Julie Wagner ~ New Mexico

 
   
Julie Wagner: "I grew up roaming the woods of the northeast, collecting bugs, leaves and flowers. I have always loved drawing what I see on my walks and translating them to my art works. I still often return home with wasp's or bird's nests, seed pods, abandoned shells of cicadas or other bugs. Then, in my studio, I make paper sculpture and artist's books using my drawings, images of natural forms, scientific diagrams, and maps. I do oil transfer drawings on handmade Japanese paper, tear the pages into small pieces, which I then glue up to make vessel forms and book pages. I am exploring metamorphosis, patterns of growth and decay, and 'maps' of the natural world."
   

Other River books
Rio Chama books

 
   
Ranidae
By Julie Wagner
El Rito, New Mexico: Julie Wagner, 2010. One-of-a-Kind.

3.75 x 4.125 x 1.25"; 52 pages. Watercolor and ink on Moulin de Gue paper. Bound in a laminated mica cover with two-needle coptic binding. Housed in a lidded archival storage box with title on cover.

The life cycle of a common frog told through a series of watercolor and ink drawings by the artist.

Interview, Rio Grande Sun: "One of Wagner's favorites is a book, mostly of illustrations, she did of the life of a frog. She pulls it off a shelf and as she does so you can see she is becoming more animated, more excited with sharing these pieces with you. You realize she really loves these books.

"'Here's another book that changes over time,' Wagner says as she folds out the small volume. 'It's the life cycle of a frog. These are watercolors. This is one-of-a-kind. ... It just goes through from the egg ... I've used this idea more than once."

$900

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Ebb and Flow
By Julie Wagner
El Rito, New Mexico: Julie Wagner, 2007. One-of-a-Kind.

10 x 5.75"; 22 pages. Watercolor, ink, and metal leaf on Arches Cover paper. Metal title plate on front cover. Cloth covered clamshell case by Rosalia Galassi. Paper title on spine.

A delicate visual translation of a Rumi poem: "we are the night ocean filled / with glints of light / we are the space / between the fish and the moon, / while we sit here together"
$1000

 

 


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Heart Song
By Julie Wagner
El Rito, New Mexico: Julie Wagner, 2007. Edition of 100.

3.6 x 4.6"; 8 pages. Created in Photoshop Elements on an iMac computer. Printed using an Epson Stylus Photo 2400 printer. A flutter book of photographs, rubber stamps, and drawings printed on Epson Ultra Premium Presentation Paper. Cover is paper over boards with a paper title label with line drawing tipped on front board.

Julie Wagner: "Heart Song was created ... using an EKG of a beloved black Lab named Max." Bookended by an image of the dog and what is presumably its grave, Heart Song combines the EKG with simple images and a melancholy two-word chant, from "true heart . stout heart . good heart" to "heart failure . heart break . heart broken." It's a personal story, but one that should resonate with any pet owner.
$48


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A Day in the Bosque
By Julie Wagner
2005. Edition of 100.

3.675 x 65" extended. In Leporello binding with cloth covered boards. Inkjet prints on Epson Enhanced Matte Paper. Printed on an Epson R800 printer.

Julie Wagner: "The images in A Day in the Bosque are composed in Photoshop Elements 3 from photographs of the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge in San Antonio, New Mexico, topographical maps, and scans of ink drawings done at the site. They trace the life in the refuge through one twenty-four hour period in November, from the cranes waking at dawn, through their flight to the corn fields to eat, and then back to the marshes to sleep through the night on the ponds."
$125


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Chronicle of Sleepless Nights
By Julie Wagner
El Rito, New Mexico: Julie Wagner, 2002. One-of-a-Kind.

9.125 x 8.725"; 48 pages. Oil transfer on handmade paper. Japanese stab binding. The cover paper and endsheets are one piece of heavier more textured paper folded with the fold at the fore-edge. If murky has a feel, this might be it.

Julie Wagner: "Based on journals written in the dark, when I wake up at 3 in the morning and can't get back to sleep. It is a record of my worries, obsessions, and fears. Because it was written in the dark, much is illegible and garbled. In it, text becomes texture, and the actual words are piled on top of each other, becoming almost illegible.

"The text and images are done with oil transfer drawings on handmade Japanese paper ... I am interested in the tactile qualities of this book and the way the text moves in and out of legibility."
$600


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Palimpsest II
By Julie Wagner
El Rito, New Mexico: Julie Wagner, 1999. One-of-a-Kind.

6.1 x 6.1" closed, opens to 48"; 8 pages. Double-accordion structure. Hand-carved rubber stamps, ink on Nidiggen paper. Pages mounted on Mexican amate paper. Housed in cloth-covered clamshell case by Rosalia Galassi.

