November 17th, 2014 | Comments Off on Many Paws. An Altered Book About the Years of Change

Menopause is one of those things you don’t hear much about (or think about) until you’re over forty or have friends in their late forties and early fifties. If you’re a man, I’m sure you hear nothing about it at all.

Last year a few of my friends were going through menopause and suddenly I found myself hearing the horror stories “the change” can bring to a woman’s body. I’m familiar with the idea of hot flashes, but until that point I’d never heard much about the mood swings, or the feeling of losing your mind and memory loss. My friends made it sound like bad PMS but one hundred times worse. Fun times with our bodies are ahead of us ladies…


To bring a bit of humour to this situation Susan DeGarmo created a light-hearted, interactive pop-up book on getting older and going through the change. Many Paws is a reproduction of the original altered book she created after having a hot flash while teaching a class on altering books.



The book has three dimensional elements, pop-up pieces, doors to open, and bits to pull. It’s colourful and fun, but best of all it’s a book that embraces the aging of women and laughs with us rather than making us feel ridiculous about our struggles.



I was sent a review copy of the book, which is an usual situation for me. Accepting it was a no-brainer because it’s a great addition to my library of books on altered books and paper art. I think it will also be a wonderful item to share with my female friends as we age. I know it’s something I want to enjoy rather than dread.



Visit Susan DeGarmo’s website to learn more about her. You can also purchase your own copy of the book online here or through Amazon.

September 21st, 2012 | Comments Off on The Mesmerizing Drawing Machine of Sarah Gee

My friend Sarah Gee (who I featured in an artist interview back in April) recently released a video sharing the process behind the making of her concentric drawings. It is absolutely riveting to watch as she works.

In the words of Sarah Gee: Making these takes a huge amount of concentration, and a fair amount of determination. The spin is very fast (see the remote control in my left hand: I continually change the rotational speed according to the pressure on the nib), a steady hand is crucial, and layer after layer of colour is applied very deliberately. Considering the simplicity of the primal form, there is a great amount of variety in the finished drawings: some detailed and edgy, some foggy and mysterious.

You can view more of these drawings on her website. Sarah also has a show coming up at Gundrun Tasting Room in Steveston, which you should attend.

August 29th, 2012 | Comments Off on Those Who Make

I get really inspired when other artists and craftspeople share the process behind their work. The internet is a terrific resource for finding videos along these lines. I recently came across the blog, Those Who Make, and their curated collection of videos and interviews. Their content covers a wide range of materials, disciplines, and subjects, but all grant the viewer an over-the-shoulder view as people make.

Here are two of the videos I found on Those Who Make:

I’ve only watched a small selection so far, but if you’re looking for inspiration this is a good place to go. Set aside about half an hour and watch a few.

Posted in Creatives, Inspiration