Thursday, May 27, 2010

Art and Soul Project #2

As many of you know, I ifnd it extremely difficult to pass by a used book sale, and in fact our local library holds a sale at the firts of each month!! I ahve been collecting abused and tattered books for a long time and waiting for the opportunity to take a class with collage artist and painter Cathy Taylor. Cathy offered her class, Anthologies , this year at Art and Soul . Above you see one fo the two large collage pieces that I created. And to make things even more astounding , I came home, added a few finishing touches and framed it immediately. Now it is ready to hang. Cathy has a wonderfully inovative way of looking at the innards of old books, many are destined for the trash pile. We literally ripped the covers off and dissected the book down to it's simplest elements, taking great joy in finding thredy spines and old end papers with the gorgeous patina of age.

Here it a tighter shot. I had found the book titles Elizabeth and Her German Garden, several years ago and had been saving it for this exact use!!! The title is done in Gold leaf and shows a bit of tarnish but is so glorious. I added a bit of vintage lace, other covers , a pagee from a gardening book, some daylily seed pods form my garden, various buttons and accents from other books, including spine pieces and there you have it!

The second collage that I created in class needed a bit more work upon returning home. I ahve finished added the necessary touches and all that is left is a frame. Thei collage is all about my wonderful Grandmother.
I used a picture of young Jenny that was taken in Sweden before she came to the US when she was 18.

Just below the tip of the frame that surrounds her picture you can see a recipe that was taken from her Luteran Church Cookbook. The recipe for Ice Box Cookies was one of Jenny's donations to the cookbook and her married name is printed in the bottom right hand corner. Throughout my childhood, we used this cookbook constantly for all sorts of recipes and it is now literally in tatters but still too very dear to throw out!!In one of her books I had discovered an ad from a swedish newspaper with info regarding ships passgae from Goteborg to the US. That ad had to be included ,as did her name that she had written on the inside of one of her books.
Jenny loved to garden and taught me many fo her gardening secrets so floral images and refeerences were a must. I also added bits of sewing supplies as she did glorious handwork. You can see a scrap of burgandy thread that someone had carefully wound onto a scrap of notebook paper, to be used on another project, (Jenny would have done something just like that), a bit of a vintage cloth tape measure, a wonderful purple glass button and a label from the top of an old spool of thread.

As I was prepping the spine of an old book to use as a collage element, some pages fell open and there tucked deep inside, were four pressed 4 leaf clovers!!! The book was published in the 20's and was a young adults novel, so we are sure that the clovers had been collecteed by the reader and forgotten. What sweet treasures! I carefully glued the clovers permanently to the page where they were and added a protective coat of matte medium. Once dry, I added the spine element to the collage. You can see it lying horizontally along the top right hand edge of the collage.

Jenny prided herself on always remembering the birthdays of all of her friends and relatives ,so the vintage lilac covered Best Wishes greeting card was an easy addition. She also took very good tender loving care of the birds that visited her wdnerful gardens, so the brass stamped flying bird added a wonderful element to finish off this collage.
I can see myself creating all sorts of similar collage pieces in the near future and I plan on adding many more fiber and fabric elements to make my collages unique and my own. Goodness knows, I have enough old books in the basement to get me thru the adventure!!!


MosaicMagpie said...

Now you know why you have been collecting all these things. I love when that happens, you find the perfect spot for the things you hold so dear.

La Dolce Vita said...

these are just wonderful Elizabeth, and so perfect for you! of course you and I share this love of old books ...but how wonderful is it to use the covers!? nicely done and the book with your name on it is great! and the tribute to your grandmother is wonderful! awesome post!!

Jeannie said...

First, I love Steam Punk Lily! She is fantastic. Your collages are beautiful. You have encorporated my two loves, gardening and family. Your Gram sounds a lot like mine and your tribute in your collage is heart touching. Have a great weekend. Cheers.

Leslie Brier, Brier Design Studio said...

They're so beautiful! I'm so glad you have one framed already so you can enjoy it.

Elizabeth Seaver said...

Elizabeth, what a glorious tribute to Grandma Jenny. I love that piece! So thoughtfully and lovingly done. Great job.

Marilyn Rock said...

Fabulous Elizabeth! Fun and meaningful, too!

Lorie McCown said...

wow, you got a lot of juice in that weekend. Nice stuff! love the book theme.
The luminaria is tomorrow, 5/29 from 8-11. If the weather is bad, they sometimes postpone it. It is crazy down there, I usually park by MWC and walk up the hill, well worth seeing, and bring your camera if you go..

Plays with Needles said...

Oh my!! Just getting caught up Elizabeth and you get outstanding marks for your Jenny collage -- how brilliant to use bits of her life and old books...and the four leaf clovers are amazing.

Thank you for giving me a run down on Art and Soul. I have been wondering if I would enjoy it...and I think I know what you would say....Enjoy your weekend!

Pat Winter said...

Love the collage of vintage ephemera. Guess what? The 300th follower chose #56 and I counted my followers from the first one and you happen to be #56!!! You will be receiving a giftie soon!!!!

Jan said...

love your collages!

Faith said...

These are so nice, I didn't even cringe at the thought of tearing up the books. They look great. I look forward to seeing more in the future.


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