Literature List for September

I know I am running late for this month’s literature list. – Sorry about this! As you might imagine if you read the last blog post, it took me a while to get the computer online and running again. Still I feel distracted by boxes standing around here and there in the flat, waiting to be sorted into piles of things that will get tossed, those that will get stored in the cellar, and those for which we’ll need to make room somewhere in the flat.

This past month I felt I needed some fresh input and decided to look into other crafts. Why exactly I decided to buy some books about sewing I cannot tell. Unfortunately I didn’t have a lucky hand for choosing them and just minutes ago filled out the returns form and am going to send them all back. Some just don’t cover what I find interesting, others seemed to advanced… There was also a book about bookbinding in the batch of returns which I bought because it was in German language and had a chapter about book art which I found interesting. – Turned out it was originally an American book which just got translated. I don’t like translations of books from languages that I could read easily in their original version. So what this all amounts to: This month’s list is short again:

  • Surface Treatment workshop. Explore 45 Mixed-Media Techniques by Darlene Olivia McElroy & Sandra Duran Wilson. I am not usually a great fan of what most mixed media images look like. To me this specific look often seems overloaded, with too many layers that themselves don’t made much sense to me and leave me with a feeling that the maker hoped that just layering a lot of things will generate meaning somehow. But I guess that is just ignorant, and partially I bought a book about mixed media to learn more about it and learn to appreciate it more. Also, I like to work with acrylics because they are water based, dry water resistant and can look both like water-color and like oil paint. This makes it to versatile and good to use! I learned a lot about making interesting use of acrylics by mixed media artists and their youtube videos about layering and surface treatment. And so I thought this book might give me some methods to apply to me own work.
    Like so often time only permitted me to browse the book briefly before writing about it. It seems to cover many different techniques and many look promising to me. The authors don’t make just use of varied ready-made products but also take care to explain what to do with easily accessible and comparably cheap materials, and how to improvise your own effect gels and the like. And I am looking forward to taking a closer look at their stencil, metal foil and especially the aluminum foil section.
    All steps are illustrated by photos and the instructions seem clear and easy to understand As to whether it helps me understand mixed media better: Not yet, I must say, I just feel the same old strain when looking at the examples in the book. Now time has to show whether I will indeed make use of the presented methods. But the book definitely looks like a great resource for this kind of thing.
  • The great Alexandrian Library by Amanda Watson-Will. This book has the structure of a story box. This means: It is a box. It unfolds to show one scene. I like this structure as it investigates the boundaries of what a book can be. This inside view in this case in an impressive library with figures sitting comfortably within the shelves and small figures on the base adding to the sense of height. The text on the outside explains what can be seen there: The Alexandrians employed climbing boys for their library who built themselves rests between the books. You can see more of the book here.
    I am happy to now own a book by Amanda who I very much admire. She has a blog here where she shares much of her knowledge and approach to art. If you don’t know it check it out, it is always worth a visit!

Wie immer sind diese kurzen Buchbesprechungen in der Sprache der Bücher gehalten, die ich gekauft habe, und mal wieder war nichts deutsches dabei. Das heißt, ein Buch auf deutsch hatte ich eigentlich gekauft. Ein Buch über das Handbuchbinden mit einem Endkapital über Buchkunst. Das hat mich doch sehr interessiert. Endlich mal, dachte ich, wird der Zusammenhang hergestellt. Aber nix da: Das war ursprünglich ein Amerikanisches Buch, das nur ins Deutsche übersetzt wurde, und so ist es schon wieder zurück auf dem Weg dahin wo es hergekommen ist.

Vielleicht habe ich im Oktober ja mehr Glück und finde mal wieder was Interessantes auf Deutsch!