UNRESTRICTED: an Exploration of Artist Books

Yesterday was the opening day of Unrestricted: an Exploration of Artist Books at the Port Angeles Fine Art Center.  The show will be open through May 13, 2018.

This exhibition is a collaboration with the Cynthia Sears Collection in the Sherry Grover Gallery, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art.

For those of you who can’t travel to the Olympic Peninsula, here is a visual synopsis. Clicking on any image will give you an enlarged version and/or the beginning of a slide show.

In addition to the 17 BIMA artists, 30 invitational works came in from artists in the western United States and Canada. in the PAFAC large gallery:

In the second gallery at PAFAC:


Curator: Jan Dove

Port Angeles Fine Arts Center
1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd.​
Port Angeles, WA 98362

(360) 457-3532

Gallery: Reopens February 24 at 5pm
Thursday – Sunday
11am – 5pm

Art Park: Dawn to dusk 7 days a week.

Meditations on a Credit Card

Nine months of work and anxious procrastination later, and I have finally finished my artist book “Meditations on a Credit Card”.  I call this the completion of a Journey of Sorts.

I received a Visa card. This card is dark grey with red edges such that when one looks into the wallet, this card shows up first. Genius marketing, I thought.

I also had stacks of old prints which I had cut up for book markers — which nobody wanted. I imagined them with bloody edges. This book started coming together. Now…I’m only reluctantly an observer of marketing ploys, but I thought about this card, about revolving credit and about the pain it can bring.

This artist book not a tome on our economy. It is a collection of short musings on capitalism, consumerism, and financial plastic.

A picnic table in the rain

One seat is still available.

What does it profit man to gain the whole world and lose his planet?

Once, when speaking about the corrupting effect of the profit motive on the production of art, Ursula Le Guin said “We live in Capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the Divine Right of Kings.”

The root of the word materialism is from the Latin “mater” which means mother.

My orbit within your circuit revolves off-center

Vertiginous wheel. Everything now. Everything roulette.

You can eat the whole enchilada at http://www.jandove.com/pages/creditcard.htmlYummm…See you there.


Clothes Oft Proclaim the Man

There is a wonder-filled show at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, coinciding with this year’s celebration of Shakespeare in  the Woods.  Curated by Richard Stevens, the exhibit displays costume reproductions in the styles of the times in which Shakespeare lived and worked.  A click on any image will fetch a larger image, easy return to page.

Above is a Spanish Renaissance gown for Tamora, Queen of the Goths, in Titus and Andronicus.  Created by Tammie Dupuis.  Heavy fabric in many layers to help keep the body warm in a cold climate.  Opulent and jewel encrusted to indicate the status of the wearer.  Oola was smitten by this one.

Below are two costumes, roughly the same period, Italian.  Warmer climate, looser drape and lighter fabrics to let air flow around the body.  Created by Margo Loes, the gown is for Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet.

Two doublets for courtiers in Comedy of Errors and Love’s Labor Lost, and King Leone’s winter coat in A Winter’s Tale.

Succeeding generations have produced Shakespeare plays in the costumes of their day.  This costume is for a Stuart-era Orsinio in Twelfth Night, created by Carmen Beaudry.


Orsinio, Twelfth Night
Orsinio, Twelfth Night

Richard Stevens, gave a talk to visitors at the opening of this show.  Among the many cogent observations he made was this: that women could not perform  on stage in Shakespeare’s time so women’s parts were played by men.  And male actors would not stand for simpering women’s lines, so the Bard had to make strong women’s roles.

Here is a fanciful costume for Portia, the Merchant of Venice, who brilliantly makes the law work in her favor.  The fanciful costume is opulent and heavy with masterful detail.  (The costume’s creator is  not cited in the show.)

Of course there are magical characters in Shakespeare’s.  Richards is facing one of the Wierd Sisters above. Below is Prospero, from The Tempest, costume by Richard Stevens

Oola, as I said, had aspirations for being the Queen of the Goths, but that being unattainable, she was perfectly happy to play the Titania, the Queen of the Fairies, from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, costume by Margo Loes. (Apologies, Margo)

Oola as Titania

Port Angeles Fine Arts Center is sponsoring outdoor performances of Much Ado About Nothing for the next 3 weekends. At the Opening Reception for this Exhibition of costumes we were treated to a couple of preview scenes.  Costumes are mid-20thCentury reinterpretations.

