I had seven days to create a book. Here you followed a work in progress. We were going to see if in a week I had a finished product. for Sketchbook Project 2013. If not – zilch. Today is the day I must have it in the mail going to Brooklyn, New York. The book isn’t finished , but I wouldn’t say I have zilch. There are some interesting pairings happening. I have the beginning of an Artists’ Book. Right now it is a traditional 7″ x 10″ codex book. But the opportunities for change are endless. Check out this website about Artists’ Books. http://www.philobiblon.com/isitabook/bookarts/index.html
The book was going to be titled, Chairs, but now I’m thinking the title will be Sit. I’ll probably add some text, maybe just a few adverbs thrown in. The readers will be the ones to interpret the book’s contents. It may be a one-of-a-kind Artists’ Book or a small edition of 30. The structure of the book will probably stay the same. Maybe I’ll make a small edition of Sit just xeroxing the contents, binding it or stapling it together in order to sell it on Amazon.com for a very reasonable price.
After trimming about 50 images and putting together the beginnings of a book I realized I’m not following the rules. I’m supposed to be making a sketchbook, not an Artists Book of photographs.
(click on image to enlarge)
I had some fun with pairings, like I had the fidgety young monks sketched in Simtokha Bhutan next to a photograph of a Buddha I had taken in Las Vegas.
Chairs or sitting seems to be the subject matter. I could draw one hundred chairs. I’ve got a lot of drawing to do. Maybe I take out the photoraphs and intermingle new chair drawings with past sketches. That wayI could go around the world while sitting in my chair at home.
One of the pleasures of traveling is meeting people and being invited to visit their homes. In Egypt we were sailing down the Nile in a felucca when we were invited to stop by our guide’s home on an island. We shared a pot of tea and he showed us his neighborhood. In Bhutan I had an impromptu lunch prepared by my friend’s sister. Our hosts in Japan treated us to a traditional tea ceremony in a little tea house in their garden.
One evening we struck up a conversation with some travelers visiting our city. Wanting to continue our conversation we brought them home. In the kitchen we found walnuts, raisins and port. The evening was filled with stories and laughter. The next morning the table and the floor were covered with walnut shells, a few raisins and an empty bottle of port. We had a good time.
When I come home from a trip, I usually spend a couple of years painting and making art pieces about my impressions of that country. Inspiration for this oil painting came from our time in Paro at the Buddhist Tsechu festival honoring Guru Rinpoche born from a lotus flower. Dances are performed by monks wearing ornate costumes and fantastic masks. The four story high Thangka scroll or Tongdrol is unfurled at a certain time according to the Bhutaneselunar calendar. When we were there, the time was three o’clock in the morning. The area was packed, everyone was dressed up in their finest ghos and kiras; the women wore brocade jackets from China. The children were all awake, but no babies were crying. People were buying and selling, camping, eating and viewing the 250 year old silk appliquéd thangka. It is there for viewing for only a few hours before being rolled up and taken away until the following year. Click on painting to see it bigger.
‘Dance of the Drum Beater’ oil on canvas 42″ x 42″ 2002
Paintings on handmade paper from Bhutan, Saunders waterford paper, Arches 90 wt. paper, rice paper, gouache, watercolor, pen and ink, Caran d’ache crayons, bamboo, prayer pages, postages stamps, Xerox from traditional school of art in Thimphu, woodblock print, silver rubbing wax, graphite, fabric, color xerox, transfer prints.
One morning I took a taxi up the hill to see Mynak Tulku, the archivist at the National Library in Thimphu. He wasn’t there so I spent hours between the stacks painting all alone. Manuscripts are imprinted using wood blocks. The prayers are printed or written on long strips of handmade paper. These are stacked between two pieces of wood and are wrapped in brilliantly colored cloth or in silk cloth held together with a leather thong. When I was hungry and tired I packed up and went hunting for the exit. All the lights were turned off. There was no one in the building. I wondered if they would come back after lunch or if they were closed until the next day. I had no phone with me. Deciding I’d better find an alternative way to get out I checked windows and any other possible exits. No luck, so I went back to the huge tall main door, went up to it and unlocked it, pushed and it opened quite easily. I was out in the bright sunshine, still all alone. So I started walking down the hill, eventually finding Thimphu. Click on the image to see the transfer print and sample of traditional textiles used for Bhutanese clothing.