If you are looking for something to do with your family this beautiful fall weekend, please come to Eden UCC in Edwardsville as your first stop on the ARTEAST tour through Madison County, IL. More than 150 artists will participate this year by opening their studios or exhibiting at a wide variety of locations. I will be one of nine artists at Eden Church exhibiting my latest artwork. All venues are free and many sites will not only have a large variety of art on display, but many of the artists will be demonstrating thoughout the weekend. For more information, pick up a tour map at Eden UCC or at Jacoby Art Center in Alton, IL.
Thanks to everyone who came to the opening of E.L.E.M.E.N.T.S. at Main Street Art Gallery in Edwardsville last night. Thanks to Kathryn Hopkins, who curated the show, the work of all six artists invited to exhibit fits together so well, one might think we had collaborated before creating the art. If you were unable to attend the opening, the show runs through August 28, 2010.
Mining in Cornwall dates back more than 3000 years when traders from the Mediterranean, such as the ancient Romans, visited Cornwall for their tin mines and other minerals. China clay, or kaolin, was discovered in Cornwall in 1746 by William Cooksworthy who filed his patent in 1768 and established the Plymouth Porcelain Company. Originally course earthenware, the new English white porcelain was available to the wealthy who desired the look of Chinese porcelain.
Although very little tin is mined in Cornwall today, the disused mines stand as beacons to Cornwall's rich history of mining. While China clay is still mined in Cornwall, many of the clay tips that appeared as white pyramids on the horizon during WWII have since been used for building materials. One of the largest clay pits has been transformed into Eden Project, the largest botanical biosphere gardens in the world.
In May 2005, Peter and I met with Dr. Jo Readman, the Director of Education at Eden Project, when I donated a copy of my research, "Handmade Paper from the Crops of Madison County," to their library. At that time, Eden Project was planning a new exhibition, "Paper Trail," focusing on plants around the globe that might be used in papermaking.
Dr. Jo Readman and Elizabeth at Eden Project's Research Library
Tin Mines and China Clay
Tin Mines and China Clay (detail during construction)
Inspired by the Cornish landscape and knowledge gained through my plein air abstract paintings of Cornwall coastlines, my latest handmade paper constructions were created with flax and abaca paper pigmented, dyed, stitched and textured in the elements of coastal paths, pebbled beaches, disused tin mines that travel deep into the earth and out under the Atlantic, china clay mines that erupt from the landscape, brightly colored fishing boats, windswept moors and the ever-changing atmosphere of the sea.
From Sea to Moors to Sea (new title)
Four of my handmade paper constructions will be on display, along with the five tidal pool paintings, at tonights opening of E.L.E.M.E.N.T.S. at Main Street Art Gallery in Edwardsville, IL from 6-8pm. The exhibition runs July 23 through August 28, 2010.
For many summers, my husband, Peter, and I have returned to his birthplace - Cornwall. In the farthest western tip of the United Kingdom, Cornwall is a land of one-lane, two-way stone lined hedgerow lanes; open moors; wild ponies; herds of sheep; palm trees; wild flowers; estuaries; stone circles; iron age villages; amazing gardens; two coastlines (the English Channel and the Atlantic Ocean) and is divided from England by the River Tamar. Only a few miles apart, each coast has it own personality with its own micro-climate - warm and protected or harsh and wind-swept. Guided by ordinance survey maps, if we are not backing up our family’s very small car while nose-to-nose with a Lorry or pulling in our side mirrors to allow another car to pass, we spend much of our time on foot exploring pre-Roman paths on ancient Bodmin Moor or wandering through working fishing villages.
Peter carries his Canon 50D; and I pack my acrylic paints, watercolor paper and a sketchbook everywhere we travel. As an illustrator, my earlier paintings were often tight and exact, but in 2008, began looking at the abstract landscapes of Peter Lanyon at the Tate in St. Ives. After many small works that looked like Lanyon knock-offs, I finally began painting in two very different styles - very loose, abstracted coastlines and detailed morphs of possible tidal pools.
Cornwall Tidal Pools #1
Cornwall Tidal Pools #2
Cornwall Tidal Pools #3
Cornwall Tidal Pools #4
Cornwall Tidal Pools #5
All five of the paintings above, along with four of my handmade paper artworks, will be on display at Main Street Art Gallery in Edwardsville, IL at the E.L.E.M.E.N.T.S. show July 23 - August 28 2010. Please join us for the opening on July 23 from 6-8pm.
