Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Little Bird Book

My friend Laurie has pointed out to me that I hadn't posted any pictures of the book I made when I took a class with DJ Pettitt in Florida at the beginning of April.  Not sure how that happened but better late than never, here goes:

I call it my little bird book, not just because of the quail on the cover that DJ taught us how to paint
and not because of the bird's nest on the back cover (ditto)
but because I ended up adding a number of the photos of the birds I saw in Florida to the pages, with (in my humble opinion) great effect.
First, the individual pages were gessoed and then painted with a number of techniques we learned in class.  I tried to keep the results random and rather organic looking, using earthy tones.
Then we sewed strips of fabric to the painted pages. As you can see, I used a number of decorative stitches but again, I stuck to those that had a nature theme, such as leaves or flowers.  As the time, I was just thinking of the cover designs, trying to keep the idea of a quail and her nest.
The paper pages were interspersed with fabric pages made of cloth, ribbon and lace and whatever else we wanted to embellish them with.
The spine of the book was made with a similar combination of fabric, lace, ribbon and crocheted pieces, then buttons were added as the signatures were stitched to it.
In the end, it was as if the painted pages were made with the photos in mind, even though I hadn't taken any of the pictures before I did the painting.  When it came time to add the photos, many of them seemed to match perfectly with the way a certain page had been painted - a very serendipitous result!
For example, the painted area in the top right of the page below reminded me of branches and suited the look of branches in this photo and the way the bird was tucked into a shadowy recess within.
I'm so thrilled with how the book turned out. I like to flip through it from time and time and wonder about whether I should add more to it - another photo, a few more embellishments maybe?  For now, I'm just enjoying it just the way it is and thinking about the next one I'll make.

Here's just one more photo, of me and DJ together!  So glad I took the class and got to spend time with such a lovely person and talented artist.


DJ said...

LOVE the journal Cynthia! I love how you used your photos, and how they blended perfectly with your painted pages. I miss you!

Kathie Vezzani said...

I think this is fabulous, Cynthia and so organic. Well done!