Friday, August 3, 2012

Adventures in creativity

This is the other piece I've been working on for that upcoming "BOOK" exhibit at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts.

The photos are current, turned black and white, with old fashioned borders added to give an old-timey feel to them.  I then wrote haiku for each of the (ten) pictures, rendering in a dated-looking font, and added a graphic I found in an 1890's encyclopedia. (The photos take you on a rowboat tour around the island).

The pictures are printed on canvas (to look like sails); I put grommets in the canvas to hang the images from the oar.  The oar was originally covered in a shiny varnish, so I gessoed over that and then painted it with a whale to look like Northwest Native art.  The final touch was to wrap the oar in rope and use monkey fist knots to hold the canvas strips to the oar.

I have to say -- I've had enormous fun with this one; I'm not sure if it's in spite of or because of the research required to complete the project!  I originally intended to print these on tyvek envelopes, but had problems with ink splattering so I switched to canvas.  While I was still in envelope mode, though, I had intended to create old fashioned postcards to tell a story of a lumber hand who came to Bainbridge and left his family behind, so I got to do a bunch of research on Bainbridge history for that.  Hopefully that will come in handy some day for some other project...

I also had to learn about "sloppy borders," and wander through antique stores looking for worn paper to photograph.  I had to research native art patterns, and then invent one of my own to match the shape of the oar.  I had to learn how to make grommets (something I've wondered about for years) -- and THEN I had to deal with the fact that the three different manufacturers I had to deal with -- the grommet maker, the punch maker, and the sealing tool maker -- interpreted a 3/8" grommet interior as 9, 9.5, and 10 millimeters, respectively.  Trust me.  It matters.  Grrrr.

The most fun was the monkey's fist -- though to keep these small I did not enclose the traditional marble or golf ball for weight.  I used to have a monkey's fist keyring, which I adored, and when it eventually unraveled I never found another to replace it.  Now I see I could make my own!

The sad news is that in the course of the project my printer died.  It will probably be at least a couple of weeks before it will be usable again, so it looks like I won't be creating any more pieces for this exhibit.  I'm trying to see this as an opportunity to focus my energy elsewhere -- another one of those space-making events described in yesterday's post.  But some part of me is saying Grrr to this one, too.  I just have to trust that somehow it's all for the best...


Maureen said...

How wonderfully creative, Diane!

Linda said...

Hurrah! for you Diane. Such creativity and perseverance. God beams down on you and your work.