With the opening of the E.L.E.M.E.N.T.S. show this Friday night 6-9pm at the Main Street Art Gallery in Edwardsville, I've been busy making frames, cutting mats and mounting the artwork in the frames.
I hope to post more information, but Blogspot seems to be in a tizzy today and will only allow me to upload posts in the old edit format. Not exactly sure how this will look when this is posted, but will push forward anyway!
Pat Vivod, will also be one of the six artists in the E.L.E.M.E.N.T.S. show, along with Brandon Hayes, Michele Katz-Reichlin, Robert Longyear and Joan Powell.
If you follow the link above for Polstreath Beach, an interactive map will appear of the beach and Mevagissey through Geoeye Getmapping. If you move the map so that you can see the group of homes across the street, left of the beach, one of those homes belongs to Peter's sister and brother-in-law, Jo and Paul. What the map doesn't show you is the long, long staircase down ... and up ... to and from the beach - 96 steps from the cliff path if I recall....
Inspired by the colors and textures of flotsom, jetsom and beach pebbles collected from Cornwall, I just finished drying the fourth beater load of 12x16" flax and abaca paper pigmented in the colors of the coastal paths and brightly colored fishing boats.
Inner Harbour at Mevagissey with Fish Market in Distance
If you look closer at the interactive map from the Polstreath link above, you can easily see the Mevagissey inner harbor, fish market and outer quay.
Two batches have been dried and pressed, with the third in the press and the fourth on the line.
The final beater load will be pigmented with the deep ochres and russets of tumbled tiles and pavers washed ashore along with the black lava carried in the holds of commercial ships as ballast and dumped on the beach at Charlestown.
Peter on Charlestown Beach with Charlestown Harbor in Background
For many summers, Peter and I have returned to his birthplace, Cornwall, England. In the farthest western tip of England, Cornwall is a land of one lane - two way stone hedgerow lanes, open moors, wild ponies, herds of sheep, palm trees, amazing gardens, and two coastlines - the English Channel and the Atlantic Ocean. Only a few miles apart, each coast has it own personality and its own micro-climate. When we visit, we stay with Peter's younger sister and her husband, Jo and Paul, in Mevagissey. Our sister and brother are very generous with their hospitality and we often return to the States in need of a serious workout to reduce our waistlines.
Peter's older sister and her husband, Wendy and Michael, also have a cottage in Mevagissey that has been in his family for hundreds of years, while their main home is closer to London, in Horsham, W. Sussex. Wendy and Michael, and their daughter, Jackie, are wonderful about sharing their favorite places such as Glyndebourne while making sure we arrive and depart at Gatwick Airport and make our train on time. While in Cornwall, Wendy and Michael also loan us a car which allows us to explore many of the pre-Roman hedgerow lanes and ancient moors guided by ordinance survey maps. When we are not backing up nose-to-nose with a Lorry or pulling in our side mirrors to allow another car to pass, we spend much of our time on foot - on Bodmin Moor or in one of many fishing villages near the sea.
Peter carries his Canon 50D and I pack my acrylic paints, watercolor paper and a sketchbook everywhere we travel. As an illustrator, my paintings were often tight and exact. In 2008, began looking at the abstract landscapes of Peter Lanyon at the Tate in St. Ives. After many small works that looked like Lanyon knock-offs, I finally began painting in two very different styles - very loose and flowing coastlines, and detailed morphs of possible tidal pools. Eight paintings from these two series will be in the “Elements” exhibition at the Main Street Art Gallery in Edwardsville, IL opening Friday July 23 (6-8pm) thru Saturday August 28, 2010.
Gorran Haven 2008
Rock Pool 5
Currently I am creating a third series inspired by Cornish Coastlines made from my handmade paper. As I make the new handmade paper work, and as the “Elements” show gets a bit closer, I will continue to post new images.
I couldn't wait! Between the storms, high humidity and constant dampness, the restrained dried paper that had been made in the pour vat a few days ago and dried in the sun before it was put next to fans in the wet studio was STILL not completely dry. So I decided to peek. To my suprise, not only had the burlap coffee bag fibers and seams embossed the flax paper, the red, green and blue printing on the bag had transferred to the paper.
