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!


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