Much Ado About Nothing, Josh Sutcliffe as Benedict and Sharah Truett as Beatrice

Producer: Jessica Elliott

Director: Anna Anderson

Friday, Saturday and Sunday of July 21 through August 6.  Pre-show at 6PM, Performance follows 6:30PM.  Bring ground blanket or low chairs for seating.  You will be entranced.

Cost: FREE, though donations will be appreciated.

The Port Angeles Fine Arts Center is located at:

1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd.​
Port Angeles, WA 98362


The Gallery is open Thursday-Sunday 10AM-4PM.


Hidden Narrative

Our trip to Portland OR on Amtrak was cancelled due to mud slides.  So I cannot tell you about the opening, and show you works in the “Build” show.  Bummer.

But Busy Hands here has another small book to show you.

Since moving to the Northern Olympic Peninsula I have been captivated by its natural beauty. I find myself fascinated by river rocks, and I see that many of my neighbors have collections of their favorites too. River rocks are reminders to me of the beauty in small common objects. I find visual and verbal poetry there.

This book is an invitation to a DIY poem.

“Built” at 23 Sandy

My book “Build” which I featured on this blog several weeks ago was accepted into a show called “Built” at 23 Sandy Gallery in Portland OR. which opens next week.  It is a book about things to build in the time of tyrants.

If you are in the area, drop in and have a look.  It promises to be a great show.  You can check out the online portfolio here, and you can tell Oola if I am wrong.  We’re taking the train down and would be happy to see you at the opening.

Scenes and Musings in Port Angeles

If you come to visit Port Angeles, you will be captivated by its beauty.  If you stay for a while, you will get a more realistic look.  This is a artist book about the Port Angeles that is growing in my heart.

Scenes and Musings in Port Angeles
Scenes and Musings in Port Angeles


Here’s how it happens.

The clouds sink under the mountains
to the south.
Venus hums above.
A red copter circles the sea
to the north,
and tankers shoot the harbor to light.
A solstice breeze questions
the darkness
between the trees.  The town below
circles like a frost dog
to begin its sleep.

On the bluff above bag-piper sings vespers,
a little ragged
but sad and sweet.


Grey frigid noon.

A gathering of crows
warms the highest branches.
Then they scatter, an episode worthy of Hitchcock.

a creek of newly melted snow
rampages.  Its teeth bite the sky.
It shouts escape from its cement captivity,
gallops bridge under bridge under bridge,
barely notices the cable-bound timber
that lines its course.

These water-dense logs
provide a homeless shelter
hidden from vigilantes,
nights of cold rest
imprint the sand.

The crows spy
an orange syringe in the rocks.
The belted kingfisher hovers,
The creek surges into the sea,
mane and tail.


Downtown you will find a great whale.

Its skin — an iridescent bubble —
undulates in the early breeze,
head draped over warehouses,
tail sunk into deep harbor.
One immense bone — a chiseled,
polished, stone vertebra — anchors
our whale to the cropped lawn and regulated roses
in the city park.

One sleepless woman watches
and remembers a time before the whale fed itself
to crabs and smoke-eyed ravens.
Her twisted fingers speak of cold
and the the hunger of small birds.

She watches the morning children
emerge from SUV belts and tumble
into the park.
Untutored by memory
they climb,
measure their thin edges
to the convex and concave
of the whale’s vertebra.
Affixed to the present, they grin into dad’s camera
through a neural canal.


Scenes and Musings in PA is a book of my observations made in the town of Port Angeles, WA on the northern slopes of  the Olympic Peninsula.
The Whale is based on a sculpture by Alex Anderson at the Valley Creek Estuary Park.
The horse draws its inspiration from poems by Pablo Neruda.
The anonymous bag-piper really did play, magically and alone, on the bluff above downtown PA as described.

I made the drawings on a Wacom tablet, directly into Photoshop.  We are very lucky to have an active figure drawing group not very far from Port Angeles.

Photos, drawings, writings, design, printing and binding, and paste paper by me. (The binding is a double dos-a-dos construction with a slip cover.) And Oola stole the old map of Port Angeles from the web.

Spring is pumping like a hurdy-gurdy here, and the first salmon berries are poking their pink goodbyes to Winter.

You can enlarge any image by clicking on it.