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!


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.

Prints, Prints and Printing, Part 2

Last week, I met two eclectic artists—best evening in a long time. It was a stimulating conversation on printing, the process, the frustrations and the wonderful results. 

Our talk continued as we discussed my last blog post Prints, Prints and Printing. It gave us food for thought on how we label our own final products as artists and photographers. 

This week, part 2 of my post on printing, I’m showcasing prints by artists/photographers who use different printing methods.

Let’s start with a Pigment Inkjet Print of my new artist book Conversation printed on an Epson Stylus Photo R3000. Conversation is a limited edition of 3.

© 2014 Louise Levergneux,  photo detail of artists' book  Conversation

© 2014 Louise Levergneux,  photo detail of artists' book Conversation


I met Betty Mallorca and Lawrence Manning at a Treasure Valley Artists’ Alliance exhibition. Both are photographers and founders of Hill Street Studios and TRACK 13 in Nampa, Idaho. Betty and Lawrence have many years of experience in commercial and professional photography, art direction and graphic design. They are contributors and part-owners of Blend Images, a multicultural commercial stock agency. 

Betty printed her limited editions on an Epson 3800. Almost Home (copy 1 of 10) and Ghostly Passage (copy 1 of 10) both are mixed media—Giclée and colored pencil prints.

© 2016 Betty Mallorca,  Almost Home

© 2016 Betty Mallorca, Almost Home

© 2016 Betty Mallorca,  Ghostly Passage

© 2016 Betty Mallorca, Ghostly Passage

Lawrence printed his photos on an Epson 3880. 5885 Rodeo study #2 and 5655 Depot Study Two are Digital Pigment Prints.

© 2016 Lawrence Manning,  5885 Rodeo study #2

© 2016 Lawrence Manning, 5885 Rodeo study #2

© 2016 Lawrence Manning,  5655 Depot Study Two

© 2016 Lawrence Manning, 5655 Depot Study Two


I met Diane Ronayne when I emailed my move to Boise on the Book Arts listserv. Diane is a freelance editor for books and manuscripts and writer for magazines and newspapers; but her passion is photography.

Diane's Archival Color Print Angry Rabbit was printed on an Noritsu wet-lab printer, model OSS-3411.

© 2015 Diane Ronayne,  Angry Rabbit

© 2015 Diane Ronayne, Angry Rabbit


In 2010, after my move to Utah, I communicated with Laura Russell owner of 23 Sandy Gallery in Portland, Oregon. Laura is a photographer and book artist who creates hand-bound, limited-edition artist books. Her books incorporate photographs of urban landscape and tell a story about our culture and our communities. Laura works under the imprint Simply Books, Ltd.

Laura's flag book Hit the Road! was printed on an Epson R2400. The flags/pages of this limited edition artists' book are Archival Digital Inkjet Prints. Hit the Road! is volume one in a series featuring Washington, Oregon and California. The artist spent close to three years traveling Highway 99 to photograph and catalog roadside attractions.

© 2011 Laura Russell,  Hit the Road!

© 2011 Laura Russell, Hit the Road!

© 2011 Laura Russell,  Hit the Road!  detail

© 2011 Laura Russell, Hit the Road! detail


Ellen Crosby a member of the Treasure Valley Artists’ Alliance was introduced to me by Diane Ronayne. Ellen is a dedicated landscape photographer, proven by her 150 sunsets chronologically recorded during 2012.

Ellen worked with fellow photographer Ann Lindell to create this appropriated and altered Inkjet Aqueous Archival Pigment Print Ann's Cat Photo for her series Teeny Abstracts.

2015  Ann Lindell/Ellen Crosby,  Ann's Cat Photo

2015  Ann Lindell/Ellen Crosby, Ann's Cat Photo


Vera Greenwood’s contemporary art practice is subjectively personal, placing emphasis on story telling, record keeping, social studies and a conceptual approach to representing the everyday. Her installations have always incorporated text—bookworks became a logical extension of her art practice. Oh! by the way Vera is a dear friend and our conversation on art is always stimulating.

Vera's photographs of sheets of blotting paper with fragments of leaves and/or petals are Giclée Prints. The Flower Press project was printed on an Epson 9900.

© 2013 Vera Greenwood, Flower Press 1

© 2013 Vera Greenwood, Flower Press 1

© 2013 Vera Greenwood, Flower Press 2

© 2013 Vera Greenwood, Flower Press 2

© 2013 Vera Greenwood, Flower Press 3

© 2013 Vera Greenwood, Flower Press 3


Going beyond the codex format for my artists' books, I wanted to create other book structures. I met Karen Hanmer through her article and great tutorial on the flag book structure in The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist. Karen’s artist-made books are physical manifestations of personal essays intertwining history, culture, politics, science and technology. What attracted me to Karen’s work is the often playful content she uses.

Karen printed Big Blue with an HP LaserJet 1320. The edition of 100 computer punch cards are Laser Prints on polyester film.

© 2006 Karen Hanmer,  Big Blue

© 2006 Karen Hanmer, Big Blue

To Serve and Protect: Containers, conveyances, and cosmic happenings was printed with an Epson Stylus Pro 4000. The artists' book has 32 Pigment Inkjet Prints/pages. In this artists' book the artist’s muses on life in the 1960s and 1970s.

© 2014 Karen Hanmer,  To Serve and Protect , page spread of Mood Ring

© 2014 Karen Hanmer, To Serve and Protect, page spread of Mood Ring


In 2012, at the Guild of Book Workers’ Standards of Excellence conference in Utah, I met Andrew Huot. The more Andrew described his books the more I was intrigued. Andrew, a bookbinder, conservator, and book artist originally from Toronto, Canada, is owner of Big River Bindery. Andrew looks at everyday situations and enjoys observing the world's small, passed-over details.

Andrew's artists' book Navigation is Letterpress printed on colored paper with hand-cut holes, bound in cloth-covered boards. Navigation, a carousel book that spans over 8 feet when opened guides the artist’s family to their next destination.

© 2009 Andrew Huot,  Navigation

© 2009 Andrew Huot, Navigation

A Guide to Dogs is also Letterpress Printed with handset type, linoleum cuts, and photopolymer plates. This humorous guidebook helps to identify Man's Best Friend with silhouette drawings and vital information for each breed.

© 2008 Andrew Huot,  A Guide to Dogs

© 2008 Andrew Huot, A Guide to Dogs

© 2008 Andrew Huot,  A Guide to Dogs

© 2008 Andrew Huot, A Guide to Dogs


A studio is more than four walls filled with equipment and tools. An artist needs creativity, ideas, time, research and contacts to achieve a piece of work. Communication and sharing brings a different facet to an artist’s world. I’m always grateful for any discussion on art or someone’s opinion or critique. My work thrives when these elements are part of my world.

Thanks to everyone who shared their work this week!

It is late... going back for more ideas!