Friday, August 26, 2011

More books!

(Above: Four more new artist's book responding to Hot Springs National Park. Click on image to enlarge.)

I’ve finished making artist’s book for some of the photos taken here in Hot Springs National Park. The exercise has been important. I’m signed up for a bookmaking class this fall and want to go into it ready to learn more than the basics. It seemed wise to “brush up” on my limited skills. There are “mistakes” here, which isn’t a “bad thing”; I’ve learned so much!

(Above: Along the Trail. Click on image to enlarge.)

For instances, I should have double hinged Along the Trail. I did fold back the edge of the paper to create a “spacers” so that the photos wouldn’t bulge the thickens … but I didn’t realize so many pages really needed the back cover to have more flexibility … plus … the antique paper I used for the cover really isn’t strong enough!

(Above: Man and Nature. Click on image to enlarge.)

In Man and Nature I should have created an album with “spacers” … it bulges a little due to the added thickness of the photos … but not too badly! For the front of the book, I used one of the pieces I made last week.

(Above: Photo of Hot Springs National Park water fountain. Click on image to enlarge.)

I also learned that I love faux-suede for the covers. I experimented with different binding ideas … one’s I totally made up! It was fun. Also, I’m very thrilled with another exercise that I might not have done back in Columbia. I experimented with my camera, changing the shutter speed, the lighting, and using manual focus.

(Above: In and Around the Bathhouses. This is the book on which I also used one of the "volunteer patches" on the brown, faux-suede cover. Click on image to enlarge. The photo on this page is the gorgeous stained glass ceiling in the Fordyce Bathhouse.)

I tried really hard to capture the water here at Hot Springs National Park. It’s what makes this place special. Yet, it is elusive and difficult to photograph … hot, pure, shimmering, odorless, fluid, colorless, fluid, reflective, and subject to change with the passing wind or unseen pressure sources. One of my favorite images came from a public fountain. It occurred to me that man-made structures showcased the water best … the fountains, the display springs, the fancy gadgets and knobs in the bathhouses, from the bridges over nearby creeks.

(Above: Rusted Relic in nature. Click on image to enlarge. This photo is in Man and Nature.)

Man and nature co-exist here. Unfortunately, man doesn’t always appreciate nature. My artist book has no words except its title, location, and my name. It is filled with photos showing how man has interacted with this natural park … both the preservation of the water and the discarded trash left in areas generally out of sight.

(Above: Broken Gate. Click on image to enlarge. This photo is in Man and Nature.)

Hot Springs National Park is a special place. It deserves all the respect it can get and I’m glad the government is here doing its job! I wish everyone did ... I wish everyone recycled and no one ever discarded some piece of junk to rust in the woods!


Elizabeth said...

these books are glorious !!! I love the picture of the bathhouse roof window!!!
It always amazed me when living in OKLahoma how little everyone seemed to carea bout the environment!! trash was everywhere in the prarie!! they see field upon field upon field and figure that no one will notic if they dump old vehicles or other junk out there in the middle somewhere. No thought as to the impact that the dumping would have !! Very disheartening. We noticed the same thing whenever we went camping in Arkansas and the other deep southern states. What is it???? it really bothers me, that attitude of not caring or not thinking or both!1
You are putting yourself out there all by your lonesome in a very unfamiliar setting and then on top of all that expecting to feel comfortable enough to produce your art work.. that is amazing strength tenacity and just plain gutsy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bravo!!

Els said...

Well Susan you can skip the "basics" on bookmaking as far as I can see, you can sign in for advanced (at least)
Love the "Man and Nature" theme !
Have a good weekend

Wanda said...

beautiful books, Susan. It is also good to learn through mistakes or maybe they aren't even mistakes but learning as you go. The books say it all. I love the fact that they have no words. I know what you mean about crap laying around where it shouldn't be. It bothers me too. In fact, we were not impressed with whole states in our country because of this very problem! What a shame! I guess your time there is winding down. What an awesome journey it has been. Thank you so much for sharing. I felt it was for me!


Love the fountain photo!

lynda Howells said...

Amazing work my friend. Can't wait to see them all finished.
You just keep getting better and better my friend..xxlynda