Thursday, May 13, 2010

True Colors - Anne Bagby/Karen Michel

Anne Bagby
Violet & Orange

True colors: a memorable trip

The true colors swap was my first big swap and the beginning of my work in Collage. It seemed like a very charged experience to me. It was obvious that the other artists were quite skilled and working hard AND experienced collage artists. I didn’t want to embarrass myself. I found it very hard to complete my work in the time allowed. I would plan what I wanted to do in the next book, but when it arrived it wouldn’t fit. Some books I just loved while others were a struggle from start to finish.

I wasn’t very concerned with the work the other artists were doing in my book (because I was so wrapped up in my work and how it looked) so I was surprised with my emotional response when it arrived at my house at the end of the swap. I loved it and I have to admit, every time I sent it off, first to Somerset Studio and then to California, I worried about it. It is so delicate; I don’t think it could stand another trip.

One of the nicest things about this swap was slowly getting to know Michelle Ward. She was right before me on the list and mailed the books to me. I first got to know her from her work, which was great. Every book she sent me had a little piece of art for me, too. (One was a beautiful leaf/tag, which I treasure.) She was the one that finished off my three little books, added the scent of violets and sent them home. Our friendship is one of the best things about the swap. You can always count on Michelle for enthusiasm and for working on something new and fun. This Christmas we chased each other with cell phones in the middle of the mobs of people in New York as we tried to meet up and see the Bergdorf windows. My plane had been late but she insisted I run over and see them. She started out as just a name in the true colors swap, but when it was over she was a friend. Thanks for everything Michelle!

There were lots of names in the group that became friends. I always appreciated Lynne having faith enough in me to include me in the group. After it was over I felt like I had run a marathon. I sat out the Alphabetica swap and caught my breath.


Karen Michel
Violet & Green

The TC project was a real joy for me, it was exciting to receive all the new journals each month and get to know everyone in the project who became dear friends still to this day. I had the honor to have all the journals at our art center during a book art exhibition I put together which is still archived online here.

Locals still ask me about it! Seeing all the journals together was magical, I imagined them all having conversations with each other when the lights were out for the evening, telling their stories of travel.

It is also an honor to be able to reflect on the project and remember the experience we got to share with Linn Jacobs who has since passed away, who was such an amazing and wonderful woman, she lives on through her artwork and the TC book.

This book was an important landmark on my journey as an artist and has certainly contributed to the artist I am today. A big thanks goes to Lynne Perrella for doing putting it all together into book form.


sf said...

These were two of my favorites to have worked on --- the colors were both lively and pretty, and everyone's work in those colorways came out fabulous!

jill Zaheer said...

More great thoughts and reflections from Anne and Karen. Again, the pictures are super- I feel like I am actually seeing the process first hand. Just love Karen describing her thought that the books would speak with one another as the night strolls in as the lights are turned down. And what a beautiful tribute to Michelle Ward's support and friendship with Anne. Great stories to cherish and treasure. Wonderful to see the profound effect True Colors had and continues to have on the contributing artists and readers alike! Thanks Seth for this over the top series that gives life to the behind the scenes activities that were part of this amazing collaboration.

Lucky Dip Lisa said...

I'm just catching up on all these wonderful TC posts. What a real treat it is to read the personal accounts of the people invloved and to feast on all these photographs. There is something uniquely special about collaborations and this is a great example. Having it all recorded in a public book is a great tribute too it. Yes, you are lucky to have taken part in this journey...but the others were equally lucky too!

Jen Crossley said...

I too am catching up on these posts they are just all so wonderful.Seth Thank you for organising all this it is amazing and I thank you

Brian K said...

Oh so much wonderful art. It is so wonderful to hear from each artist and to see all the work that went into each book. The links are still there and active. Thank you Seth for organizing this and opening this up to us. Truely inspiring art. It is great to be surprised with artists I truely admire today that were participants. Thank you, thank you Seth. Stampington PLEASE continue this book in book 2!!!

lyle said...

seth, what a treasure you are. you have done a wonderful job on the "true Colors" project. I hope you have an opportunity to present the whole thing in print as I for one would love to have your work next to True Colors in my bookcase. lyle

Beanie Mouse said...

It seems I'm not the only one wanting a second edition!! Sooo.... who's up for doing a True Colours volume 2??! Email me if you're interested at lostfound_art (at) yahoo (dot) co (dot) uk

Healing Woman said...

Thanks for sharing the conversations of these two fabulous artists. I especially like Anne Bagby. Her work moves my soul!

layers said...

I see I have fallen behind and have to catch up- but I gather these are all artists who contributed to the book project True Colors-- I have scrolled down all the posts and all the works and writings are wonderful-

deb said...

I totally enjoyed hearing each unique perspective on what must have been a fabulous collaboration to be a part of (green with envy). Of course I drooled over the pictures, but what will stay with me forever is the books talking after the gallery lights turned off... now there has to be a work of art in that idea, dibs!

Anonymous said...

I love "hearing" the voices of my fellow TC artists!
Getting to know them personally has been perhaps the biggest Gift that this magical project dropped into my life.
I hope that others are inspired to dream up a totally DIFFERENT project and allow it to take flight. Originality was the hallmark of True Colors. Long may it wave!
Lisa Hoffman
Forest Floor & Aqua Exotica

michelle ward said...

As I said in a comment on a more recent post, I loved getting to know all the girls, but especially the two on either side of me in the mailing line-up. We tended to email frequently to keep up with schedules. My only regret in being the mail-er to Anne was that I didn't get to see any of her work until her books came through my studio at the very end. Having the project published meant I finally got to see more of Anne's work - I think she is prolific.

And Karen - I nearly forgot about the exhibit at your art center. How fun to come out for the opening night to see YOU, many of the TC journals, as well as your amazing space, your man, and all of your other work. xo

Darlene K Campbell said...

So much fun to read the personal stories about this project. I'm so impressed and touched by itall.