Win Dinn sands and gessos over the pages of recycled, children's board books. Last year, while visiting her in Creston, B.C., she presented me with one such blank book, inviting me to cover the pages anew. In her studio I got as far as painting (but not embellishing) the front and back covers. I also painted the background colour on a couple of layouts (two-page spreads) and added the landscape image (a magazine clipping) on the first layout. Beyond that, the project sat untouched for months, but I always knew the book would be about Africa.
In order to enter Africa for Amira to the artist-created book exhibition, TURNING THE PAGE, at Sunny Raven Gallery (Canmore) I had to finish it before July 4th. This also meant that the book would be ready to gift to Amira (her parent's really) during their visit to Alberta this summer.
|Cover, copper lion, fusible fibers and hand painted lettering|
Knowing how much I love copper, Kari Lelek purchased a retro copper tooling set for me at a garage sale. Online, I could find no reference to my 1955 The Coppersmith kit manufactured by Aurora Plastics but the company appears to be having a revival with their other model toys!
There was a roll of heavy copper sheeting included in the set along with three black, plastic templates, a lion, an elephant and a Scarlet O'Hara style, dressed, female figure. The lion was already worked into the copper relief shape. I did the elephant.
|The first layout/spread with a print of my LOVELY LIONESS oil, magazine clipping and scrap booking paper|
Because it is my book, and I'm a lover of the big cats, I featured them and other African wildlife which I consider attractive. No apes, warthogs, hippos or rhinos!
Our daughter, Laura, and her husband, Adam live in Maryland, USA. This past May, on a visit to them, we viewed our son-in-law's photos from his recent trip to South Africa. My book was always intended for their daughter, Amira. Armed with Adam's images, I came home inspired to finish it; excited over knowing it would have special meaning now that it was to include her father's images.
|Second layout features Adam's zebra photo on the right. The close-up is a borrowed-from-the-Internet-image|
|Second layout with the flip-out open revealing marbled paper which Laura brought home from Florence and Adam's zebra photograph|
|Third layout has prints of my oils; of THE ENTIRE PRIDE (a detail) and MAGNIFICENT IZU, plus a National Geographic clipping|
|Adam's photo graces the fourth (centre) layout. Insets are a magazine clipping and a cut-out, rubber stamped giraffe head|
Fifth layout ... my favourite
The fifth spread has a print of my SPOTS IN MOTION oil and an art catalogue clipping of another painter's work on a background of gift wrap. The same paper that, in 2000, I wrapped all of Laura's Christmas presents with, knowing full well how much she dislikes animal prints!
|The fifth layout with its flip-up revealing a print of my oil, FIERY GLARE|
|Sixth layout; copper elephant, catalogue/magazine images and Adam's elephant photograph|
|Seventh and final layout; Adam's giraffe photo, cheetah images from National Geographic and an art catalogue|
|Seventh and final layout flip-up reveals an antiqued map of Africa (scrap book paper) and Adam's impala photo|
|Back cover with description and dedication|
|I present AFRICA FOR AMIRA to Amira, and her parents, August 7th, 2013|