Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wisconsin State Fair 2014 Photography Contest

Today was the 2014 Wisconsin State Fair Photography Contest and here is how I did:

2nd Place--Transportation, planes, air flight, other not listed

2nd Place--Windows

2nd Place--Perfectly Pink

3rd Place--Animals, Farm

3rd Place--Rust

3rd Place--Shadows

Here are the entries that did not place:

Animals, Cats, Domestic


Animals, Any Other Not Listed

  Building/Architecture, Rural

Building/Architecture, Urban

Children, Age 3-10



Fabric, patterns, and textures


 Fire Department


Garden art or garden sculpture

 Portrait, Head Shot Only

Signs, Streets, Etc.



 Transportation, automobile

Trucks, Vintage

Weather, fog, mist

Hello Yellow

Outburst Orange

Radical red

Black & White, Patterns and Textures

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Altered Books, July, 2014

For whatever reason, I have fallen in love with altering little books.  By little, I mean something in the range of 5" x 8" or so.  This was a residual of taking the on-line Michael de Meng class called Punk Fiction.  One of my goals in this process was to allow the "art" to be tied to the title of the book.  Themes for the altering are to come through processing the various meanings of the titles.

So here is a series of five books I worked on in the months of June and July, 2014.

This one began with the book--

I wanted to experiment with using a hole saw drill bit for cutting a window into the cover and text block rather than the sometimes laborious task of doing the same with an Xacto.  I briefly considered using the Dremel router bit but after consulting with Michael it sounded like that might just cut the book to shreds.

Hole saws come in all sizes but I found this 2 1/2" one the right size for me.  So I clamped the book, clamped it to my drill press, used the hole saw and wha-laa--

Please be aware that the hole saw drill acts as a guide so it will proceed ahead of the saw and drill a hole completely through the book.  This is fine with me but you need to be aware in case it is not what you want.

This is probably a good time to warn again about preparing the hanging device prior to getting to crazy on the front side with the art.  In this case, two holes on the drill press and two bolts later I have my hanger in place.

The bolts can be cut off with a Dremel on the front side but I am going to leave these in order to have a foundation for some adornments.

The hole saw will contain the residuals from the process and after prying it out, the hole scrap from the cover can make a good platform for adding height to an adornment--and that is what I intend to do with this book.

Because the book had lap dancing in the title, I went in search of an image I remembered purchasing.  It actually is a mirror on one side and this nude study on the other.  Not sure what its original purpose might have been but today it is going in this book in the circle I just cut.

Texturing is the next step and my favorite texture comes from DAP caulk.  Even cooler now, DAP comes in a caulk gun-less tube.  The down side is that it is about 3 times as expensive.  I am going to assume that if this catches on the price will eventually fall (or this could be the new caulk price forever!).

One thing I like to do is leave all or a portion of the original title showing on the spine.  This could become the title of the work but in the case of this altered book, I have something else in mind.

Painting is the third step.

All the crap I have in my basement and when I needed a little chair, I finally had to go out to a local doll furniture store and buy one.  Arrrgggg!!!!  However, it painted up well, I think, and I added a screen seat cushion to the seat and then fixed the stone to it.

Denice went to Italy without me and brought me back a gem for my assemblage to make me feel better.  It is a malachite, a copper carbonate mineral with a beautiful green color.  After I decided to use this because it meant I had to verdigris my book cover as well.

And, so, we have LAPIDARY DANCE.

The second book started as A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen.

It also went under the hole saw.  Some adornments were added and it was DAPed.

After painting, it looked pretty good.  The idea of a Happy Life made me go for the dental impressions to try to create a smile.  The little heart tin made some pretty good tonsils.  The matchbook helped set the theme.  To offset the matchbook I added some altered brass from a class I took awhile back.

And, so, we have Happy Life.

Book three began as The Friendly Snowflake by M. Scott Peck.  I have to admit that thematically I gave up rather early on trying to find something to do based on the title of this book.  Instead I made it more about the process than the theme.

Rather than place this book under the hole saw, I decided to try carving out my niche with an Xacto.  This was because I wanted to set this door latch and it has an odd shape.

I laid the door latch down on the cover and traced around it with a Magic Marker.  When I lifted it up I had...

_______________________________(insert your own joke here).  

I spent some time whacking through the cover.  It was worth it though because the key hole fit real snug and tight.  _______________________________(insert your own joke here).

I wanted something to show through the keyhole and I searched through my collage stuff until I found this art deco image that jumped out at me.

Then it was time to texture and paint.  Two thin wings were added.  When it was done, we had Keyhole.

Book four was How Good Is Good Enough? by Andy Stanley.  The hardware came first on this one. I placed the hole for the window sash lift so that when it was combined with the two flat metal plates it would form the letter "I."

The first thing I did was attach the two metal plates, using the bolts for the top one to hang the book from a wall.  The window sash lift was easy to carve a niche for and I did it with the Xacto.

Once the window sash latch was attached, I could texture and paint.  I decided to add three elements.  Three of the bolt heads were covered with a set of beads that matched the color.  The fourth bolt head was covered with a little metal bee.  Inside the window sash latch went a heart-shaped stone appropriately painted.

The message is I bee good.  And, so, we have:  Good.

The last book in the series was supposed to be the easiest.  The book title was Love Poems for the Very Married by Lois Wyse but more importantly, it had the word "Love" embossed on the cover.  The idea here was that I was not going to DAP up the cover but let the word stand for the theme.

I had this stone frame like structure I picked up at some flea market and it seemed like just the right shape for the cover.  At the same time that I bolted that on, I ran two bolts through the top part of the book to serve as the hanger.

Another painted heart went into the stone frame and I painted up the bolt heads.  Thinking I was done, I worked on some of the other books until the art muse told me that this book was not working.

So out came the DAP and the acrylic paint and now I like it a lot more.

I gave the heart a shadow...

and added the word "love" from an old vintage dictionary.

And, so, we end with Love.