Drawn to the Light

Inspired by another workshop, this time taught by Sandy Webster in 2006, this book is bound with tapes and beads, decorated with more beads and contains translucent vellum section pages, handwritten pages, printed photos, maple seeds  and one of my rare drawings.


The book is about the view from my bedroom window in the back of the apartment I occupied for several years here in Pittsburgh. I called it “Drawn to the Light” because light from the window woke me in the morning and constantly called me to photograph as it changed.


Unfortunately I really didn’t understand how to bind a book. Most of the work on the book was done after the workshop was finished so I didn’t have the benefit of Sandy’s guidance. img_2845.jpgMy pages were single sheet so I created a small book block with fourteen folded signatures then glued each of the sheets to the inside of each side of the signature. I made tapes out of book cloth to affix the covers and sewed each of the signatures around the tapes. I did not use good thread and probably not very good glue. Here you can see the glued on maple seeds, many of which have fallen off, and how the book is coming apart. Someday I may rebind it.

img_2847.jpgMaple seeds are printed on this page, probably before I wrote the text. On the left is an accordion-fold pull out with many of the pictures I couldn’t fit into the regular pages. Paper for the signatures was created in the workshop using some kind of rust mixture. Sandy was very big on rust at that time.

This page is a drawing of the driveway. I’m not sure why I did it. I guess I just wanted to make a very personal statement.



40 Days of Moving: Day #1

It’s probably more like day 250, since I’ve been sorting, discarding and packing since last July. This feels like Day #1. Today my money is on the way to getting me the new apartment. Yesterday the closing company sent the settlement statement form with the accounting of taxes, fees, partial months, and all the money I owe. I arranged for the money to be wired to the closing company. Later in the day they sent a revised form showing I owed even more money. Fortunately, I didn’t do the transfer until this morning. This evening I received another revised statement. I guess they’ll have to take  cash. What a business. Also, yesterday I finally heard from the contractor I brought to the apartment last month to give me prices on things I would like to change.

That visit was like a circus. I came with my realtor and the contractor to find the seller, his wife and his realtor waiting for us.  Seller and wife live in a different apartment in the building. They were very pleasant and gave me all sorts of info about the apartment and the building. Unfortunately it made it very difficult for me to work with the contractor. I told him roughly what I wanted and left him to measure and figure. After we close on Friday I’ll go to the apartment and mull over the changes I asked for, and some I didn’t mention. In the hallway a false ceiling like a trellis hides two 72″ florescent tubes. The light is garish even to me who likes lots of light. I won’t mention the trellis. As soon as I walked in seller and wife told me they loved the trellis. I couldn’t bring myself to tell the contractor we were going to remove it. False ceiling goes, along with florescents, and wallpaper. I will hang pictures in the hall lit with track lighting.

Pictures to come.


I woke up about 3am Sunday to find unusual light coming in the windows. Looking out I saw the backyard filled with dark, velvety shadows and silverly light in the center–moonlight. There is so much artificial light in my life I seldom notice moonlight. I like to look at the moon, but moonlight is not usually part of my life. I thought about it all day Sunday and resolved to wake up at 3am again and try to get a photograph.

Waking up was the easy part. It’s very difficult to photograph what you can’t see. I shot four pictures, using different settings each time, and no ability to frame the pictures. They all looked black at first sight, but thanks to the magic of Photoshop, I was able to capture my backyard in moonlight.Moonlit