You know how sad it is to finish a good book, well that’s how I feel as I finished Nesting book. But I pushed ahead to include it in the Bel Studio Special. The theme is all about the Beltane season; coupling, nesting and honoring motherhood.
Nesting, the original mixed media collage is my very favorite artwork, created in support of my daughter’s first birthing. The labor was long and I was far away, so over the four days I created this as medicine. During her baby blessing months earlier each of the gathered mothers tied colorful string around our wrists to remind us of keeping her in our prayers. It was removed at the birth and I sewed it around the top and into a nest at the bottom. Columbine is her state flower. There are drawings of 4 bird nesting couples. The colors are springlike for new birth. My husband coined this as “nursery art”, I love that.
The bright idea popped in one morning, to copy this 30×22” artwork onto the same size Stonehenge paper, and reassemble it as a book. This is the first time I copied my art. It was a big challenge to use the same elements, colors and intent considering where it would be torn and folded. I loved the challenge!
Just as in the original collage, I laminated the birds, violin and columbine drawings on yellow tracing paper with grafix. I had to design it considering the fold, so it’s different from the original. Other collage elements are rose & hydrangea petals, four leaf clovers paste paper, watercolor scraps and Japanese papers.
Using a transparent Vellum I copied details from the original and laminated those parts for the front and back covers.
Finally, I drew the shadows on all collaged elements, a signature style of mine.
I forgot to mention that I had to paint the back side of the watercolor. I decided to have a celery green brushstroke design with marks made with my handmade walnut ink. Once I had arranged the sequence of pages, I figured out how to align the collaged Japanese papers.
Finally after two weeks of work, as the sun was setting I finished sewing the signatures and connected them by a weaving method.
This is the first book from my new body of work for the year, so far there are eighteen. Since the whole series is not finished, I’ve been holding back. But this one just has to be shared.