Table of Contents: Seth Apter at Shake Rag Alley, 2018
Seth Apter, mixed media artist and teacher from Manhattan, was at Shake Rag Alley this September for the second time. His subject on this visit was called Table of Contents.
Here is the course description: "A table of contents typically is an abbreviated listing of chapters in a book and provides an overview of what can be found on the pages within. In our workshop, we will be visually documenting our own personal stories and creating a one-of-a-kind Table of Contents that reflects the chapters of our lives. You will create a series of mixed media booklets that, when stacked together, express your story. The booklets can reflect different ages or stages in your life, people in your world, aspects of your self, experiences you have had, etc. Or you can simply make an unthemed, kick-ass artist book! Techniques we will explore together include painting in layers, surface design, book binding, creating patina on paper, free stitching, mark making, and more." (The course sample is the first image in this post).
I had the pleasure of picking up Seth at the Madison airport on Thursday morning. We both set up in Shake Rag's Lind Pavilion Thursday afternoon where we met some of the early arriving students for the workshop.
Friday morning found us...well, in the dark. There was a momentary power outage in Mineral Point probably caused by the wind storm that happened Thursday night.
My work space in the Lind Pavilion
We did manage to get started at 9:00 a.m. with the introductions and some preliminary painting. By 10:30 a.m. power and lights were restored and off we went.
The first thing we worked on was deli paper paintings for the practice and as additions to the pages we will soon be creating.
I started with basic colors in my paper pad to prepare the basic pages.
The production process flows from one page to another as color and techniques are added one after another, layer on layer.
The same process is used for the covers. Our book covers are discarded book covers which go through the same process as the pages to become beautifully different.
Once the basic layer of the pages is dry, it is time to embellish.
I only got three pages complete during the weekend but I have endless numbers of basic pages to further embellish at home.
Here is all that I got done over the three days:
On Sunday afternoon, we gathered for a group meeting and to review the work that we had done.
Photo by Seth Apter
I learned a lot in a short period this weekend and it all due to Seth Apter--a calm influence in a sea of art anxiety. Thanks to Seth and Shake Rag Alley, I had another great experience making art with my friends.