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.
New version of ‘Rolled’ – unfinished click on image to enlarge
Paintings evolve. Sometimes painters work on a painting for years. Picasso did. Going back to the studio I looked at the painting ‘Rolled ‘ which I thought was finished. It’s so dark ! I can’t see the variations in color! All shapes are the same size! Auughh It needs work. So I started to paint. One stroke changes the painting. Another stroke needs to be done. I turn the canvas in a different direction. I looked at ‘Ghost Horse’ and thought, how can I relate this canvas to that one? On paper I sketched my hand, foot and elbow, cut out the shapes and pinned them on the canvas. (I know, I’m not supposed to puncture the canvas with holes according to the old rules) Now I have to integrate the bigger shapes. The red line needs to be stronger. Well, maybe it is ok……
One of my blogger friends looked at this painting . His response was To be honest, I don’t really get paintings, esp. illustrative, abstract paintings. It is nice to get into the mind of a painter. Er? Any hint … interpretation? I’m totally dense.
OK . You have challenged me! You are from S. California so you probably swim in the ocean. Ever get rolled by a wave when you are in the ocean and don’t know which way is up? So if you look at that painting, on the lower right just above the red line you will see a little white paint shaped like me falling legs and arms up with curved back, If you look around the painting you see bits of blue sky The painting or ocean is dark with flashes of light. all kinds of shapes, fish, kelp, water swirling maybe you get slammed against a rock and get a flash of pain (red line). So my painting is how I felt when I got rolled. Or how I felt with some situation going on in my life. How I felt in my head.
Abstract painting is like interpreting jazz. Abstract painting is made up of variations of color, form, line, texture, space. It’s how the painter feels. How does Branford Marsalis feel when he plays his saxophone? He makes that instrument talk using variations of sound. How do you feel when you respond to these abstract music rhythms and sounds?
Squint your eyes when you look at a landscape. It reduces your ‘picture’ to basic shapes, color, line, texture, space.
‘Zellig’ by Carla Trefethen Saunders available on Amazon.com
This painting has many layers. It started out in the year 2000. The painting was about how I felt about moushrabiyas. In Morocco, in strict Islamic tradition, moushrabiyas or intricately carved geometrical screens were designed to keep Muslim women hidden from view. These screens on balconies and windows allowed women to observe their surroundings without themselves being seen. I was told they were to protect the women from men’s eyes. As a western woman I interpreted that as taking away women’s rights. Our world is in a turmoil when it comes to the issue of women’s rights.
In Morocco, moushrabiyas or geometrical screens keep Muslim women hidden from view. These screens allow women to observe their surroundings without themselves being seen.
When making an Artists’ Book with this beautiful young lady, I asked her in sign language if she had some scissors. She took me to her room where she flicked on the TV. A static zig zag pattern filled the screen. The room was set up for her family, three outfits hung on rope across one corner of the room. We tore the sheet of paper, folded it and sewed it together with a piece of thread we found. I wondered what this girls’ future was going to be. This idea was the impetus for my book. Zellig, also spelled Zellige, is a collage of patterns making up the tile decoration in Morocco. When making the book I used a collage of my work made up of my poems, paintings, drawings and photography.
Iris printing, on Somerset 175 gram soft white, by Urban Digital Color.
Snake charmers, food venders, jewelry sellers, a dentist and other people filled Djemma el Fna, a large open space in Marrakech. One night a man, someone said he was a fortune teller, was speaking to a large group of men. He cleared a space for me to join the circle. Someone threw a rug on the dusty ground. I sat and sketched by the light of a kerosene lamp. Drawings made that night were preliminary studies for five foot oil paintings I produced in my studio when I returned home.