Recently a wonderful artist, Susan Johnson, whose studio is near mine, taught me how to make paste paper. This process, developed by bookbinders over 400 years ago , uses pigmented starch paste to make decorative paper. We used Elmer’s Art Paste, acrylic paints, and drawing paper. It’s a lot of fun and makes you feel like you’re 7 years old again! These make great covers and endpapers for handmade books, and are also wonderful for collage, wrapping paper, etc. Can’t wait to make more!
There are lots of instructions to be found online. Here is one link: Cornell Book Arts
This was my second time participating in East Bay Open Studios. Three years ago I decided that I wanted to show my oil paintings. I worked up the courage to sign up for Open Studios. What I discovered was that having the goal of showing my paintings on the horizon motivated me to get to my studio more regularly and paint. I definitely created more work than I would have otherwise! I don’t know why anyone needs motivating to do something he or she loves – but for some of us it seems to be like that. Having a goal or project that I’m passionate about helps to focus my creative energy. (This is probably a no-brainer to many.)
I took a workshop in December 2014, at the San Francisco Center for the Book, intriguingly called The Deconstructed-Reconstructed Book, taught by artist Judy Serebrin. Just reading the workshop description, I became so enamored of the process that I started experimenting with it even prior to the workshop! Since then I have made a number of these artist’s books, and a few months ago I decided to sign up again for East Bay Open Studios.
This past weekend, June 6th and 7th, over 80 people came through my studio. What I enjoy most about Open Studio is seeing people interacting with the artwork and having conversations with them. Some people are curious about the artistic process and others share what they see in the books or how they feel about them. A few children and teens who came expressed their unique and interesting perspectives. All this gave me a lot to contemplate about the meaning and function of art.
A number of friends came, too, who were enthusiastic and supportive! Thanks to everyone who stopped by, whether in person or in spirit! And thanks to ProArts (proartsgallery.org) for all its great work organizing and publicizing East Bay Open Studios this year and every year!