Julie Wagner: "Palimpsest II is a book about the goddess culture and how much knowledge of it has been lost. I used a bark paper accordion to refer back to the pre-Conquest codices of Mexico, many of which were burned when the Spanish arrived. It also refers to the practice of the Aztecs, who, when they conquered another people, would burn their books and write new ones, revising history to make themselves preeminent. The images, made of hand-carved rubber stamps, are taken from many different cultures and refer to various goddesses and their attributes. The names are also of goddesses who were once well-known and venerated. The book is rubbed with red pigment, once a common practice at shrines like Catal Hayuk [Neolithic site in modern Turkey]. All the images are overlaid and sometimes erased and smudged to give a sense of time. There is an underlying progression to the images from birth through life to death to rebirth. I wanted this book to have a real sense of age and survival against all odds."
$950


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Julie Wagner: "These three books are based on maps of the Rio Chama, which runs from the north of New Mexico through Rio Arriba County to merge with the Rio Grande in Espanola. This is a very lively, rapidly flowing river, and these books translate that liveliness into visual terms. I love the sound, the light reflecting off the water, the dance of the current making its way downstream. They are done with watercolor on paper that has been patterned with suminagashi."
   

River Riffs
By Julie Wagner
El Rito, New Mexico: Julie Wagner, 2009. One-of-a-Kind.

6.125 x 4.125" closed, extends to 48"; 8 folds. Accordion structure. Watercolor on paper with suminagashi. Painted boards with raised illustrated paper title label on front board and a raised illustrated signature-and date-label on back board.
$375


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The River's Dance
By Julie Wagner
El Rito, New Mexico: Julie Wagner, 2009. One-of-a-Kind.

6.125 x 4.125" closed, extends to 48"; 8 folds. Accordion structure. Watercolor on paper with suminagashi. Painted boards with raised illustrated paper title label on front board and a raised illustrated signature-and date-label on back board.
$375


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The River's Song
By Julie Wagner
El Rito, New Mexico: Julie Wagner, 2009. One-of-a-Kind.

6.125 x 4.875" closed, extends to 48"; 8 folds. Accordion structure. Watercolor on paper with suminagashi. Painted boards with raised illustrated paper title label on front board and a raised illustrated signature-and date-label on back board.
$375


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Wagner's books are a contrast of water and drought - lush and dry. In this section are books reflecting her fascination with the course water takes through the western states.
 
the river's secrets
By Julie Wagner
El Rito, New Mexico: Julie Wagner, 2011. One-of-a-Kind.

4.625 x 6" closed, extends to 48"; 8 folds. Accordion structure. Watercolor and ink Suminagashi paper. Painted boards with raised illustrated paper title label on front board and a raised illustrated signature and date label on back board.

Julie Wagner: "An accordion book based on a very lively, rapidly flowing river, and these books translate that liveliness into visual terms. I love the sound, the light reflecting off the water, the dance of the current making its way downstream. They are done with watercolor on paper that has been patterned with suminagashi."

Rio Grande Sun, interview, 2013: "These are like petroglyphs (she says, pointing to one section on one of the Rio Grande Books). I like this one a lot. It's called The River's Secrets, and it's just kind of the way you find petroglyphs. I've done a fair amount of books about drought. I think that's partly why I am interested in the river, too, because I feel like, especially the Rio Grande, but also the Chama, it's like the life blood of New Mexico and it goes right down - it's like the circulatory system of the state - and that interests me, that whole concept of flow, of your blood and your energy flow and flow in nature. To me it's all the same."
$375

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the river's tales
By Julie Wagner
El Rito, New Mexico: Julie Wagner, 2011. One-of-a-Kind.

4 x 6" closed, extends to 48"; 8 folds. Accordion structure. Watercolor and ink Suminagashi paper. Painted boards with raised illustrated paper title label on front board and a raised illustrated signature-and date-label on back board.

Julie Wagner, Rio Grande Sun, interview 2013: "I like the puzzle of finding a form that will embody the idea I want to convey, e.g., an accordion book to reveal the path and flow of a river. ..."
$375

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taos canyon suite
By Julie Wagner
El Rito, New Mexico: Julie Wagner, 2011. One-of-a-Kind.

4.125 x 6" closed, extends to 48"; 8 folds. Accordion structure. Watercolor and ink Suminagashi paper. Painted boards with raised illustrated paper title label on front board and a raised illustrated signature and date label on back board.

One of her Rio Grande pieces based on the river between Taos and Pilar. This series of books have a topographical feel.

Rio Grande Sun, interview 2013: "I've always been interested in maps. And I've always liked doing art about maps or with maps. Partly it's because, if you take a map it's like taking a two-dimensional representation of something that's totally three-dimensional and even four-dimensional. Like when I'm drawing the maps, they are not totally accurate, but they're fairly accurate. And it's almost as if I can feel myself walking along the river, and the ground going up and down."
$375

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Page last update: 07.22.13

   
  
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