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Here in the Mountains
Case bound fold-out nested accordion binding. Full leather case, black goat, with multi-colored tooled leather onlay images of flames and paper label with title on front cover. Full leather inner cover, blue calf with multi-colored tooled leather onlay images of flames.
Outer accordion made using sheets of blue paper (handmade by Peter Thomas) painted with acrylics and stitched together with thread before folding. Inner accordion made using sheets of dark grey-blue speckled paper (handmade by Peter Thomas) stitched together with thread before folding. 7 sheets of light grey-blue handmade paper with text, along with 10 painted paper cut flames illustrations, and 5 watercolors (painted plein air in the Sierra Nevada by Donna while backpacking) stitched with thread to inner accordion.
Clamshell box, blue and black cloth cover with title on paper label on front cover. Lined with black speckled handmade paper.
Artists' statement and notes:
I used this poem by David Whyte to illustrate paintings I made while backpacking in the Sierra Nevada. Several of those trips had been cut short by wildfires, either the actual threat of fire, or the smoke that made it too hard to breath while exerting the energy required to hike back country trails. Whyte’s poem speaks of a ‘small fire burning forever.” Whyte likens this burning to a campfire, as a constant in one’s life, a symbol of the vibrancy of life. I understood this poem to be about memories living inside me and burning, sometimes with a small glow and other times with an encompassing flame. The book is about how I see this true in my life: When I spend the summer backpacking in the Sierra, I feel the flame of my life burn brightly, I feel the most alive, and I hold that glow inside, at home through the winter, the memory of the summer like the warming embers of a small campfire late in the evening. To explain all my feelings through this book I decided to paint and stitch flames to each of the pages, and to make it using the nested accordion structure that I had invented in the 1990s, as that structure would add flickering movement to the flames as the reader travels through the book.
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