Handmade Overbeaten Flax Paper Embossed with Burlap (paper on pellon felt on left, burlap on right)
Handmade Overbeaten Flax Paper Embossed with Burlap (detail)
Overbeaten Flax Papers and Abaca Paper Final Drying on Felts
Overbeaten Flax Papers Awaiting Stitching and Dyeing
Overbeaten abaca and flax with burlap bag inclusions
At this point, I am hesitant and a bit skittish about taking the plunge and dyeing the paper. Maybe I'll only work with one of the sheets and see what happens. Although one flax sheet has both embossing and printing, the other sheet of flax did not have the printed side of the burlap bag facing the wet sheet of paper while drying. It has wonderful marks, but no color. I'll start there.
I love indigo and walnut dye! The walnut dye was made from walnuts collected at the home of textile artist, Pat Vivod's, garden a few moons ago when I was working on my research, "Handmade Paper from the Crops of Madison County" at SIUE in 2004-2005. Stored in plastic containers in the basement pantry, the dye has stayed as fresh as the day it was boiled and strained.
Since my indigo vat is set up in my art classroom down in Oakville, MO, I am using the vat at SIUE to dye my paper. The photo (above) was taken during my research of one of the crop fibers alone without sizing. Since the paper was not strong enough by itself, a screen was used to support the paper during the dyeing process. The abaca and kozo paper that I am currently using is so strong that I can dye, crush, paint with potato dextrin, dye again and wash it multiple times.
Indigo & Walnut Dyed and Embossed Handmade Abaca and Kozo Paper with Ketene Dimmer Sizing Added to Vat When Pulling Sheets of Paper
More Handmade Paper Possibilities with Kozo Amate Layers
Vintage Family Photos Printed on Pellon Soaked in Bubble Jet Set, Dried and Pigmented Before Printing; Flax Pants Paper Beater Test Samples on Left
Walnut Dye and Gelatin Sizing Over Drawings with Potato Dextrin on Vat Sized Abaca & Kozo Paper
Walnut Dye and Gelatin Sizing over Indigo Dyed Paper (top left); Indigo and Gelatin Sizing (bottom left); Walnut Dye and Gelatin Sizing over Dried Potato Dextrin Drawings - All Abaca & Kozo Handmade Paper with Ketene Dimer Sizing Added to Vat
As I was cleaning and organizing the wet studio on Wednesday for the next three weeks of papermaking, I rediscovered many of the textiles and handmade paper artworks I created and exhibited, then stored while working on my BFA and BS in Art Ed a few years ago. Although my busy schedule teaching and finishing my MSEd has only allowed me a minimum of time to create new art, I did have snippets of time in the studio creating work for two shows at Main Street Art Gallery in Edwardsville. Yet, I didn't have it in me to clear off the shelves or dig through the piles of scraps saved just in case they could be used in the future. What I didn't realize until this week was that each object I had stored still held memory, and with that memory, a power to keep me from moving on. Most of my artwork during the past decade has focused on people who I have lost, found or abandoned during my life. One of the pieces created for my BFA show had the same title.
Lost, Found and Abandoned (2006)
Yet this week was different. As I unwrapped each piece, I felt the loss of each person's death along with the joy of having loved that person in life. Package after package, person after person, I allowed myself to grieve and to cry for their absence. And when it was done, I was free. The fifteen-year-long process of healing was complete.
For the rest of the day, the muck of the wet studio could not suppress my boundless joy! As I worked, I kept hearing Cat Stevens' song, Morning Has Broken. What a gift from our Lord!! Cleaning was pure pleasure.
Pumped with turtle power (one little step at a time, just like my recovery), the studio was cleaned from the floor drain to the top shelves while the Hollander beater hummed along filled with flax. In July, Betsy and I will clean the two second floor rooms and turn my little dry studio into her guest room, while moving the studio supplies into her larger old bedroom. I can hardly wait to open the rest of the boxes and get on with living life!!
Having been an illustrator, art educator, and an avid gardener for many years, I have always been drawn to aerial views of land, maps, rivers, soil, and organic systems. Experimenting with handmade plant fiber paper is a culmination of that attraction to texture and natural materials. By combining my papers with ephemera collected along the way, my work layers history, meaning, and place into objects that are no longer lost or mis-placed, but reconstructed and transformed.