I was recently at a PPA meeting and met Diana for the first time, although I knew of her through her folk art painting in the past. She had with her some lovely handmade books she had recently completed and I was lucky enough to snap a few photos of them.
I then persuaded her to write a little bit about herself for our blog followers.
After many years of folk art painting , I was fortunate to find another project to explore thanks to Primrose Paper Artists and Jean Riley who introduced me to box making, and subsequently to bookmaking. The red box was the first one I made and it has remained empty for (probably) 10 years as I mislaid it in my move.
Discovering it was all I needed to begin research into the colour RED, and it came to be called ‘RED IS NOT JUST A COLOUR’.
The colour red used for dyeing came originally from the cochineal beetle discovered in Mexico in 1520 and is now a symbol of danger, power, revolution, jealousy, rage, emergency, fear and fire. A thin red line separates it from happiness, passion, love and desire and strawberries.
Bookmaking has become my new passion as it tells stories just like folk art does.
It requires the dexterity of an artisan due to the measuring, but for me it satisfies creativity, and is an avenue for expression of words and thoughts as in an artist’s book which sometimes has no words, and may just be marks and textures.
I can tell a story with marks made from leaves or rust and give it meaning with words or quotes as in the book about tea, or as in Paseggiata Due the marks on the footpath pretty much tell the story. I can tell a story about a plant and investigate with drawings and prints, colouring the pages with teas and then make a box for it to live in.
So for me, book and box making encompasses paper, calligraphy of a sort, origami and folding, paint, printing, drawing and of course, MAKING, so it has everything I need.
My next book is going to be called BLUE which, as we know, originated in Afghanistan as Lapis Lazuli and was prized because it was so difficult to bring out. So many songs, quotes and films have been written about the colour blue, so I am looking forward to that.
Webmaster note: The wording on the page (above left) from Diana’s concertina book reads:
It is your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no-one can walk it for you.