Oh nooooooo! Yes. Books!
I am deeply engaged in my community art right now. It is a challenge to come back into my life, with full desire to actually make things and still recognize that I am recovering. As I was first healing, I had a million ideas. Ok, maybe a gazillion! It's great to get to stand up and work a bit more at a work height counter top now. That leads me to this: the piece above was a complete accident. I am creating a blank book for a camp project at Critical Northwest. It is really important to me. I get to feel like I am contributing to something that is not just mine. This art is important to me and a lot of other people. That is something greater than I alone could ever create. That can also be really challenging! Here's the tale of the utter disaster from above. I found a book cover at goodwill to rework and reclaim. I decided to try and get a slight shape on the corner of the book, using a stencil. I set up a small station, surrounded by pages and pages of particular paper - and this paper needed to stay white! Well, undecorated let's say. Cream, beautifully aged and torn by hand. Not covered in purple splatter! For people to write on later. Eeeeek! I mixed up orange and purple and yellow to get a mild dark eggplant sorta color. I put the stencil on top of the book, and covered parts of it with paper so that it would only impact part of the creation underneath. I grabbed the sprayer and held my breath and took my only shot. I squeezed the trigger. Nothing happened. Well, not really. A little spritz came out, but I don't think anything hit the book. I squeezed it again. Hunh. Is the color just too light? So, I sprayed it a few more times to try and get some of it to get darker. I think that the 11th spray is when something came loose in the spray dye bottle and I got to see a huge splash of dye come out. All over me, all over my work area in the sink. I saw all of the water on top of the stencil now. Beaded up, waiting to move. Now, I just panicked. I froze. I had no ideas. Eventually I grabbed the stencil and lifted it, tilting it away from the book. Still spilling dye. Everywhere. I managed to get the stencil over to the counter on top of the bin with the sprayers. Then, I cleared a spot on the counter top. Whew. Uh, nope, dye seeping through. I looked for a a non precious piece of paper and set it on top of the stencil. Ok, now, actually whew. Deep breath. Huge wet blotch on the book cover. Glue coming undone. I am exhausted and need to get off of my feet, but I can't yet. I tried to minimize the damage to little avail. All I can think of is how many people are waiting on me to finish this. To get this done. To pass this on to the next artist. Do I need to get a new one? No time. No money. Ask! What have I done! I am such a screw up! Why did I even agree to do this? Yep. The creative roller coaster and the little boogie man. Yes, parts got messed up. I couldn't toss it, there was no time. Instead, I worked it into the final design and made the book look older. It took a bit of research and I learned some new glue and binding techniques to fix the problem. I fussed. I fixed. I let it go out into the world, still not perfect, but I am only one human. Later while cleaning up, I found this gorgeous piece of paper. I am going to make an entire book out of this type of paper. I think. Maybe. Well, we'll see. I wish you luck this year Honest Outliers, with your own creative lives.