Tag Archives: chapbook

Home and heart…

April Chapbook Pages
Irvine, California
May 7, 2009

Always a bit slow on the uptake, I’m still working on April pages when the month of May has already begun.

I am again revisiting the “home” theme. I’m not sure why it is such a compelling one to me. I suppose it’s because I have occupied many houses but haven’t felt like I’ve been home in a long while, but rather unanchored, shiftless and somewhat discomfited. I have often wondered about that… what that was all about. Why did I never feel at ease enough to bond with my surroundings or the beings who peopled them?

I think it has much to do with the dynamic of the relationship I’ve been in, in which I’ve never truly felt at ease. It was mutual; or perhaps it was singular, and being sensitive to others’ emotional emanations, I picked up on that and was not able to ease into trust either, knowing that I could not rely on someone who could himself not withstand the vagaries of life. I used to tell my mother that I had married a coward.

Certainly, he has a sense of self-preservation, but he has no sense of community, and during my most difficult and trying times in these sixteen years that have come and gone, I have been left to my own devices to cope; been told to ‘fix’ myself where I was broken, and if I could not achieve this on my own, to go get the appropriate help. Never was there a sense that perhaps he was in need of some fixing himself, and that perhaps he might perceive that part of the problem that festered between us was of his own doing. Never was there a sense that, when the going got tough, that for the lack of knowing what else to do that he would do nothing more than simply listen and just be present. But… this doesn’t matter now, because it shall soon no longer be of consequence, and if I’ve grown as a result of this pairing of spirits, then it will have served its purpose, regardless of the outcome.

Perhaps this obsessive refocusing on the “home” theme is that I am returning, after so many years of being abroad, to a place that is equally strange to me now as my initial trek to California was almost two decades ago… home, indeed.

Home is where the heart is, they say. I am rediscovering my heart, a little bit of it each day. It tells me that it’s okay to feel again; to be wonder- and gratitude-filled; to hope, to love. It tells me that no matter where I am, or where I find myself, it will always be with me and that I will always be “home.”

So I embark on this next journey with an open heart… with a heart that will embrace all that it encounters with a sense of hope and wonder. Perhaps this time I will truly have found my way home.

Love, Adriane x

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Background bits…

Yesterday I worked on a background piece to go behind the text for my March chapbook contribution. I layered fluid acrylic paints on a canvas sheet and, once dry, added some gilding with a Staedtler Hot Foil Pen. I was looking for my other foiling supplies, but do you think I could find them? No… *sigh* time to clean up my sh*t, I’m thinking… sad, really, when one can’t find the supplies one needs. I thought I put it in a specific spot but then I cleaned up my workbench and moved it to somewhere else… must’ve been a really good, safe, spot.

ANYways… today I scanned the canvas so that I could print out these little blocks of sampled parts of it on fabric transfer sheets (which I haven’t yet done), and then cut up the sheet into pieces to share/include with the March pages. While searching for the foiling supplies I went through different drawers and bins and discovered a bunch of stuff that I was hoarding for that “special project” and decided that this one was as good as any, and split the spoils into ten little piles, to be included in (yet another hoarded “cool” thing) these fabric pouches, onto which I’ll be applying the iron-on transfer. My but that was a long-winded discourse.

Apart from that, the day was relatively unproductive. I listened to Scott Blum’s “Summer’s Path” … I love audiobooks, and Audible is a fine purveyor thereof. And I spoke to my friend Cindy, in Chilliwack, whose home I’ll be squatting in after our move up there in a few months and until I get a job and resettled, if there is such a thing. And I also managed to coordinate with someone on a possible temp job, which is great, considering I haven’t worked since the beginning of January… but I hear it’s like riding a bicycle.

March Chapbook… Words & Images…

Another slow dive into self. Every time I think I’ve embraced my darkness and am ready to re-emerge into light, I go deeper still into the murk. It’s not pretty here. It’s lonely. Frightening, sometimes, but no matter how hard I try to turn away from peering at myself a little more closely, I look again, awestruck, sort of like when you drive by a traffic accident and your head swivels of its own volition. Is there any blood? Any deceased? Curiosity tinged with apprehension, as the eyes survey the scene to take it in… but hurry! You don’t want to hold up the traffic; we’ve been waiting long enough already, stuck in this traffic jam of life.

I envy the “whimsy” art girls. They remind me of the popular girls in high school, dressed in Lacoste shirts with upturned collars, hair flipping just right, Farah Fawcett-like, banding together in their dimpled butter cream frosted cheer. I tried then, to be part of the crowd, but I never did pull it off. I didn’t fit in anywhere, really. Defiantly, I just stopped trying, instead embracing my deviance. But I’m quiet so who could tell? It was a silent revolution.

