Published Artwork

I will be writing blog posts in the coming months to make up for the year that I failed to document due to teaching a packed college class schedule in the fall, and sickness in the spring. It was a challenge to do anything more than what was required of me! I look forward to sharing with the world what my students were capable of accomplishing this past school year.

During Fall 2014, I was contacted by a publisher in China called DesignerBooks about the possibility of being included in a paper arts book. After much emailing back and forth, it became a reality. On July 23, 2015 I received an email that my work was officially included and was sent a copy of the published book a couple months later.

My chosen paper art from undergraduate and graduate school was featured in four full spreads with detailed descriptions of my idea and creation process.

It is a beautifully designed book, and I am proud to be included with many of my paper art heroes throughout the world.

Title: Paradise of Paper Art 2: The World of Dance Paper
Dimensions: 1.4 x 8.3 x 11.2 inches
Pages: 400
Color: four-color printing
Paper: Matte paper
Binding: Paperback
Language: English
ISBN-13: 9789881378217
Shipping Weight: 2.3kg (5.1 pounds)

At the moment, it’s available on the Australian book website Booktopia and other Chinese vendors, including DesignerBooks.

DSC_5792

The book

DSC_5795

Book jacket with laser-cut holes & the front cover

DSC_5797

Table of Contents & Biographies (see my ice cream cones on right page)

DSC_5798

Cloud Gazing spread 1

DSC_5801

Cloud Gazing spread 2

DSC_5802

Summer’s Day Treat & Jacks

DSC_5805

Eldritch Forest typeface promotional mailer undergrad project

All of these projects are featured on my portfolio website, brittanyspencer.com.

It’s amazing how the Internet makes our world so much smaller and offers connections we would not make otherwise. I’m grateful that a DesignerBooks representative found my website and offered me this opportunity!

Featured by Elsa Mora

I need to get in the hang of promoting my work, so I emailed my paper images to some of my paper artist heroes– Helen Hiebert, Denise Fleming, Elsa Mora, and Rob Ryan‘s personal assistant. They all responded and were so kind! I feel a little star-struck right now.  You should click on their names and see the fantastic things they do.

On June 23rd, Elsa was kind enough to feature my Cloud Gazing installation on her paper blog All About Papercutting and Facebook!  She even shared that it was for sale. (No offers received yet!) Seeing that 132 strangers “liked” the post, and 13 “shared” the link on Facebook just blew this young artist’s mind. Many thanks to Elsa for promoting my work!

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 1.46.29 AM

 

My MFA Thesis Show

I am proud to present my MFA Thesis Show body of work entitled Play.  You may click on the images to view them at a larger size.

Artist statement:

We too have been there; we can still hear the sound of the surf, though we shall land no more.Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie, speaking of the Neverland

My work is inspired by the joyful feelings that come from an awe-filled outlook on the world that a child understands and naturally possesses. There is a beauty within such memories, and those experiences are still there to rediscover and savor today. Remember to never forget the rush of flying toward the sky with the help of a swing-set, hiding from monsters underneath bed-sheet forts, that pets are the greatest secretkeepers, and that lightning bugs are fairies in disguise. Today’s culture focuses so much on what a child should learn from adults. My art focuses on the opposite: What can adults relearn from children to better enjoy our daily lives? What magical and fun occurrences are overlooked in this busy, straight-forward world?

To construct my illustrative pieces, hand-recylced paper is transformed into twodimensional and three-dimensional creations. My work translated through this medium feels profoundly appropriate, as many children first express themselves through art by manipulating a sheet of paper. And like this sheet of paper, childhood is fragile and full of possibilities. The art of papermaking is a messy, tactile process, and calls to mind memories of mud pies and sand castles. To achieve a variety of forms, contemporary methods are utilized such as laser cutting and etching. My intent is for the audience to experience a sense of wonder upon viewing my work, and realize life can once again be a grand adventure.

—————————————————————–

On the front wall of the gallery, awesome cyanotype portraits by Jaime Johnson were hung of the MFA candidates in the show.

