Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Art & Books - Artist Books

On exhibit in Santa Fe

Sue currently has work on exhibit at Vivo Contemporary Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is one of eleven book artists participating it a “book art eVent” April 22 to May 10, 2011. Vivo Contemporary is an exciting new gallery located at 725 Canyon Road in Santa Fe. Along with the eclectic mix of Santa Fe artists represented, they include an innovative Book Arts Gallery within the gallery, “a hands-on showcase of book arts in an inviting atmosphere.”

Vivo's “book art eVent” is a regional invitational exhibit featuring artists from California, Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. For those not familiar with the term “book art” here is an explanation from Vivo Contemporary Gallery's own website:

Contemporary book art integrates media such as printmaking, drawing, painting, photography, computer graphics, typography, story telling, calligraphy, writing and poetry. Artist books explore innovative connections between content, structure and technique. The resulting art is unique in its ability to create two and three-dimensional formats simultaneously.
Pictured below are Sue's three pieces at Vivo Gallery with explanations of each. To see more, visit her website (see link on right listed under "Our Web Sites".)

Un Amor de Mexico
altered book

An “altered book” is an ordinary, usually worn out old book which an artist has altered in various ways to transform it into a work of art. Quite often altered books become free-standing (or hanging) sculptural pieces.

The book I used for “Un Amor de Mexico” was purchased at a library book sale in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Its original title, Un Amor, suggested to me the theme. I wanted it to represent my love of Mexico and Mexican culture, to be a container of fond memories.

The bird figure is an Inca dove, common in Mexico. She's made of sculpted Mexican bark paper, embellished with glass beads and jacaranda pods. The inside pages were transformed  into a small niche containing bits and pieces I collected along the way, each representing unique experiences.

Where from, whither bound?

I have made many books using split rocks for the covers. I find these rocks while on walks in  desert arroyos or along mountain streams. For this book I made special sheets of paper formed in the shape of the rock. The pages are assembled in a concertina fold that opens out to reveal cutout sections of a world map. Most of the map sections show a location I have traveled to, with the exception of the star maps, of course, not yet anyway. When closed this book is secured with a cotton strap and length of chain.

A Bird Feeder's Year

Sometimes the shape of a rock gives me an idea of what kind of book it should be. In this case, the rock reminded me of a bird's wing, so I turned it into a book about the birds who visit my feeders through the seasons. Since most are little brown birds, I decided to make the book in the form of a white-crowned sparrow, one of the most attractive sparrows, as sparrows go.

Slide show Inside pages of "A Bird Feeder's Year"


  1. Hi Sue & Spike,

    These are great, very unusual and appealing to our exotic sides. Good luck with the exhibits.

    Have you been able to connect with Corlis Taylor? If not I can give her a call and encourage her to look at this posting. I've added myself as a follower here so I can keep up with your airstream and art doings. I've started blogging too, and invite you to be a "charter follower" of my blog at http://betsybear-artist.blogspot.com/. I try to keep it fun and at least a little informative. I'm still learning all the facebook/blog stuff, but it is making more sense all the time.

    Hope all is well, take care, Betsy

  2. The Airstream is nice -- but I like Sue's 'A Bird Feeder's Year' better!