Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Two Valuable Additions to Anyone's Library by Virginia Spiegel and Judy Coates Perez

 I have become fascinated with Blurb Books Publishing ever since Virginia Spiegel released a peek at her latest creation (pictured here): Wild at the Edges: Inspiration from a Creative Life. 

The free software fits my budget and the quality of the finished product is stunning. The author creates and Blurb Books prints and distributes. So of course the beauty of the book depends upon the author. Two of our favorite fabric artists have created stunning and inspiring books -- Virginia Spiegel and Judy Coates Perez.

Check out Judy Coates Perez new book Painted Threads: Mixed Media Textile Arts. Her art nearly jumps off of the pages and is so striking and detailed and colorful and lovely. What an excellent format for viewing Judy's beautiful 'painted threads.' She's put together a book of the most endearing art. To preview her book, visit Blurb Books.

If Virginia isn't creating her beautiful fabric art, she's carrying a canoe on her shoulders through her favorite wilderness and stopping to journal and photograph the journey. Now she has taken her experiences in creating and cojoined them with her insights drawn from nature and from having lived to be a certain age. With photographs of the inspiration mingled with the art she subsequently created, the power doubles and anyone seeing this lovely book can not go away unchanged. Add to that her thoughtful essays as the one shown below, and well, she's created a book that any artist would welcome as a gift or addition to their libraries.  If that isn't enough, 25 percent of the proceeds will go to support the American Cancer Association

A Gift to Ourselves by Virginia Spiegel (An excerpt from her new book: Wild at the Edges.)

No writer on Earth would send a work out for publication without revising, revising, revising. I write these very small essays by hand in a Fabriano notebook, let them sit, type them into my computer, print them out, revise them, let them sit, correct, and revise. Back and forth, back and forth. So much work for so few lines and the end result is, of course, always less than perfect.

But it is in the revision; the erasing; the layering of ideas, of words, of themes that I learn what I really think about this topic, what the topic IS, what I really wanted to say, what is superfluous and what is necessary.

A writer is, by necessity, an editor. If only I could apply the grace of revision to all of my artwork. I don't know why I expect fully-formed artwork suitable for exhibition to appear via a virgin birth. Two of my favorite art books clearly show that Frankenthaler wasn't always "Frankenthaler" and Diebenkorn didn't spring fully formed and complete from nothing. There were steps forward and back, experimentation and revision.

Since my artwork springs not from sketching and plans, but from writing and then interaction with my materials, the revision must come after the fact. I must be unafraid to cut, re-make, destroy and re-build and, sometimes, abandon artwork altogether. I won't expect each piece to be a masterwork, but instead will learn to accept much of my artwork as drafts and to be a kind and gentle editor. Perhaps that is a gift we can all give ourselves.

Photo: Scissorsweb

My book, Wild at the Edges: Inspiration from a Creative Life, is now available and you can go right to a preview.

My new book evolved by thinking about the kind of book I love, but can never find. I love books that tell me about an artist's inspiration and influences while showing me what's beautiful and significant in her creative life. It's not a how-to book, but it will inspire you to make art about what's important to you.
You will find encouragement for art and living in sixteen short essays, a sense of wonder, a little advice, haikus, close-up photos of art and nature, and last, but not least, a very personal view of the driving forces behind my creative life.

Twenty five percent of profits from this book will be donated to the American Cancer Society through Fiberart for A Cause. Fiberart For A Cause has donated more than $190,000 to the American Cancer Society. -- Virginia Spiegel

1 comment:

Virginia A. Spiegel said...

Thanks, Dawn, for nice feature about Judy and my books. V.