3M7A0526

3M7A0517

Business cards and artist statements:

DSC_0952

“Cloud Gazing” installation made with hand-recycled paper.  This was inspired by my memories of looking at the white, puffy clouds in the sky as a child and imagining shapes and figures.  I had a lot of help making these casted paper forms, as documented in my earlier blog posts.

3M7A0681 3M7A0570 3M7A0573 3M7A0571 3M7A0577 3M7A0670 DSC_4426 DSC_4425 3M7A0581

Laser cut original typography on hand-recycled paper:

3M7A0544 DSC_4432 DSC_4434 DSC_4438 3M7A0682

Laser cut hand-recycled paper leaves:

3M7A0684 3M7A0608 3M7A0614 3M7A0616 3M7A0566 3M7A0638 3M7A0644 3M7A0657 3M7A0665 DSC_4456

Artist talk:

10335475_10201997981652830_1295737010_o 10340501_10201997981212819_662255287_o

Family:

DSC_0957 DSC_0944

My gallery area:

3M7A0686

Many thanks to Matthew Ramsaur and Jaime Johnson for the awesome photos!  I will have my portfolio website brittanyspencer.com updated with new imagery soon.  I am now looking forward to graduation at Louisiana Tech University in a couple weeks!  Three years of study, research, and art-making has paid off.  Please click to check out my friends’ work who were also in the show:

Jaime Johnson, photography

Peter Hay, painting and printmaking

Casey Parkinson, ceramics

Matthew Knopps, sculpture

MC Davis, painting

Jake Dugard, screen-printing

 

 

Cloud Gazing Installation Progress Photos

I received so much help casting paper balls.  It seemed like a never-ending endeavor!

IMG_1988b

All this hard work was to build my cloud installation entitled Cloud Gazing.  As a child I remember staring at the white, puffy clouds in the sky and making out shapes and figures using my imagination.  This memory was the inspiration for this installation.

Posted below are progress photos that were taken along the way.  So much junk white paper was used to create all the components.  I even took the time to tear off any ink that was on these sheets of paper to avoid any discoloration of the clouds.  Gorilla glue and hot glue held the pieces together.  Various buckets and containers were used as moulds for some forms.  Styrofoam, cardboard, packing tape, and aluminum tubing were also used for certain figures.  Pulp was pressed over glue seams to conceal them.

CASTLE

I spent the most time on the castle cloud.  I envisioned it to be a very large cloud to hang from the ceiling.

IMG_1853b IMG_1981b IMG_1982bAt this point, the cloud was too big to proceed working on it in my studio.  I took it to the campus workshop, flipped it over, and suspended it on wooden sticks to continue adding half-spheres to the bottom. But to my dismay, it was an extremely humid, rainy weekend.  The wet areas of the castle cloud continued to spread to dry areas.  Some friends and I tried to pick it up carefully and move it into another room, but then….IMG_1998b….it fell APART!  I was completely heartbroken.  So much time, effort, and materials went down the drain.  Fortunately, the top half of the castle was salvageable.

IMG_2003bThe next day, I got back to work to recreate a new castle cloud.   This new version was so much sturdier based on my previous experience.  Due to my time constraints in finishing this cloud, the photo below is the only in-progress photo I have of my new-and-improved castle cloud.  It ended up not being as large, but I found it more aesthetically pleasing.

10010083_10152383224340170_7406300564551617780_o

OCTOPUS

I wanted this component to be really whimsical.  It ended up as a floor piece.  A lot of styrofoam was used for the head and tentacles.

IMG_1889b IMG_1910b IMG_1978b IMG_1980b IMG_2004b

MERMAID TAIL

My first VHS tape when I was a toddler was The Little Mermaid.  I was OBSESSED.  I watched it way too much on a daily basis.  The little girl in me had to have a mermaid tail component.  A lot of styrofoam was used for it, as well.  It also became a floor piece.

