Book 3, cover; egg tempera on Sekishu natural paper, 7 x 6 3/8 in.
A month or so ago, I began a new series of works, which I've found tremendously interesting: small books which I think of as paintings. They are a kind of serial painting, where one page engages the next in a pictorial conversation.
Book 3, pp. 2, 3
Book 3, pp. 4, 5
This book consists of mainly curved forms, that cross the page....
Book 3, pp. 6, 7
....or form a vertical line. Page 7 consists of just the yellow circle, but two other shapes from the back cover show below it.
Book 3, back cover
The orange circle doubles the yellow one on the page before. I am trying with these works to keep the images quite simple, using the paint to animate a lot of blank space. With Book 3 I began using embroidery floss for the binding of the book; it comes in many colors and is more attractive than heavy thread.
Book 4; cover, egg tempera on Sekishu natural paper, 5 5/8 x 6 in.
Except for one circle, Book 4 consists of fluidly drawn lines, which sometimes cross each other through the translucency of the paper. One of the pigments I used for this piece is Iron Glimmer, which has a subtle warmth to it.
Book 4, pp. 2, 3
I tried to keep the marks fresh, which meant working quickly. It also meant that several books got tossed in the trash; they were too strained, or too complex.
Book 4, pp. 4, 5
The first two sets of open pages have one or two marks, which become more as seen through the paper.
Book 4, pp. 6, 7
The final set of pages has two and three lines....
Book 4, back cover
After completing my first couple of books, I thought it would be fun to try painting on different colored papers. I put in an order for handmade Japanese paper from the online catalog at New York Central Supply, which has a remarkable selection. I tried to choose papers that were listed at lighter weights, but I discovered that there's nothing like being there to handle the actual paper. I love all the papers I bought, but some will not be suitable for books as they are too heavy, so I'll likely use them for prints.
Book 5, cover; egg tempera on Mitsumata pink paper, 6 1/8 x 5 3/8 in.
Mitsumata is a gorgeous paper with a delicate feel; it has striations on the surface that are marks left from the boards on which the paper is dried. The paper is named after the plant Mitsumata, whose fibers are used in its making; the stories of the papers can be as interesting as handling the papers themselves. For Book 5 I began with rectangular and curved shapes. I was afraid that the cover was too fussy....
Book 5, pp. 2, 3
....so when I painted the second and third pages, I kept them simple.
Book 5, pp. 4, 5
A line from page 3 extends into page 4, and page 5 reprises the theme of the cover.
Book 5, pp. 6, 7
You'll notice that this paper is not translucent, so the book is missing the very interesting interactions of ghost images. This is now a decision I have to make: will I only use paper that allows for seeing through pages, which is kind of magical, or is there enough interest in a paper such as this––as delightful as it is to handle––to continue to work with it?
Book 5, back cover