Art School Teacher: Book Making Class, An Encounter with Man Ray

Assignment #2 - Make an Accordion Book 
(using an image from assignment #1's ABC book)


I overhear Britta talking about Man Ray
and ask
"The Dada artist?"
and she says
"No, the stingray.  From Sponge Bob."

I remember once writing something about Man Ray the artist
so I search and find the post
and think to use it to make an accordion book
since I haven't yet done assignment #1
so have no ABC book from which to fish for images.

M is for Man Ray!

How to start?  
How about with some old scraps
like the remains of those acrylics on watercolor paper
painted when the kids were babies?
How about cropping to fit the envelopes Strathmore gave away at the park this summer?
How about making two line drawings of Man Ray to add to the two I already drew of Lee Miller?
And needing one more to make an odd number
why not a drawing of an assemblage Man Ray called "self-portrait"? 

Scan, print, trim.

With my nondominant hand
I write the words for the portraits on other cards
planning to glue them together
(a little trick one learns)
making the cards more durable and
decreasing the possibility of ruining what I've already made. 

But something isn't right.

The white against white?

I paint a border on the back of each portrait. 

Still not right.

So I rewrite the words in black ink.

Again, no good.

What is right is the brown painting 
I'm planning on using 
as the strip to join the envelopes together.

What is right is the thin refined line of the portraits.

Why not machine print the text and then trim
making rectangular compositions on the brown painting?

Much better!

This process lasts all week
working on it for an hour or two at a time 
taking a break when the Mod Podge needs to dry

learning once again
that the art is in the process
folding the paper
for example
before gluing on the envelopes

or making the title page last
or knowing to follow your instincts
until you sense it's right.

near the end
I screw up
accidentally gluing the envelopes closed
when attaching them to the brown paper. 
I pry them open with a knife
but it looks like crap.

I don't panic 
realizing there's another pack of envelopes
which I glue right onto the first
this time making sure to not seal them shut
though what I should have used
was two-sided tape
which doesn't leave wavy marks.

But my kids devour two-sided tape so I never have it when I want it.

And I'm not patient enough to wait until I get it

being eager to add a string and. . . . voila!



where do you noodle?

noodle: to think about something in a way that is not very serious

where do you noodle
after a long doodle
dabbling all along the way?

with a pocket full of waggle
and a snuggle in a rocket
while we noodle with the littles

along the Old Tucson trail
where i sometimes dream

i'm noodling
the mariachis 
playing the blues

and the sun shines
blindingly bright

try as i might
i can only 

noodle with my doodle
if i dabble while i noodle

noodle i while dabble i if
doodle my with noodle

only can i
might i as try

bright blindingly
shines sun the and

blues the playing 
mariachis the
noodling am i

dream sometimes i where
trail Tucson Old the along

littles the with noodle we while
rocket in a snuggle and a
waggle of full pocket a with

way the along all dabbling
doodle long a while
noodle you do where


Opinion Poll

Why do we modify opinion with "my", when our opinions are never our own?

Because isn't every opinion formed by things that don't really belong to us: language, culture, class, governance, genes, wealth, poverty, family, health, allegiances, prejudices?

And isn't it true that opinions can change with a song, a commercial, a kind word, a strong conviction, a strange smell?

Don't our opinions of others speak louder about ourselves than of those we speak about?


do you doodle?

doodle: to draw something without thinking about what you are drawing

do you doodle with a brush or a pencil?

a noodle or a strudel?

do you dream of your doodles on the walls of the Pompidou?

or imagine a passerby noticing your doodle and exclaiming,

"that's the most fantastic doodle I have ever seen!"

is a doodle a dabble or a dabble a doodle?

is there such a thing as a doodle that's a drawing?

a noodle that's a novel?

a dabble that's a song?

do you doodle in the dictionary, the phone book, the funnies?

or do you doodle on the table top with ball point pen and honey?

do you doodle while talking, while walking, while sexting?

do you doodle while out on a noodle?


do you dabble?

dabble:  to take part in an activity in a way that is not serious

do you dabble
with your rattle
shaking here
shimmying there
about imagining
for a living?

do you dabble
undermining the battle
of determining good from bad?

would you rather

5 + 4 = ?


9 = ?

do you allow
people to fail
or fail to discover
what it is
to dabble a
seriously unserious

do you dabble
with a paddle
and a craw
and a crook?
how do you assess
a dabble
when dabbling
was all
it took?


Found List: Band Name Brainstorm

Big Slough

Continental Drift

Tootie Fruity


Ether Madness


Lackadaisical Revolt

Improper Evidence

Late Start

Hill of Beans


Supra Proof

Rhumb Line Report

Auto Wow

Occidental Antecedent

Cracker Pants

Manager Damage


Dire Errand

Path Under Construction

High Resolution Detection Effect

Coefficient Distortion

Primordial Season

Luminous Distortion

Precious Duets



Operation Banjo


Rotation Migration

Flat Earth Society


Bonsai Beach

Offer of Proof

Post Conventional Motion

Unsolicited Advise

Brief Allegiance

Inadmissible Inefficiencies


Class D Memorandum


Spontaneous Generation

Laissez Faire



Affective Discontinuity Disorder


Post Ethereal Effect

Azalea Pudding

Gargantuan ____________

Colossal Apple

Mammoth _______________

Stupendous ____________

Huge ______________

Immense ____________

Vast ____________

Enormous __________

Gigantic _____________