Art Walk - October

October 1, 2021  |  5PM - 7PM  |  Bainbridge Public Library  |  Free.

Illustrated Pacific Northwest A-Z

with Susan Wiersema

Please join us on October 1st at 5 PM for the October First Friday Art Walk reception featuring works by Susan Eiersema.  The title of the exhibit is "Illustrated Pacific Northwest A-Z", original art work on dictionary pages.

The reception will be in the main meeting room of the Bainbridge Public Library and the exhibit will be on display during the entire month.

Susan says, "A few years back, I was given a dictionary and was asked to do something creative. This dictionary was well-loved and had seen many years of use, printed in 1946. I flipped through the pages and thoroughly enjoyed looking at the definitions, illustrations, and image reference pages. It sat in my possession for a few years. While wasting time one day on Pinterest, I came across artwork that had images printed onto dictionary
pages. Hmm, Interesting. I went to my art closet, pulled out that old dictionary, took one of the pages, and started to draw on it. These drawings were the start of a whole new project.

All of the dictionaries for this project had been damaged or discarded. I deeply revere and love books of all kinds. Just come to my home and see. Today, many old dictionaries are available for not much money in used bookstores and thrift stores. With the ability to go to your favorite electronic device and type in a word to find out what it
means, fewer people are going to the family’s unabridged Webster’s or Oxford dictionary. With my artwork, I am, in a way, recycling dictionaries that would have been, well, recycled."

Susan Wiersema
Why create artwork on dictionary pages, you may ask? Well, the same love I have for mathematical formulas I have for the written word. Different languages and different font styles are all just lines and shapes making patterns. I can look at a word and not understand its meaning, but it doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy its beauty. Dictionary pages are full of letters, numbers, symbols, and images that create a beautiful pattern to work on, much like decorative papers. The paper quality of most dictionaries is solid and durable. As a test, I started working on the page, and I found I could easily erase my colored pencils marks without damaging the paper. Colored pencil marks can be difficult to almost impossible to erase.

I’m a mixed media artist, and you may ask, what does that mean? I use various media or supplies, such as colored pencils, watercolors, inks, graphite pencils, gouache, acrylic paints, and even collage to create a piece of artwork. But I have to say most of my artwork is done with colored pencils. I work only in water media and dry mediums, so I don’t use oil paints or oil inks. I discovered that the colored pencils on dictionary pages had a lovely texture and transparency, allowing the words to show through the lighter colored areas.