Gina K. Page is a lady of many talents. This blog isn’t big enough to talk about all of them, so I’ve chosen a few to display a sample of Gina’s creativity and sensitivity to beautiful things. I asked Gina to provide me with some photos of her folding books which are a combination of her poetry and artwork. Click on the photos for a very large image and a much better look at the artist’s books.
These are etchings done from drawings Gina did at the Page family farm on Galiano Island. She has added her own poetic description in the pages of the book. I will let her explain the process in her own words:
I’ve been writing poetry and making prints for quite a while, so combining them both into artist’s books seemed like a logical way to pursue both interests.
When I am creating etchings, usually aquatints, to include in an artist book or to stand alone, I employ a method called chine colle, in which I place thin pieces of coloured Japanese tissue papers that have been cut or torn to desired shapes into position on my inked etching plate. Each piece will have been previously sprayed with an adhesive.
I then place a piece of heavier damped printmaking paper, such as Somerset or Stonehenge, over the paper and plate, being careful not to disturb any of the thinner papers, and roll everything together through the press. The resulting print is a seamless image created by the ink from the plate as well as the colours of the chine colle papers.
I usually use a light or dark coloured hadura paper for the base layer of the chine colle, as it gives a beautiful edge when torn damp. Occasionally I use kozo or gampi papers; they are both strong and can be very thin and allow other colours to show through them. Kozo has a wonderful softness, and gampi has an attractive sheen. I often use Japanese rayon tissues that have very small gold and silver metallic particles in them, as many of my etchings and writings have to do with dreams, dusk and the night sky.
The papers are lovely to work with, especially those made from natural fibres. I choose subtle colour combinations well suited to nocturnal musings.
Being very light, though, they require a lot of concentration when being put in place, as the slightest breath or movement can cause them to shift out of place.
Because I don’t have my own press and type, I use alternate means of producing the text. For the past few years, I have been stenciling the text onto the paper. I use a purchased plastic sheet of upper and lower case letters, and stencil the text one letter at a time, with a quite stiff oil based stencil paint. This process is time consuming but very effective when carefully done.
One of Gina’s earliest books of poetry was entitled “Along a Road of Pattering Shade.” I found it perfectly named for the West Coast.
Here is one of my favourite poems from that book:
And finally, two more pieces of unique artwork by Gina K. Page.
Best of luck with your poetry and artwork, Gina.
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