Monday, 22 April 2013

My Tunnel Book Project Begins

The Forth Valley Open Studios is just a month and a half away and I will be participating in this event for the first time. I am excited but a little anxious as I am not sure I have given myself enough time to get what I want done. Best get a wiggle on then!
I decided to do something a little different. For the past year, I have been focusing on building on my Natty Maid brand for trade/retail. As a result my illustrative work....(not that I had a great deal!) has been put on the back burner. A couple of years ago, I treated myself to an artist book workshop at the Owl & Lion Gallery in Edinburgh. It was only a day long but it was absolutely fantastic. I trundled home happily on the train with two little tunnel books that I had made. Here is one of them...pardon the pics but it is really difficult to photograph with my existing camera skills!

Basically it has 2 concertina spines, into which pages are slotted. You can have as many pages as you want....but I am not into punishing myself!
Particularly when I have time constraints.

The principal is that you view the book through a peep hole in the front. The closest pages have the most area cut away, with the picture building up the further away the pages are from the viewer. This gives the book a 'pop up' feel and is much the same as looking at a theatre set.

So I figured, why not try out something like this for the Open Studios? I had been raking through a whole load of old books that I used to read to my lads when they were small and that's when I thought Nursery Rhymes would be really fitting for this type of book. Not only that, it would maybe mean that kids would get as much enjoyment from looking at these as their parents.
But which rhymes? I have been getting brilliant suggestions today from the lovely folks following my FaceBook page and I will definitely be trying these out. In the meantime I made a start with a particular favourite of mine....the Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear. I have been wanting to draw owls for a while and it is going to be a real challenge putting a 'children's book' twist on my drawings (I was always rubbish at that side of things at art school!) So bear with me guys....
Here are my initial sketches

I have got into the habit now of scanning in my drawings and playing with composition in photoshop......saves a huge pile of scrunched up paper in the corner of the studio at the end of the day.
Here is my mock up....purely for size mind! It is a rough, hence the scribbly marks and weird colour scheme. Now to decide on whether I should use collagraph or linocut.