IMG_1897b IMG_1900b IMG_1907b IMG_1919b IMG_1983b

I used the side of a ruler to press fish scale lines into the body of the tail.IMG_1984b

AIRPLANE

For the guys, I decided to make an airplane cloud.  I found a styrofoam airplane flyer in the toy aisle, and it was the perfect size.

IMG_1707b

LION HEAD

I wanted a scary component to mix things up.  I intended it to be a lion, but I’ve also heard it called a bear and a monster, which is totally cool!  That’s how cloud gazing works, right?  To start it off, I had to create a pretty complex mould for the face.  An Iron Man mask was a fantastic base.  Then I used styrofoam and duct tape to make it more lion-like.  I envisioned for the head to turn into the edge of a cloud.

IMG_1740b IMG_1742b

Wet pulp.IMG_1743b IMG_1744b IMG_1985b

Roar!IMG_2007b

CLOUD CLUSTERS

The half-sphere paper casts were hot glued together, and Great Stuff insulation spray was used to fill in the gaps. Pulp was eventually applied to cover up the foam.  These were to hang directly on the wall.

IMG_2005b IMG_2006b

My next post will be photos of the final installation and the rest of my work in the MFA thesis show!

Pulp Party 3

Earlier in the year I had the opportunity to meet Brooke Foy, an Instructor of Art at University of Louisiana at Monroe, which is 30 minutes away from Louisiana Tech University.  We were asked to help judge a middle and high school art exhibition (which was harder than we thought!).  She heard my plea for help making multiples of paper casts, so she brought a car full of her students along one night to learn and help.  Some of them had even tried making paper on their own in the past, but it didn’t quite work out.  They were super focused and were very quick with the process.  It was nice to hear that they knew papermaking would benefit them in future projects and were thankful to spend a night in my studio.  Passing this process onto others is so fulfilling!

10247308_10152322862955170_119773675231580361_n 10253868_10152322863010170_457222264090325637_n

10173710_10152322862650170_4742913632003634644_n

1538890_10152322862905170_8876441897820194228_n 1975269_10152322862700170_8376363643450247737_n 10152435_10152322862855170_2109432582949089779_n  10251888_10152322862810170_3299311206049481563_n

10155920_10152322862755170_4867605418909076468_nVery beautiful pieces of work!

 

 

Pulp Party 2

Another group of undergrads volunteered to help me paper cast a lot of bouncy balls for my installation, and I taught them how to hand-recycle sheets in return!  We had a great time.  One girl that came was not even an art student– she was majoring in theater and biology!  She was interested in the process to consider making her wedding invitations by hand.  They were super helpful and produced beautiful paper art.

971200_10152320283790170_750878494_n 1509955_10152320284185170_1148264207_n 1525571_10152320284060170_1005486166_n 1601534_10152320283925170_2000745425_n

10014657_10152320283845170_1240109270_n 1625678_10152320284335170_1445971639_n 1797366_10152320284260170_1094085830_n 10001581_10152320283735170_1655300235_n  10150671_10152320283680170_1721082135_n(1) 10154317_10152320283975170_1089905443_n 10154446_10152320284125170_1645788487_n

Pulp Party

My biggest project that I will unveil at my MFA Thesis Art Show on April 24th has a bit left of getting done.  I tend to get big ideas, and later realize they are bigger than I initially thought!  For this particular installation, I needed some extra help to move along the process of paper casting.  It’s amazing what five extra pairs of hands can do!  Rosalynne, John, Catlin, Darby, and Lindsey are a few of my former design students that volunteered to spend Saturday with me to help paper cast a lot of bouncy balls, and in return I taught them how to pull sheets of paper.

IMG_1710

Blending white paper scraps with Abaca (banana fiber) to add strength to the paper.

IMG_1711

Draining a lot of the water through a colander so it won’t be completely soppy.

IMG_1712Patting the drained pulp onto the form like clay, and soaking up the excess water with a towel.

1888493_10152293856675170_1169826714_n

Working away to paper cast ball pit balls.

