small booklets with envelopes with painted maps
Individual stories with envelopes made from maps of setting

I wrote the first story in my memoir project, then set off to take a class to learn how to create small booklets. The plan was to put an image of the painting the story was inscribed into on the cover.

Maps of locations

I started to paint maps of the locations the stories took place. The first story is partially set in Mashpee MA. I didn’t want them to all be alike, so I painted the maps in a variety of colors and textures.

I saved the various maps to digital files, then printed out several of each color. On the back side, I used a Gelli Plate to make a unique print. When I cut envelopes from these pages, no two are alike. Making the booklets was a lot of fun, using a different set of skills than the large paintings or writing the stories. I enjoyed the production quality, providing a nice break in the intensity of the other work I was doing.

Relationship between stories and art

I thought I’d find a way to have these little books displayed with my artwork. Now I am not so sure. Writing the story was a powerful process. Finding an image that spoke about the essence of what I learned was meaningful to me. But now that they are done, I’m not sure that one enhances the other. I’m concerned that the books will just distract from the paintings. People seem more inclined to focus on words.

The contrast in scale

There is an intimacy in the little books that pulls the focus to a small space. The paintings are much larger, and hopefully pull the attention to an expanded space. I’m not yet sure how to manage that. Or the relationship between the two that would make them each more than they are separately.

Process Versus Product

As a creator it can be confusing when there is a direct connection in the process of creating works but the final products don’t retain the same link. It’s possible that I just need to step back and see the pieces in a new way. Or allow the small books to just be a step in my overall path.

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7 Comments

  1. I think they compliment eachother, and that often the small stories appeal to a different viewer. The are all the whole of you, and in that sense could not be anything but an enhancement to the presentation of yourself as an artist. Just my humble opinion.
    Beautiful work.

    • Thanks Jill, that’s really helpful. This project has been so intense, it really helps getting an outside perspective, esp from another artist who has been working with these ideas for so long.

  2. Christine, your work is beyond amazing. What a privilege to let us look over your shoulder this way. It’s really fantastic to see into the creative process, and I appreciate it enormously.

    As a person who works with words all the time – writing curriculum, blogging, the book, newsletters, I appreciate the visual images tremendously. In my opinion, as long as the painting conveys the depth of the experience, it’s all I need to know.

    Additionally, as a clairvoyant, an energy healing teacher and practitioner, I’m always supporting people to move through and beyond their story into authentic awareness. So, less is more from my point of view.

    So now you have two different Jill’s weighing in on your question, and we each have a different take. And you’re left with your question of what will best serve the overall project.

    Thanks for inviting response!

  3. Christine, your work is beyond amazing. What a privilege to let us look over your shoulder this way. It’s really fantastic to see into the creative process, and I appreciate it enormously.

    As a person who works with words all the time – writing curriculum, blogging, the book, newsletters, I appreciate the visual images tremendously. In my opinion, as long as the painting conveys the depth of the experience, it’s all I need to know.

    Additionally, as a clairvoyant, an energy healing teacher and practitioner, I’m always supporting people to move through and beyond their story into authentic awareness. So, less is more from my point of view.

    So now you have two different Jill’s weighing in on your question, and we each have a different take. And you’re left with your question of what will best serve the overall project.

    Thanks for inviting response!

    • So Jill, you aren’t going to provide the RIGHT answer? In so many ways, the Jills are saying the same thing. The response to art is subjective and unique to the viewer. All totally out of my control. So whatever I do, some people will respond to different parts. It’s all OK and part of the process.

      My head knows this, yet I still find myself trying to figure out what is the best. You’d think I’d have learned by now!


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