Austin, Texas.3

While being in Texas, I communicated with Olivia Primanis at the Ransom Center. After a lovely French lunch and a visit, Olivia generously shared contacts of other binders in the Austin area.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. A Live Oak in Dripping Springs, Texas

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. A Live Oak in Dripping Springs, Texas

Being appreciative of Olivia’s suggestions, arrangements were made to meet with these binders. To begin with, I met with Linda Anderson a book creator, who creates artists’ books, art out of books, bind books, and design books. She equally makes book illustrations using traditional printmaking techniques. We met at the Austin Book Arts Center.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Linda Anderson at the Austin Book Art Center.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Linda Anderson at the Austin Book Art Center.

Linda has studied and achieved her MFA in printmaking. Later, she worked as an adjunct art instructor, and in book conservation at a university. Then as a fine binder at BookLab and finally Linda thought art in the Austin public school system and lately at the Austin Book Art Center.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Artists’ book by Linda Anderson.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Artists’ book by Linda Anderson.

At this point, Linda is focusing her creative activities on all things BOOKS —including reading — because that is what she loves most. The familiar images in her work come from the traditional folk tales and fairy stories she grew up with and still reads.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Artists’ book by Linda Anderson.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Artists’ book by Linda Anderson.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Artists’ book by Linda Anderson.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Artists’ book by Linda Anderson.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Artists’ book by Linda Anderson.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Artists’ book by Linda Anderson.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Artists’ book by Linda Anderson.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Artists’ book by Linda Anderson.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Artists’ book by Linda Anderson.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Artists’ book by Linda Anderson.

Linda is presently working on a recent installation; a hundred chatting books are at the core of this series.

Imagine a hundred books, a gallery full, chatting to each other. There’s Thor, an open painted book with a raven on his shoulder speaking to Scheherazade, made from a binding of Arabian Nights. The Green Man sits for tea with a child’s poetry book, flowers in her hair. Iron John stands partially open looking on. At times, objects spill from their pages. Their covers are faces carved and painted, the pages sewn or folded within. They communicate their stories. There is Rapunzel with her long hair flowing to the floor coming from leather-covered wooden book boards. The cover in a tall tower shape, and the Barber of Seville in deep conversation with Wordsworth.

 © 2018 Linda Anderson. A hundred chatting books.

© 2018 Linda Anderson. A hundred chatting books.

In this current scenario, faces carved with a scroll saw, covers gessoed and painted, insides creatively enhanced or left to portray their story. Fine handmade art papers become new end sheets, and silk book cloth may resurrect their spines, giving them better “book action.” Audible whispers enhance the scene as gallery wanderers might mingle within the clusters of book friends. Discreet LED lighting could appear as a surprise center of focus within an open structure.


Ensuite, I connected with Lindsay Nakashima who works under the imprint Nakashima Books. Lindsay has a fully equipped bindery in East Austin.

Trained in paper making and bookbinding at the University of Iowa Center for the Book and the North Bennet Street school. Lindsay offers private instructions in coptic bookbinding, box making, and Japanese bookbinding.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Lindsay Nakashima’s bindery.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Lindsay Nakashima’s bindery.

I have been greatly influenced by my Japanese heritage in the “minguren” Lindsay Nakashima.

With deep roots in craft and art from her family, Lindsay also enjoys teaching the history of how books are made. Additionally, she instructs courses at the Austin Center for Books Arts.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. The equipment in Lindsay Nakashima’s bindery.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. The equipment in Lindsay Nakashima’s bindery.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Lindsay Nakashima’s bound book samples.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Lindsay Nakashima’s bound book samples.

We met at her studio during the East Austin Studio Tour, EAST is a free, annual, self-guided art event that spans two weekends in November.


Have you met any interesting artists, binders, papermaker lately?

Next week lets talk about the Ransom Center exhibition!

