The Guest Artist section is the backbone of this blog. It is a place for artists to talk about their work, techniques and materials. I am sure that one artist explaining how they solved a problem will help other artists and I hope that a community evolves where artists will assist each other with their artistic dilemmas, share ideas and technical information as well as make connections and give each other friendly support.
To join the conversation please add your comment below. It will be great to have some interaction!
Our very first artist to share her art with us is Rosemary Rowe. Thanks Rosie!
JA: Please tell us a little about yourself.
RR: I started out a few short years ago as a cardmaker and scrapbooker, but found myself to be a non-traditionalist, lacking discipline for those mediums! I’m basically a self-taught altered and mixed media artist, with a love of learning new skills. I started painting properly earlier this year and enjoyed the online class (and teacher) so much, that I signed up to learn to make handmade books too. I now confidently make gorgeous art journals, complete with handpainted covers, some of which incorporate collage and stitching. I’m a mother, carer and wannabe full-time artist – at 51, I have no time to lose!
JA: What materials and techniques did you use in making the art work you are showing here?
RR: I bought Sumi-e Paper (large size), for the covers and Fabriano Mediovalis watercolour notecards for the text/book block. I use acrylic paints and mediums to paint the covers, usually Golden, and a layered technique which I learned earlier this year from Julie Prichard’s Layer Love Class. I had previously bought all my paints for the class from Jackson’s on the recommendation of a friend and you are just the best, most supportive art supplier on the internet certainly! I love that, despite all the 1000s of items you stock, you are still open to what your customers are seeking – thank you!
JA: What challenges (if any) did you face in making this work and can you give other artists any tips for solving similar problems?
RR: I had problems with the book board initially, cutting them too big, which resulted in the book block (pages), looking a little lost inside them. I solved that problem by making sure they are just ¼” (about 6-7mm) wider than the book block on all sides. I also insert a very thin piece of card between the covers and the block to reinforce the spine. It looks really neat and professional and hides any of those little ‘bumps’ you get, if your sewn signatures knot hasn’t tucked in between the signatures after gluing.
JA: Please tell us something about the idea behind the work you are showing here.
RR: I love that I can create a well-finished book with wonderful painted covers, which are unique to every book. The Fabriano notecards are such wonderful quality that I can confidently tell people they’ll withstand water, paints, inks, markers, etc. and collaging – ergo they make fab art journals for smaller projects.
JA: How does this work relate to your artistic practice, how you approach art over-all?
RR: I am a practical person at heart and so being thrifty and a big recycler, if something looks beautiful and has a practical application, then I am truly content! I get so much satisfaction from making these books from start to finish and knowing that each one is one of a kind – it just doesn’t get any better (for me, that is!).
JA: Do you have any art advice you would like to share?
RR: Keep experimenting, love what you do and be passionate. That shines through… and try to make time to create every day, which is always a challenge if you have a family’s demands to contend with too!
JA: What is your favourite art material?
RR: Golden’s Fluid Acrylics for sure.
Rosemary Rowe’s links:
On there, you’ll find links to her Facebook, Twitter, ArtFire Studio and much more!!