(Thanks to Roz Moreton for showing me how to make this a few days ago).
I’m now running out of space in my studio for my body – every surface is heaped, including the floor, the chairs, the tables, the shelves, the drawers…
The picture shows the pile on my desk which is touching my left elbow as I write.
It is a few of the things I am putting together in my mind today: I had very many photos printed, glossy ones with twilight views of the mountain, and I want to try and find a way to integrate them into an artists’ book form with my drawings and writing.
So far so good – although really speaking, this is basically a slightly formalised pile. So at this thought there was doubt, and a light despair, and then a good friend of mine suggested that I look at the work of an artist called Helen Carnac, and I found that she has said the following wonderful and enlightening thing in an interview with ‘Norwegian Crafts’, about the work of moving things around, putting things next to one another:
‘I’m interested in combining things, showing how they move or change in relation to each other. In reality, this is a staging of the relations between things. To move things around has almost become a mantra in my artistic practice. This movement also includes me, whenever I leave the studio to participate in various projects.’
Just spending a moment tonight looking through what I have made earier today, and wondering where to start next tomorrow. (Answer – one thing at a time, one day at a time, start with colour mixing.)
Aims for tomorrow and the week:
To explore. To step outside of comfortable. To not be precious. To not hold on to things. To step towards my audience. To begin. To carry through. To immerse myself in the work. To enjoy the process.
The windows in my room face west, and today the sun streamed in, just at five o’clock, lighting up the chair where I was propping up some test paintings.
These paintings are done with watercolour, coffee and ink. I like the coffee because it half resists, half mixes with the paints, but its mucky, especially on absorbent paper like this, so I’m not sure what to do about that. I’ll do some colour testing next – to try and refine things.
I am playing in my mind with different book forms, and am thinking of folding the second of these into a concertina folding book to see whether that is a good move.
Drawing doesn’t have to be on paper, it can be with paper – or today with card and objects.
I don’t have a clear idea where I am going, but I’m wanting to experiment with some artist-book forms, and so I feel like I need to play with shapes, and to bypass my mind and think some things through with directly with my hands. I’m just making a beginning by playing with offcuts of card on my workbench.
A fragment of another book of the dark (video), made on Mynydd Llangyndeyrn.
There is something that I like very much about this one, it may be that what I like about it is that it is so deeply imperfect, to the point of awkward.
A bitter-sharp wind. My hands clumsy, numb fingers sticking out of fingerless gloves, feet stumbling as I was turning.
[To see the best of this video, it helps if you cut down the relflected light in your room].
what is a book of the dark?
having no idea how to answer this, I have made one
it is a test or a draft
a starting point for myself
something to work from
I’m just starting working on something exciting with a small piece of scratched perspex that was in the shed. So I’ve washed it and written on it with a sharpie, and now I’m scratching marks into the other side.
I’m going to make artists books that go with writing that I am doing, that communicate the themes and thoughts in the writing – in visual and book-making terms.
So I need something to start with, because I need to start before I am ready – not wait.
Something like intaglio printmaking plates made out of perspex.
Its fair to say that it is very unlikely that anything really good will happen with prints from this piece of perspex – I mean, that what I make won’t work. But I won’t know why it hasn’t worked until I’ve done it and it hasn’t worked. And then I can try something else that doesn’t work either, but gets a tiny bit closer to working. And through doing that I can refine my ideas about what it is that I am trying to get to work.
Working today on a folding book for my collaborative book project with Suzie Ross.