Austin, Texas

To begin with, I sincerely wanted to thank all of you who responded positively to my inquiry through the BookListServ on visiting studios while trekking in and around Texas.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Quercus Virginiana in a field in Dripping Springs, Texas

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Quercus Virginiana in a field in Dripping Springs, Texas

My first tour was to Cloverleaf Studio, a book arts business located in Austin. Jace Graf, owner and operator of Cloverleaf Studio, was approachable and generous with his time. I was given an extensive tour of the studio which was exciting and wonderfully equipped. Jace showed me some of the specific bindings and luxury boxes created by the studio.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Cloverleaf Studio hallway entrance.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Cloverleaf Studio hallway entrance.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Lots of box spacers on a shelf in the hallway. What patience!

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Lots of box spacers on a shelf in the hallway. What patience!

His work is held in many private collections, library special collections, and museums across the country. In the past 20 years, Jace has done business with hundreds of commercial and fine art photographers to create portfolios, limited-edition books, and deluxe versions of trade editions.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. One of the rooms of Cloverleaf Studio.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. One of the rooms of Cloverleaf Studio.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Cloverleaf Studio’s equipment.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Cloverleaf Studio’s equipment.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. The back room of Cloverleaf Studio. Now that’s a press!

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. The back room of Cloverleaf Studio. Now that’s a press!

Jace worked for five years at BookLab, which at that time was the premier edition bookbindery in the country. In 1996, Jace started Cloverleaf Studio where he specializes in hand bookbinding, box making, and book design.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Jace Graf’s office at Cloverleaf Studio.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Jace Graf’s office at Cloverleaf Studio.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Jace Graf’s office with the many samples of his work.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Jace Graf’s office with the many samples of his work.

This was a terrific visit, and I’m glad I had the chance to meet with Jace and see the exciting work that is crafted by Cloverleaf Studio. This helped inspire a new book I have in mind about the Quercus Virginiana. Maybe bound in Texas!

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Quercus Virginiana on ranchland in Lexington, Texas

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Quercus Virginiana on ranchland in Lexington, Texas


Tulsa, Oklahoma

My journey is partly creative; but mostly administrative these days by promoting, advertising, marketing... Being involved on both sides of my career is not always easy. At the moment, I have a need to make and publish an artists’ book. When living in a brick and stick house, I required six months to get inspired and create, and the next six months to share and sell my artists’ books.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Driving around Minneapolis, Minnesota, I found this Frank Loyd Wright architecture, The Wiley House

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Driving around Minneapolis, Minnesota, I found this Frank Loyd Wright architecture, The Wiley House

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Visiting this beautiful structure of the St Paul Cathedral in St Paul, Minnesota

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Visiting this beautiful structure of the St Paul Cathedral in St Paul, Minnesota

On the road, 365 days a year has created a lack of time to do all the necessary jobs to keep my career going. But traveling has also created opportunities to communicate with artists in various cities and librarians who collect for universities. 

At stopovers, I photograph what inspires other projects. At night, dreaming of a concept for a book is not unheard of. I research book structures online. My blog post is written between campgrounds... At this point, I have conceptualized four artists’ books, waiting to be published and shared. The road has brought me many ideas. I just need more time to enjoy the process of publishing.

Last June, while in Ohio, I completed three copies of my last book Shadow Me. Once I arrived mid-August in Ottawa/Gatineau, I had the possibility of publishing number two of a second edition of Finding Home. Finding Home is popular and this last copy was purchased by the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Alberta, Canada.

 © 2017 Louise Levergneux. Shadow Me

© 2017 Louise Levergneux. Shadow Me

 © 2016 Louise Levergneux. Finding Home

© 2016 Louise Levergneux. Finding Home

The Paul D Fleck Library at the Banff Centre has over 4,000 artists’ books and multiples. It is one of the largest collections of artists’ book/book art in Canada.

The Library has bought a few of my books in the past. The collection holds my very first artists’ book entitled My Memories of My Memories, the miniature version created in 1999. City Shields (the original seven volumes), Seattle Visité and 1234567 Violette were purchased in 2001. Reciprocal, Windows of the Soul, and Beside Me were acquired for the collection in 2007. This year Shadow Me was reunited with Beside Me in the collection of the Centre. These two books were made several years apart, but Shadow Me is still considered a sequel in my mind.

