorporates found materials, utilizing a variety of techniques. Some of her books are quite sculptural. 

Merike’s proposed Salzberg Residency creative project begins with substantive research and experiments in eco printing, a technique of extracting color and images from plants and metals through steam, without the use of inks. She uses paper, fabric, and leather as substrates, and these experiments will be bound into an artists’ book unified by technique.

© 2019 Merike van Zanten. Gerbera Daisy, coptic bound notebook with eco printed leather cover from Merike’s residency,

© 2019 Merike van Zanten. Gerbera Daisy, coptic bound notebook with eco printed leather cover from Merike’s residency,

© 2019 Merike van Zanten. John8, eco print eucalyptus on silk.

© 2019 Merike van Zanten. John8, eco print eucalyptus on silk.

During the residency Merike also conducted a series of workshops on eco printing at The Jaffe Center, as well as at outside venues.

Merike van Zanten is getting lots of publicity for her residency. Here is a link to an article by Judith Klau, Reflections from the Jaffe Center: Wednesdays with Arthur #7 who explains Merike’s work in progress.

© 2019 Helen Edmunds. Merike at work at the Jaffe Center during her residency.

© 2019 Helen Edmunds. Merike at work at the Jaffe Center during her residency.

The South of Florida is one stop I wish I had not missed, but as Carre Otis said “Life inevitably throws us curve balls, unexpected circumstances that remind us to expect the unexpected”. 

Talk to you in May!

Sarasota, Florida

I was very engaged in Florida, exploring studios and visiting libraries to present my artists’ books to Special Collections. My séjour facilitated contacting a few librarians and even had the opportunity to re-connect with an artists’ book that was previously acquired.

I reached out to the Florida Atlantic University, the Flagler College, Florida International University, Florida State University, Miami University, Ringling College of Art and Design, University of Central Florida, University of South Florida, and the Southern Florida University.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The Alfred R Goldstein Library at Ringling College of Art and Design.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The Alfred R Goldstein Library at Ringling College of Art and Design.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The Alfred R Goldstein Library lobby.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The Alfred R Goldstein Library lobby.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Brizdle-choenberg Special Collections Center at the Alfred R Goldstein Library.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Brizdle-choenberg Special Collections Center at the Alfred R Goldstein Library.

Showcasing my published books to the Brizdle-choenberg Special Collections Center was a distinct pleasure. Special Collections specializes in artists’ publication projects, prints, and rare books at Ringling College of Art and Design. Janelle Rebel invited the special collections assistant Ali Vargas-Fournier and the director of library services Kristina Keough to join us in the discovering of specific bindings and subject matter.

It was undoubtedly a successful meeting with the acquisition of Decades Apart, 26NOV2006, Xtraction and four flip books from the Outside of the Studio Series to the Alfred R Goldstein Library. The library selected books that would be appreciated in a research consultation by art, photography, animation, and film students and art and design practitioners.

© 2008 Louise Levergneux. 26NOV2006, last copy acquired by the Special Collections of the Alfred R Goldstein Library.

© 2008 Louise Levergneux. 26NOV2006, last copy acquired by the Special Collections of the Alfred R Goldstein Library.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Decades Apart, copy 4, last copy acquired by the Special Collections of the Alfred R Goldstein Library.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Decades Apart, copy 4, last copy acquired by the Special Collections of the Alfred R Goldstein Library.

© 2012 Louise Levergneux. Air.2 from the series Outside the Studio acquired by the Special Collections of the Alfred R Goldstein Library, Earth.11, H2O.3, and FIRE.3 were also purchused.

© 2012 Louise Levergneux. Air.2 from the series Outside the Studio acquired by the Special Collections of the Alfred R Goldstein Library, Earth.11, H2O.3, and FIRE.3 were also purchused.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Xtraction, copy 1, last copy acquired by the Special Collections of the Alfred R Goldstein Library.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Xtraction, copy 1, last copy acquired by the Special Collections of the Alfred R Goldstein Library.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Desert Swatches was acquired in 2014 by the Special Collections of the Alfred R Goldstein Library.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Desert Swatches was acquired in 2014 by the Special Collections of the Alfred R Goldstein Library.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Desert Swatches with its catalogue information.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Desert Swatches with its catalogue information.

© 2012 Louise Levergneux. Desert Swatches.

© 2012 Louise Levergneux. Desert Swatches.

The Alfred R. Goldstein Library a state-of-the-art building that seeks to transform the way that users engage with library collections and services, opened in January 2017. Architecturally stunning, and an active physical and digital destination on the Ringling College campus.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The Alfred R Goldstein Library lobby showcasing Julie Miller Kanapaux artwork,  Momentum  2016 .

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. The Alfred R Goldstein Library lobby showcasing Julie Miller Kanapaux artwork, Momentum 2016.

One can find, broadsides, democratic multiples, documentation of time-based and performance projects, engravings, exhibition publications, experimental writing, fine press books, flip books, handmade editions, historic facsimiles, parlor toys, photo-bookworks, prints, rare books, and zines in the collection.


© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Exhibition “Step and Repeat: Pattern in Artists' Publications” at the Alfred R Goldstein Library.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Exhibition “Step and Repeat: Pattern in Artists' Publications” at the Alfred R Goldstein Library.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Detail of the exhibition, right: Josh MacPhee,  Security   Fear , 2017

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Detail of the exhibition, right: Josh MacPhee, Security Fear, 2017

During my visit I was experience the Special Collections' most recent exhibition "Step and Repeat: Pattern in Artists' Publications." The exhibit in the reading room excavates the pleasures of pattern in the coverings, interiors, linings, and details of thirty artists’ publications. Visually arranged into conceptual motifs (flora & fauna, power, psychedelic, geometric, experimental, liquid, figures, and security), these books aim to mesmerize, distract, propel, disrupt, and entice the reader.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Books in the show, middle: Clifton Meador,  Kor  2007; middle back: Ral Veroni, Gabo Ferro, Flopa Lestani,  Nada para el Destino = Nothing for Destiny  2009.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Books in the show, middle: Clifton Meador, Kor 2007; middle back: Ral Veroni, Gabo Ferro, Flopa Lestani, Nada para el Destino = Nothing for Destiny 2009.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. left: Barbara Hodgson  Mrs Delany Meets Herr Haeckl Radiolaria, Retracoralla, Pediastra, Ciliata, etc. , Rendered in Paper Mosaicks, 2015; right: Sheryl Oppenheim,  Sample Book  2017.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. left: Barbara Hodgson Mrs Delany Meets Herr Haeckl Radiolaria, Retracoralla, Pediastra, Ciliata, etc., Rendered in Paper Mosaicks, 2015; right: Sheryl Oppenheim, Sample Book 2017.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi  Graphic Arts Future Corporeal Knowledge  2017.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi Graphic Arts Future Corporeal Knowledge 2017.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. left: Chris Fitzpatrick and Karel Martens,  Motion  2017; middle: Julie Peters and Karel Martens,  Full Color  2013; right: Marianne Dages and Leah Mackin,  Ultrices  2016.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. left: Chris Fitzpatrick and Karel Martens, Motion 2017; middle: Julie Peters and Karel Martens, Full Color 2013; right: Marianne Dages and Leah Mackin, Ultrices 2016.

It’s always nice to personally meet contacts/librarians of special collections and introduce my artists’ books particularly when an genuine interest is shown.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Ringling College of Art and Design building.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Ringling College of Art and Design building.