213/365 Chiaroscuro


213/365 Click on photo if you want to know what an art exchange is.

Years ago I enjoyed life as a couch-artist, which means I played around with art but didn’t do much more than keep it to myself. Granted, I participated in online art exchanges, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and some of my work has been in magazines, but I didn’t strive for galleries or selling it or anything like that. It was a personal project.

Making art books thrilled me. I did some exchanges with wonderful people and created an art book for inclusion at a juried exhibit at the Indianapolis Art Center where I won an award for Surface Design/Mixed Media. They loved my book and spoke excitedly of it during the pre-show tour, which flattered me (they didn’t know I was in the tour). Until my book, the Indianapolis Art Center had never had this kind of entry into their shows and it thrilled them.

I took the above photo on a late afternoon as the sun streamed through a window and lit the art books. The chiaroscuro caught me. The way the light played against the dark, along with the (intentional) battered-looking art books, created a stunning still life.

I don’t consider myself an artist. However, I’m getting the urge to return to making art. Especially art books.


About Dezra Despain

Life is full of stories waiting to be revealed.

Posted on June 2, 2012, in 365 Days Journey Through the Past and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Very nicely done Dezra.

  2. Congrats on the award. Don’t ignore that urge. Go for it. Would love to see more of your art! and art books!

    • Art has always been very intimate and personal for me so I have difficulty sending it out into the world, except in art exchanges where the exchanges tend to be very a intimate group of people. It’s not for the public, just a group of like-minded people. Every time I have tried to create art for public consumption, I dry up, so I’ve kept it personal. I will see what I can do about photographing the insides of this book and some of my other books. And I’m gathering supplies for my next project. 🙂

  3. I’ll second Sheila and say to go for it. If I can make up a proverb, “Art is as art does,” then the doing matters.

    Steve Schwartzman

    • That’s exactly how I feel about it, but I get confused by the “world” expecting me to market my art. When I buy into marketing it, that’s when I dry up. I’m becoming more committed to doing it just for the sake of doing it, which is a concept I struggle with in many things. Thank you for your comment. I appreciate it.

  4. I love this! It’s art on many different levels. At first glance, it looks like a detail from a restored Dutch Masters painting (or quite possibly the entire painting). Next, the textures and structures of the covers on both books beg for an opportunity for closer study and appreciation. The magenta material on stage right offsets the blushing rose color of the bookmarks (?) and lends an almost religious–but certainly a magical and fantasy-like– quality to the whole. I am strongly reminded of The Dark Crystal, The Never-Ending Story, and The Labyrinth. I would dearly love to be granted access to these obviously-enchanted tomes and see what’s inside! Will you tell us?

  5. You put your finger on what draws me to this photo…it reminds me of a Dutch master painting. I couldn’t quite put it into words. Thank you! Only one of the books has been turned into an art book, the other is waiting for me to return to it. As I told Sheila, I will see what I can do to photograph some of the pages. Thanks, Gary!

  6. Mark Despain

    get famous so my painting i have of yours will be priceless.

  7. Mark Despain

    Oh. wait. It already is priceless,.. never mind.

  1. Pingback: 365 Photo Project | Day 41 « Fashion-esque

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