 © 1999 Louise Levergneux. My Mmories of My Memories

© 1999 Louise Levergneux. My Mmories of My Memories

 © 2000 Louise Levergneux. Siattle Visité

© 2000 Louise Levergneux. Siattle Visité

 © 1999-2017 Louise Levergneux. City Shields

© 1999-2017 Louise Levergneux. City Shields

 © 2000 Louise Levergneux. 1234567 Violette

© 2000 Louise Levergneux. 1234567 Violette

 © 2001 Louise Levergneux. Reciprocal

© 2001 Louise Levergneux. Reciprocal

 © 2003 Louise Levergneux. Windows of the Soul

© 2003 Louise Levergneux. Windows of the Soul

 © 2005 Louise Levergneux. Beside Me

© 2005 Louise Levergneux. Beside Me


At the beginning of October while passing through Oklahoma, I communicated with Marc Carlson, Librarian of Special Collections and University Archives of the McFarlin Library of the University of Tulsa. I was received in the Satin Rare Book Room—a treasured showpiece for The University. I presented my books to a private audience of two librarians and an artist.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. McFarlin Library of the University of Tulsa

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. McFarlin Library of the University of Tulsa

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. The Jack H. and Tybie Davis Satin Rare Book Room of the McFarlin Library were I presented my books (on the table in the foreground)

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. The Jack H. and Tybie Davis Satin Rare Book Room of the McFarlin Library were I presented my books (on the table in the foreground)

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. A Reading Room at McFarlin Library

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. A Reading Room at McFarlin Library

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Rodger Jacobsen’s  The Reader  (2010) is the latest work of art to make its home in the Frances O’Hornett Grand Foyer of the McFarlin Library. (This one is for you Jim!)

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Rodger Jacobsen’s The Reader (2010) is the latest work of art to make its home in the Frances O’Hornett Grand Foyer of the McFarlin Library. (This one is for you Jim!)

Marc, with his co-workers, chose a few books for the collection. I’m happy, that my book 26NOV2006 created after being subjected to an interrogation by US border crossing guards; Faux-Pas a documentation prompted by a curiosity about the psychological effects a flag has on a nation’s landscape; a flip book on the sun rising over the Wasatch Mountains entitled 6:45; obsession, where I portray the obsession of Topaz’s daily routine; and Traverse a narrative on an annual journey across the country to my home town of Gatineau, Québec, are presently part of the wonderful collection at McFarlin Library of the University of Tulsa.

 © 2008 Louise Levergneux. 26NOV2006

© 2008 Louise Levergneux. 26NOV2006

 © 2012 Louise Levergneux. Faux-pas

© 2012 Louise Levergneux. Faux-pas

 © 2012 Louise Levergneux. 6:45

© 2012 Louise Levergneux. 6:45

 © 2012 Louise Levergneux. obsession

© 2012 Louise Levergneux. obsession

 © 2015 Louise Levergneux. Traverse

© 2015 Louise Levergneux. Traverse

Considerably appreciative of my sales, I leave Tulsa knowing that my books are well housed at the McFarlin Library.

What do you call a successful art day?

Ottawa, Ontario

While being in my home town of Ottawa, Ontario /Gatineau, Québec, there were many people and artist friends to visit. This year I had the opportunity to have a fantastic dinner with artist Adrian Göllner and his wife Joanna Swim, an artist and career Art Educator. We recounted many stories of our previous years and what we have been up to.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux. Birds were of interest for me this summer. A Woodpecker visiting at my brother Denis’ cottage in Notre-Dame-du-Laus, Québec.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Birds were of interest for me this summer. A Woodpecker visiting at my brother Denis’ cottage in Notre-Dame-du-Laus, Québec.

