Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Book of Attractions

Yesterday I spent an hour flipping through old magazines with an X-acto knife, cutting out photos of work that speaks to me somehow. I glue these photos into a 12" square black page journal and add comments about what I like about each piece, as well as details about the maker and work. After a prolonged collection of these images, it's quite interesting to go back and look at the themes that appear. Not to mention that the accumulation itself starts to take on an interesting quality. I find myself arranging them by color or by shape, in interesting patterns. Not surprisingly, the same artists show up again and again. I can see their explorations of a particular theme and their development over time.

This is a much better use of the magazines than just collecting them on a dusty shelf. Here, the work is immediately available to me for inspiration. I remember a lot of what's in here and can find it when I think of it, whereas the magazine shelves are overwhelmingly NOT amenable to hunting up some particular thing.

I also keep other collections of articles -- how to's on different techniques, artist profiles and show reviews. These I slip into clear sleeves and put into a three-ring binder.