Thursday, May 6, 2010

True Colors


Although I cannot seem to remember the year that I bought True Colors (I am guessing it was in 2004), I do remember the tremendous impact it had on me. In an instant my artistic identity was somehow changed. This book seemed to unlock something inside me and offered in its pages, a world of possibilities that I was eager to explore.

I have often wondered why this book seems to have effected me like no other. 288 pages (!) of mixed media brilliance and creative expression. Tremendously beautiful photography and layouts. A publication date when this type of project was pioneering and completely unique. A quality of creative detail that I had not yet to experience in terms of handmade journals. And a sense through the text that this group of 15 artists shared a creative bond and respect that was quite special.

True Colors: A Palette of Collaborative Art Journals

I distinctly remember feeling that these artists were in a league of their own. Do I sound too much like a groupie if I were to admit that somehow their names alone brought a sense of awe to me when I first saw this book? Was I alone in that thought? Little did I know at that time that many of the participating artists would end up becoming friends of mine.

One memory of True Colors that stands out for me occurred quite a number of years ago in a workshop I took with Lynne Perrella, the organizer of the project. At a break in the session, she reached into a bag and took out her White journal. I swear if she had looked the other way for just one second, I would have grabbed the journal and run! As is usually the case, seeing it in person far exceeded the experience of seeing it in print. And as I looked through her creation, I realized that as full as True Colors was, there were so many more pages that had not yet been shared. And I have thought ever since that a second book with views of the additional pages is a must for publication!


Many people obviously share my love of True Colors. In the artist survey as part of The Pulse, more participants chose True Colors than any other single book. It was a favorite of Patti Sandham, Deborah Bohm, Leslie Rosenberg, Inge Bekaert, Paula Bogdan, and Maj Hoenborg.

Join me in celebrating this sensational publication. Beginning on Sunday May 9 and running everyday through Sunday May 16, The Book Guild on The Altered Page will be hosting a True Colors event. Nearly all of the original True Color artists will be sharing their personal thoughts about the project, the publication, and the experience of collaborating with the group. In organizing the stories they have shared, I can easily see why this project was so special and unique. This is one amazing group of artists. And if you have been impacted in any way by True Colors, you can just imagine how it impacted them! So mark your calendars, spread the word, and stop by beginning this Sunday to hear and share their stories.

31 comments:

vivian said...

oh yay!! is all i can say! tremendous seth, what a great thing to look forward to! :)

Marie-Aimée said...

beautiful idea !! I love this book

lyle said...

seth, you are full of great ideas! I'll be reading on sunday. the following sunday we'll be with lynne looking into Frida's Trunk. maybe she'll have a comment!

mary said...

Seth you are amazing...what a brilliant idea! TRUE COLORS is a timeless publication,it holds a place of honor in my home-it is dog eared and well worn and of course well loved! I am looking forward to this event! thank you thank you thank you!

Sherry said...

I can't wait! I too fell in love with this book. I started a round robin altered book group and while we weren't in this league, I made some very close art friends that I still see at least once a month.
GREAT IDEA!!!

Joanie Hoffman said...

Hi Seth, this event sounds very good.
I love this kind of behind-the-scenes stuff. Happy days, Joanie

ceevee said...

It's a benchmark book. The one I would grab in an emergency. A sequel would be a great idea.

patq said...

I agree with you about the impact True Colors had. This wonderful book changed my way of thinking about the art I do and took me in different directions. It was so lovely, beyond words. I too wish a sequel would be contemplated.
I will tune in on sunday also.
Patq
.

Ruth said...

Your post brought back a lovely memory of going to Artfest for the first time and meeting some of the artists in True Colors and seeing some of journals. I'd never seen anything like them. I think I'll go dig out True Colors tonight.

Lynn said...

Thanks for sharing this book. I enjoyed reading excerpts.

Lani Gerity said...

Holy cow, you are SO not alone in this and I am SO glad you could do this. Wow! I can't wait!

Leslie said...

What a great idea. I love True Colors as well, and I'm going to pull out my copy right now. I'll be coming back by on Sunday!

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

Thank you once again...all of these artists have supported a new circle of daring artists. I am looking forward to stopping by for a feast of colors and insights. I will ask you again...do you sleep? :O)
Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

dogfaeriex5 said...

in 2009, a group of women who met each other while taking a workshop at new hampshires sqaum art retreat taught by one of the original true color artists- nina bagley, were inspired to do their own true colors round robinjournals..i was the first to receive mine back after a year and a half and was blown away by the beauty, artistry and warm life lasting friendships i have made!! true colors is life changing........kim

Bill C. said...