Why can’t I go there, to the bright and cheery part of the garden, where all is light and airy? I coo with the rest of them at the pinks and oranges, the gingham and flowers, the ribbons and ruffles and swirly things. I just can’t make them. When I try, they look like I tried too hard, and I never quite succeed in getting ‘there’ wherever ‘there’ may be.

That stuff seems like foreign artifacts from another civilization that I just can’t grasp. Like the natives in South America that were surprised to have men from a Spanish armada show up on the beach when the vessel that they traveled in to get there was bobbing offshore in plain sight, but their minds didn’t recognize it as a boat and dismissed it outright, seeing nothing but smooth ocean. They thought these men were gods instead of their impending oppressors. Amazing, the brain… isn’t it?

To me, color has meaning in a visceral sense. It slugs me in the belly, like Alex did, when I was four; he was trying to be a bully and succeeded, since he was already in grade school and whooooshed the wind right out of me. I got to slug him back, in his big fat jelly belly, because our parents ‘talked’ and it was deemed appropriate punishment. Betchya he wasn’t so happy to be slugged in his belly by a little four year old girl, intent on inflicting pain in kind. Call it instant karma. Wind for wind.

Color rattles through me like the wind and carries on conversations with my hands, with or without my intervention. Sometimes, like Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire, I can see colors when I close my eyes; sensations translated into streams of light, swirling through me like vortices. There is a word for it, though I can’t remember what it is. There is a word for everything.

Facing a blank page… and progress

I’ve been working on my March pages of the chapbook project, and was getting ready to heave-ho my printer from the balcony and watch it shatter to pieces down below… but I finally changed what I was using as printing support (switched from satin ‘sheets’ to vellum) and will be “free-form” stitching the two together tomorrow with the sewing machine. Initially I was going to print both sheets on the satin but my printer seemed to have an insatiable appetite for satin sheets (hmmm…) but I’m glad that at least the top sheets were successfully printed. I have the writing to work on still, and  also the assembly of the February pages to finish up. I’m happy that I am at least making some progress.

I worked some more in my visual journal (or art journal… or whatever you want to call it) this evening. I painted this background by layering GAC 500 diluted Golden fluid acrylics in Interference Oxide Red, Green Gold, Quinacridone Red, and Paynes Gray. I used a salvaged strip from one of the printer-digested satin sheets I mentioned earlier, and pasted it down with my favorite adhesive, ArtQuest’s Perfect Paper Adhesive, and layered some over the top of the image as well, as the printer ink was not set. I am completely enamored with Paynes Gray.

Celebrating… friendship

It’s been sunny and cool here in Southern California. I spent Saturday with my friend Bonnie in celebration of her birthday, and went to see the Dan Eldon exhibit in Santa Monica. It was small but worth the trip. We had a late lunch at Anisette Brasserie, which was delicious and beautifully appointed. The restaurant was in a renovated bank building, so there were high ceilings, and they’ve imported tiles and different things from France to give it a French “brasserie” feel. We ordered several things off of the menu and shared… everything was delicious… my choice were the mussels, and they were absolutely delicious!

This weekend I picked up a couple of graphic novels… proving once again what a geek I really am. And, proving also that I am consistent in my tastes, I picked up a book that I already had… Rising Stars : Born In Fire (Vol. 1), by J. Michael Straczynski, who is also the creator of Babilon 5 (though I never watched the series… somehow television lost its appeal early in my marriage, since my husband’s viewing habits were mostly limited to sports networks and perhaps the news… and then when Gabriel was born, kid’s networks and the science and/or discovery channels–which I do enjoy). I have Vol. 1, which is a compilation of the first eight comics of the series… there are four more compilations of this sort, which I can never seem to find more of in the comic book stores (but was able to find on Amazon).

Another graphic novel I picked up was The Last One, which was written by J.M. deMatteis and illustrated by Dan Sweetman… the story is right up my alley (and fabulous in my opinion)… it’s about an angel… the last of the “old ones”… still living amongst humans… it’s a lovely story (though somewhat dark and gritty yet filled with hope), and it’s also beautifully illustrated… beautifully lined/penned and colored.

I’m still working on my February chapbook pages… they’re taking a bit longer to put together as each page has eight eyelets attached (which means hole-punching… attaching and setting each of them) and also five “danglies” per page that also require eyelets (for a total of 13 eyelets per page), which then need to be attached to the page with leather string. Me and my bright ideas…

Chapbook pages… February

I’ve been working on my February Chapbook pages, deciding to use my visit (and photos) to Canada as creative fodder. I took this photo while sitting on one of the boulders edging Chilliwack Lake. I remember being asked by Alex, with an incredulous timbre in his voice… “You take pictures of rocks?” Yep…

The writing intended to accompany this photo:

On Going Home

It has been long. Not so long that all of the details are obscured, just long enough to be fuzzy, like a long-forgotten humbug pulled from the depths of a coat pocket.

