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Above: A page spread from my Not-So-Blank-Page Journal. Each page is 8.5 x 11, with color toner copies of contributors' background art, and my artwork on top. Here I added the Piecemeal sketch on toned paper, red lettered text (outlined with Pink Soufle pen), speech balloon, and bird (cut from a failed watercolor painting of mine).
Earlier this year the MCBA Visual Journal Collective started a collaborative project called the Not-So-Blank-Page Journal. Each artist was asked to create two pages of "background" art that would be printed back to back on 8.5 x 11 inch sheets and coil bound into a journal that we would each get a copy of. Each artist was then tasked to work on the backgrounds through the rest of the year.
We will be having a continuous, simultaneous showing of the finished journals (with a blank one for comparison with the "blank" pages) at the December 16, 2013 meeting. (You're invited even if you aren't working in one of the journals!)
I was late starting my journal. We got them on April 15 and it was May 21 before I started in. Then, I sprinted on and finished it on June 16. (I have been having a lot of family-related tasks and in my downtime I just couldn't stop myself from working in this journal.)
My response to the pages was different from what I originally intended when Suzanne Hughes and I planned the project. I'll have something more to say about that at a later date when I have a moment to compose coherent thoughts, but I thought I would start to show you a few spreads from the journal in the next few weeks.
This is a middle spread but one of the first I worked on (I didn't work chronologically on the pages in this journal). I had a huge Piecemeal sketch that I wanted to save, done on toned paper. I decided it would be fun to bleed the sketch across the page. That meant I had to take the book apart, so out came the coil.
It was totally liberating. I put this face sketch down and trimmed off the overhang and repunched the holes. But I didn't return to journal on the spread until much later in the process. I see it's one of the spreads that didn't get a date. I know I did it around June 10 or so. The caption is something I either heard on a TV show while I was decompressing or something that Dick said to me. (He often says such things to me. I do tend to act as if I were a secret agent.) Frankly I was running on heavy sleep deprivation at this point and I couldn't tell you.
One of the things that struck me about this journal is how much of the approach of my 2013 fake journal I carried forward—pages with no explanations.
I had a lot of fun.
Besides sharing more of my version of this project (and in particular what I did next before journaling on any of the pages) I will be documenting the project with a video made at the showing. The video will include the not-so-blank pages in their "raw" state, followed by the final versions created by the 28 participating artists. I'm very excited about that. So there is much more to come.