Jan 5, 2011

Out of the Fog...Into the Fog...

I'm still following impulses to get over my hesitations about making books.  After typing up the poem I began exploring the lines with ink and tracing paper. This gradually led me to a new version of the poem about half as long.

Later, I encountered the work of Jeanie Tomanek and was inspired by the way her paintings are all stories, with no words or pages of course, and decided that it's stories I want to make more than books or paintings or even poems.  Then I was talking to a friend about the feeling I had that Tomanek has already painted all the stories I wanted to paint (as if she and I are the only people making art out of birds and trees.)  He laughed at me of course, and reminded me that I will tell my stories in my own way. I decided it isn't even stories I want to make but the art that already lives inside me.

This morning I found further agreement reading Dale's post about how one should not attempt to make a novel unless one has no other options. I decided to let go of the vision I had of multiple illustrated pages so I could follow whatever impulse has been blocked in me lately.  The next time I sat down with my pen and ink I whittled the poem down further into three small moments. Then I started to make paper, not pages, but one large conglomerate of pulp:

This photo doesn't capture the beauty of wet pulp but it'll do for now. I hadn't made paper since I left for Olympia, maybe two years ago. It was a barely controlled catastrophe. My equipment is all wrong now.  Some of this I knew and had been planning to change way back when, like making a new deckle with the screen supported by dowels instead of hardware cloth so I don't have the grid showing through. Some things though I have grown out of.

When I realized how much I liked to make paper I decided I wanted to make a living at it so I figured I should set myself up to make paper efficiently. Thus a larger mould and deckle which requires a larger vat which requires a bigger work space, and on and on and on...It sounds sort of like the U.S.A. in general. I don't know how we lived without Costco or a double car garage growing up, but we did.

It was awkward, to say the least, trying to make one art piece in a small bathroom on equipment geared for production, but I managed and have a pretty good idea of what all I need to change for next time.

Philosophical thoughts aside, when impulses are blocked the best thing to do is to make anything at all. This is how I got going this morning:

1 comment:

Dale said...

Wow. I wish I could make things. How splendid!