Artist book: On the line

Despite plans to share a post about my most recent books, this post is about my favorite of my artist books. This book is an accordion folded series of prints of a lithograph I made in a printmaking class. Imprinted via letterpress on the sturdy, yet soft paper is a short story I wrote.

This book, titled “On The Line” was made in 2012. When I began trying to include my book arts in my artist statement recently, this book led me to discover the similarities between my books and my paintings. Just as I document body language and relationships through chairs, this book outlines a relationship through in a brief moment of time, specifically a phone conversation. This book, like my series of chair paintings, also uses a repetitive visual motif: the utility pole. Two images alternate on the page pairs: one of a series of utility poles in a line and one of a lone telephone pole. I made these from one lithograph containing two rectangular drawings stacked on each other. I created this print with the intention of turning it into book pages. The lines stringing from pole to pole line up so the book is one long string, both in the imagery and in the form of the extendable accordion. On the backside of the pages, utility pole shaped pieces of paper hold the separate pages together at the folds of the accordion. A friend recently mentioned that someone told her that no matter what you create, it will be in your style. This book reminds me that that is so true. I wonder sometimes why I try to merge my painting and my bookmaking because maybe they’re already connected?

Below is the text of the short story. (And yes, this call is using a landline! I did use those! I miss them! It’s stressful to be on call at all times!)

“You answer the phone, voice full of question, “Hello?”

I’m unsure of what response to offer, there are so many things I have to say. The tangled phone cord twists to my feet—a manifestation of my unease.

Suddenly the power goes out; my throat catches as I try to speak. “Hello?” You seek to fill the void, but not with me, while I memorized your number.

Just as familiar with the beeps as I dial as the red marks left by the waistband squeezing your flesh. Such imposed beauty, the smooth interrupted, like utility poles cutting through a soft landscape, structure contrasting the curves.

“Hello?” I put the phone back in its cradle; there’s nothing I can say to change your mind.

Powerless, I embrace the safety of the dark, stumbling forward until my eyes adjust.”


On The Line

Front cover viewpoint



On The Line

Inside viewpoint



On The Line

Backside of pages