It’s been over two weeks since I completed and sent in my Art House Co-op Limited Edition Sketchbook Project. Can’t believe I haven’t been able to share it on the blog yet… the spring is flying by so fast! For those of you who don’t know about Art House Co-op, or two of their previous projects that I participated in, then you may want to check out these links here or you can view or purchase my zines of them here. They are a fantastic organization that puts together great international collaborative projects. This most recent endeavour was a spin on their classic yearly project, except this time there was a limited amount of participants (only 5000) hence the name, “Limited Edition.” The L.E. project will be publishing a book about this special twist of the classic collaborative exhibition. The bound volume promises to feature at least one spread from each of the 5000 artists’ sketchbooks. I am looking forward to getting my copy, reading through all of the creativity, and attempting to spot both my submission as well as some friends’ entires. The theme I selected for my book was “Pictures & Descriptions,” simply because it was open ended and thus would allow me the opportunity to create pretty much anything when my idea or inspiration hit me. When I finally sat down and focused on the project, the theme influenced my intentions for the book far more than I had originally intended for it to. Of course I was going to draw animals, as I always do, but first I had to think about my direction for the book. As I pondered on the idea of “Pictures & Descriptions” the notion of a dictionary just kept coming back to me: simple illustrations with eloquent details about entities, actions and adjectives. The dictionary notion distilled further into thoughts about knowledge, book smarts, and wisdom. Naturally I thought of the owl: a symbol of insight, wisdom, intensity, spirituality and knowledge. As my ideas filtered further, I selected one word from each letter of that alphabet that related to the owl. The final thing I might add, before sharing my results, is that I didn’t approach my book traditionally… I created one large scale piece that folds down into the cover. The piece was made on a thick rag paper called magnani, and the entire image was done in graphite (even all of the dictionary descriptions are handwritten in pencil). Essentially my intention was to have a beautiful portrait of a wise owl spreading his impressive wings, while all of these dictionary pages that describe him, float up and surround him. Intrigued yet? Below is my sketchbook’s journey, including some progress & detail shots as well as final full view photos: And finally, here is my limited edition sketchbook in video form: As always, I very much appreciate your thoughts, reactions & feedback, so don’t be too shy to leave a comment, I would love to know what you think of the wise owl.
While visiting my family cabin recently, I scored this absolute little beauty at one of the best antique stores in Invermere. This gorgeous bird is actually made of bronze; it is a lock from Ancient China that can be used on any hasp & staple closure, which can be commonly found on big wooden chests. The key pushes through the back of the bird to release the head, which opens the lock; isn’t it just fascinating?! One day I imagine it will lock a large wooden memory chest that my parents gifted me years ago (which is full of my baby & childhood keepsakes)… Until that day comes, this antique winged creature will be happily sitting in my bookshelf aviary, on top of my Robert Bateman’s Birds book, amongst other feathered friends.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s super long mail art post, I sent out 7 letters before heading out to Alberta for a few weeks, so now that I’m back home I can share them with you!
for mister Nick Oostyen & miss Olivia Delorme (@0_delorme)
for mister Ryan Mathieson
for missus Alison Martin (@mrsalimartin)
I’ve been busy writing more replies recently, and even sent 5 off yesterday! I still owe about a dozen pen pals, but way more than that owe me, so let’s hope I discover some more fantastic gems this week in my little post box.