Adrian has exhibited extensively since 1987 and has received a number of public art commissions. His studio practice concerns the transposition of sound, time and motion into other forms. In 2017, Adrian set himself against famed ornithologist’s John James Audubon’s declaration that he observed 10,000 birds a day for his new project All the Birds I Saw Last Year being exhibited at Central Art Garage through November 02, 2018.

 © 2018 Julia Martin. Central Art Garage, Ottawa, Ontario

© 2018 Julia Martin. Central Art Garage, Ottawa, Ontario

Göllner’s daily avian observations are exhibited as large illustrated lists from which the viewer can distinguish the increasing dominance of invasive bird species.

 © 2018 Julia Martin. Exhibition of  All the Birds I saw Last Year  by Adrian Göllner

© 2018 Julia Martin. Exhibition of All the Birds I saw Last Year by Adrian Göllner

All the Birds I Saw Last Year as described by Adrian.

I have become distracted by birds. Early in 2017 I began to take note of the local flocks of starlings, sparrows and crows. Depending on the weather and time of year, their location and activity varied considerably. It occurred to me that if I were to make a record of every bird I saw for a year, some larger patterns might emerge that speak to our relationship with nature. Indeed, conceiving of the local bird population as a collective canary-in-the-coalmine, I thought I might begin to detect how human activity is adversely affecting our shared environment.

As I began my bird count on September 18, 2017, I was conscious of famed ornithologist John James Audubon’s (1785-1851) declaration that he saw 10,000 birds a day. How long might it take me to reach that number in an urban environment some 200 years later? Properly, each bird image denotes one sighting, so can represent either a single bird or a flock. Still, I estimate it took 240 days to meet Audubon’s one-day total.

 © 2018 Julia Martin. Exhibition of  All the Birds I saw Last Year  by Adrian Göllner

© 2018 Julia Martin. Exhibition of All the Birds I saw Last Year by Adrian Göllner

Admittedly, my pursuit is pseudo-scientific. While the regimented manner in which the results are presented suggests a scientific eye, what birds I see from day to day is largely random. Perhaps the project is best expressed as the meandering of one being intersecting with the meanderings of many others. Be that as it may, over the course of several months, the fluxes in the local bird populations are apparent and patterns can be discerned. One observation that is particularly telling is that 38% of our local bird population are invasive birds, species that humans naively introduced and which now thrive in the urban environment, displacing endemic birds.

 © 2018 Julia Martin. Detail of  All the Birds I saw Last Year  by Adrian Göllner

© 2018 Julia Martin. Detail of All the Birds I saw Last Year by Adrian Göllner

 © 2018 Julia Martin. Full print of  All the Birds I saw Last Year  by Adrian Göllner

© 2018 Julia Martin. Full print of All the Birds I saw Last Year by Adrian Göllner

 © 2018 Julia Martin. 5 x 5 inches/12.7 x 12.7 cm detail of  All the Birds I saw Last Year  by Adrian Göllner

© 2018 Julia Martin. 5 x 5 inches/12.7 x 12.7 cm detail of All the Birds I saw Last Year by Adrian Göllner

During the course of the year, I realized the project pitted my Neolithic brain against my modern sensibilities. While I am now able to rapidly identify birds by their colour, call, behaviour and flight pattern – something our ancestors would have relied on to find food or be warned of approaching predators – I am compelled to categorize and order those birds in the same all-too-modern manner that has, ultimately, led to the exploitation of the natural world. That all my bird sightings are recorded on my mobile phone, something that keeps us disengaged from our physical surroundings, belies a whole other set of ironies.

My desire is for the project to be read as a gesture of hyper-attunement at a time in which we are all increasingly aware of the rapid pace of environmental change. I am at once buoyed by the intelligence, ingenuity and incredible beauty of our avian neighbours and distressed by how we humans impinge on their lives on a daily basis.


As soon as Adrian described All the Birds I Saw Last Year, I was hooked by the idea of how a collection can be amassed and the way it’s transformed from concept to practical reality. Have any of you worked on developing collections?