Saturday, March 12, 2011

Happy Zine Day -- Judy Merrill-Smith

For my final review of the ten zines I received in a zine swap, I present Judy Merrill-Smith's zine called Something Extra Number 3: The Invitation. The cover of Judy's zine is 6" x 12", and is collaged with book pages, painted, and she hand-stitched lace pieces and edging to the paper.

When you open it, you see that Judy has re-purposed a 12" x 12" calendar page for the cover. She kept the back side of the blue stitching exposed, which is a nice touch. The pages of the book are folded over 8 1/2" X 11" pages, with typed text and full-color photos.

Judy's first article is about "guerrilla art," and how she recently created some of her own. She explains that guerrilla art is free art placed in public places, often anonymously. The fun for the viewer is stumbling upon it and wondering about its source. She tells a story about being on vacation, and becoming so moved by news of a death, that she decides to create a piece of art as a memoriam. Amazingly, she spies the family of the victim as they discover this art. It really is a beautiful story, and she's a beautiful woman for creating it.

Judy has written a how-to article as well. She picked up some vinyl street signs that were destined for a landfill, and created beautifully painted flowers. That's a great example of making beauty from trash. Her step-by-step instructions are detailed enough, with accompanying photos, that most readers would be able to re-create the flowers. I only wish she included a photo of the original signs so I could get some perspective on the starting point.

Her next story starts with the question, "Ever heard of a zine library?" I have, and have been to one in Portland, Oregon. I haven't found one in Florida yet, but Judy discovered one in her hometown of Spokane, Washington. What a great story to include in her zine! A lot of us in this zine swap are creating zines for the first time, and many have never seen one in person before creating their own. It's great to know there's a whole world of zines out there. Be aware, though, some zine subjects may not suit your tastes. If you find a library, just put the oddballs back and keep looking, because you'll see there's a wide range of topics and zine styles.

Her last story is about her practice of writing "Morning Pages," a ritual popularized by Julia Cameron in her book The Artist's Way. I know this is huge with many people, but I've never been able to keep up with it. She's quite brave and includes a couple in her zine.

I don't want to forget the nice little gift that Judy included with her zine. She's generously given the zine reader their own embroidery floss, fabric, and edging so we can incorporate them in our next project. If you like what you've seen of Judy's art here, please be sure to stop by her blog, Cheery Tomato Productions.

I hope you've enjoyed my reviews of the zines I received. You can go back and look at my complete list of posts at the end of this one here. I'll be hosting my own zine swap this Spring. You can see the details by clicking on the "Zine Swap" tab at the top of this blog.


rivergardenstudio said...

These are fabulous treasure... I love reading and seeing about each zine. Have a beautiful weekend. roxanne

Ryan said...

wow she is so artistic, thanks for dropping by my wee blog earlier. You must be proud of your ancestor, he's very highly thought of over here.

Judy Merrill-Smith said...

Thanks for your kind zine review. It's nice to get someone else's thoughtful perspective on my work.

BTW, I don't do morning pages all the time. I'm not much of a morning person myself. I do find writing to be extremely helpful, though.