I never imagined that I would ever return, especially to this new part, this lush foresty and mountainous richness so close to where the people live. They live differently here than in California.

There is a common sense woven through their spirits, and a prevalent kindness. Here the dirt from the streets and air is regularly ushered away by the rain. Sometimes it drizzles… sometimes it pelts. It leaves behind a fresh scent, like wind-whipped laundry pulled from the clothes line.

It felt good to be home. Different, but good. Cradled. Like slipping my feet into an old pair of long-forgotten slippers. It provided an odd sense of security, though I will be returning to it with only my belongings and my child. My valuables.

Daily I brush off the fear that starts to surface. The discomfort of change seeping out from my middle. But as the tree drops its leaves and reburgeons when the days grow longer and the nights shorter, and the spring grass pokes out from underbrush, so too does my life inevitably alter. It would serve me well to learn from Nature.

This has been yet another forest fire, leaving me charred. Dry and brittle. Pain-filled and longing.

With richer soul, I anticipate a time of gentle regrowth. Renewal. Hope.

On chapbooks and chapped souls…

Digitally altered photograph
printed on transparency and backed with aluminum tape

I’ve been working on my January chapbook pages the last couple of days. The 21st of January marked yet another anniversary of my birth. I chose to be inspired by Aerosmith’s lyrics for “Dream On”… and then composed a bit of my own schtuff for the journaling portion…

time… my own little stream of all that I am,

it flows throughout this waking dream

like stars clustered, spilling brilliant in the milky way–

things I remember and more I have yet to vision

equally nascent from this vantage point of now–

this moment, teetered on the was and yet to be

shapeless now, like quantum atoms

but for a glance in either direction,

solidifying, shifting to become something

more than nothing… more than nothing.

(c) Adriane Giberson 2009

I stand at a pivotal point in my life. Starting over… new beginnings, or endings… or perhaps both, really… in soul and work and heart and hearth. It seems everything is being bucked up into the air like dirt when the wild boar roots around for truffles. Maybe I’ll find some truffles. Maybe not. I’m ready for anything… everything and nothing. Certainly something. Whatever is in this wake of upheaval, I hope it is gentle with me. I could use a little tenderness.

Some days I am more hopeful than others. Some days just leave me bereft.

Bits ‘n pieces…

It looks like a troop of bridal fairies puked on my workspace… ah well… working with whites makes it hard to avoid using ephemera from the bridal aisle. It may be passé, but I’m still using transparencies on my mixed media stuff. The little bits of extra from the cut sheets of the larger watercolors are being transformed into the extra bits that make this chapbook exchange so much fun for the recipients, and tucked into the bound books. These will be slipped into organza pouches.

If you, as I had prior to this project, have no idea what a chapbook is… here is one that has been bound (covers provided by our very talented ‘hostess’ Gigi Starnes, who binds them as well), and a peek at what it looks like on the inside, once bound.

In the heart of winter…

In the depth of winter I finally learned that there lay within me an invincible summer. – Albert Camus

I decided, this morning, that I needed to create today. I’ve had these materials out since before the holidays, in preparation for the moment when I would feel assailed by creative inspiration. Well, maybe it comes as no surprise that I just haven’t been feeling it lately. I’ve been stuffing it, instead, perhaps waiting for a moment when, after properly incubating, I’ll feel like birthing something. Actually, I kinda feel like shit today… have been for weeks now, but ever the trooper, I keep trying to make some semblance of cheer (thinking like the rest of the world that if I paste that smile on, that I’ll become convinced that I’m a happy camper), even though I’ve stalled big time on just about everything. A moratorium of feeling… uncomfortably numb. I’ve felt that if I pulled out my art materials, without getting my other (read: more important) duties done (like the 2007 taxes, for instance) that I’d get major stink-eye. But… fuck it, you know? It’ll all get done sooner or later, and the place is quiet (well, except for some Sarah McLachlin streaming from my iMac), and I’ve burned some incense and smudged the whole blessed place in an effort to get the sticky energy flowing… So… here’s the start… it’s for my December Chapbook collaboration project. The Camus quote was a sort of springboard, if you will, for the concept of the piece… the return of light amidst the darkness… all that. The sheets will get cut up into 5.5″ x 8″ ‘pieces’ which I’ll work on some more (read: attach things to… paint some more… and since it’s “wintery” stuff, stick some fake glitter-snow on).