Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pop Up Dimension and Perspective.

Here are two views of the same page in my recently created kinetic pop up book. When I look at this intriguing cut out, I am aware of both its dimension and perspective. The dictionary gives one meaning to the former as "Any measurable extent, as length, breadth, or thickness." I know I used my ruler to measure the page; to decide where to make the cuts,and how long they must be to create my desired form. It has an architectural look to me, and that brings into play a matter of perspective. This can refer to "the art or theory of representing...objects...to convey the impression of depth and distance." Think about how we examine three dimensional art? It appeals to us just because we can view it from more than one side.It has depth. It intrigues us. 
Viewed in these two photos, there appears to be more than one angle to the pop up feature. Interpretation can  depend on whether it is examined from the side or the front view. 
 Reminds me of life. From one interpretation of an event or person, we might think we are  really getting  the true point of view, or perspective. Yet looking at something head on, or from another side could reveal an entirely different dimension. What are your thoughts on this ? 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Kinetic Pop up Books

I am still very intrigued by this book in the photograph I just created. I want to share with you a bit of what I have learned about the history of kinetic  pop up books.
 By their nature, we think of books as being two dimensional. But way back in the thirteenth century, Catalan  poet Ramon Illul used a revolving disc, also known as a volvelle, to illustrate his theories. I have one inside of this creation  of mine. Most early books were dedicated to the scholarly pursuits.It was not until the 1860's that publisher Dean & Sons of London, claimed to be the originator of mechanical books for children. I know I have bought pop up  books to give to a child, but somehow they are still in my personal library. Such fun to turn the pages and see what unfolds!
McLaughlin Brothers of New York brought the " Little Showman's Series " to America in the 1880's with three dimensional scenes. In 1929, Louis Giraud of London was influential with  some of his books described as " living models". In the 1930's, Blue Ribbon Publishers of New York first used the term "pop up" when they published animated Walt Disney characters. Now, there are pop ups with  music or lights. Whatever your fancy, it seems to be out there. 
I got into book arts because I am a calligrapher.I like making everything by hand. One of a kind, that is the challenge. To create an original.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Facing a Challenge

I had a wonderful day yesterday. I learned how  to make a  kinetic pop up book in a workshop taught by, and filled with, other  book artists. Everyone takes turns teaching, and it is always an adventure! Here is a picture of what I invented  by the end of the day. 
I love the fact that I created a finished book.That  gives me such a feeling of satisfaction. The pages open and reveal a dimension behind. They can also be a kinetic object, as is  the circle on the right sided page. Up and down it goes...magic! 
I guess what I felt the most was the challenge of learning new things, which were intimidating to me with their complexity. I persevered and was finally able  to understand these new ways  of thinking. I guess everyday we are all faced with how to solve a new dilemma.There seem always to be new problems that come up at the most inopportune times. How do we face these challenges? First remember to Breathe. Working  more slowly until the right solution presents itself can be a helpful path. For me, it always comes down to just staying with it, until here is an evolution  into the new creation I envision. Of course, often I have to totally change that vision and follow the path that seems to unfold by the materials and the inspiration. Life and art are not so different. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Congratulations Lucky Thirteen

Here it is the 13th of November. I know two great people with birthdays today, and I was born on the 13th of another month. So I say to us all, Congratulations! A lucky number, in my opinion. A prime number, I was told, which is a mathematical term , but also a compliment in our local vernacular. Yet there are so many superstitions about this particular number.Hotels often leave off this floor.Observe  next time you are in an elevator. Here's a fact I just read while perusing the dictionary.  It was the thirteenth amendment to the US Constitution that  outlawed slavery, ratified in 1865.  So lots of reason to celebrate the number thirteen, and I bet my readers know even more facts to share. 
 Being a calligrapher, I had to make a card to celebrate this occasion, and here it is. I like to give a little information about the  image you see. I wrote out this word in the Italic style of calligraphy, adding a flourish, of course.This was then printed twice  onto an 8 1/2 by 11" inch parchment paper. When cut in half, voila, there are two cards per sheet. With greeting cards, we often have to work backwards from the size of  envelopes available.
I like to  play with  watercolor on each image. Here I used  purple with gold  paint. It is truly a one of a kind card, because even  I am not entirely sure what it will  look like until it drys! Enjoy your 13th!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tango and the Artist

Well, I haven't been at my desk writing my blog this last week because I just got back from the Albuquerque Tango Festival. Here I am with one of the nice dancers I met there.We are in our casual practice clothes because we are going to classes and are on our feet all day. However,  when it is time to go to the evening milonga, or formal dance,  then everyone gets dressed up and the high heels start moving. I wrote about tango back on my March blog, and I am still practicing and working at improving my techniques.
In many ways, dancing the tango resembles the life of the artist.We are always working on trying to improve what we do. How can we take the basic steps and give them more style and refinement? What can we add in way of embellishment to take our expression to a new height? In Argentine tango, it helps to be a good dancer, or at least a graceful one, if you wish to be spend time on the dance floor rather than on the sidelines. As an artist, one wants to be respected for all the time, skill, and especially , the results we are trying to achieve. If the audience gets it, then they will buy what we offer.That is the final dance. To take what is difficult, and make seem effortless.