Tuesday, 1 July 2014

pages in tiny books

 These tiny books combine found images with my own mark-making - using watercolour, gouache, acrylics, pencil and more. I am responding to the found image and in some ways the found image is responding too.

I realised some time ago that making marks is not just about making marks - it is about discovering an evolving personal expressive language. If you can consider your mark making is just as important as the subject - or indeed can be the main theme of the work - then this opens up all sorts of possibilities.

There are many ways to make pictures. You can follow someone elses instructions, you can work intuitively, you can be 'inspired by'. This online world is teeming with images, so why make more images? Because it feels necessary, perhaps? Because you have blank pages? There are so many questions that lead to other questions. The only rules I have when working in these little books is to make marks and connections.

I know I go on a bit about 'mark making' on this blog - oh but it is something you never stop learning about. And if you are struggling at times with your own artwork my advice would be to stop trying to make 'finished work' and look again at the sensation, feel, energy of your mark making.

I'm always learning. These book pages are not supposed to be great artworks but ideas having some sort of conversation. I will look again at the pages and see different ideas, I will like them less or more or less over time. They are visual diary pages, in some ways, without the need to write actual words. I am not a fan of writing quotes and notes over my own sketchbooks, but each to their own....




Working on a small scale allows me to make pages without using a lot of materials. There is something special about a book that can sit in the palm of your hand. And a book that becomes over time as thick as it is tall.

12 comments:

Jess said...

I find your little book very inspiring and I feel the same about words in my art journal. I would love to be one of those people whose words flow along in a stream of poetry with the images but the images sometimes need to sit there quietly yet at the same time speak loudly! :)
Thankyou for sharing this!
Jess x

Birdie said...

Hello Cathy - I'm @smallofferings from Instagram.

I've been thinking a lot about small books for exploring making marks in ever since I first saw Ellen's post here http://paperchipmunk.com/?p=3386

I know you regularly make little books, but there is something I find particularly inspiring about using found images as a starting point. Thank you for sharing these pages.

Roberta said...

A lovely book and post. Mark making is an ongoing process isn't it? Always changing and evolving. The best part of making art I think.

maureen nathan said...

wonderful post Cathy. Mark making is a never ending conversation. The smallness of these adds to their 'treasure' like quality too!

Debra said...

Lovely post...lovely works of mark making.

Enchanted Blue Planet said...

Thank you for sharing your aesthetic insights, Cathy, for these powerful little works.
There is a monumentality about your little books that belies their scale and the exercise of mark making.
I would be curious to see your abstract marks beside your own paintings. This process of response fascinates me.
with love

jocelyn said...

All hale small scale! I have followed your creative mark making for such a long time - quietly I might add, but I just love this post! Thanks for sharing!

Else M Tennessen said...

Very inspiring, Cathy! I need to focus on mark-making more, and your post reminded me of that. Thank you! :)

Velma Bolyard said...

these are very fine images...you are adept at making your marks sing.

Denise Litchfield said...



Thank you, I needed to read that.

Perfect timing, when I am struggling with making my mark.

Mrs Bertimus said...

What a beautiful reflective post about such a wonderful subject. Thank you x

Sue Marrazzo said...

So quaint and sweet.