River West Artworks
Original Art, Artisan Works and Photographs by Jan Jenkins and Brian Erickson


(posted on 24 Aug 2019)

I had this idea to make bookmarks, using acrylic paints and my gelliplate, for our community's upcoming Manitoba Culture Days celebrations which take place the end of September.  A dear friend who works at a local paint store responded to my request for old paint swatch cards and gave me a bunch - thanks so much!!!  In my mind this would be easier and more visually interesting (a gradated colour base under all those paint layers) versus cutting and using plain cardstock.  

I played for 4 days with acrylic paint, my gelliplate, a brayer, stencils and created more than 125 bookmarks - I experimented quite a bit - some I liked more than others. A good learning experience. I also tried embellishing some of them with paint markers.  For the most part I did not care for the look of the paint markers atop the gelliprints, but found they did add a nice tinted border around the bookmark.  My first time playing with paint markers - they are problematic and I have to find out why they keep drying out and how to get them flowing again...exactly how does one keep acrylic paint from dry coating a fibrous nib??? I have to research that, otherwise they are a waste of money.  I've read that you can use them to paint right on the gelliplate which is what I want to try next time if I can get the tips flowing again.  

After my bookmark creations were done, I was curious to see how they would look scanned side by side as a collaged image, playing with their placement like a brick layer might with bricks. I quite like the end result!!  I've titled this series of collages Boho.  They remind me of patchwork quilts, colourful tapestries of varying hues and patterns, bohemian eclectic, and especially of Dolly Partons song "Coat of Many Colors" (see below for song lyrics). It never occurred to me these might be the end result of my desire to make bookmarks. I think I will be creating more of these with a view to collaging them together into permanent artworks.  What do you think of them?




Coat Of Many Colors

by Dolly Parton

Back through the years
I go wonderin' once again
Back to the seasons of my youth
I recall a box of rags that someone gave us
And how my momma put the rags to use
There were rags of many colors
Every piece was small
And I didn't have a coat
And it was way down in the fall
Momma sewed the rags together
Sewin' every piece with love
She made my coat of many colors
That I was so proud of

As she sewed, she told a story
From the Bible, she had read
About a coat of many colors
Joseph wore and then she said
Perhaps this coat will bring you
Good luck and happiness
And I just couldn't wait to wear it
And momma blessed it with a kiss

My coat of many colors
That my momma made for me
Made only from rags
But I wore it so proudly
Although we had no money
I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me

So with patches on my britches
And holes in both my shoes
In my coat of many colors
I hurried off to school
Just to find the others laughing
And making fun of me
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me

And oh, I couldn't understand it
For I felt I was rich
And I told 'em of the love
My momma sewed in every stitch
And I told 'em all the story
Momma told me while she sewed
And how my coat of many colors
Was worth more than all their clothes

But they didn't understand it
And I tried to make them see
That one is only poor
Only if they choose to be
Now I know we had no money
But I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me
Made just for me

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Dolly Parton

Coat of Many Colors lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC