Thursday 30 September 2021

It's all madness in the studio.

 I've gone waaaaaaay overboard on multi-tasking, with colour everywhere.  The painted-Typar-in progress is gaining ground,

there is a new book in the works that tested my spatially-challenged brain so much that I had to make a mini mockup,

and there are Christmas card toppers in progress.

Truth be told, I chose this wonky tree design for my cards this year for two reasons.   2021 has been the wonky year personified, don't you think?   Also, I have such a huge pile of paper snippets, and SOMETHING MUST BE DONE about them.  The exploding can of papers is way out of control.

My loosely-calculated estimate means that I'd have to create some 3,587,366,218 Christmas cards to bring it down to manageable size.  Cut/paste/darken edges/glue/add sprarkle and text,  and repeat until my hands are withered, my eyes are rolling around in my head and my brain has turned to mush.  Is it any wonder I'm starting in September?

We celebrated our youngest grandchild's birthday this past Saturday, and I thought I'd share one of his prezzies with you.

'Owen's Big Dream'  2021 
mixed media on wood panel  © Win Dinn

I do hope your week has been creative as well - stay safe and play thoroughly in  and out of the studio until next week!  

Thursday 23 September 2021

We're mid-fall...

 ...and the summer (AKA fire season) is just a memory.  It's been an interesting one, what with near-endless smoke, amazing levels of heat and the vicissitudes of the pandemic.  Perhaps that was why my sporadic sessions with blind artist Ruth Bieber had us working on sunscapes for her last two paintings.  While I don't have the OK to show you the completed works, I thought I'd share snippets of the sunny colours we recreated this year.

And I'm making every attempt to capture the last rays of sun before the onset of winter.  Often we need go no further than the front patio to see some beautiful rays.

I hope that you, too, are enjoying some fabulous fall sun and colour (or spring, if you're in the southern hemisphere).  May your week be bright with both!

Thursday 16 September 2021

A love/hate relationship...

 ...with food has me stuffing my recipe box (and face) with wonderful possibilities, and ho-humming  the fact that I have to actually make the meals to enjoy them.  After some sixty years of the so-called 'culinary arts', I am no fan of cooking at all.  You do realize that is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 15-20,000 dinners alone?  So I cleaned out my recipe box the other day, discarding a huge pile of 'what was I thinking' recipes - some tried, some failed, some of no interest at all.  And you know when an artist working in paper gets rid of paper, it never really disappears.

'Meals I Have Murdered' © Win Dinn 
8 1/4" x 4 1/2" x 1"  2021

It all started with a trio of paper bags that somehow came home with bottles of wine during the last pandemic-filled months.  Cutting off the sealed end, I folded the bags in half and folded each half again to create an accordion.  I cut a slit in the top of the two centre folds, creating two pockets in top that would contain tags.

Being a relative newbie at creating artist books, it didn't occur to me that the flimsy wine bags would be unlikely to stand up to what I had in mind.  By the time I'd added the tags to the centre pockets and additions to each of the end pockets, the bags were screaming with the strain of over-indulgence.  

Stitching the bags together with a pamphlet stitch did NOT do the trick.  I glued the fractious package to the spine of the cover and proceeded carefully with fingers crossed.

That was still insufficient to stabilize things and I added washi tape in the hopes that would encourage it to cuddle up securely.

By then it was such a toxic mess that I tore into it all with oil pastels to add to the grungy look.

Now you know how oil pastels feel on paper, right?  There's a definite yuck quality which is why I use them so seldom.

Given that it was all such a hot mess anyway I added some quickly sketched drawings with the pastels, 

and some succinct notes

before calling it a day.  Well, two days actually, because when an artist decides to make a mess, 

it can take a good long while.  I was praying that the book would hold together at least long enough to take some photos - now that's done it can go onto a top shelf and slowly disintegrate into the woodwork.  😵

All is not lost, as I still have stacks of discarded recipes waiting for a home and no doubt the Universe will provide some much stronger tubular paper bags.  

Here's what I learned:

  • Make sure your substrate can take your abuse...strong, paintable, and sewable. 
  • If it's not working, keep'll learn something and the freedom of knowing the end product is not important is liberating to the max.  

Thursday 9 September 2021

That dragon book...

 ...finally got some finish work done on it.

While the bones were completed back in April, it languished on the shelf while I pored over and created other book structures.  That big button on the front of the 3" square book kept knocking at my brain, though, reminding me of a game we used to play as children.  

The game involved hunting for a button, and the winner usually scored some type of candy, always a major plus in any child's life.

So I added some moveable cards to eight pages of the book using brads - only one card sported an additional button to find and admire.

When the cards are all pulled out of the book, they give the 'dragon' a most unusually scaly appearance, don't they?

It was no small feat to find/create papers that were suitably subdued in colour so they'd blend in with the soft blues, greens, buff and greys of the original book papers. Going into my paper stash for them was rather like listening for a whisper in a cacophony of screams.

Once I finished that little number, I taped some Typar house wrap to one of my tables and gessoed it.  This week I'll undoubtedly get splashing some colour on there in order to create some more fun for book covers.  I can hardly wait!

I hope you've been having a flaming dragon of fun this week as well - catch me up in the comments below, and be sure to tell me if you've played Button, Button!  

Thursday 2 September 2021

What a curve...

 ...learning curve, that is.  I've been working on the slipcase for Coptic stitch #2, and after four paper prototypes, some major cursing (learned from my brother who spent some years in the navy), and hair torn out by the roots, I finally finished it.  I also finished all forty-six spreads in the book, no small feat in spite of the tiny (5 1/4" x 3 3/4") size of the book.  It heads out into the world in the next few days.

The book is an accolade to a woman who has worked prodigiously over the last year and a half (and prior, of course) to lift our spirits and guide us through these rough waters.

It includes a number of descriptors, photos of an event she organized, her quotes that have been helpful to me, and the usual colourful shapes and mini paintings that inhabit my studio.  I thought you might like to see some of the pages here.


A quote that arrived in my inbox yesterday via 'Notes from the Universe' really reminded me what this kind of thing is all about.  It reads, in part, 

'When you understand that what most people really, really want is simply to feel good about themselves, and when you realize that with just a few well-chosen words you can help virtually anyone on the planet instantly achieve this, you begin to realize just how simple life is, how powerful you are, and that love is the key.' 

Thanks for checking in, for sharing your posts with me, for your comments and your caring attitude.  I love it all, and appreciate you more than you can know.  💗
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