Darn you! I have wanted that book for years, but have never purchased it. I figured what could be so great about some artists using color? That's what artists do. Mind you, I never leafed through the book since I didn't want to lead myself into temptation. Now, you're making want to run out and buy the book. Oh well. I'm use to being broke anyway. :o)

Brian Miller said...

very cool!

Gail P said...

My copy is dog-eared and well loved. The power of that book, that came out in 2003, helped me get through my move to the desert. I went months and months without creating during that time so when I think of "True Colors" it's with great fondness and appreciation. Seth, you rock!

Leslie said...

Thanks for talking about one of my favorites books! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of a sequel. Since you're friends with some of the artists, maybe you can ask them to consider it? Or... they can publish copies of each individual book by color and then we can have a book-of-the-month club where you get each one -- color by color -- in the mail! LOL

P.S. I enjoyed reading your article in Cloth Paper Scissors! I feel honored to have corresponded with you!

oneartistjournal said...

I'm looking forward to it...I actually never heard of this book so thank you for introducing it in such a compelling way. I am intruiged!
XOXOrly

Marilyn said...

I must agree about the impact of True Colors. I've met several of the authors and like you I was in awe of them. Turns out the're just the nicest everyday people in the world. I'm so glad they share their tremendous talents with us.

Jill Zaheer said...

Can't wait for your series on True Colors. I'm sure Amazon will be on back order for the book!! It's amazing that there can be a book which has had such an impact on so many lives- changing the style of art for so many, and perhaps their fulfillment and direction of their total style in art. What a wonderful opportunity you had to see Lynne's actual journal pages in person. Artwork in person can seem like a whole new work when you see the actual colors in "true color" light, textures, and can see the depth of work that you can't always see from photos in books. Can't wait till sunday!

La Dolce Vita said...

I regularly purge art books ... because ...well... they pile up, but ..that book always makes the cut! plus, I have friends in that book!! what a splendid idea and I cannot wait for your event! awesome! and thank you!!

Marianna said...

So glad I happened upon your blog. You do great work and I love all your pieces on Etsy!
marianna
vintagearabesque.blogspot.com

Pam Tucker said...

I am so excited that you are doing this! Can't wait for Sunday!

martha brown said...

This is such a perfect idea, Seth! I love True Colors -- it's kind of like my Bible -- I have it on my bedside table!

Kerin said...

This is an absolutely brilliant idea. TC is one of the books I look through often and it definitely had the same impact on me when I had my first glimpse of the pages.

I made a beeline to take one of Nina's book classes and it was so inspiring seeing them in person so I know exactly what you mean.

I don't know where you get all these wonderful ideas, Seth. And more amazing yet, you continually seem to outdo yourself. I'm so jazzed to be seeing unpublished pages!!! Did I mention this was a brilliant idea?!?!?! : )

Chris said...

The book True Colors (I consider it a book) holds a place of honor on my bookshelf. I remember when I first got involved in the art community, it was about 5 seconds before I heard from my group (mid-2006 or so) about True Colors. And when I found out that Lynne and Michelle Ward were involved I immediately ordered it, even though I really didn't understand what a collaboration meant. Even then it wasn't easy to find a new copy! But I got mine and absorbed it. The thing I remember most is how 'naive' I had been about colors. The color blue? SO many of those. The color black? There are millions of them! The color white? A bizillion whites!

and I quickly realized why this book was so revered. and how it set the standard for collaborations, especially among friends.

(Please tell me how to sneak into homes and see all the unpublished parts...)

alteredbits said...

wonderful and fantastic idea!! you are amazing, mister seth.

Stephanie said...

Great idea Seth...savoring the posts that follow and look forward to those still to come.

x..x

Lenna Young Andrews said...

Dear Seth, ThANk YoU so much for publishing these interviews. What a treat it is to read about the true Colors book I bought long ago and still love. I really appreciate all you do in bringing this to us.
lenna

the art of curiosity said...

Seth, I'm enjoying the series about 'True Colours' so much; what a brilliant idea of yours! It's out of print here in the UK, but I've managed to track down a first edition via a book dealer which I'm awaiting with immense anticipation. Lynne Perella is such a heroine of mine & yet I somehow missed this book!!

I owe an immense debt of gratitude to you & your fascinating blog. Thanks Seth :-)