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Tiny Books, Big Expressions November 18, 2015

Posted by Orly in Uncategorized.

1It’s been a few years since I made such a book from one sheet of watercolor paper. I learned how to do it from the incredible Tracy Moore at Teesha Moore’s “Play” retreat up in Port Townsend in Washington State. I made two of them. They are really tiny, about 2 x 2 1/2 inches. I was proud of myself and was super enthused holding them in my hands and imagining their interior potential. Starting there and continuing on my way home on the airplane with only Peerless Watercolor Papers, a Niji brush, and black and white gel pens, with my buddy Brian Kasstle, I filled one up with faces, and titled it My Mini Face Book. It holds a lot of humor, in some pages.MiniSo I then came up with the idea to teach a workshop, but needed my friend Elise Amour to join me in two 2-day workshops in Southern California where we both live. She would teach how to make these books using the coptic stitch and I would teach funky ways of filling up these pages… that happened in the last two weekends…we all, teachers and those attending had such a spirited time. Class mini booksSince then both times after class I continued and finished both books made in class. I enjoyed this process so much…seeing how a theme emerges. There is something so intimate, raw, and real that happens in such a tiny format. You can begin a book and finish it in a few intensely enlivening hours. And boom, you are moved by your own creation, that something out of nothing again. It’s a sensual, tactile little thing, a microcosm of one person, in all that she loves to create.

Here are the two books:

The first one resides mostly in a rusty, heavy, soil-like realm, and does not relate to words very well. And yes, Paul got in there cause he just appeared and was given as a gift to this book.Mini Book 1mini book 2Mini book 3And the other a Mini Face Book of mourning…dispirited faces. A tribute to “Paris” and other wide-spread losses….expressing the thought that change comes in small formats, sometimes too small to contain big sorrows. It was instigated by little paper-mache faces that were gifted to each one of us by Lydia Velarde, one of the kind souls who attended the workshop. The manner in which I created the faces were inspired by Marlene Dumas’ art which for me epitomizes the essence of visual journaling: puddles of water, minimal ink, less control, more raw expression.Paris10Paris3Paris2Paris9Paris7Paris8Paris4Paris5Paris1

I do it all for the purpose of mending…





1. jacki long - November 18, 2015

Really, really wonderful. I can almost feel it from here.♥♥♥

2. Tena Navarrete - November 18, 2015

Wow beautiful heart felt images. Love the bones with The books. Tena

Sent from my iPhone


3. apaperbear - November 18, 2015

Marvelous memories of our travels together! Wonderful little journals! The face in the second journal speak to me of mystery, haunting.

4. Patricia Smith - November 18, 2015

Oh my goodness… each image is a new found delight. Tiny books… oh yes! Thanks for sharing them with us.

5. Pat Anderesn - November 18, 2015

I love the little books. Tell me about the holes in the paper. Before or after the books were sewn? Torn? Really interesting.

Orly - November 18, 2015

After 😀 Yes torn…thank you pat.

6. Shelley - November 18, 2015

Love them! Wonderful way to keep your memories near.

7. Gina lighton - November 18, 2015

Oh I love your tiny books. The faces is so FULL!!! So thoughtful.

8. Deb Weiers - November 18, 2015

These are very beautiful Orly!!

9. CarolWiebe - November 18, 2015

I can’t even begin to say on how many levels this post inspired me. Thank you, thank you.

10. caterina giglio - November 18, 2015

your tiny books are stunning!

11. Joys - November 18, 2015

Beautiful, Orly. Do you have any online instruction for making these minis? ❤

12. Bunk - November 18, 2015

Wonderfully inspiring, Orly – thank you!

13. joarty1 - November 18, 2015

Such precious little treasures!

14. cathy - November 18, 2015

Ah love love love every image – absolutely inspired now!

15. Seth - November 19, 2015

Major love for these little books. So moved by the sad faces. And so amazed that you were able to create such deep emotion with so few lines.

16. Mariynne - November 20, 2015

Wonderful share, Orly. Will need to make one of these. You have a gift for showing so much raw emotion in a minimal way.

17. Anne Philipson - November 23, 2015

Such wonderful work – the books, the expressive, faces. Spare & yet so moving, so demanding of a response from the viewer.

18. Anne Philipson-Play - November 23, 2015

Wonderful, earthy, spare & packed with feeling. I love the books & the faces.

19. Dana - December 13, 2015

I love this idea! This may be just what I need to get into the groove at home.

20. Janine Heifetz - December 13, 2015

I have never played this game before, it must be very inspiring! I need inspiration!

21. Gail Cohen - December 13, 2015

What a wonderful concept. I am not as fortunate as so many I have met online, to have an in person tribe of creative women with whom to play and dream out loud but would appreciate these cards as my imaginary conversations with an art -Sista. I have finally “met you through Flora’s videos and am so grateful to finally know more about you and your process Orly.

22. Jan Kierzkowski - December 13, 2015

What a wonderful idea, Orly.I have not played this game, but have many creative friends that would love to experience a few rounds of this game for sure!

23. Jan Blencowe - December 13, 2015

Such a great idea! I’ve never played the game but I can see how it could get me unstuck, be used as a spring board, or just to get the creative juices going when things feel flat.

24. Bridget - September 22, 2016

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25. MaryAnn - January 24, 2017

A little handful. Yummy.
Doing a journal now that I’m going to burn holes in. You’ve shared and given me, and all of us, so many delicious ideas.
Cause you’re delicious!!! Thank you, Sweetest One.

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