peppers and burgers oh my and artist books too

A Creative Life, art techniques, artist book, books, functional art, handmade books, Kim Cooks Sue Draws, kitchen art, visual thinking

Chef Kim Mahan came to my studio for a visit and made some decisions about recipes. We are cooking with real butter now! Meaning major progress towards having a real live published cookbook has occurred.

It is an artist book. Which means it’s an unconventional cookbook. It’s not bound in the traditional sense. It’s artwork – that you can cook with. Part of the reason for not-binding this book is that as separate pages one can be placed under a refrigerator magnet while in use.

Also the Chef will be able to mix and match sets of recipes according to themes (yes, we already plan to do more illustrated recipes!).

Here’s an example of mix-and-match:

There’s a kitchen-skill being taught (“how to roast a pepper”) and then there’s a recipe that applies that skill.  (The “Please-ya Burger” recipe also uses the kitchen-skill “How to peel and roast garlic” that I’d illustrated and shared on my last blog post here.)

Incase enquiring minds want to know – here’s my general definition of what an “artist book” is:

Artists’ books are works of art that utilize the form of the book – a set of sequential “pages” that unfold/display in a way that utilizes time like a printed book does. The reader sets the pace of the viewing/reading. Artist books are intended as works of fine art they just happen to be “book-like” as that format helps convey the artist’s concept. Artist books are often published in small editions and they are sometimes produced as one-of-a-kind art objects. Often they are produced for a specific audience or purpose. Artists’ books utilize a wide range of forms, including scrolls, fold-outs, concertinas or loose items contained in a box, portfolio or envelope. Artist books are often intended for art gallery, library or collectors display.

With that definition you can begin to see, I’m sure, the “artist book” aspects of this cookbook project with Chef Mahan.  The slight difference between the artist book definition above and this project is that this artist-book-cookbook will also be practical. You can use it to make dinner.

More about this project here and here.


photo artist book post

A Creative Life, artist book, books, handmade books

Via the 23 Sandy Gallery I saw this great post about photography and artist books – and when a collection of photographs in a book is a “photo book” and when it becomes an “artist book”.  I’m thinking this same concept Philip Zimmermann talks about in the post regarding a series of photographs also applies to when a series of illustrations becomes an “illustrated book” and when a set of illustrations become an “artist book”… Anyway, here is the post link:

And here is a rabbit sitting on a bunch of books …contemplating.

Soup Moon by Sue Clancy (this piece is currently at

Soup Moon by Sue Clancy (this piece is currently at

coffee delivered

A Creative Life, art exhibit, art gallery, artist book, handmade books, handmade papers, travel art and writing, travelog, travelogue, visual story, words and pictures

I took my artist book “Coffee Please” to the 23 Sandy Gallery today. Had an enlightening visit with the gallery owner Laura Russell talking about the role of the artist’s book in the world… Of course I’m aware of the role of the artist book in my personal life – but to talk about the artist book as it fits into a larger picture was inspiring!  I also got to see other book-artist’s artist book work. Wow!  All of this reminded me that I needed to define “artist book” as I see it here on this blog:  It is a work of fine art that has the form and feel of a traditional book.  It is fine art often in a sequential form that tells or demonstrates a narrative or concept. Sometimes an artist book can feel almost “sculptural”, showing ideas in dimensions over page-leaf spans of time.

Do you remember Pop-Up books from when you were a kid? Yeah, artist books are fun like that but are conceptually created for grown ups.

Here’s a link to pictures of my book “Coffee Please” which is about coffee and travel:

Information about the upcoming exhibit at the 23 Sandy Gallery is here:

And yes, Virginia, there will be an exhibit catalog available!