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Elizabeth discusses her Art

is the title I have bestowed upon my ongoing series of altered, or repurposed, books. I find the literal board-paper-thread-glue-ink-word essence of the book offers a unique platform to cut into, build onto and/or burst out of in both two and three dimensional ways. The process is quite intimate, not unlike the reading of a book, where pages are touched, pierced and sewn; words scanned and considered. There is something deeply satisfying about physically carving into the depth of a book; about taking an existing work of art and giving it a new context; about bringing together found words and images from disparate sources to orchestrate a new creative relationship.The duality of the book as both a visual object and a conduit for ideas is a source of constant inspiration.

The altered books are divided into two galleries – Sculpture and Relief. The Sculpture books, whether hanging on a wall or freestanding, expand beyond the original form of the book in a three dimensional way. The Relief books are meant to primarily hang on the wall with the basic form of the original book intact - they are transformed in a two dimensional way via various forms of addition and reduction

Examples of Elizabeths work can be found in a number of private collections and in the Shakespeare Collection, University of Denver Library, Denver, CO and in the McCabe Library, Swarthmore College Library, Swarthmore, PA

I have become enamored of the classic old-style storefronts and their iconic signage that are so symbolic of the American Urban Landscape and which are found in such abundance here in the Bay Area, especially San Francisco. This ongoing drawing series, begun in 1996 when I first rented my studio, focuses primarily on the edifices of North Beach where my studio is located - the "little Italy" of San Francisco. This does not mean, however, that I don’t appreciate all of the idiosyncratic architecture bedecking the other neighborhoods that spread across these 48 hills like a blanket of our quintessential summer fog.


After making sketches from life, I create the drawings in my studio by working directly from these sketches as well as referring to photographs I take on site. I utilize a full range of fifteen separate grades of graphite pencils on acid free paper when creating the original drawings. They are extremely detailed and depending on the size of the image and complexity of the subject can take, on average, at least 20 to 40 hours to complete. Occasionally, I enhance the graphite with a layer of colored pencil.


Materials: Steadtler Lumograph & Faber-Castell 9000 graphite pencils, 90lb. Stonehenge 100% cotton paper, Prismacolor premier color pencils, working and protective fixative


As an affordable alternative to the purchase or commission of an original drawing, I have made available digital inkjet reproductions of the drawing series in both black & white and color. To create a colored version of the drawings, I have hand tinted a black & white print with colored pencils, and then rescanned the image.

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I refer to this series as Torn Paintings. I like the visual nuance created by the torn edge, the organic texture - especially of the handmade mulberry paper - and the layering of color achieved with sponge applied paint. I often incorporate painted book pages as well - the parts of words espied beneath the paint add another facet to the visual experience. The works can be considered both painting and collage. In breaking the art making process into these somewhat disparate parts and then bringing the pieces of this creative puzzle back together again, I am seeking a balance akin to that of the natural world – the energy that exists between intention and apparent randomness.

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These pieces involve the combining of primarily tape lift transfers of found images with art papers & other scrap materials. When these various parts are layered together, a new relationship is formed – not unlike characters being pulled out of their original stories to create a new and unique narrative of their own.

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I use a diverse range of materials to create an eclectic range of mixed media works – personal, family or found photographs; photographs printed directly onto book pages; words cut directly out of books or the printed-on book pages & assorted other found or manufactured materials. The physical platform can be paper, wood panels, altered books, book covers – the beauty of the mixed media umbrella is the absence of rules beyond trying to maintain a genuine intention - to achieve a work that is true to ones sense of creativity & play & intuition & innovation.

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are altered books of an intimate size that fit comfortably in your hand - they can (usually) stand upright on a shelf/table or hang on a nail. Each one carries a short message/verse/saying/thought composed from   words culled from that very book or from an assortment of books. I often feel as if I am fishing for words in a sea of books - sometimes they float to the surface and in a sense find me, sometimes they’re found by carefully combing through the pages, sometimes I make a word by cobbling together parts of other words.  I consider these book fragments to be thought momentos of these little creative journeys.

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