Collage: expressing love from sadness

Sammy, the well-loved dog

This art piece is made from love and to honor his beautiful canine being.


Step 1 Starting

  • Staring with the original photograph, the image was printed out on an old HP colour printer using my handmade-paper of linen & cotton blend. This gave it texture for reworking with other materials.

Step 2 The Assemblage

image of collage with photography, calligraphy and gold work.

Within 2-3/8″ square, the following pieces were designed:

  • Photo resized & reworked with chalk pastel for high/low lights;
  • Glue background piece onto an acid-free, heavy stock
  • Calligraphy, hand-coloured with pencil;
  • Hand-decorated pieces for emphasis with added, and
  • Lastly, shell gold was painted on and buffed to signify lasting love.

Step 3 The Final Gluing

  • Assemble pieces into places for the last view
  • Add or move pieces now
  • Glue smaller pieces together to form larger ones before final gluing to the background piece
  • Place in book press for 30 minutes with wax paper covering image

Step 4 Frame

A memento of someone loved, to someone you love.


About Sammy
Sammy the Dog came into our lives through our son -his very first dog as an adult. This pup was a rescue dog who had suffered much prior to his adoption. He lived a good life : well-loved, well-fed, well-cared for every day.  He took up little space but filled all of my son's with a devotion, pure and simple, as only a dog can do for us.

A Quiet Rebellion: Type

Gutenberg’s Apprentice: a novel

The love of calligraphy, type design & letterpress combined with reading Gutenberg’s Apprentice should create literary joy on any given day. It should be impossible to put down.

Unfortunately for me, an experienced calligrapher and letterpress aficionado, it is the opposite. Several times I have tried to read this to its end. I want to like it more than I do.

Ms. Christie’s first novel, so well documented, is extremely well written as she is an erudite author on this subject, and a letterpress operator herself. Additionally, the hardback copy is beautifully printed with detailed maps as endpapers and decaled edges on pages that are exquisitely printed.

Nuts! What is not to like, you ask?

Endpapers

Not unlike the historical time period in which Gutenberg lived and stealthily developed type in mid-15th century Mainz, the story is dense. And dark. And moves slowly with a heavy tale of intrigue and deceptions. It is about power and money. Yet with all this – ALL this – I feel weighted down by the narrative. There is no reprieve from the heaviness whether it is with humor or tenderness; no space for a breath. Perhaps the only area that resonates personally is Chapter 8 where Peter discovers the unmitigated power of type – the drawn and carved letter he has created after he sees it pressed for the first time. It is the closest feeling to pure joy.

“None of the arts he’d learned could remain unchanged. None of the ways of his fathers and their fathers, the familiar rhythms of their lives, would be the same. The genie was released from the bottle.”

p 104

So, what to do?

While I am grateful to the author for her work, which intellectually I appreciate, I just cannot read more. There are others who are “better” than I with this style of writing; others, who love type, letterpress, art, and history. And, I know just the person – Dr. Schiller!


Christie, Alix. Gutenberg’s Apprentice: a novel. HarperCollins, 2014.
Thank you to the National Museum of Industrial History for their handout “The Letterpress Craft” (seen above) and a delightful exhibit of presses.

Rake & gather: a poem

All the detritus. Stifling.  Its pungent scent and brown-black spores.

Withered and toxic. Acids eats away at the tender shoots

  Gaillardia and coreopsis. Their sunny faces never reach mine.

I scrape and rake with ruthlessness. Over and over.

The hard, green plastic rake bends with my anger.

                    It is all I can do to change the world.

Bending to my will. Reasons to live.

Yes, pungent smells of decaying leaves lay among fungi.

I rake and gather. Rake and gather. Over and over.

It is all I can do to change the world.

More about making the artist’s book

Holocaust poem

Mary Oliver poem

This is a “table screen” that incorporates a Mary Oliver poem, “1945-1985: Poem for the Anniversary.” It is included in several of her anthologies. This piece was a gift to my friend, De Fischler Herman a Rabbinic Pastor, who during an international conference of religious leaders for peace brought it to Dachau to read.

“…while the rest of the world did nothing.”

Do something good today. One good deed for someone or some living thing.


Hudak, Tina. “Mary Oliver speaks” ©1995. Calligraphy, collage, bookarts construction & acrylic.

Elusive poet

November Day

Old haggard wind has

 plucked the trees

Like pheasants, held

 between her knees.

In rows she hangs them,

 bare and neat,

Their brilliant plumage at her feet.

***

Eleanor Averitt


Dunning, Stephen, Edward Lueders, et al, and Hugh Smith. Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle…and other modern verses. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co., Inc., 1967. Print.


This small, calligraphic letter was sketched out in my quiet moments at home, which are rare.  Simply drawn, it is pen and ink with color pencil.

While the poet, Eleanor Averitt appears in several dated anthologies, I have yet to find any biographic information on her. Who is she?  Who was she?

the art of the Prayer flag

the art of the Prayer flag

This began as a most unsettling summer as many summers are for me; I dislike this season living here – humid, incessant sun, and worst of all, utter stillness. I could not find a quiet center within myself regardless of the books I read, visits with friends and family, or my love of gardening. Restlessness permeated my days and nights. It was not until I “turned my ankle” during my relentless drive to clean up the yard that put me where I belong. Sitting still.

More than twenty years ago I began to make a type of western “prayer flag” as a gift to those whose heart breaks or joys are difficult to contain or express with flowers and gifts. It was a tangible way to offer love beyond my small self – an offering for the other to the universe. This summer I had a purpose – my own slow heartbreak. Two dear friends, with twenty years and miles between them, are diagnosed with cancers of the worst sorts.

What else could I offer, but prayers?


Eastern tradition of the prayer flag 

Tina Hudak’s prayer flag adapted to the Western culture

  • Choose a paper that is strong, but flexible in the wind. I use my own handmade paper for two reasons: the papermaking is part of the prayer, and I can choose my fibers and shape. Many local art supply stories offer Japanese papers which are light and durable.
  • Create your image according to your artistic style that holds meaning.  Here, I use calligraphy, my photo scanned on handmade paper, print on handmade paper, stencils from my hand cut design.  Spray with a workable fixative.

pf3a

  • Cut “air holes” so that the flag meets less resistance from the breeze. If not, it will most likely be torn down in a forceful wind.

pf4a

  • Reinforce the ribbon or string used to hanging to withstand the wind.

pflag

  • At the bottom of the prayer flag, attach an object to weight it, but not enough to tear through it. I often use organic, found objects, such as shells, bits of pinecones or nuts. You can easily insert the thread or ribbon by using a hand drill to make a small hole in the weight.

weight

Please feel welcome to contact me if you have any questions regarding this process.