Here I am at the beach with a little book I'm calling The Elements of Summer, designed to remember this summer through the senses.
We collect favorite quotes.
We gather lovely photos. We make inspiration boards.
What becomes of the collective references swirling through our minds?
When we take in things through the senses they become a part of our thought process in ways unimagined. The visual concept grew from collected images I've curated (largely to tumblr) over months.
A few weeks ago my friend Lisa posted the Shakespeare quote on facebook. I instantly connected with it, remembering the "running brooks" of my childhood. At the time I was already formulating ideas for documenting summer and knew I wanted to include this.
Last summer my album was comprehensive and it was a lot of work. Parts of it are here.
This year I wanted to focus simply on the essence of the season in a thematic way. When it comes to the pure elements of summer, to my mind they are as straightforward as water, sun, and plants. For me, those are the fundamentals.
[L to R: page from Jamie at Home, Jamie Oliver, book cover for Joseph Grigley's St. Cecilia Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Julia Rothman wallpaper for Hygge & West, mixed media piece by Heather Smith Jones, via Eye Buzz Gallery.]
These works by some favorite artists use materials and form in such cheerful and compelling ways. There are so many bold yellows and watery teals on my radar lately. My goal was to combine bits of these techniques and colors irreverently -- not by purely copying any one in particular -- but the references, I think, are obvious. Especially in the cover art. I've been wanting to break out my watercolors for a while now.
The simple five-senses journaling cards were inspired by Abby's five senses Fridays. And I went with matt finish, textural photos as I enjoy the similar look and feel in Jamie Magazine. The rich cotton rag of the Arches produces a lush, elegant result.
[ a spread from my mini book in the 'water' category ]
So there you have it: my interpretation of a carefree summer book incorporating favorite mediums and concepts I've bookmarked and admired.
It's already filling up nicely with creek-side ice cream cones, sunsets over the bay, and chocolate peppermint from the garden.