Thursday, April 7, 2011

Special Guest Sketchbook Profile: Wen Redmond

Wen Redmond is mixed media fiber artist living in New England.

Fiber art has sustained my creative impulses since 1975. It is a fluid and expanding art form. I enjoy pushing the boundaries to see ‘what if’.

I am a mixed media fiber artist. Each piece is wrought individually and is one of a kind. These can include original photographs, artistically manipulated and printed on prepared ink jet fabrics and various substrates.  The works can include painting, dying, stamping screen-printing, mono printing and other means of surface design.  I created an innovative technique, Holographic Images, using printed photographs on silk organza to create a unique 3-D effect.

I am quite passionate about my work. I continue to explore my chosen medium, fabric, to see what it can do, to stretch its perception as art medium. 

Why do you keep a sketchbook and how often do you work in it?
I have kept some kind of journal since my teens. They evolve and change as I do. They are a way of reflection, contemplation and the essential play that influences my ideas, art and life choices.

Do you work in just one at a time or do you have several going at once?
I have had many journals- I used to keep one that I only wrote in on my birthday! Art journals, personal journals, idea and scrapbook journals, once separate, have condensed into one basic journal. I consider blogging a journal.

What's your preferred format (sketchbook size, type of paper, single sheet, spiral bound etc?) and preferred medium for using in your sketchbook? watercolor, pen, pencil, crayon, collage etc?
In the past, I have used 11x14 size sketchbook journals. I enjoy the multi-medium ability of the heaver drawing paper. I used to use spiral journals so I could lay them flat or fold back and work on a single page at a time. I included writing, black pen sketching and collage. I carry a portable watercolor set and pastels now. I found a nifty brush that has it’s own water reservoir.

Presently, I like/love to create hand-sewn journals. I make paste papers for the covers and signature pages and use drawing paper for the pages. The signature pages are sewn together to create a delightful tactile journal that opens flat. I like a more portable 8x10 size.

Idea- I have taken apart my old larger journals and reused those pages for my new journals. I de-collage the pages leaving some incredible textures, drawings and bits of old pictures.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to keep a sketchbook but doesn't know how to begin?
One of my suggestions, when I teach, is to keep a ‘Window on Self’ journal. This scrapbook journal is a handy tool for insights on your preferences, likes/dislikes, color preferences etc.

I like to eliminate some of my magazines occasionally. I look though them and tear out pictures of anything that I want to keep and add it to this journal. My recommendation is to look though old mag’s late at night when you are tired, before bed.Anything you pause to look at, comes out of the magazine into a pile. This can be as simple as a color you like, a phrase, ad, or artwork. Later, glue stick them into your journal using a collage technique. You may be surprised when you look though this journal at trends, colors, and techniques that you didn’t realize you liked. Reflections.

Anything else you'd like to add?
Digital processes have affected the way I journal now. I often record photos of my painted fabrics and use them for digital collage. I take photos often, of everything, even my journal pages. And sometimes of the magazine collages I make. All of this becomes tools for further work. For inspiration, much like my former journaling techniques.

Visit Wen's website here to see more of her work

Learn more about the sketchbook challenge here

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