I am now exploring variations on my Taliesin Book motifs. I’ve heard other calligraphers tell stories about the happy day they became enamored with the book arts. I suppose I always figured it would never quite fully happen to me. I’ve made a few books, but almost always out of a sense of duty or obligation, hardly ever purely for fun, and usually just to complete a commission, request, or assignment. Moreover, years of part-time work at a public library had the unforeseen effect of dampening my nascent bibliophilia. But now. . .what is this strange feeling? The artistic equivalent of love?
Here is the book I was hoping to begin during the Taliesin trip. In the future, I should try to remember that pre-drawing the edges of my compositions tends to move my projects along a little faster. The happy accident was the way the Parker Quink ink separated into browns and oranges, nicely complementing the washes of Payne’s Gray – the ultimate minimalist palette. I just did a pamphlet stitch, one of about three basic types of books I know how to make. I lean toward simplicity in the bookbinding area. It doesn’t seem to come naturally to me, but once in a great while I feel like doing something in a book form.
5 5/8″ x 3 3/8″ (approx. 14.5 x 9.5 cm) on Arches Textwove. I have been trying to leave open the possibility of doing this as an artist’s book. I pre-cut and folded quite a few pages prior to our trip to Taliesin, with the intention of doing some drawings while there, but everything just sat in my suitcase. Upon our return, and after I had settled on some non-arbitrary margins, the project began to take shape. I cut a stencil with a fold in the center, which could be quickly lined up to draw borders. Sometimes a stalled project is stalled for the simplest of reasons, in this case, indecision about the margins. The texts for these pieces are fragments of my own, already brief, poems. The unusual orange on the hummingbird page was caused when my wash touched the ink, presumably due to minerals in the water. These might just be ink sketches, or I might decide to call this the finished art, not sure yet. I’m just happy to finally be in the mood to do some artwork again. While I love the idea of doing art on location, I often need to be home in order to process the things I’ve seen and experienced.
Interior photos at Taliesin are prohibited; I include here a few I took outside. The hummingbird photos were taken at the B & B where my husband and I lodged the night before our tour. I have such an enduring fondness for Frank Lloyd Wright’s forms. He lived his life at the pace of a hummingbird, but his life’s work often seems so tranquil to me.