Skip to content

ABCD: Blue

March 28, 2015

Blue books

A small group met at The Dove this morning in Bron’s absence. Jane was the first to arrive, and found a young bull in the garden. It wasn’t clear how he had escaped from the next field. He loitered peacefully enough for the rest of the day …

Black Bull of Butleigh

This month’s theme was “Blue”.

Clare made a pop-up book about the six poets involved in “Waterwoven” (see my book last month). All are appropriately dressed in blue outfits snipped from an old Gudrun Sjoden catalogue.

Clare poets

I made two tiny booklets and a box of cards. “Blue Chips” was inspired by paint shade-cards, or as they are known more concisely in the USA, paint chips. I picked up some blue ones thinking I could do something with them, then started collecting photos with blue in them and selecting areas of colour to make my own paint-chips. I used the chips I’d picked up to make a mosaic on the top of a box to keep them in. In a moment of inattention I used white paint instead of acrylic wax for the second coat of varnish. Fortunately after I’d rubbed the paint off the surface it left white “grouting” between the pieces of the mosaic – a great improvement! Several more coats of acrylic wax followed.

Ama Blue Chips

Last weekend I went to a 50th birthday party. I made a birthday card with the words
“Grey    folds away   a page of clear blue   opens   a new day”
and decorated it with a home-made rubber stamp of an Arctic tern.

Ama New Day

I became aware of Anna Raven when she was resident artist at Lagandorain (Iona) last December, struggling to paint outdoors in extreme weather and making blue paintings full of life and energy and, um, weather! I’ve been working on a poem “Anna on the beach” for some months now and it may or may not be finished. Early this morning I printed it in the form of a three-fold booklet with a pen-drawn image on the front.


Janine had a wrist in plaster for months. Today she brought a sewn book, the first sewing she has been able to do since Christmas. My photo does not do justice to the glowing colours of the silks and velvets.

Janine Blues

Caroline made an accordion-fold book from scraps of her own blue etchings on which she wrote extracts of Wallace Stevens’s poem “The Blue Guitar” (which was inspired by a painting by Picasso, and which itself inspired illustrations by David Hockney).

Caroline Blue Guitar

Jane used woad ink from Toulouse on a folded strip of paper and mounted it on a piece of driftwood dyed in the indigo-vat. The text has a meaning, said Jane, but I can’t tell you because it’s secret.

Jane woad indigo

Jane’s second book, “Blue whale”, was made by pasting thin paper that had disintegrated in the indigo-vat onto a Khadi-paper accordion-fold and adding birds and a whale.

Jane Blue whale

Karen made a tiny painting on canvas and used it as the backdrop for a tunnel-book. The front is decorated with plaster stencilled onto dark blue card and rubbed lightly with a gold wax-crayon.

Karen tunnel book

Judy’s book was a sewn codex with painted Khadi rag-paper pages, a fishy centre-spread and a textile cover.

Judy blue

After lunch we spent some time out of doors – with the bull – looking for inspiration for work later this year.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. Steph Hiller permalink
    March 29, 2015 8:55 am

    What beautiful work you all do! and what a delight to browse your lovely blog on a Sunday morning over breakfast! Thank you Ama 🙂 x

  2. March 29, 2015 10:09 pm

    Wonderful, as usual!

  3. March 30, 2015 11:26 am

    Wow, you are all so talented and creative, I love seeing what you’ve been up to every month. Thanks, Ama xx

  4. April 1, 2015 10:17 pm

    Hi Ama, so lovely to meet you in Exeter last week. Great photos of the Cafe, I must go back there again, it’s wonderful. I love seeing the books that you all come up with each month, very inspiring, I hope I can get a group together like this sometime, I must start asking around. Looking forward to Al Mutanabbi next year, and possible altered books at Exeter library sometime.

  5. Gillian Booth permalink
    April 2, 2015 1:35 am

    Stunning, all of it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: