31 October 2014

Covered, at last

Last July I did a week long course called "Ways into Abstract Painting", and on the do-your-own-thing day worked from a poem, Blackberrying by Sylvia Plath, making several paintings around the colours mentioned in the poem.

The long, thin paintings, glued together using the drum leaf technique, made a book - which lay in the dark for a long time, awaiting its cover.

I wanted to include the poem at the end of the book, but dithered as to how to put it there - handwriting? print and paste in? Finally I tried putting long strips of cartridge paper through my printer. They were just a bit too long, and the paper jammed, but it came out in one piece, if a little ridged. I printed a front cover too -
The printing on the cover looked too stark against the handwriting in the book. Nervously hand-printing it, I neglected to centre the title properly  -
(The collage contains my starting point, some of the colours mentioned in the poem.)

The cover was glued to the front edge of the text block, then wrapped round, with a foldover at the back edge. It looked so white! ... too much contrast with the contents. I considered painting the cover, but knew I couldn't match the mood that unified the contents of the book - and besides, though a cover might hint at the contents, it shouldn't detract from them by revealing all.

Next idea was to tint the cover in some way - watercolour? no, too risky, it's not a medium I feel confident of using. So I experimented with chalky pastels, trying out berry-juice colour, then adding a neutral green (green is mentioned a lot in the poem) -
Excess pastel was rubbed off, so it wouldn't smudge or go onto people's fingers.

In the final version, the "berries" are done with wax crayon, They have been polished - again in case of smudging - and gleam if the light is right.
Next (maybe) - a slip case?

1 comment:

Sandy said...

This is lovely. you really do want to look inside.