1488783_10152293856830170_1585793230_n 1536709_10152293856780170_493298681_n 1558527_10152293856920170_877656272_n

1899904_10152293856965170_1217040657_n 1947534_10152293857020170_739985041_n

558988_10152293856595170_1862830671_n 603586_10152293856870170_979249009_n7002_10152293856460170_2003802350_nOnce these paper casts dried, I applied a second layer of pulp to thicken the casts. Then after they dried once again, I popped the casts off the bouncy balls.

1780068_10152296914970170_362738828_oThe beautiful hand-recycled paper they made!  They colored them with pigments and tissue paper, and experimented with blending screen-printed scraps, food seasoning, and grass into their pulp.

Transportation Set

I have many ideas for art pieces that are gender neutral, and some that will apply more specifically to girls’ childhood.  I felt I needed something that guys could relate to.  My younger brothers had SO MANY toy cars, trucks, helicopters, etc., and I imagine other boys did, too.  I used three transportation pieces for a gift and felt they turned out so well, I could make my own for my thesis work.  I found a race car and airplane to add to my set.

I drew off with pencil how I wanted to apply the pulp.

IMG_1322

Here they are dried!  I used a bit more pigment than usual to see if that helped the color from dulling as it dried.  It was a bit messier to do since the pulp didn’t want to soak up all the pigment, but it did make a big difference!

IMG_1339

UPDATE:  After I got back from Christmas break, I went back with acrylic paint in the areas that I couldn’t apply paper pulp.  I also added in some tiny details.

IMG_1483bIMG_1484bIMG_1477bIMG_1479b IMG_1481b

Bailee has it rough being my studio helper 🙂

IMG_1320

I hope everyone has a restful, fun and turkey-filled Thanksgiving!

UPDATE:  Exciting new additions to this piece to turn it into a wall hanging will come later this school year!  Stay tuned…

3D Jacks

My second 3D paper-casting ambition…..jacks!  I made this set larger than they actually are, for aesthetic and capability purposes.

Since styrofoam worked so well for my ice cream cones before, I used it again for this project.  I also bought some tiny wooden sticks, thread, and Gorilla glue.

IMG_1227

I chiseled the bare wooden ends with an x-acto knife.

IMG_1231

I used Spray Mount Adhesive on the structure to help the pulp stick.  I drained a good bit of water out of the pulp, pressed it onto the structure, and used paper towels to press out even more moisture to help the fibers set.  Here is my small set when wet:

IMG_1235

It’s crazy the difference of pulp color between wet and dry!

IMG_1286

And here is the full set!  The photo’s color doesn’t look quite right, but you get the idea.  I’ll have a better photo for my portfolio website soon.

IMG_1307 IMG_1309

Not only are they larger than actual jacks, but so lightweight!  It’s a strange sensation to pick them up!

Paper Gifts

I’ve made a series of gifts lately in celebration of children’s birthdays and a college friend’s wedding.  I thought I’d share them with you.  It’s been nice to make paper art outside of my thesis work, because it allows me to think about ways to make my art differently and discover some new techniques that I may not have thought of doing before.  I played with gluing paper collage, paper collage and object embedment, a little pulp painting, and pulp casting onto other objects.

The following gifts are for the kids I babysat last summer.

For Presli, 4 years old:

IMG_1014 IMG_1015 IMG_1019IMG_1301IMG_1226For Paxtin, 1 year old:

IMG_1294

IMG_1244IMG_1288

Left wall piece is for Presli.  Right wall piece is for Paxtin.

IMG_1291

And this piece is a wedding gift for my friends Kaiti & Michael.  They were married this past weekend and used leaves for decoration, so I thought this would be appropriate for them.  Yes, these are real leaves I hand-picked off trees 🙂  I used an x-acto knife to cut L-O-V-E out of the leaves.

IMG_1271 IMG_1272 IMG_1303 IMG_1304It looks like most of the color is going to stay!  Yay!

I haven’t given any of them their gifts yet, so don’t tell them!  It’s a surprise 🙂

Previous Older Entries